A picture's worth a thoustand words.
After letting the public loose on Lumote at Full Indie, one of the main things we knew we needed to fix right away was the way we visually communicate actions to the player. We had put this off thinking that we had other higher priorities, but watching people play proved to us that this was wrong. Our core game loop is; explore, discover, possess and we were failing on all accounts to make this a natural and interesting experience for players.
Lumote is all about pushing through he darkness. As you move through the world you light it up, creating your own breadcrumb trail. For our Full Indie build we used a star like shader that lit up the ground making it twinkle to show players where to go. This pattern was a hit (aesthetically) with the crowd. However it made it difficult for players to tell where the edge of a the ground was which left them frustratingly falling to their death more than we’d like. To improve that we’ve now made the glows at edge more concentrated, making it much clearer where players can walk and jump to.
Discover Players were constantly getting lost and turned around when they ended up behind an object and had to swing the camera around. They would swing it wildly to find themselves and then not know which direction they needed to go. In order to solve this we added a camera reset button that will reposition the camera to an unobstructed view of the player. We’ve also added in x-ray vision that shows you the outline of Lumote and some of the local environment when the camera is obstructed. There is now none of the panic to re-find yourself and players can move the camera in a more thoughtful way.
Possess The world of Lumote is alive and full of possessable creatures. By resonating on them, each creature can be controlled and also has an action that you can perform (Hunters dash, Guards shock things, etc). There was very subtle visual and aural queues that anything was happening and most players had to be directed on what to do. By adding ripple effect whenever you resonate and a burst of particles when the possess action is triggered, players are now able see that these are special actions and that prompt experimentation in different situations.
Now that these improvements are in and more to come, we can’t wait for the next Full Indie to see how people react. The more people play the more we can improve and make Lumote into something that’s Luminawesome.
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