Hoth Strike – a few changes

Well my inbox exploded over the weekend with feedback from this game. I choose to publish my games for precisely this reason so it would be fairly arrogant of me to simply ignore everything that has been said.

In short there appears to be tremendous strength of feeling towards the intro crawler text and the way in which the speeder slides across the screen.

The crawler text doesn’t actually add anything to the game. It only loosly resembles the style of the movie so I figure if anything is droppable it’s this. But it was the number of comments from people saying that they had no clue how to get past it and therefore they quit the game that gave me the greatest concern. The fact that people dismiss the game simply because they couldn’t launch it is a problem.
It bothers me that people don’t just hit the fire button (Z) until something happens but I guess not everyone played the arcade / console games that I played in my youth. Unless it’s spelled out clear as day it seems people just draw a blank.
Either way the intro text is dropped.

The second issue is far more interesting since it affects the way the game is played and also impacts on the “skill” required to play the game.
The largest amount of feedback appears to reveal a preference for having the speeder sit centrally in the screen and not having it slide left – right / right – left when changing direction. Admittedly I greatly exaggerated the swing across the screen and preferred the speeder sat extreme left and right as I was building the game. What can I say ? It just stuck. I loved the way that I could zoom past a few probes then change direction, swing the speeder low over them and blast them all to hell ! It was just so satisfying.
I can fully understand why people object to it but then I objected to Defender’s spaghetti fingered control system at first. Just needed practise.
Anyway, I’m not changing it since it’s a cool feature in my opinion. But I have surpressed alien collision when the speeder is sliding to the other direction. That might help people that can’t be bothered to look at the scanner.

Edit: I pulled the speeder in a bit and played it for a day or so. I admit it works nice. Whereas the speeder was sat at Edge + 16 previously it now sits at Edge + 128. The swing is less pronounced and the game is actually far more playable. I even racked up a 100,000+ score !

This stuff is about artistic expression. Fundamental changes to these games would cease to reflect my own personality. Thanks to those that have offered feedback.

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  • vkent81  On June 14, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    This is very interesting as I grew up with Nintendo and Atari and was a nerd myself. I write reviews about products and goods and might have to sit down with you and pick your brain about gaming and get your opinion about certain games and gaming systems.

    • markw1970  On June 16, 2009 at 9:30 am

      Feel free. If you drop me a line I’ll happily share some thoughts for what they’re worth :-)

  • Kevin McDonagh  On June 15, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Could I suggest that also when the ship is just initially coming into play you put a blue orb around it, this would be to show that you were invulnerable at the beginning and also excuse the lack of responsiveness.

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