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More Play Testing, the Main Island, and Ambient Sounds

Hello! David here with some updates about progress on the main island, play testing, and our game’s sound system.

The Main Island

As we’ve gotten further into development, much of our focus has turned to the main island that comes after the archipelago, as it was previously the largest part of the game that still remained in its prototype form. Since we started working on it post-prototype, we’ve come up with several different puzzles for players to complete while on the island, most of which have already made their way into the game. We are currently working on balancing the puzzles to make sure they’re not too hard or too easy, and we’re working on adding more general meat to the main island, other than just raw puzzles.

Part of the tree for the main island so far

More Play Testing

After another round of play testing, we have a bunch of new feedback to consider as we move forward with the game. Based on feedback about different parts of the game, we have a few proposed changes that we think will address the main problems remaining with the game.

Our first proposed change is adding a puzzle to the introduction part of the story before the archipelago. This would help to address the problem that if you take your time to read everything during the intro, it takes too long to get to a point where you can actually do anything. We also think we could do this in a way that helps to build the personality of both the player character and Captain Silver

Another proposed change is increasing the number of trips allowed at the archipelago even further to allow players to do more backtracking, as the current limit doesn’t allow you to see every island and backtrack in one playthrough.

Otherwise, we have a bunch of ideas for specific flavor text and dialogue changes to help the story flow better.

If you have any thoughts on these changes, let us know! We’d love to hear your ideas!

The Sound System

One of our ideas for Fool’s Treasure is to have a bunch of ambient sounds for different places, such as the different islands, and to have specific sounds for doing certain actions, like breaking a rock or throwing something in the water. However, the Harlowe story format in Twine doesn’t have any built in support for audio. So, to accomplish our goal, we wrote a small Javascript audio controller that is able to fade in and out different audio loops as well as play non-looping sounds. The engine can be controlled by small Javascript scripts inside of each passage that wants to change the audio, and it’s been working pretty well so far. You can view a demo of the sound engine here (not content from Fool’s Treasure).

We believe that having a good soundscape will help to immerse the player into the story. Below are a few sample sounds used in various places in the story:

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