Thoughts near the end
Posted by Ed on 2013-07-04 20:28:18
So Cargo Chaos has moved into the final stages and is awaiting approval from Apple. I think at the end of this process I can say I'm broadly happy with the finished product, which is a big deal for me given how critically I view my own work. During the end of development I did take out my iPad once or twice with the intent to play my own game for fun rather than work. Given that I've played the game so much over the last 6 months that is probably a good sign.
Most importantly, I can now say unequivocally that it is possible to complete the whole game in its entirety. This may sound like obvious stuff but finding balance between casual victory and phone snapping frustration has been hard. In the end I think I managed to find the balance but in a perfect world I would have had more time and data to better tweak the experience.
Level design was the most challenging part of the whole process. A difficulty curve as a concept is something you usually experience, not craft. Especially given that there is almost no way to gain true objectivity and be separate from the process. Your understanding of challenge changes as you play and the difficulty you create needs to remain constant.
My biggest fear was that the increase in player skill would make how you arranged objects on the boat irrelevant. Thankfully in completing the whole game I found that this was not the case. In some instances I was truly surprised at the solutions that presented themselves.
So our testing has finished and the last tweaks and finishes have been put into the game. We must now simply wait and hope that everything moves forwards smoothly. I am excited to get some real data from players and it will give me the opportunity to break down my design methods and see how close I got to crafting a good puzzle game.