Production Cycle Week 1 (Second Semester Sprint 1)

For the start of this semester we are tasked with completing a short list of greenlight requirements so we can move onto that section of development. In short the three requirements that we must fill with our design is:

  1. Having strong market research
  2. Co-op difficulty matching the player’s preferred difficulty
  3. An updated and more relevant progression system

Toybox‘s main difficulty in getting players involved with the core gameplay loop was the death mechanic.  While this mechanic was integral to the feeling of the game and one of the main reason we picked this prototype, the players who had teammates who constantly died felt left out of the experience and often times became frustrated.  To avoid this we are changing the mechanic so that when a player gets hit they no longer get ‘killed’ but rather get put into a ‘last stand’ mode which restricts their movement but allows them to still shoot and finish the level.  On top of that, players can be revived once a level by their teammate (the teammate must stand over the fallen player and mash a button).  For the more casual players this updated mechanic will allow for an easier but still hectic time beating each level.  For the hardcore speedrunning players, this mechanic will often times be the same as before because getting put into ‘last stand’ will mean they won’t be able to get the fastest times (Unless they make an insane bounce shot from the ground).

Another major change in Toybox which directly addresses the first two points for Greenlight comes from the control scheme now allowing the player to not only aim by independently moving the right stick from the left but also by aiming by the direction they are moving if the right stick is not being actively controlled.  This allows for a more diverse crowd of players who might not be used to the controls of a twin-stick shooters, which may be our target audience.  Hardcore players will not be affected by this change at all which is what we were originally afraid of.

The updated and simplistic new progression system takes form in card “upgrades” that the players can choose from every 5 stars gained.  This is much more helpful for the player because they don’t have to scroll through meaningless pages of skill trees, and it also means the whole progression system is much more in scope for our team.

This upcoming sprint while I finish integrating the new upgraded UI into the game, the whole feel of the game will be drastically improved as well as the core systems evolving.