Hello from Pillow Castle!

T-minus one week until we have to be on a plane to GDC – the team is anxious but working hard to meet our goals. The road to a successful IGF presentation is paved with scary deadlines and hard decisions, but we feel like we’ve done everything we can to be ready for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Over the last two weeks, we’ve been making small iterative changes to the first four puzzle levels in order to get as close as we can to a smooth, enjoyable experience for players. We will be on the floor with hundreds of people walking by – it’s important that the audience not only see the game, but see the person playing it is enjoying themselves and isn’t frustrated. No one likes a frustrating game.

Along with those levels, we’ve been playtesting our new tutorial section that Albert and Zhengyi built from scratch.  It isn’t clever or creative, but that’s the point – we want to make sure everyone reads, participates, and understands the rules of the game before we move too deeply in.

The tutorial, however, isn’t all that exciting to the playtesters – a lot of them have been skipping aspects of it because they think they already know what it says, or that it’s not useful.

People do not like to read text in video games, it turns out! 🙁

We’re going to try adding some other visual and audio queues with what limited time we have left to test. Next week is Spring Break here at home base Pillow Castle, which means all of our would-be playtester vacate the area for warmer climates. We’ll be in the office, crunching away, panicking our little hearts out as we count down the hours til our Plane takes off.

We aren’t nervous or anything.

The daily playtests have really helped us clean up a lot of the rough edges of the demo and we’re starting to feel like we’re in a good place for GDC. Albert’s EGW levels are also coming along nicely, and he’s got some sweet ideas cooked up for the crowd.

Oh yeah, we also have to put together some presentations and stuff. Crap. Need to do that. There’s always next week…

-Pillow Castle Out!