About a week I've published an early alpha version of the game and send a link to few selected people asking for feedback. I've got 15 people filling in my online form + few emails/chats with more specific comments. Not exactly statistically significant, but gives me a good idea of what people think.
First four questions on my feedback form were about the tester and not the actual game. First two questions were about device and browser used - testers were predominantly using Chrome on desktop. Out of all testers, only four also tested on a hand-held device. Third question was about the Internet connection speed - seems everyone got a better one than me, 20+Mbit/s being the most common answer. Finally in the fourth question I've asked how many other players there were playing. Now: I've made a huge mistake here - I didn't setup testing for a particular time of the day. Testers ended up playing with either just 1-2 other players or absolutely no-one on the server! Luckily I've hastily put in AI-controlled skeletons in the game so at least there was something to shoot at when there was no one else on the server.
About the game
Following 3 questions were about game controls (scale: 1 being bad and 5 being great). I got an average of 3.25 for how responsive the game felt, 3 for touch controls and 3.66 for the keyboard controls. Sounds like a lot of space for improvement! Here are some comments I've received regarding controls and responsiveness of the game:
- It's weird/misleading that you need to keep the attack key (or touch equivalent) pressed to complete shooting
- When pressing 2 arrows at once (say up and left), character will always go up regardless of which button was pressed first.
- Bow takes too long to warm up so it's very hard to hit anything
- Touchscreen controls don't do anything 'on touch' (you have to point the 'virtual joystick' in some direction to get any action)
I was quite surprised to find out that people so badly don't want to keep attack button pressed to complete attack. However this seems like a common comment so I'll need to address this somehow. I agree with the other comments, especially the fact that the bow takes way to long to warm up which makes the game bit boring. Will need to add some dynamics!
Suggestions for further development
Ahh, in the next question I've asked testers to rate features they would like to see implemented in the game in future, offering the following choices (each options could have been given a priority between 1 (most important) and 8 (least important), I've averaged and sorted by popularity all the answers in the table below:
|Make it into a RPG game, drop multiplayer||3.50|
|Bonus pickups (faster movement/shooting, invincibility etc.)||3.88|
|Character customization (change the look of your archer)||3.90|
|Make it into a medieval-battle game||4.50|
|Player vs. Player modes (team deathmatch, capture the flag etc.)||4.63|
|Make it into a MOBA game (like LOL/DOTA)||4.63|
|Make it into a MMORPG game||5.33|
|Co-op play (team up against tasks, quests and environment/AI challenges||5.44|
To my surprise the best scoring answer was: "drop multiplayer, make a single-player RPG" (average score 3.5). This was quite shocking, especially that at this stage it cannot happen - however I'll keep it in mind for my next game. Other two high scoring answers *"bonus pickups" and "customization") will definitely make it into the next iteration of the game
I've got a lots of suggestion coming in either posted in a last interview question (free text) or via other channels, here are some of the most common ones:
- Map collision glitches - 'invisible' wall collisions etc.
- Add music and sound effects (got lots of that!)
- Add more weapons, more types of AI-controlled mobs etc.
On top of that I've got a long list of issues and bugs reported that I'll now need to verify and fix. Many thanks to everyone who send me their feedback, your help is invaluable!