Super 80s World at the Smithsonian Arcade

Michael Cowden
August 8th, 2017

This year's Smithsonian Indie Arcade was a blast. We had a lot of fun exhibiting and got a lot of great feedback.

Some of the things we learned this year included:

  • There's always a fine line when designing early levels / and tutorials - strive to find the middleground between boring and frustrating
  • Aspect ratio continues to be a challenge for side-scrollers when using tablets (4:3)
  • Consistency is important when it comes to your game mechanics and how you kill enemies

We received a lot of great suggestions to address these and other issues. Some of the ones we'll be looking to incorporate in the upcoming releases include:

  • Flashing the side of the screen to warn of high speed enemies
  • Making it more obvious when you complete a level
  • Making it more clear that pause points and collectables are not obstacles / enemies

We're also looking to open with more of the platformer elements so the game doesn't immediately feel like a simple runner.

One great idea that came out of the weekend was the idea of combinations that allow for attacks. Currently, the player can flip backwards after jumping, a mechanic primarily used for precision landing on platforms. An extra tap on the jump button, timed appropriately, would allow the player to dive bomb an enemy and kill them from above.

We're also exploring making all enemies vulnerable in the same way (to head and slide kills) but only under certain circumstances - like power ups or combination attacks.

Thanks again to everyone that made it out to the show. And thanks for all the great feedback!


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