Playtest is both great and not so great.
It’s great that all the fully diegetic bull I’m pulling seems to work, against all odds. Playtesters genuinely find the design to be interesting enough. The not so great part is that the gameplay itself is deemed flat and uninteresting especially among the veteran roguelike players, and the gameplay is something I thought I’m supposedly done with a year ago.
At first I felt like my designs are failing, but upon close inspection I figured out what exactly went wrong: not the design, but the lack of design.
I quickly recalled my game is just a twinstick shooter strapped with the fully diegetic premise, then to accommodate the ability to acknowledge player death, a roguelike structure is then slapped on top of it. But the gameplay itself was never designed with roguelike in mind.
Sure, I’ve got random rooms, enemy compositions, abilities, and a respectable amount of weapons. But the core gameplay loop, using the guns, poses no synergy whatsoever. There’s no risk/reward at play here, so of course the gameplay doesn’t feel interesting enough as a roguelike, it never was designed for a roguelike.
At least I finally got myself unblinded from the illusion of my job is done, instead of a regression of progress, I’ve probably progressed much more than I would’ve without this playtest session. And now I can dive back in, to actually make designs for a roguelike.
The goal 🔗
Truth to be told, I feel like most of the surrounding stuffs are good enough, so I’d be focusing more on revamping the core gameplay itself.
I’ve got plenty weapons and the ability to wield two, but they don’t have any synergies between each other. I’ll try to change to a single weapon only design but with two attack mode, so that I can design the two modes to be compensating each other, allowing players to do riskier moves in exchange for far greater damage.
Should be instantly more fun than before if I pulled it off.