Hello and welcome to our first true dev diary post. Today we’d like to inform you about developments from the last two and a half months. Particularly, the beta testing phase of Nebuchadnezzar’s first fully playable version and the results from the testing.
The first of our big milestones was to have a version of Nebuchadnezzar containing the first five missions—including all the features, graphics, UI screens and tutorials. It was important for us to have all these elements in place because we wanted our beta testers to get the game in a state that was close to the final release, so the feedback could be maximally relevant.
By the middle of March everything was ready. As you may know from our social media, the beta testing was limited. Mainly for our friends and colleagues from the game industry—including some experienced testers. We didn’t want them to fill out any forms, but rather to write down as much feedback—the good and the bad—as possible.
In following weeks we will introduce to you what we had changed and implemented based on the feedback. Today we will show you how we dealt with Nebuchadnezzar’s tutorial.
The tutorial is one of the elements of the game that drew many different opinions. In Nebuchadnezzar, we decided to implement a form that’s both a tutorial and in-game help. All the game mechanics are divided into about 20 topics. In each of the first five missions, several topics are unlocked and the player is notified by a graphical UI element. Unlocked topics always explain a feature appearing for the first time.
Most of our testers appreciated the fact that the tutorial is not scripted and that the player is not locked down to any specific gameplay or layout sequence. The player can even completely ignore the whole tutorial…but, of course, we strongly discourage that ;)
An aspect of the game that was heavily criticized was the fact that the first mission introduces an excessive amount of mechanics—which can overwhelm the player. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the game’s rules, even the first mission (although very simple) must explain a lot of how the game operates.
But still, we felt we could do something about it. We felt the tutorial’s form was the right choice, so we didn’t want to change it. Instead, we decided that some topics won’t be unlocked right away, but rather they’d be revealed after certain “triggers”: like building a specific building.
That’s all for today. Next time we will show you many other changes which we have implemented based on the feedback. See you soon!Discuss this blog post on our forum or reddit.