It’s been over two months since my last post. I thought I’d have Infinitris 1.2 out by now, and maybe it should have been. I’ve deliberately not made any updates to the official page since my last release, mainly because I’ve invested a lot of time (and a decent amount of money too) into this game now and I haven’t wanted to release anything half-baked, even if it does follow my original strategy of a minimum viable product.
Anyway, I’ve completely replaced Infinitris’ old look with Rob’s new design, from the ingame assets to the landing page and user interface. Registration and logging in are now possible from the landing page, and once logged in you can choose your block colour and pattern, and also unlock achievements. Player status (guest, logged in, premium) can now be distinguished by a players’ nickname above their block.
Infinitris is starting to feel a lot more polished and immersive. The shitty graphics are gone and the connecting of blocks to form patterns is pretty satisfying. The new scoreboard makes players want to reach the top (rather than just plain text statistics) and the ability to customise your appearance really gives players a sense of individuality.
There’s still a lot to be done, but I’ve decided it’s time to stop hiding and “kick it out” as my Russian friend likes to sometimes say.
I’ve signed up to showcase Infinitris at the Armageddon expo in my home city next month (June 3rd) as part of the NZGDA booth. This should be a good way to kick things off and gain some exposure, lots of playtesting, make a few contacts, etc.
This means I’ve got a bunch of things to do before then:
- Add a “How to Play” guide that pops up for new players before they join a game. This is incredibly important because people find it hard to get past the basic mechanics of Tetris and realise that this might be something new. This isn’t Tetris! The aim of the guide is to explain the controls and mechanics in a quick, entertaining and easy-to-read way.
- New UX – Apart from the camera shake when a player makes a mistake and the player drop effect, I need to redo everything else (clearing lines, phase shifting, grid reset, cell stealing, stomping, valid block placement, grid expansion).
- Add a persistent scoreboard. I think this will help with player retention, especially while I’m trying to grow a player base.
- Add a new cell stealing mechanic – wrapping another player’s cells with your own blocks will steal them. This came from playtesting the existing stomp mechanic – we discovered that adding more ways to sabotage and compete with other players is a great way to make the game more fun.
- Add a basic lobby chat system. Players can chat with each other from the landing page and organise games.
- Add the Paypal button to activate premium (It’s not an MVP until you can buy the game right?)
I doubt I’ll get all these done, but let’s see how far I can go. I now have a deadline, and I’ll be releasing Infinitris 1.2 before Armageddon no matter what state it’s in. Once 1.2 is released, I’ll go back to my original strategy of frequent updates on the release branch.
I’ve asked Rob to create a couple poster designs and a business card design so I have something to bring to the expo. I’m looking forward to seeing what he comes up with – I’m sure it’ll entice people to try out my game!