EchoExplorer – On Kongregate

December 20, 2009

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After submitting my Ludum Dare entry “EchoExplorer” comments starting coming in fast. Feedback is a gift, and Christmas came early. There were a few trends that became apparent as I watched a few people play the game. Thanks to those kind souls that played my game and provided feedback I narrowed down on a few key areas:

  1. Feeling of movement: With the camera centering on the player, there was no way to sense movement in an entirely black background. So I added a patterned foreground that would allow the player to visualize their movement better. This also gave better distance references which made navigating to points in the dark easier.
  2. Sound: Many people found the sonar blasts annoying. I tweaked the volume which provided a better SFX/Music mix. I also added a fourth, lower frequency version of the sonar effect which provided a bit more interestingness to the sonar blast. Finally, I made the music file stream so the .swf could shrink from 2.5MB to under 200K and load much faster.
  3. Sonar Wave Effect: Many people were frustrated with the distance the sonar blast covered. I increased the max distance by 33% but also doubled the randomization factor to make the blast a bit more interesting. I also removed a third of the wave effect to improve performance.

With these few tweaks completed I decided to submit EchoExplorer to Kongregate. This would be my first game ever submitted to the gaming portal.

Prior to launching on Kongregate EchoExplorer had logged 175 plays over 6 days with the vast majority of these being directly from the Ludum Dare competition site. Within 4 hours, Kongregate had surpassed this number. Early comments aren’t scathing – which is nice. I’ll be tracking comments and ratings closely to see how these small tweaks changed impressions from my Ludum Dare build.

If people end up liking the game concept, I’d be honored to build it up into something better.

EchoExplorer – Ludum Dare Build

EchoExplorer – Kongregate Build

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