How being wrong makes it alright


I was wrong. I thought I had it nailed and I didn’t. I had made my new game Starsceptre with a really cool tilt mechanic for gameplay and I thought everyone would love it.

It doesn’t mean the game is a failure – universally everyone loves the graphics, the premise and they especially love the music (my favourite part).

I just I needed to learn an important lesson and that is to listen more to the audience – in this case gamers who know what they want and love even from a little game like mine. 

You see gamers love controls they use all the time and, whilst some have taken to tilt well and love it, many are closed to the idea. 

But herein lies the opportunity: make an alternative control system with a UI they love using and make it in a way it mimics the movements I’ve captured in the original tilt mechanic. 

And actually, what I’ve found is I quite like the new alternative system. It’s the best of both worlds and doesn’t feel like a compromise. 

Now how to implement it? Well some would argue that setting your original control mechanic as default and letting gamers change it is the way forward.

But not for me. 

I love choice, so I’ve baked into the new version (when I finish it that is – so pull your finger out Ed) so that when the updated game first boots up, you are presented with the choice – Tilt or Stick.

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Very pleased with how the on screen joystick mimics the original tilt mechanics/controls. It's proving quite a cool alternative. I've even got the fire button depressing when you hold it down. Am gonna design the stick and button elements properly. Upon first loading the updated game when it gets released the screen gives you control options right up front (currently the two blue box squares – left will be tilt, right will be virtual stick – just gotta design those icons). From then on you can switch controls in the settings menu and also on the pause screen when I get round to it. I'm really confident our beta testing will prove this to be popular and might crack the wider mass market. Fingers crossed. Not bad at for a #bootstrap #startup solo independent? What do you think? #Starsceptre #gamedev #indiedev #retrogaming #retrogamer #shmup #tiltnshmup #anime #pixelart #pcengine #megadrive #neogeo #arcade #ios #iosgames #pixelart #gameart

A post shared by Richard Morgan (@richardamorgan) on

And I’ve also baked it into the settings menu. Of course the button icons are missing and the UI needs designing for the stick and button, but you can see it working. That’s why I love coding on my commute, I can make changes quickly and test them on the go with Codea.

But here’s the clever bit: what if you don’t like what you’ve chosen mid way through a game? Well, if you hit pause, the two very same options are there so you can switch between them. 

So will it work? I think so. But we’ll just have to wait and see!

But I think being wrong will be alright in the end

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