Sun Haven DevBlog 08 - Jump Puzzles
Updated: Oct 19, 2021
Welcome back, everybody!
This week I’m going to lay out the process of adding a new mechanic to the game, from the idea phase to the implementation phase. The mechanic is a spicy little something we refer to as jump puzzles.
When we talk about jump puzzles, we’re talking about short platforming sections of the environment that the player can discover and explore independently.
Or, in other words, fun stuff to jump on!
The idea came up during a brainstorm about how to better integrate platforming into Sun Haven’s gameplay. After several team members agreed that jump puzzles could be a fun addition, our programmer Brendan got the go-ahead to test them in the game.
After Brendan put one test puzzle into the game, he was able to playtest it with our director Bruce. After deciding to move forward with the design, it went to a team-wide playtest.
This is the make-or-break point for mechanics like this. We have a diverse group of gamers on our team, many of which play games in very different ways. Brendan is a power gamer, Lexxi likes to farm, Jen likes to explore, and I usually get lost for so long that I forget I’m lost. So, our team offers a variety of perspectives on any game mechanic we’re testing.
Our individual feedback was compiled and accounted for after that final playtest. In this case, it was almost an even split on whether or not we liked jump puzzles. The main concern was with the difficulty.
We ultimately decided to make the puzzles easier or of varying difficulty to appeal to different types of players, as well as making sure that few, if any, are required to make progress in the game.
Now, several jump puzzles have found their way into Sun Haven. They not only provide some convenient or lucrative shortcuts, but they’re also pretty dang fun if you ask me.
That wraps up this short-but-sweet development update! On a quick side note: you may have noticed a less frequent posting schedule here. That’s because we’re shifting to posting every three weeks now instead of two in order to focus our efforts on development. Keep an eye out for May though, because that’s when we’ll really be ramping up our posting schedule!
Stay safe out there, friends,
- Michael, Sun Haven Writer