I have decided to clean the game up as it is now and begin beta testing. I wanted sixteen levels but I only have fourteen done which is fine. I started riding the train into work now that the kids are in kindergarten and we no longer have to drop them off at daycare, so that gives me time before work that I can use here.
Here is an off the top of my head punch-out list of the remaining critical bugs in no particular order:
- Level four (or three, not sure) has another car heading towards the player’s car but the controls got mixed up so any instructions meant for the player’s car end up controlling the other one. I worked on this the other day and decided to use a new model for this car as well which is not working because the wheel colliders are messed up. This prevents the player from completing level four.
- The angular velocity listener is half done. This component observes the car’s rotational velocity and accepts an expression like, “angular velocity is greater than 10,” which would mean the car is rotating very quickly. It needs to report back to the level manager when the listening expression evaluates to true. It’s used on level fourteen to determine if the player has spun the car around enough (has done enough doughnuts.) This prevents the player from completing level fourteen.
- There’s no way to delete a single instruction. You can move instructions around using drag and drop, but you can only remove a single instruction by deleting the entire list. This makes the game too frustrating to play.
- The game needs to save your progress. If you start the game over, you have to start back at level one. Another frustrating issue that will stop people from playing.
From now on, I will only work on issues that are truly blocking the game from its first beta release. The first two are total show stoppers, but the last two will also cause people to stop playing. There are some other features I would like to have, but will not stop anyone from beta testing:
- Bronze/Silver/Gold awards when completing levels. In this case, they’re shown as different color traffic lights (red/yellow/green of course.) I need to develop a way to determine how well the player solved the level and reward curiosity and ingenuity somehow. This is actually a lot more difficult than I first thought because each level has its own criteria for determining progress. One level might be measured by raw speed while another will be measured by the number of injuries caused.
- I would like to offer better coding controls somehow to people who want to get technical. The current structure of the coder is very simple and allows anyone to use it, but what if you want to accelerate and turn at the same time? My idea was to offer simple, intermediate, and advanced coding interfaces which all break down instructions into a new programming language just for the game, but that’s a lot more work than I want to admit.
- I still want sixteen levels because sixteen is 2^4 (nibble), and, just as a general value, it often occurs in computer science e.g. hexadecimal notation.
Also, this is the model I want for the car (but I can not justify the cost without a product at least in beta):
Wish me luck!