The Sniper's Room: Final comments
I haven't posted a diary entry yet, so here it is.
I'm fairly satisfied with how this Pyweek went. Even though time was tight as usual, I was comfortable with the general idea since the beginning and I had the schedule and the scope of the game in check, which is something that most of the time does not happen. I didn't have time to balance it though, and I also wanted to add some sound effects but I ran out of time. I only had the levels in within the last two hours of the deadline, and I only did a full test of the game one hour from the deadline. I received a comment that it would be nice to see the rooms at the end of the game, and that was in the original plan but I had to scrap it due to time. I was also thinking of having more features to help identify the room, but in the end I'm glad I scrapped that because it made things simpler. (I find that simple is usually good in Pyweek, at least for me, so that's what I try to aim for.)
If you're familiar with my Pyweek history, you know that I'm always trying to implement a single idea that I haven't seen before, so it's always hard to measure how fun it is. Most of the time, due to the time constraint, I just test it myself, so I'm never sure about how fun it is. Your comments help in this aspect and I'm glad that some of you had fun! I understand that it might get boring as a few commented: a reason this may happen is that it is a bit of a waiting game, and most of the time you're just paying attention to a few windows waiting for something to happen. I thought however that it would be nice to do a slower-paced game compared to my previous entry, where you had to react every couple of seconds. In fact, if you've been following my games you'll see that I tend to go back and forward between fast-paced games and slow-paced games.
I personally like this idea because it mixes three different elements. There is a bit of logic, a bit of perception, and a bit of chance. I can't think off the top of my head of any game that blends these three elements together, though I'm sure it exists. I'd say however that the logic part is very superficial: the challenge of the game is obtaining as much information as possible by paying attention, and crossing off rooms once you have that information is very easy. The chance element wasn't planned from the beginning, but I realized at the end that it was kind of exciting to take the best guess, and I thought it fit well with the game. But even this chance element has a little bit of logic to it: you can think of certain windows to be more likely than others based on their locations and the ones you crossed off (e.g. if the sniper is in a room with 3 windows, and there is a cluster of two windows separated from the rest, chances are that that is not the room).
I appreciate a lot your comments (especially those who take the time to go into details) and thanks to Richard for hosting yet another Pyweek. Congratulations to the winners and to everyone else who completed a game: it is always an achievement to complete a game in such a short time frame. See you next time!