Simple Sandwich: Alpha
After an exciting couple of weeks involving asset implementation, mechanical tweaks, and printing of stickers, our team was ready to present our alpha build of Simple Sandwich. So with my alarm waking me up 5am on March 28th, Austin, Emmett, and I, drive down to Boston to present Simple Sandwich at PAX East at a booth hosted by Champlain College to see what thousands of people have to say about out game!
So What's New?
Simple Sandwich has undergone some changes since our original prototype back in February. We have added many user experience needs that limited players understanding what was going on in game, and also implemented or improved upon the mechanics we had planned for the game.
With our new player card UI, players can now better understand their current sandwich stack and how much points they have accumulated. Our ingredients and players now stand out more against the background, helping players quickly get information of their surroundings. The new textures on all our ingredients also help players quickly differentiate what your were putting on your sandwich. Our tweaked level design also immerses the player into our little kitchen with a calm atmosphere to balance the urge to throw your friends controller across the room after you lose by 12 points...
We have also been implementing a character ready up screen that players can use to make a quick 4 character name and select a sandwich topper! There is still some work to be done on this screen to allow players more options for toppers and saving their unique progress, but for now our base implementation allows players to customize their cute piece of bread and take a break before building some epic sandwiches.
The three of us spent all of Thursday pitching our game and demoing it to hundreds of PAX attendees who wandered by our booth. The feedback we received was extremely valuable and helped us focus our attention on adjustments needed for our future Beta version. We had players of all ages who grasped our simple controls and mechanics, getting right into the competitive nature of our game. Even individuals who were very hesitant on playing due to lack of familiarity with controllers were able to quickly acclimate and have some fun with those they were playing with. What surprised us was the amount of players who quickly mastered certain "untold" mechanics in our game, such as blocking players from getting to the collection plate, and stealing bread before a player with a large sandwich could get to it. The experience of demoing our game at PAX East was very eye opening to the small things that made our game fun and frustrating for players. As a programmer who enjoys building strong gameplay, it helped me a lot. Compared to our QA at Champlain College, which are comprised of all colleges students, having this wider audience play our game was a great change in pace for reflecting on our game.
Well, we are now working on our Beta build. The main implementations that are coming will be recipe adjustments, monster sandwiches, and more player feedback. We will be adding more recipes and adjusting the points you get in return for building certain combinations of ingredients. If you make a handful of recipes it can spawn a monster sandwich, which will go around and attack your friends, taking ingredients off of their sandwich. Finally we will be tweaking the player feedback with additional audio cues, asset popups, and particle effects! All of this being implemented for our next demo event at Champlain Games Festival, where we will be showcasing our pre-Beta build to hundreds of developers and attendees. For more information on the event you can check out @VT_CGF. To watch our progress in developing Simple Sandwich you can follow us @FellowHumansDev.