Evan Todd

Alpha feedback

Thanks so much to everyone who made the alpha a great success! I'm blown away that people were able to look past the bugs and crashes and clunky controls and somehow get a positive experience out of it! It gives me hope and motivation to press on.

I got a ton of very useful feedback. Here's a quick summary of what I learned:

  • The atmosphere and tone is cool and unique.
  • The text-message-driven story works pretty well.
  • Everyone immediately says "Mirror's Edge + Minecraft"... but then realize they're okay with that! :)
  • The physics is kinda buggy.
  • Mouse inversion, gamma settings, and vsync toggling are a must.
  • The controls are unnecessarily┬ácomplex. Too many keys.
  • Buggy physics. Player gets stuck in the environment a lot. Large objects occasionally start floating around on their own. Swimming doesn't really work at all.
  • Combat is weak. You left-click once and hope that kills the enemy before it kills you.
  • It's rather disconcerting being able to look down your own nose. Also, everyone thinks the player model is a female when in fact it's a male with big pecs. Yikes.
  • Oh yes, there's lots of physics bugs.
  • The tutorials are sometimes easy to miss, and the game expects you to have a move fully mastered immediately after learning it.
  • Handling publicity and responding to feedback is a lot more work than I originally thought! And hosting large downloads on "pay for what you use" web hosts is a baaad idea. Good problems to have though. :)

I've already set to work fixing a lot of these issues, especially with the controls and physics. My number one priority is getting the player animation and movement perfect, which is a pretty long way from where we are now.

I tentatively fixed the "seeing down your own nose" issue. But look what I had to do:

Freaking creepy, amirite? But this way facial features don't show up in first-person view, and the shadows still look okay.

Could make for an interesting creepy NPC maybe. Who knows.

Also someone on Reddit I think asked about the possibility of a third-person view. I don't think it will make it into the final cut, but I got a quick demo working. Here's what it looks like:

Notice I switched to a female model since everyone thought that's what it was anyway. The animations look pretty rough in third person, but then again, Mirror's Edge looks like this in third person.

Just a quick update this time. Been thinking about creating little development videos similar to Wolfire's. Would anyone be interested in seeing that?