Business Heartbeat - November 1, 2019

This week we completed and published our Halloween Update for Prismatic Maze!

This update is a big milestone for the game.  This month, we added Ghosts and In-Game Updates.  

The original ideas behind the game had a lot of stuff that didn't make it into the initial release.  Prismatic Maze was released at the end of March 2018, at the 1 year mark in the project. It had all the major pieces like sound and music and worked basically the same way it does today in terms of moving around in the maze that was organized into colored areas with locked doors and keys and collecting a few items. 

In April & May we mostly worked on making it do what it already did well enough - stability fixes, a full overhaul of the UI to work correctly at different resolutions, some color variation to each Pigment's territory and some polish features throughout. 

We started adding localization in June, starting with Bulgarian and adding Latvian and German over the next few months with the help of volunteer translators. We also added Butterflies for Stella :)

From July onward, we've been working towards realizing more of the original ideas for the game design. We wanted to make the game significantly better before the next phase of its life, which was putting it out on Mobile. Along with working on polish features, infrastructure features like telemetry and performance improvements, we added coins in July, consumable items & active effects in August, and Darkness & an item merchant in September. Now ghosts and in-game updates.

We've been revving on Items since launch.  Initially they were just the primary map ingredients and the items to let you see the maze as it is being created. Coins and Butterflies added things to collect in multiples & the item merchant provides a mechanism to customize which items you have access to by swapping out some for others. Consumable items and active effects add to player agency by changing some of the relationships between Explorers and their environment as well as providing a mechanism for user-triggered transient effects.

The maze environments themselves were mostly organized same way since launch until adding darkness. Darkness and light adds some variety and complexity to the mazes, then adding monsters to dark mazes suddenly makes a pretty chill game of exploration with no consequences into a game of cat and mouse. 

We had originally estimated adding ghosts in one week, but one thing led to another pretty logically and there were so many little things that shook out of it that we spend almost the whole month working on them and still sent it out with many ideas yet unrealized. It was really a lot of fun to work with and it really leads us towards the much more complex life simulations in our next project.

Read about the changes that went into this month's update here:

At this point, we feel that the game is in a good enough place to warrant doing the mobile version. That'll require a full redesign of the interface and UI, features specific to mobile for monetization and enough of the foundation components are in place to build the Campaign mode to replace the Stage Select loop :D 

The next chapter in this game's evolution is super exciting! Stay tuned.

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Completed This Week

  • Add In-Game Update Log
  • Publish Halloween Update w/ Steam Sale

Tasks Completed This Month  

  • Advance Time as game time progresses
  • Scale items in Creating Maze Tools menu to fit
  • Add PigmentModel instances at Pigment creature positions
  • Refactor Maze Cell initialization from Maze to MazeCell
  • Add new decorations (Dark, Light, On, Dead) to Tile View
  • Add Pigment creatures to Maze during PLAY
  • Add Decay effect to dead Pigments
  • Update PigmentModel to quickly remove Darkness & slowly Decay tiles
  • Add Ghosts
  • Teach Ghosts to move
  • Item: Power Pellet
  • Update Pigments to grow Power Pellets
  • Teach Ghosts to Die
  • Teach Ghosts to Retreat from Explorer
  • Teach Ghosts to Chase Explorer
  • Teach Ghosts to turn off lights
  • Item - Tombstone
  • Teach Ghosts to Kill
  • Merchant Sell tab should accept Treasure at full value
  • Reduce Ghost Retreat speed logarithmically
  • Slow Ghost Chase speed while Explorer has Light
  • Prevent Pigments from spawning monsters while Explorer is Empowered
  • Item: Ghost Essence
  • Re-Skin Tombstone
  • Add Sound for new features
  • Liberate white area when all tiles are exposed
  • Capture Notification Dismissals in GameConfiguration
  • Add In-Game Patch Notes
  • Add shorthand update log to Bootstrap Main Menu

Next Milestone

  • Christmas Update ~12/25

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