Why Not Games




City: Refinements

Written: 2017-05-31

We're getting very close to the actual launch of The Quiet Sleep and so I've been fixing the final few issues of my list. I'm in the process of setting up a company so that I feel comfortable selling my game, but it is quite the protracted process here. Anyway, it's given me the chance to add some final layers of polish to the game and I'm going to discuss two of them here.

Losing Control

The tower defense part of the game requires a penalty when an emotion sneaks through the player's defenses and gets to the self. I've run with just having that be a period where the player cannot interact with the mind, representing needing some time to regain control of yourself after a surge of emotion. I like the metaphor of this and it works well as a penalty for the rest of the game due to the number of timed goals that tick down while this happens. However, having the player unable to interact with the game for some time is not the best of experiences.

I've put in a simple mini-game where you just have to keep the self inside of an expanding bar that represents your control. It took me very little time to put together and I quite like how it plays out. Giving players a skill-based challenge that isn't very challenging lets players feel a much greater sense of autonomy over the penalty while not actually resulting in that high a variance over the severity of the penalty. It's also just a much better experience to give the player something to do. Additionally, it makes explaining what happened much easier and lets me push a little narrative as well. Finally, it mirrors regaining control a little better mechanically.

From that litany of positives, you might think that this feature is a big deal, but really it just smoothes over a minor flaw in the game. It makes a small part of the game much better, but the part is so low impact that it's not really important. It is satisfying though.

Choosing The Number of Songs

The second story is all about quitting your job to make music and for a while, it had the fairly major issue of it being too easy to make music. I thought that I could solve this simply by rolling the three songs that the game currently asks you to make into a single, much larger song.

As it turns out, fleshing out the rest of the story automatically fixed this issue. The large number of competing goals that are always present made completing a song much, much harder and made the pace of the game feel faster. Keeping the goal at three songs instead of one large song allows me to emphasize the cyclical nature of the game. This in turn allows for the Metroidvania-esque feel to the game that I wanted here.

Game Details

If you want to keep up the game and find out when it will release, all of the following work:



- @murthynikhil

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