At the initial phase of Triage, we decided to use a click-and-drag system for the player to move gurneys around. The goal of this was to be diegetic, as though the player is dragging gurneys by hand.

Our initial implementation was to move the gurney and rotate in the general direction of the mouse. The only issue with this was that the gurney movement was very static, and didn’t get the “rubber-band” feel that we desired. The feedback we received confirmed that it had to change.

 

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-12-28-51-am
Feedback we received after the first round of testing

I edited the movement script to increase the speed the further away the mouse was from the gurney, which felt much more fluid. The only issue was that the gurneys would slide around too quickly – it was impossible to be precise and deliberate while trying to be quick. As a contingency, I tried to adjust the level to be more encouraging of drifting gurneys around corners (below).

 

 

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-12-30-13-am
Feedback we received after the second round of testing

 

However, the same problems kept happening. Users still had a lot of issues managing their patients and moving with the mouse ended up being a poor decision. We could not find a way to make the mouse-dragging system work for us. Instead, we made a major change to use controller support.

We never got to fully testing the controller support, but from my own internet testing, the movement was a lot more fluid and responsive. By pivoting away from a sluggish movement system, I believe we managed to preserve a small element of our core aesthetic and worked towards making Triage more enjoyable overall. As a developer, what I put into a system and what a player gets out can be entirely separate things. By finding a compromise, our systems can work for us and our players.

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