Splatacle is all about fun swinging and a wacky aesthetic. I worked on Splatacle from Canberra, Australia with a mostly remote team. Our developer commentary is available for you here.
The team worked hard to create a great base for to work from, identifying bottlenecks and creating workflows for rapid iterative development.
I spent most of development creating the starting levels. My designs started simple and were nothing more than a test for mechanics and art.
As development continued we identified player struggles in learning our mechanics and I shifted my focus from quantity to quality. The first area of the game went through several major revisions as I figured out the most basic of basic mechanics and created an area where the player can experiment and learn these easily.
This wasn't the only area that needed this kind of improvement and the entire design team worked hard for a most of the project to improve our designs.
Around this time I also began Quality Assurance role. I first created a bug report template and bug fix pipeline for team members to use, then ran them through how to use it and created many of the first bug reports. My role from there was to create and execute test plans and resolve bugs within my scope while assigning them to other team members for them to work through alongside standard work based on priority.
This system and the team resolved most major issues in the game and the game became very smooth and enjoyable.
One of the changes we made was adding tutorial yellow to most of the game. Originally we had planned to have an iron rule of 'black' is the interactable foreground. However at a point players were struggling we decided to use yellow to draw their attention to a point.
The feedback was that this was useful and we decided to use it throughout the game and teach the players from the beginning to pay attention to these spots for important information.
Towards the end of development we decided to tackle our mobile control issues. Ideally we should have done this earlier. We had a game primarily designed for mouse input and we found that while a finger on a phone screen can do all the same things you run into an awkward problem of covering the screen you are trying to use and trying to hold the phone while playing.
To combat this we experimented with a few different control styles and finally settled on an analogue stick in one corner with jump button opposite for thumb controlled gameplay freeing up screen real estate and allowing players to hold the phone while playing.
I can't say we were ever happy with this solution. But we were nearing the end of production.
Overall production went relatively smoothly and I definitely expanded more skillset working in a 2D/3D environment in Unity, remote working with my team, providing quality assurance to my team and all of the other design challenges.