February 13, 2009

Azure Retrospective

Azure has been released into the wild.

I have to admit that it failed in its original goal. The core mechanic is ultimately vacuuming stuff up.

That said, the game succeeded in other ways. The "what I'm going for" angle changed during the project, and the final product was intended to offer a relaxing, almost hypnotic experience. I have the advantage of always playing the game in the way it is intended to be played, but it worked for me. I find myself getting sucked in by this game, and that's enough for me to be at least a little bit proud.

It didn't work so well for other people. I playtested it on my parents and an old high school friend, and they all thought that the point was to get bigger and bigger. Only my dad got to the clouds. I tried to remedy this (iterate!!!) by adding pulse effects when the emitters sent out new motes and by limiting the size of the player's orb to a very small range, but I don't know if people will be able to figure it out any easier.

As I usually do, I sent this game in to reddit and showed it around to some people. Nobody was especially impressed. I'm not so discouraged with this result, since I knew from the start that the game was supposed to go against people's expectations about a computer game. That said, I'm not so delusional as to call this one a public success.

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