[rainblocks development retrospective] 4: Changing Time

Last week I talked about the layout for the game screen and most of it did not change in the final version, save for things that would look better or help the player by being placed somewhere else. Let’s take a quick sidestep and talk about something that changed because of game play. The timer.

For a long time the time was just a number. And this was working fine until Bitsummit where I finally found some players who dug into the game big time. Until these players got into it most would play for a few minutes and then not be able to keep up and run out of time. These players were borderline obsessed and one figured out how to keep up a rhythm and constantly gain time. At around 8000 points, (And this was when the score did not change as the game went on.) he said he was done and put the iPad down to let the timer run out. There were several minutes remaining on the clock.

There were several things that needed to be handle, but one thing was immediately apparent. A limit to the amount of time one could earn had to be put in place. But having the timer hit 100 and then go down to 99 and back to 100 back and forth would be distracting. Changing it to a bar would give better feedback to the player and allow for tweaking how fast the timer runs out without it being jarring.

This ends the notes I had before working on the game and began jotting down things I did each day or thoughts on what needed to be added.