This month we scored two rounds of playtesting for the price of free! We were invited along to the AIE Incubator playtesting session, where those in the incubator program were eagerly seeking both praise and criticism for their works-in-progress. It was exciting to see (and break) what some of our contemporaries are working on (looking at you Rumble Academy), and to get their feedback on GLTCH in the process. Although developer feedback contains unfair quantities of subjective bias, those who make games have a keen eye for the finest details and are more than happy to provide their own suggestions for improvements in place of an overall ‘game feel’ report.
In the process of getting GLTCH ‘stable’ before others got a chance to see how unstable it really was, we’ve discovered a few nasty fatal bugs that are causing crashes on specific devices at non-specific times, usually without warning. Yay Android development! Yay games! We’ve had a new Note 4 to test on for a week now and haven’t been able to get the game to get past the launch screen, and we know that it’s going to look good on that 1440p screen.
All of the game’s microtransactions have been included (within a day, thanks to the relative ease of working with Prime’s IAP plugin). Considering how adamant I was that microtransactions would be too much work and another monetization pivot is going to throw the compass needle way off, the system we’ve designed fits very nicely with GLTCH’s gameplay. The ability to purchase lives, watch an ad, or wait for them to regenerate caters to a variety of different mobile gamers, and none of the purchase options represent a pay-to-win strategy but instead reduce the time required to get to more awesome content. It’s difficult to strike a balance between those who install your game knowing they aren’t going to spend a cent, and those who would prefer to pay to reduce ‘the grind’, especially in a game with no aesthetic customization options like GLTCH.
We then tried to tackle the rest of the game’s plugin integration in one fell swoop thanks to the very robustly featured Android Native plugin from Stan’s Assets. For its relatively low price point (and noticeably non-English native documentation), the breadth of Android functionality packed into one .unitypackage is impressive. However, we’ve struggled to successfully include most of the plugin’s Google Play support despite the promise of ‘asynchronous’ functionality. Signing in to Google Play? Freezes the app for a few seconds. Loading achievements? Another few seconds of silence. Leaderboards? ANOTHER few seconds. All these functions are meant to be asynchronous. All, sadly, are not.