Overcoming Beta Blues

*Dusts off keyboard*

Hello! It's been a hot minute since we've a) posted a blog on this site b) updated anyone via our social media outlets or c) updated the free build on the website. I attribute this to beta blues. We've been in beta since our last big push, i.e. IGF submission in October. Slogging past that to iron out bugs, make some final decisions about gameplay minutiae, and really get into the thick of art revision, has not been our strong suit as a team.

Having said that, after our semester break from the middle of December to the beginning of January, we took a collective deep breath, centered, and have hit the ground running. Our bugs are fewer than ever, our gameplay details are more solidified than ever, and our art direction has never been clearer. Riding high now that these hurdles have been cleared has been a perfect time to upload a new build and get feedback from internet friends!

At the end of last semester, we realized perhaps our biggest roadblock to getting our game played was that it's just real confusing. We need to teach our players to play the game effectively, so the game can communicate how much fun and excitement is there. So, we put in a first pass at a tutorial, in addition to really honing our user interface and player HUDs. With this in place, we're uploading this build and hoping for feedback of how to teach our players more efficiently and effectively in future iterations. Plus, we'd love to hear any other suggestions, complaints, and feedback players have.

Thanks for sticking with us, and we'll hopefully see you back here with another update sooner rather than later.

"Let's just wait 'til next sprint"

The title should probably include a footer like "Part 1 of 1000000000000" but for the sake of space, I'll keep it as is for now.

After some very long hours this weekend, we have a build that is downloadable! Check out our Play page then click the free download link to get build 2.0. And as I geared up social media posts to share that information, I realized that I would also need to make sure people were aware of our feedback form. And with that, the title of this blog post crossed my mind. Maybe we could wait and put the build on the website next week . . .

We have the utmost faith in each other on the team, and I know that many of the known bugs are going to be ironed out in this sprint. Which causes me to consider, for a brief moment, not publishing this build but publishing next sprint's build. In that moment, I was inspired to write this blog post because that thought was immediately followed by a recollection of the best advice I've never gotten in regards to feedback and developing games.

The wise, talented, and ever-so-helpful Lanie Dixon put on a user research Q & A for the EAE graduate students almost a year ago. We talked about how to get the best feedback you can from people by asking questions that are actionable on the development end, and having a specific purpose for every play test session. Out of all the advice she sagely gave, what stuck with me most was the adage, "If you're not embarrassed during your play test, then you're doing it too late in development." To be really honest, I can't remember if this was originally said by Lanie, but I forever associate it to her and she's great so the attribution is going to stay.

We'll see how embarrassing the feedback we get from this build is going to be. That raises a larger point that we shouldn't necessarily be embarrassed but we should enthusiastic about the opportunity to have people besides us play our game and be invested enough in their experience to send us their thoughts back. In our team group chat, I let everyone know that the build was on the website with the message "The feedback will be harsh and we will glory in it." I beamed as the first two responses were a devil smiley face by one person and the next person said "Yes we shall."

IGF-bound!

Welcome to official blog of Good Vibration Games, the studio behind Blind Trust, a two-player cooperative game where a deaf character leads a blind character through an fantasy island using binaural audio cues. Whew, that was a mouthful.

Right now we're prepping for our Independent Games Festival submission for the Game Developer's Conference in 2016. As a studio comprised of 12 students, deadlines are tight and time is short but we love who we work with and we love what we're working on so if anyone was going to pull this off - it would be us! Granted, one large uphill battle at the moment is that our current build is broke *sad trombone*. BUT, we will not be deterred! Thursdays are our long haul days so we adjourned for lunch but will be back on that keyboard grind shortly (I eat fast, what can I say).

Anywho, we figured something should be in this space, even if it's just an introductory hello. So how's it going? What's new with you? Oh whoa - that is a crazy anecdote! Hahaha, you're so clever. I love that we're friends. Catch ya later, buddy.