So I’ve got the demo ready to go now!  I’ve sent it off to the first wave of people – hoping to get some good feedback from everybody.  If you’re interested in playing it, feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] and I’ll be sure to send it your way!

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been trying to add some bonus content to The Adventures of Chris – filling out the Kingdom of Lost Balloons, the game’s central “town” area.  I’ve even added a mini-game!

You see, in the original, pixel-art version of the game, I had a level very early in the game that people called the “bird level.”  It was remarkably challenging for what was essentially the third level in the game, and a lot of people got frustrated to the point where they quit playing at that level – before they’d even reached the World Map!  I smoothed it out significantly with later builds, but it still felt like a lot to put players through that early on.

Well, I aim to fix that in the new version.  I’ve greatly shortened and simplified the first several levels of the game, trying to streamline the difficulty curve a bit.  So the “bird level” is radically shortened.  Unfortunately, I kind of like the bird level.  I liked the challenge of it.  So I’m bringing the bird level back, but as a completely optional mini-game.

“But Chris,” you might be saying.  “Don’t you hate mini-games?”

Picture“Not all of them!” I might reply.  I do enjoy complaining about certain mini-games, that’s for sure.  Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII both had mini-games that drove me crazy, for example.  I don’t like a game that I enjoy telling me that I have to play a game that I don’t enjoy to continue.  Zelda mini-games are better, but occasionally the challenge level gets too frustrating.  Right now, Mario Odyssey’s jump rope and beach volleyball mini-games are driving me crazy.

But mini-games don’t have to be random or overly difficult.  They can fit in with a world well.  And they have advantages!  Mini-games provide additional variety of experience.  They can reward exploration.  They can add optional challenge for players that like that kind of thing.  They help flesh out a game’s world.  (Final Fantasy XIII really could’ve used some.)

So adding mini-games is a risk, but they have potential rewards.

So we’ll see how the demo players react!  Hopefully it enriches the world, and adds some additional fun for players that want it.

Author Chris
Categories Game Design Theory
Views 949

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