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Dear testers, you rock! The new Berrybug behavior is proof of that.

Better Berrybugs, Thanks!

A while ago we updated our Steam Toki Tori 2 development build (for which you can still enlist!) with an ugly level that was not that much fun to play. This might sound stupid, but we had a good reason. The goal of the build was to test what you’d do with our Berrybugs when asked to move them around.

The build we sent out to our army of testers on Steam, featured input recording for the first time. Testers could send in their play sessions and we could watch the hundreds of recordings to learn how they play the game.

I spent way too much time looking at recordings, and here’s what we decided to change based on that.

Players didn’t understand how to get Berrybugs out of corners.

Up until that build, there was no way to get sleeping Berrybugs out of a corner. Just before the build we added functionality that when the player stomps next to a cornered Berrybug, it’ll move away from the wall. This did not register with a lot of players.

We still think it’s the only option we have, so instead of changing the behavior, we added a squash animation to visualize why the Berrybug is rolling away from the corner.

Players thought Berrybugs responded to the whistle.

Players assumed a whistle would make the Berrybug move faster towards them. This was not the case, but it didn’t stop them from trying that a LOT. The reason why they don’t respond is because we don’t want a single whistle in the game to influence everything at the same time.

We solved this in the end by actually stopping the Berrybug for a short time when they hear a whistle, showing the player that it’s not working for them.

Players’ stomps made Berrybugs go sideways instead of upwards

When you stomp on top of a Berrybug, it’ll jump up in the air. They’ll latch on to ceilings and walls, which makes it a very useful move. However, Berrybugs move around and the Stomp executed after Toki Tori’s animation has finished, causing the Berrybug to walk away in the mean time.

We fixed this by making the berrybug stop if he’s inside the stomp range when you press the button. So they now simply wait for Toki Tori to finish the stomp move.

Players stomped a lot to move Berrybugs around.

While Berrybugs move around by themselves, players still felt the need to constantly stomp to move them along. We traced this back to the delay the Berrybug had after he Berrybug rolls away from a stomp. This delay was on average a second, causing players to assume a new stomp was needed.

We solved this by removing the delay, meaning players actually have to catch up with the Berrybug after stomping next to them.

Players didn’t get the range of the stomp’s close-up effect

The stomp move has two possible reactions based on how far a creature is from Toki Tori. In the short range, a stomp makes Berrybugs roll away and in the long range they roll away a little bit or fall from the ceiling.

We increased the short range to be twice as wide and we now visualize it with an additional shockwave effect.

Bonus!

A newly added bonus is that the Berrybugs will now spend a second or so rotating at the top of the stomp jump move. I’ll let you figure out how to use that.

Collin, Wednesday October 24 2012

Lol at the whistling on berrybugs, true story. :P

Nice update btw. Feels good to see how we're actually being helpfull with the recordings etc. Keep it up. ;)

soad667, Wednesday October 24 2012, 20:55

Nice to see that the testing is very useful :)

"Players didn’t understand how to get Berrybugs out of corners."

I didn't even know how to do that before this blogpost. :P

"Players thought Berrybugs responded to the whistle."

One thing that may be nice is that they turn towards you when you whistle, like with the bubblefrog. That saves some waiting if the berrybug is walking in the wrong direction on the ceiling for example.

focusnoot, Wednesday October 24 2012, 21:00

@ Focusnoot

When everything responds to your whistle the game becomes an uncontrollable mess, so we have to make sure some creatures don't react to it. The berrybug seemed like a good candidate.

Collin Ginkel, Wednesday October 24 2012, 21:02

Having the opportunity to participate in the betatest AND to feel that our comments really matter is great. Kudos!

Raul, Wednesday October 24 2012, 21:03

Those sound like good improvements. Figuring out how to get the Berrybugs to move has been one of the most frustrating things about the game so far. I didn't even know it was possible to make them go up.

Alex, Wednesday October 24 2012, 21:42

It's nice too see another blogpost and great to read how all the user feedback has led to the improved Berry Bug behaviour. I can imagine a few nice Bird puzzles with that Berry Bug floating in mid air feature ;)

Mr. Blinky, Wednesday October 24 2012, 22:32

Great work, and nice description of improvements :)

mxtomek aka mxT3, Friday November 16 2012, 14:27

 
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