More strategy, more gameplay and more usability for SwapBots
Progress continues at SwapBots HQ with working UI, added strategy, a working shop and much more…
UI and Strategic Elements
SwapBots has never looked better with the latest UI (user interface) designs plumbed-in and working in the game. The latest developments include experiments with player notifications displayed in contextual augmented reality (that means the information appears in the real world around the toy) and optional buttons that encourage two-handed interactions to help steady the player (and crucially the camera) as they ‘scan’ the toy.
A vital part of both the UI and the wider gameplay is the pre-battle ability selection – the key component that adds more strategic depth to gameplay that previously had felt a little flat if we’re being brutally honest. It means that not only does the way the Bot is built using the physical toy matter, there are now more options within the game that allows the player freedom to play in different ways. The permutations of gameplay are now vast – we haven’t done the maths on it, but with 729 possible ways to build the toys and so many options within the game it will take a long, long time to try every possible combo!
Obviously while this is a big bonus in terms of replay-value, it also makes play-testing and weighting the various abilities a painstaking task. It’s one that we foresee being tweaked long after release as we seek to make sure there’s no one combination with a clear advantage over the others.
SwapBots Hub and Store
The Hub is where the player equips their SwapBot and gets ready to play. This includes the ability to ‘buy’ accessories for your Bot.
However, before you panic about this – we are NOT talking about in-app purchases here! SwapBots remains free of the freemium-model of gameplay as I’m sure parents will be glad to know. Instead, it’s an in-game currency called Bolts that are earned through play. There are no shortcuts to reward players with deep pockets here!
While we had the basic functionality of the purchasing system mapped out, we had yet to implement it fully. Now we have the Hub connected to Games Sparks, the backend hosting and management software powering SwapBots.
VFX, Cameras and Narrative
This month there’s been non-stop work and progress across the board, but other highlights worth talking about include implementing the VFX animations into the battle, refinements of the camera movement in the main game and the Hub. We’ve also spent time refining the narrative that underpins SwapBots and even done a reading of scripts for comic-style cutscenes. Ste’s Drago voice is really something – professional actors beware! Maybe the read-through and animatic can make it onto the DVD special features some time?
Phil and the SwapBots team
Posted on 10th September 2018 by swapbots