Devlog – Truck Trials – Upgrades – 26 August 2018
The last two weeks have been both enjoyable and frustrating. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting back into adding features to Truck Trials, however, as I am sure many people are aware, modifying code over a year after it was originally coded is fraught with issues. Every change risks breaking something I did a year ago for some reason I don’t even remember anymore.
I used Tiled Map Editor to create my maps when I originally created Truck Trials, this allowed me to design my levels in a visual format and then export that into a format that would be recognized by my game.
The issue I recently discovered was that when I created each level I just copied the previous level and modified the copy (was fast at the time). This meant that the tiles in each level were not connected to each other (this was my mistake and not the way Tiles was supposed to be used). At the time I didn’t see any issue with this, but it created a rather large issue with the current upgrade. I want to be able to include items from later levels in earlier levels, as it stood this was not possible as the data was not included in the earlier levels.
There were a number of fixes that I could have applied to this, but I found the least invasive method was to go through each level and redraw them using common ’tilesets’, this would guarantee each level shared the data. Doing it this way was massively time-consuming (1 1/2 weeks) and boring, but it didn’t require me to recode any of the core mechanics of my game so it was the least likely to break anything.
Adding the items
Adding the code itself was pretty straightforward. Although, in creating the video above I did discover an issue that when I unlock an item it appears to remove previous items from the map. Like I said earlier, every change to the code risks breaking something else.
I am still not sure how much it will cost to upgrade items, I want them to be attainable, but not so attainable that it completely changes the gameplay. I am slightly concerned that even adding this feature changes the core dynamic of the game, it changes the core mechanic from being that of a puzzle into something else. However, given that my retention is really low at the moment (I think), maybe this change is not a bad thing?? Only time will tell.
I’ll include a video of the tutorial from beginning to end here as it didn’t make it to my previous post.
Obviously, I need to fix any bugs and do some major testing, this is proving hard as I seem to be the only one testing at the moment. Once again, if anyone wants to help a solo indie dev out by testing then please send me an email or join my facebook group below.
Once this is done I plan to switch tack and push some downloads, at the moment I am relying on app store data to track retention and my downloads are so low it tells me I don’t have enough data.
- Work on my ASO for a while, try and grow some organic downloads
- I recently received an email from Google with $150 credit for advertising, I may as well use this.
- Make in IAP free for a couple of days and push this in different places to see if I can get some traction.
Thanks for reading.