Gable covers up the spike vines, just in case.

Hi all! 🙂

A new game update, beta112, is out!

I’ve been working on a bunch of refinements and fixes for Down Ward, in anticipation of the upcoming Kickstarter relaunch. Some of these are aimed at softening the rather jumpy difficulty curve. The gif above shows an example of this, in the bottom area of Carven (level 5). 

The way I’m currently planning to approach this is that, rather than taking out a difficult section entirely, I’ll add an optional side path that a player can use to make the difficult section less risky. I think this will work well for both the challenge seeking players, and the more laid back players.

This way the really difficult areas aren’t as much of a hard gate on progress for players who might otherwise have trouble with them. At the same time, these safety measures are side objectives that won’t interfere with the harder more direct paths through the levels, and so they won’t force hand-holding on the more challenge oriented players.

Another major step towards easing the learning curve is the completely rebuilt tutorial level, which I’ve shown a few bits of over the last few update posts.

The new tutorial level is much more open and cleanly laid out than the previous one. Since it’s the first level that new player’s will try moving around in, and they’ll be learning the basic mechanics, I’ve tried to structure it so that everything is playable with or without relying on flight. (Other than the two parts where you specifically learn about flying.) There are lot’s of wide spaces for experimenting with flight, but there’s also a way to hop to pretty much anywhere you need to get.

More topics are covered in the new tutorial, and hopefully with clearer explanations thanks to the less crowded text. It should also be much easier to backtrack to any part of the level to revisit an area and its information.

The game also defaults to wide view now. If you didn’t know the game had a wider view option … well that’s why it’s now the default. 🙂

There’s quite a bit of other stuff in this new update, which I’ll explain a bit more in a followup update.

As a little aside, if for any of these update posts, you’ve taken a moment to leave comments, or likes, or even if you stop in to read an update and ninja away such that I’d never know you were here, (I have been this very ninja myself on many occasions), I just want to say thank you. I know everyone has limited time, and whenever someone chooses to spend a little bit of it here, I appreciate what that means.

Categories: Update