Brenton here again. I hope you enjoyed the video dev diary last week– big thanks to programmer-slash-video-editor Andrew Richardson for putting that together (and being brave enough to venture into the dank archives of our old builds to capture that footage). Last week was an especially big week for us: we finished up our “Playtest Two” build to put into playtesting and to submit to the 2011 Independent Game Festival! Happily, we met our deadline without significant issues, and began distributing our baby to friends, fellow developers, and others in search of feedback.
We’ve mentioned before how constructive our first playtest was, but the second one was even more helpful since we are now able to gauge the difference in reaction between the two builds. Encouragingly, people are really starting to grasp the experience we’re trying to create with Planck, so it seems that we’re heading in the right direction. Friends at studios as diverse as Respawn Entertainment, LightBox Interactive, Fire Hose Games, Haunted Temple Studios, and Klei Entertainment have all been playing the game.
With the wind from these heartening responses at our backs, we’re plowing forward into the exciting realm of new content. Our next level is currently in development and should enable more complex musical possibilities and advanced behaviors we didn’t want to throw at players in our very first “tutorial” level. The next level should also introduce some old Planck v.0 favorites that haven’t made it into v.1 so far, including the “suspend” motes, which need to be juggled in order to be kept on the playfield. That may not make total sense right now, but we do believe it will be quite cool.
The second level is also the first time the player will encounter a very special-case mote (in some circles, this might be known as a “boss”, but we don’t like to use that term after Planck v.0– buy us a drink and ask some time). Another tantalizing hint of what comprises level two is the word “dubstep.” Hmm. I wonder what that means?
On top of the exciting things to expect from our second level, Kyle “No Limits” Murphy has made huge strides in getting our Planck systems encoded into a generalized system along with a user-friendly GUI. This means that our vision for getting Planck to be not just a fun experience but one that empowers players with a wide variety of customization options shines on the horizon… who knows how far we’ll be able to take it?
Finally, keep your eyes and ears on our site for a new trailer, a tease of upcoming music, and, quite possibly, a big announcement(!?).