Based on the feedback we received so far during the Ludum Dare voting phase we made a list of features and changes that are planned for Potion Shift in the near future. I thought I’d share this list with notes on some of the items as a preparation for our longer post mortem that is yet to come.

Potion Shift is our entry for the Ludum Dare 35 game jam (Theme: Shapeshifting). It is out as a WebGL version on several platforms, Windows/OS X/Linux for desktop computers and now on Android, too. If you have not tried out Potion Shift yet you can find all versions here.

Potion Shift Feature List (26.04.2016)

  • premade (tutorial) levels

These are mainly intended to create tutorial levels in which we can explain the mechanics of the game clearly. While most Ludum Dare players figured out the mechanic by playing, some also criticized that it was not completely clear what the goal of the game was (see: game modes,in-game UI) and how it worked. We want to adress this with a step-by-step tutorial.

  • more creatures

A no-brainer for us, if it is fun to collect creatures and build combinations of them, more creatures equal more fun! Of course the current design is based on the “one potion color per monster” so this had to be connected to the implementation of different game modes in some way.

  • different special potions

In the jam version there is only the very common “destroy one line/column” special potion, which is fun but does not really fit our current style of gameplay. It actually makes it harder to reach a certain shapeshift in some cases since they have the potential produce big chain reactions. We want to add special potions that fit each game mode. Most of all special potions that take into account all the changes to the classic “match as many as possible”-gameplay that our game made. Something we’ll definetly do is a “lock a body part”-potion that does just that for a part the player gets to choose. This is also intended to adress the problems players had so far with playing to unlock a certain full shape.

  • game modes
    • free play mode with choice of difficulty (choose number of potions/grid size, basically the current game mode with a few customization options)
    • build-a-creature mode (get a blueprint and try to build that monster)
    • [campaign/story mode (if we do this, it will definitely be a couple of updates away)]
  • in-game UI

Right now there is only a simple animation on the tube at the bottom of the screen that visualizes what potion colors get pumped into the monsters tank. We want to add a display to the shapeshifting machine that gives constant visual feedback (think of a pie chart or bar charts) on what actually influences the shapeshifting. We had something like this planned from the beginning and had to cut it due to time constraints and the comments on our Ludum Dare page confirmed that we need this to increase playability for most people. This will also make it easier to “go for a certain shape”.

  • improved touch controls

Right now potions have to be clicked/tapped before they can be shifted, we want to do this by swiping. Maybe some other improvements will be required for mobile as well, we just released it on Android yesterday and did only a little bit of testing beforehand.

  • visual improvements (background & ui, potion dropping animation)
  • simple creature animations

We are open to suggestions reagrding the order of implementation (as well as new requests).