-fixed lots of boring stuff; suffice it to say:
-the controller in the cave scene is much smoother; possibly too smooth
-there's an end-state of sorts if you are 'seen' by the zepJets in the Village level; the end loops back to the start
-removed all chest functionality for now
-improved obviousness of mine cart interactions
-same for headphones/start sequence
-tightened capture sequence in village level
-more prompts and quest reinforcement
-bit of texture fancification, lighting, etc...
...hopefully the end result is a tightening of the narrative structure.
I'm hearing the echo of a great video on Youtube where the narrator said something like: "Good game design saves players from themselves".
It's a weird conundrum when my every impulse is towards freedom. I even [shameless plug] wrote a book about freedom. I've experimented in the past with giving players exactly what they want and it's like apologising for offending people on Twitter. It only makes it worse.
This time I'm looking for the underlying truths in people's problems and trying to target those rather than the pain they experience per se. Solving every pain point leads to a game made of Bandaids.
Which is an interesting idea....
If it's now too spoonfed, players are likely to tell me and I can dial it back a little. I feel that the end goal is the game being the leanest, cleanest version of itself, rather than what everyone wants it to be. At that point I will have served the game - in the sense that a good musician serves the song.
So player's feedback is helping me listen to the game, to find out what the game wants.