Avatar Runner picks up the pace

avatarrunner-boxWith Avatar Runner I always wanted to create a game that you can play whilst chilled and relaxed. However at the same time there needed to be some more intense levels for twitch players and those that love speed and the “rush”, with myself being one of those. The spread of gameplay styles and difficulty was done through different runs. In total Avatar Runner has around 30 runs, mixing difficulty, background, music and also to some extent gameplay (some levels encourage switching colours more than others).

However to unlock more of the harder, intense levels you did need to play some of the easier levels, or the same harder difficulty one over and over. Similarly if you’re doing a tournament with someone of a different skill level, finding runs to be enjoyable to all may be a challenge. As such I added the ability to speed up / slow down via the trigger buttons. This led to pretty much three things:

  1. Players don’t like letting go of the trigger to go faster because that is what you do in racing games, which have similar controls.
  2. If you provide the option to go faster, players will take it – regardless of whether their skill level is up to it.
  3. The turns of pace based on the music may become unbalanced or not be felt.

As such I’ve removed this feature and have been working to create the game more challenging. There will still be plenty chilled gameplay but with an easier progression system than before (i.e. new runs are cheaper and rewards increased from better designed runs) to provide quicker access to the more intense runs, which will be balanced and feel a lot more solid. As I (as the designer) have got full control of the player’s speed again, it allows me to really push them when the music picks up pace, without worrying about “what if they are already going very fast?!”.

I’m nearly there on releasing the game. Hopefully soon I’ll demo a custom run, which has also had some changes of late. The hard part is finding a song that I can use in the video for free without you know… getting sued.

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