Whenever I get irritated by a company’s failure to consider it’s customers, I try to take a lesson from it. For example, I can’t stand software that nags you to download an update every freaking day. Seriously, is your product so bad that I really need to stop what I’m doing and update it again ?!
We try not to issue updates more often than every few months and to make the differences be worth your time, which is why it’s crunch time at 7 Generation Games as we are putting the finishing touches on to Spirit Lake: The Game.
In Spirit Lake 5.1 you’ll find a huge number of changes. One is pretty large – the opening level is now 3-D instead of 2-D.
Most of the improvements are so small to be hardly noticeable, but they add up to a major improvement. For example,
In level 4, you have to jump of the pits dug by your enemies. There is a fence on the right that is supposed to keep you from going right and a river on the left. There were invisible barriers to the right and left. Theoretically, you would have to go forward and when you fall into the first pit, you get caught by the settlers, who are sure a boy won’t figure out how many attackers there are just by knowing there are seven in each tent and eight tents. However, it was possible if you really tried not to hump over the pits and instead jumped high to the left or right, to get over the invisible barriers and end up walking in the river until you walked to the edge of the world, or walking out in the woods to the right.
My feeling was you deserved to wander aimlessly in the wilderness for being a smart-@## but Dennis had a more kindly feeling and increased the height of the barriers.
There were hundreds of cosmetic changes. For example, here is a page on probability examples using actual guinea pigs.
We modified our style sheet to have larger text and the arrow always placed in the bottom right to go next. So, now this page and hundreds of others have wider margins, larger texts and a standard location for the arrow to go on.
We added several new videos, both math education ones, such as this video on a problem-solving tip – Write Down the Numbers and What They Represent
and cultural videos.
There is much, much more – more music, more mini-games. While most of these are small touches, they total effect is that as you play it you get the feel that this is a more polished game, even if you can’t put your finger on why that is so.
Small increments add up to a large difference in how it feels to play.
That’s just math.
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