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  • Writer's pictureBretton Hamilton

Bit Bowling - Leading the Player

In Bit Bowling you play as a farmer who must "lead" his flock of sheep back down the mountainside. Not every sheep will survive the perilous journey! Thick brush will slow sheep down and floating rocks can knock these woolly critters off cliffs. In your race against the sunset, you may be forced to leave a few behind to ensure at least one or two sheep make it back to the farmstead.

One of the surviving concepts from the original version of the game is that players need to determine the correct ledge to knock balls/sheep down. Sending them off the wrong ledge will send them plummeting to a woolly demise. Here is a short video of the three paths

This is the first time that players are introduced to the concept of needing to pick between two or more ledges. I have attempted to use several visual techniques to guide the player towards the correct path.

The left path is visually bare, while the middle path is obscured by a large tree. The rightmost path is emphasized with sight lines, movement, and a gently pulsing light source. These elements combine to capture a players attention over the other two options.

What isn't captured in the video is the rhythmic sound of the stone gently hovering. Ears direct the eyes, right? If the player started looking the wrong direction, this should redirect them towards the point of interest.

The level is still being constructed, but each platform is receiving a similar treatment. We want to guide the player towards the proper path without shouting it in their face. If players are attentive they should be able to rely on intuition to guide them.

Playtesting will reveal the success of these efforts. I anticipate we'll need to make several changes before things are in a solid state. Thanks for reading!


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