It’s been a little while since SAGE wrapped up, and now that I’ve had time to digest some of the feedback from the demo, I have a few thoughts to write down. Most of this has to do with the presentation and technical details. I’ll be working on the gameplay and physics at a later point (you might’ve noticed some important functionality missing, like actual death mechanics), but technical stuff is something I can take care of fairly quickly. (It’s also more interesting to me right now… I’m kind of taking a break from working on the game itself at the moment….)

  • Skimping on the tutorial for SAGE was a big mistake. I knew I’d have to make a proper tutorial eventually, but I vastly overestimated how willing people would be to read the instructional pamphlet in the game folder. Almost everyone I’ve seen play the SAGE demo so far has completely missed some important gameplay mechanic, especially recalling.

    I’ve put together a proper tutorial, which will be going into the next release. Some of the text isn’t quite finalized, but it’s good enough to get across what it’s trying to show, I think. There’s even an input display when it’s showing you how to do the different moves. To make sure people understand it, I’ll be forcing players to clear it through before accessing any of the game’s other content. Here’s a video demonstrating the current work on the tutorial.

  • While the game has robust controller support already, I’ve learned that people expect it to be plug-and-play. The SAGE build didn’t have any default gamepad bindings, since I couldn’t guarantee usable defaults for controllers other than the offbeat ones I use regularly, so a lot of people assumed there was no controller support.

    I’ve been working on improving the controller support, with default bindings that should support as many controllers as my friends and I can get our hands on and test – major current-gen console controllers should all be covered, as well as a few knockoffs and surprises just for the sake of it. More importantly, I’m going to work on aspects of the binding menu as part of general menu work to try to make it more intuitive to use.

  • Speaking of menus… I’m redesigning them to be a little prettier, too! I’m going for something based on this very devblog’s design.

I’m probably going to drop dedicated Mac builds going forward. Doing one for SAGE was a fun experiment, but it’s the only platform I offered a build for that can’t be packaged from my laptop, and their signing requirement with the ridiculous process for users to bypass it is a huge pain for someone like me who does this as a hobby and doesn’t want to buy into their developer program to put a less-used build up. I ended up posting unsigned builds, which are a huge pain to get running, and that doesn’t seem like it’s worth finagling with to get it to run every time.

If you use a Mac and want to keep playing my game, I’d highly recommend installing LÖVE on your system and using the lovefile packages, which I’ll continue to provide for every release. That way, you’ll only have to finagle with allowing their unsigned application to run on your machine once, and then you can play future builds with a single click. (You’ll have the exact same experience that the native builds gave, anyway.)

I’m planning to get a post-SAGE demo build up with most of these tweaks relatively soon-ish? It’s not going to have much new if you already played the SAGE demo, aside from the tutorial, but for folks stumbling across the game on their own, that should make a slightly better first impression. No timeline on releasing the updated demo, though; I like to take my time working on these things…