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Well, I've been sick this week!
Yep, when I finally thought I might have a meatier update for you... Nope! Spent most of the week in bed, some of it working on aforementioned Embassy duties and a little tiny bit on Suzy.
To Far and Distant Lands
Before I get to that little bit... A sad truth my wife and I are discovering about running in diplomatic circles is that foreign service folks move around, which means people will be moving in and out of our lives constantly. Last week, we went on a couple of final trips with one such friend who will be heading home to Canada in a few days. We visited the Andean town of Merida and, armed with a formal request letter, got to ride the not-yet-quite-open cable car all the way to the top of the top station. We got to walk on snow for the first time in over a year (three for our friend) and the mountain views were amazing. Also, paragliding is amazing... if you don't tend to get motion sick... which I do... The bike ride down the mountain afterwards helped tremendously. So that's where I was last week. Saying goodbye to a friend by indulging him in one of his favourite pastimes, showing folks around cool sights. OK! *dries eyes*
A Bit of Suzy
What I was able to do this week was to implement more changes based on the gameplay videos I've been receiving from testers. These sorts of changes are things like adjusting camera positions for better visibility, adjusting hazards and enemies or making small changes to the layout of levels to help with navigation. Essentially, if I see a player struggling with something that's not intended as a challenge, or I see a player fail repeatedly at a challenge without improvement, I will take notes on why it seems to be happening and think of ways to fix it. Probably the smallest yet most considerable change I've made, which will appear in the next test build, is a global and significant reduction to Suzy's knockback when getting hit. It was brought up by a friend of mine and evident in a number of videos that the knockback effect when Suzy gets hit was leading to subsequent, unavoidable deaths from things like being knocked off platforms, etc. What's the point of having a powerup which lets Suzy take an extra hit, if that hit will just knock her into an insta-kill pit? Right!? I look forward to seeing how this change turns out in practice.
A Body In Motion
And, speaking of tester videos, out here in the real world, we hired a technician to come by and inspect the phone wires and, lo and behold, the horrible interference we could hear on the phone line was caused by a mess of uncapped wise connections at the apartment's entry point. After a bit of stripping, clipping, reconnecting and plenty of electrical tape, the horrible hum is gone and, what do you know, our internet download speeds have nearly quadrupled! Mind you we used to get sub-megabits per second speeds so we still aren't up to Roger's bargain plan speeds or anything but it's a HUGE improvement which now allows me to watch my tester replays on the Everyplay website from the comfort of my own office chair! Hurray!
I've got to end this one on more bad news, unfortunately. I'm very likely to be working for the Embassy all of next week. The odds are very slim that I'll have any time at all to work on Suzy. I'll see what I can squeeze in, but expect another slim update next week.