Some Dead Wake testers reported me that they had “trouble finding ammunition”. One guy was clueless about “how to get more ammo?”
In the first chapter, I left the ammo box “somewhere in the level” on purpose. The guy would need to go near the ammo box, and when he is near enough – an in-game help text appears and instructs him on how to get the ammunition. It’s relatively simple, yet I wanted to have a small element of surprise when the guy first needs to check out the map a bit and think where he could find that ammo.
This can frustrate people. If they don’t have a clear idea on “how to find ammo” (and the first tip just says “you have no bullets, find more ammo”), then it can be frustrating. In the first map, the ammo can be find relatively fast and there shouldn’t be a big problems with it. I now even prepared a video to help people out.
But in the chapter 2. There I was sneaky. I decided to pile some stuff on top of the ammo box. First when you go through the map, you cannot see ammo box anywhere. Only if you realize that “hey, I can drag these objects away – and aha! here’s ammo!”. I wanted to give player a very brief puzzle, and to let him get the feeling of accomplishment when he realizes that he can actually search the level… move some trash away… and eventually find ammo.
Yet, one guy was getting frustrated since he could not complete Chapter 2 as “there was no ammo nor med kits to use”. Well, I decided to do a spoiler video to reveal how to go through it.
There’s a fine line between “giving fun lil’ puzzle” and “frustrating the player”. And the puzzles should fit the style of the game. I don’t know if players think “oh shit, I need to actually go through these piles of junk to find ammo” or “cool, not only I can barricade with right click but I can use the same thing to get access to some useful stuff”. I suppose I could have guided the player right there where the ammo is but I felt it would be like pampering the player. I trust the player of Dead Wake to figure out things on their own. Naturally I provide in-game hints that tell you “how to play the game” (how to move your character, how to barricade, what to do and so on), but I wanted to leave some room for little surprises as well.
Where do you draw a line?