A lovely little presentation from Vlambeer‘s Jan Willem Niljman demonstrating how the little “look and feel” elements can really ratchet up the enjoyability of your action title.
To make it even better, the presentation is interactive, teaching its lessons by letting you experience them. One of the benefits unique to the medium of gaming.
Grab it here, check the bundled readme for controls and give it a whirl!
I’ve experienced something like this myself, making System Crash. SC is not an action title, it’s a game for people who enjoy spreadsheets and maths. But even given that, the difference that adding in little animation tweens and sounds to the UI made was tremendous.
Without any of the mechanics changing, the game felt 10x better than it had. A lesson there, on the importance of polish.
In fact, the two primary areas that I miscalculated in SC, in terms of time estimates, were the polish pass (3 months required instead of 2 weeks) and the playest/balance phase, which again cost about 3 months. A lesson I’ll apply when building my next game.