Level up!

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on player leveling systems and item unlockables. It was one of the last systems in this game that was missing. There was no progression throughout the game. Each level offered the same just a little bit more difficulty.

Now after each level player unlocks something new. New road signs can be unlocked. After each level, the player is rated with stars. Stars give experience points. With experience, players’ level is increased. With new levels, come new name titles. All game feels more engaging.

Spawner path visualization

I’m always looking for ways to improve player experience. When I developed Traffic Brains 2 in the early stages some of the features were rushed. Now, when the game is released I have to improve on some aspects of the game.

One feature, that I received quite a few comments about is the spawner’s path visualization. Players have a hard time understanding where is what.

Those arrows are ok when there are not many spawners. But, when things get serious it is hard to see through that clutter…

I have changed the arrows to simple lines, with a little bit offset from each other.

Is it an improvement? What do you think? I find it easier to follow lines, than arrows in the previous version.

Traffic Brains 2 tutorial update

I have received good feedback from Reddit r/gameDesign and I have made an update on my tutorial.

Things that I changed:

  • I ditched that talking guy with his wall of text.
  • Removed long animated intro.
  • The Player has control from the beginning.
  • Added highlight which buttons to press with simple explanations.
  • I made it more clear which frame is selected by darkening not selected frames.
  • Added congratulations, when the tutorial is finished with 3 stars drop, which doesn’t actually mean anything. (I think this part is a little bit stupid, but I need somehow inform the player, that tutorial is finished)
  • Added a few tutorial elements to the first level.

Do you see how it can be improved more? Maybe change the wording or pacing? Is it clear to you?

I’ll try to release this version and after some time I will post statistics to check if it is any better than the previous

Level editor preview pt1

A few people asked me about my level editor. So I thought I would make a video explaining some parts of it and show how I’m creating levels for my game Traffic Brains 2.

This is the first part, where I’m showing how roads are placed, buildings created and terrain modified.

Uncontrolled intersection better, than controlled?

While creating and testing levels with new features and road signs. I’ve noticed quite a big problem. Traffic flow is better when you just leave all traffic lights green. Basically make an uncontrolled intersection and let the cars figure it out for themself. Yes, cars sometimes crash, maybe more often, than with controlled intersections. But overall intersection throughput is much better.

As you imagine this is not very good for gameplay. Why bother to set up traffic lights if it is just better to leave them always green. Problem is, that the cars are a little bit like daredevils and drive through intersections very confidently. My first thought was to detect such an uncontrolled intersection, where all traffic lights are green, and upon car entering the intersection, make it more stupid, disable some detection colliders. So more crashes would accrue.

I did not like this idea much. My car’s AI is not perfect. They crash a lot already. So I did. So I made them drive through uncontrolled intersections very slow. It makes sense. You just don’t fly through an uncontrolled junction. You stop, take a look around, and approach slowly.

Now if you leave all traffic lights green, for cars it takes much longer to reach the destination. Problem solved. What do you think?