It was a confusing mess that left most viewers wondering what the heck was going on. Even paragraphs of text with illustrations have historically done a bad job explaining VizionEck. The game itself was just confusing.
At the time this somewhat helped the game get talked about, but that shouldn't be an inherent property of an arcade game. So over the past 9 months I redeveloped VizionEck's multiplayer mode into VizionEck Cube Royale and (hopefully) made it easier to understand.
Primarily this meant applying context/lore to everything. In the original game the worldbuilding was practically nonexistent: you were just a cube. In VEckCR you're a specific object that looks like a cube. Minor sounding but major implications. Every visual effect in the game is now working together to sell the concept that your cube is that specific object, and even the gameplay mechanics are now thematically grounded. VECR is way more complex than the old VizionEck but now it's also all way more cohesive.
VCR also has a non minimalist HUD that attempts to display everything in a way that makes sense. Body stats are in the top left, weapon stats in the top right, status in the bottom right, and match info in the bottom left. The four face buttons on the DS4 are used for weapon select so on the HUD there's a symbol for each weapon and they're aligned in the same position as the buttons on the controller. The health bars show current health but also show how much damage was received, similar to many fighting games. There are also screen effects and the like to help sell the state of gameplay beyond just showing the data numerically. Not saying it's the perfect HUD or even necessarily a good HUD at this stage, but anything that helps new players understand what the heck is happening is a positive.
Changing the name to VizionEck Cube Royale helps too. A made up word like VizionEck is useless for understanding the game, but Cube Royale give solid hints to what it's about.
One thing that I have yet to solve is new people assuming VizionEck plays like a standard game genre. It's unavoidable that people's first understanding of VizionEck will be "oh it's just a shooting/fighting game but with cubes." If they still have this misunderstanding when first playing the game, their experience will be horrible and they'll not get a single kill. I'll need to figure out a way to make sure the concept clicks before a person loses interest.
That's this week's dev blog. From now on I'll be posting them on Tuesdays. The first Tuesday of every month will be the monthly progress report.
I also now have a mailing list for VizionEck Cube Royale! If you're an active member here then there isn't really a reason to sign up, but apparently mailing lists are really important for indie marketing. Should be self explanatory.