GAME DESIGN TRADEOFFS
As we continued through development design stages, we had to come to several compromises in order to reach our final product.
Initially, we envisioned 6 abilities for the player, not 4. We had reflect and bullet, but we cut them from the game in order to focus on light burst and absorb. We didn't have any puzzles that used reflect and bullet, and they were mainly used for combat. Since the light burst already functioned as a damage-dealing ability, bullet was seen as extraneous. We also started out thinking that we would have more than one level, but the levels would be a little smaller. As we reached the midterm demo, it became increasingly obvious that only one level would be needed, and that we only had time for one good level.
An additional feature cut from the final product was a "save yourself from death" feature that would allow players to regain their sanity (health) by typing out a phrase that included their name ("My name is...") on screen. However, this feature was never made visually appealing, and it was cut because it was also seen as too confusing and too jarring a transition.
Development of introductory levels to set the player's backstory was also halted, especially after the "save yourself" feature was cut. Without a need for the player's name, a suitable way to introduce that name's input was not needed.
Our initial ideas for enemies were also changed over development of the game. Initially, there were only the large, bipedal fiends. After the midterm demo, the idea for splitting the enemy into two different models entirely was used to separate the "require shadow" attribute and the "combat" attribute, to vary the enemies and add complexity to NPC interaction.
After playtesting, many changes were made to the level. A mini-puzzle in the skylight room was created to help ease players into the final eye-beam puzzle. The final puzzle area was given additional lighting. Platforms were resized and moved.