Earlier this year we introduced the development story of Little Triangle and how we made the first Xbox Play Anywhere game from China. In this article, we’d like to talk more about how we made sure Little Triangle is unique and fun.
We looked to meet modern players needs with proper difficulty management. With so many good games available nowadays, and busier lifestyles, many players have less time to spend on difficult hardcore games — but they want to experience all the good stuff in those games.
Oftentimes, players just cannot finish a game. And it’s boring if you can simply walk from the beginning to the end without some challenge. There is a well-known slogan: difficult but fair. However, even if a game is fair, players can usually feel frustrated and that’s not fun at all. We modified that principle to be “challenging but not frustrating.”
We put a proper number of checkpoints in each level, so that players do not have to go through the same place repeatedly and waste time. And for boss fights, we use health bars to manage the difficulty. For collectibles such as diamonds, if players have already collected the diamonds we will not force them to recollect again after a death. There are quite a lot of Easter Eggs and hidden collectibles in the game, so players will replay the game to find more Eggs and try for those achievements.
We also added a casual mode. Three health points were added at the start of each level, and if you lose some of the health points you can still get one more at the next checkpoint. So, health points are not free, and players still need to avoid getting hurt. Usually, players can finish a level under 30 deaths in casual mode. It’s very hardcore if you try to get the achievements in the hardcore mode.
The controls are extremely easy to pick up without having to really focus on learning them. But less means more. When the controls are simple, we need a variety of mechanics, countless kinds of enemies and well-designed boss fights to make sure it’s fun to play all the way. The three chapters of Little Triangle contain almost all the elements of 2D platformers.
We also included three gameplays in this game: classical single-player platformer mode, 2-4 multiplayer co-op and a mini Battle Royale with a lot of weapons and different maps! And the many offline tests we did, proved we were correct with a lot of the decisions we made. It’s a blast! We tested the game with a lot of players in China and the feedback was super positive. We recently finished quite a few tests with players outside of China and the feedback was the same! super positive.
To make a great game we have paid attention to a ton of details. When a triangle approaches something dangerous it will show fear. When it’s at the edge of a platform it will appear trying to balance. When it stays idle for a while it will show various kinds of animations. If you move quickly left and right, it will show a dizzy animation. There are hidden levels in the single-player mode, and you will find them well polished although most players may not see them at all! In the house of skins, you can even find a computer that supports quite a few commands! You will discover tons of details in the game and that’s why it has taken so much time and effort to develop. To sum it up, we are targeting Super Meat Boy’s quality, and you will soon find it a unique game for today’s players.
Here I would also like to answer a few frequently asked questions. Many players asked about whether we will support online multiplayer in the future. We certainly want to and it’s in our plan. For now, you can enjoy well-polished single player content if no one else is on the couch for the local multiplayer content. Some players wonder what Little Triangle is, and many players think it is nacho. We even thought about calling it Super Nacho because of the feedback. But people from diverse cultures may connect it with a different thing, such as rice dumpling and pizza. Inspired by player feedback, we made a lot of funny skins including food, triangular people, dinosaur and even poo, which are mostly hidden in the single-player mode chapters. All the activated skins in single player mode can also be used in multiplayer mode!
If you have a minute to spare, please check this video out from our offline recordings. Although players speak Chinese you can see the obvious excitement and happiness when they play. You may find the video recording of a preview that four members of the ID@Xbox team did on Mixer. You will hear the countless laughs they had during this one-hour stream. If you are interested to know more about the game, so please follow us on Twitter.