Saturday, November 17, 2018

Escape a Tower Version 2.5 - Improving the Post Game


Here it is - the biggest update to Escape a Tower since the conversion to Web.

Nearly every Escape a Tower update since 2014 focused on bug fixes. While version 2.5 has its share of fixes, it also offers a slew of new gameplay features, with an emphasis on the post game.

Spoiler Alert: This blog post contains spoilers about Escape a Tower's post game content. There are no storyline spoilers.


The Problem with the Post Game

Based on my past observations, many players would beat Escape a Tower (reach The End), look at the game's bonus features for a bit, and then think they were done with the entire game. This meant many players unwittingly missed out on game content.

You see, Escape a Tower has alternate paths that deviate from the main objective. Some paths lead to humorous endings, while others hint at interesting secrets in the game. Players who ran through the game once tended to overlook these paths because they were focused on beating the game first.

In an attempt to encourage players to try alternative paths, I added the tips section Try This! to the Bonus Features. Unfortunately, no one I know tried any of the tips because going back to those parts of the game would take too much time and effort.

I had to come up with another solution, or my hard work would go unnoticed.

Game Leaper to the Rescue!

Meet Game Leaper, the all-new bonus feature that makes exploring the entire game a breeze.

Game Leaper acts as a portal to "leap" back to any checkpoint in the game. No longer will you have to replay most of the game to try alternate paths you may have missed!

Here's what the Game Leaper looks like using made-up checkpoints.

1) Top of the Tower (7/18)
2) Middle of the Tower (8/16)
3) Bottom of the Tower (12/20)

Total Scenes: 27/54

Each game section (the distance from one checkpoint to the next) has a certain amount of scenes you can reach. You can find these totals to the right of each checkpoint name, along with the number of scenes you've seen so far. Not only is it easier to traverse the game, you now have an incentive to find every scene/alternate path!

More Post Game Content

While I was at it, I decided to add, revise, and expand on the other bonus features.
  • I revised and expanded on the Q&A so it offers more relevant content.
  • I implemented an in-game timer to Beat the Creator.
  • I added Escape a Tower Box Art, which includes game art I made for a psychology class.
  • I moved the Version History to the bonus features. Previously, you'd click the version number, but practically no one knew about that.
  • I revised and expanded on the Recommended Games.
  • I added Bonus Features Everywhere, which lets you unlock the bonus features on your other devices without beating the game again.
  • I retired Guide to Web Design (wasn't useful) and Try This! (replaced with Game Leaper).

Other Changes to Version 2.5

I also found several issues with the game itself I wanted to fix. Here are the main highlights.
  • I corrected grammatical errors.
  • I rewrote some game scenes that often confused players.
  • I added feature detection, which checks if your browser supports certain features (like saving) and informs you if it doesn't.
  • I addressed game-breaking bugs when playing the downloaded game on Microsoft Edge and Safari.

Note: Since I switched to a new save management system, save data from versions 2.4.3 and earlier no longer works.

Click here for the full release notes.

Conclusion

It's been nearly eight years since I first released Escape a Tower, and I'm proud to say the tower's still alive. I look forward to seeing others uncover the game's hidden gems that would have otherwise been untouched.

Liked Escape a Tower but only played through it once? Now's your chance to experience another dimension of the game!


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