I’ve been receiving a ton of really useful feedback about the demo over the past 2 weeks! A lot of this feedback comes from new players who have never played the game before, or who are returning to the game after several years of not playing it. These players have offered a very valuable perspective, because they have identified numerous ways in which the game is confusing to newcomers.
As it turns out, the vast majority of Yandere Simulator’s features are “hidden” from the player; there is no way for new players to know about most of the game’s features without guidance from a third party or a YouTube video. (For example, most new players don’t know that it’s possible to clean a bloody weapon by washing it at a drinking fountain. Did YOU know that?)
But, more importantly, most new players don’t know about the Schemes menu, don’t realize that the dialogue in Osana’s events is explicitly spelling out exactly how to eliminate her, and completely miss out on most of Osana’s daily scripted events. I’ve seen too many players just aimlessly wander around school, feeling lost and without any type of direction. Something clearly needs to change.
Whenever I’m faced with a game design challenge like this, I ask myself, “Well, how have similar games tackled the same issue?” which, in this case, translates to “Why doesn’t Hitman have the same problem?”
The answer is that Hitman has a playable tutorial that teaches the player everything they need to know in a fun and engaging way…while Yandere Simulator has annoying tutorial windows that interrupt gameplay in a very obnoxious way. The tutorial text is also way too long, prompting most players to ignore and disable the tutorial pop-ups.
The solution is adding a playable tutorial to the game, or delivering important information to the player in a way that is less obnoxious. I know exactly what the playable tutorial would be – a school play where Yandere-chan acts out various murder scenarios. However, adding a playable tutorial would take a couple of weeks…and it feels like we’re in a delicate, time-sensitive phase of the game’s development right now. Is this really the right time to add such a feature to the game?
Fortunately, I have an idea that might be the perfect solution! However, I don’t want to begin working on it just yet – I want to make a few more bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements before I move on to making serious additions/changes to the game’s design. There will probably be a few more bug-fixing builds until we reach that point.
To see a list of everything that changed in the latest build, please scroll down past this beautiful illustration by Vinaera! I love the art style!!