As I get down to the last few things I need to do, I occasionally find “new” things to deal with. One of those things is something I haven’t dealt with in quite a while: What levels I am including in the finished product.
Initially I had made several passes of generating levels, until I had well over a hundred for each game type (over two hundred for the classic). But, short of going back and generating the hints for each of these levels, I didn’t really pay them much mind while I worked on the other elements of the game (UI design, Backgrounds, transitions, If I would have a tutorial, etc.). So I have decided now to go back through all the levels and prune some of them out.
Mostly this is for the early levels, the levels that are supposed to teach concepts. I thought I had a few too many and going through them again I believe I was right. I don’t want to linger too long on the very early concepts and have the player lose interest in the game before they get to the more engaging levels. But even beyond that I am going through and just discovering that some of the levels are just uninteresting or too similar to other levels and have noted them down for pruning.
Part of my methodology for this is I am going to make a first pass of the levels, note down which ones are up for pruning (and why), and then leave them alone for a little while. After having a short break from that task I will go back in and decide which ones actually need to be pruned. This is so I don’t get overzealous in the moment and get rid of something that would be difficult to recover. Slow and steady, rather than making rash decisions.