I dumbed down for my audience to double my dollars
They criticized me for it, yet they all yell "holla" - Jay-Z
Accessibility - it's not something I've put a lot of thought into when it comes to games.
It's funny, because in the broader view of software, it's certainly something I think is important, but I've never thought to consider it for the software niche of video games.
Normally I think of difficulty as a setting in a game, but to have it as a feature is unique. For that feature to increase accessibility only makes sense, but I'd never considered it before.
Super Galaxy Squadron is a fast-paced vertical shooter designed for human beings as well as shmup veterans. Featuring a challenging but merciful difficulty curve, forgiving health system, and 14 playable ships.
In their own words, the game is "challenging but merciful" which was my experience to a T. First flight, I was a shmup killer. Made it straight through the game, no deaths, dodging bullets like a G.I. Joe episode.
Then I tried to up the difficulty. So many difficulty options, so I went middle of the road leaning towards tough. Died on stage 2.
The reality is that on my first run, I did notice just the slightest bit of assistance on the very last boss, thinking to myself "somehow I feel like I'm being more awesome than I deserve to be."
But it allowed me to experience the game and know it was fun. They lowered the barrier to entry without ruining the core experience, and that incentivized me to want to try again and get better. It was the ideal outcome.
Now this strategy won't work on all games, and some games are purposeful in setting a difficulty tone up front (looking at you Souls), but there is a lesson to learn for game developers - tutorials aren't the only way to have players learn; sometimes giving them the tools and allowing them to succeed themselves is a better (and vastly more interesting) way to teach game play and mechanics.
Super Mario Bros. did it way back when, Super Galaxy Squadron EX accomplished that today. Props guys.
Anywho, check out the game (out now), and super props to the guys on giving proceeds from the original Super Galaxy Squadron, totaling $10,000 for Child's Play Charity.
* because of the assistance provided to me by Super Galaxy Squadron EX and it's lovely, adjustable difficulty curve that I turned all the way down.