After letting several people play the game, I've taken their feedback and incorporated it. I spent a lot of time debating how I was going to handle the continue screen. It was frustrating me because it was confusing to people and it wasn't going to work well to try to overlay an Android UI on top of it since it's still in-game. I also finally added in the new solo menus and added a new game mode based on the original light racer - Speed Trial mode.
Day 34 - What was done:
3 Lives, automatic replay (no prompt)
No zooming on continue
Speed Trial mode
Started testing on 1.5
Play testing is so important, I can't even emphasize it enough. I get the best feedback from the people who try the game out. When I was first asked, "What do I do?" I realized that the game simply wasn't obvious enough and so I added a player indicator and a zoom to show who you are controlling. That seriously helped and now very few people ask what to do. Instead, they start trying things.
The continue screen bugged me so bad that I ended up just removing it. I had planned on having a finite number of continues and with that, I was able to remove the continue screen altogether and just show how many lives are left. This makes the game much smoother to interact with because players know exactly what the goal of the game is - don't die!
The game was running too fast so I slowed it down from 100 pixels/second to 80 pixels/second standard movement rate. It's much nicer now on the phone.
I also just switched my development environment to Android 1.5 (cupcake). It seems as though they've tweaked the emulator to perform almost exactly like the G1. This is nice because the 1.1 SDK had an emulator that would run much faster so I would have to guess at how the performance would be on the device itself, then find out that the device was too slow and make changes. Now I'll know more of what to expect from the start.
I also added new menus but I'm still waiting on the new graphics. They'll be in soon.