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Refinement
March 29, 2014
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Menus! So Kira and I have been emailing back and forth about the different colors of the buttons.
Eventually we decided on incorporating more green into the menu. Kira is also working on doing the scrolling programmatically, and may need to delve into the menus provided by PSM rather than just create our own.

Left hand menu is the old menu sans new HUD and old colors and right is  a rough of what the final menus will look like.

And to describe the HUD on the right side of the new menus. We decided to keep them there all the time like you are in the ship. The top circle represents the progress of the planet and will fill up the farther the planet gets in its creation. The rectangle below that is the ship’s energy. This will be depleted the longer you hold the tractor beam in as well as when you get hit with meteors, to hopefully encourage decision making. Below that is the timer that shows the time remaining in the level. The four spaces represent items that can be bought in the upgrades menu and consumed in game.

selectscreen-solarsystemNewMenu2

On March 27th, we had two visitors in our classroom that provided comments and critiques.

(Kira’s notes from class below)
Here is what we gathered from watching them play today:
  • Not enough context for the job. When starting the intro, you are told you are doing a job, but you don’t know what that job is.  One fellow playing said it was like we telling him this is an accelerator and this is a steering wheel and this is a clutch without telling him that he is going to be driving a car.  Hopefully adding the intro animation will fix this, but he has a point.  We need to make it very clear by the time you get to any game play.
  • He also touched the X on the message dismiss, so we need to allow that.
  • The dropdown in the tutorial covers the scan report and makes the corner where they intersect very muddled.  Suggestions for this? We can either increase the opacity of the message box (either for that message or all messages) or change where the message box draws.  I’m not sure what our best option is here.
  • Meteor in front of camera makes it hard/impossible to play.
  • In the tutorial, there needs to be immediate success feedback.  He liked the idea of grumpy Churchill, but he wants some approval and encouragement (especially in the first 20 seconds).  Reward the player, give positive feedback for anything they do correctly.  (Maybe Churchill becomes less grumpy and more impressed?
  • Explain the energy level more
  • The radar being opaque, with the same focus as the HUD makes the world seem more like background, less like what they should be focusing on.
  • They both skipped through the tutorial messages.  We should reorder the the tutorial to get them engaged sooner.

We fixed a lot of these as well as the last bullet point. Kira, Cody C, and I worked on reordering the tutorial text and events so it wasn’t as droll as just reading through just blocks of texts, but breaking it up into text, action, text.

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