This week has been all about tightening the game to show it during GDC!
Part of being a developer means having an eye for improving things like usability. Most of it is a case of applying some common sense, while some of it is more subtle.
I’m pretty sure everyone here can see a few bugs in this screen below. Take a moment to guess:
(1) What the screen does
(2) What’s wrong with it
As you may have guessed, that screen is a team switchout screen, not unlike a lot of other games. The first one, on the left, had some pretty obvious issues:
- It took up the space to compare front line monsters and ‘benched’ monsters
- The lone button says ‘Cancel’ but actually means ‘dismiss this window, we’re done here’.
- It doesn’t show if the monsters are stunned, paralyzed, or what.
All of these are fixed in the screen on the right, which also fixes a layout issue in the battle UI. We had our monsters left-to-right, but realized that such a layout would not imply the relationships of the reels and portraits to the monsters. And also (spoiler alert) we have adjacent abilities, and having them in a square was just not intuitive.
The last issue that will be fixed tomorrow is the height difference between the enemy monster and its HP (see the top right bird, haha.)
Let’s look at some more screens:
THE TEAM BUILDING SCREENS
- This function of the game aims to help players build teams strategically. The screens must LIST the teams in a nice way and SHOW all the team’s abilities (slots)
We split Teams (or Monster Team) into a ‘Team List’ and ‘Team Edit’ screen. This is the ‘Team Edit’ screen.
- We split the single ‘Teams’ screen into two screens. From being a screen showing 1 team at a time, we now have a Team List and a Team Edit screen.
- The Team List screen is featured first, followed by the Team Edit.
- We focused on fixing the layout (centering the backups monsters, also because we’re not sure if we want to do 8 on 8 battles just yet)
- We focused on making the buttons more indicative of what they do, and to stand out as buttons.
- The Team Edit simply shows all the rollers and allows the user to compare abilities and select monsters to fill the team.
- Please note that some icons are temp and made by the designer as part of the greybox (prototype).
The Monster Information Screen
We’re making use of the ‘roller’ or ‘reel’ as a motif.
- We thought about what information should be comparable at a glance, so we showed the XP, level, and KO or Ready to Fight status on the smaller reel, with more info on the left.
- We also turned some information, like Clan Type, into icons.
- Note to self: Why is the ‘Wave’ clan a seashell…
- We also again worked on making the buttons… look more like buttons.
- Another note to self: I can’t see what the teams are for these monsters… That’s important information, isn’t it? Maybe color…
Ok, that’s it for now. Hope you guys found this post useful!
And don’t forget to see us at GDC 2015!