Monday, April 30, 2007

Turtle wax and eastern European hot dogs.

I thought you might enjoy seeing the other instructions.

I had spent a lot of time trying to write a story for the games, something that Joe Lieberman suggests in his great article. I had actually done it before I read his article, but it was validating to see somebody else say it.

Its also a paradox. People like story, a reason for playing, but people also dislike text and will shut down when confronted with it. I think I must be an exception. My eye is drawn to text and I must read it as soon as I see it, much to the fright of anybody with text scrawled on their shirt who then thinks I'm looking at their chest.

So how do you give story to people, and do it without text? Well let them play the game and get the story from the moving images, and pepper it with a little bit of text. If you images are compelling and tell a story on their own, then kudos to you and your design skills.

My story on the other hand got in the way of the directions for the game, so you would see all this text and just get rid of it as soon as possible.


So who is going to read all that just to find out they need the mouse to play, and then to find out HOW to use the mouse to play. Its an eye full, and its awful.

I spent some time making it pretty, friendly, and best of all I loaded it with shiny pictures.

You cant see the scroll bar of course but there are actually 4 steps now, each step is illustrated and in plain obvious letters with few words. A glance at these images is enough to grasp how to play.

Mission accomplished I think.

Now its time to work on the rest of the polish. We are going to add some more fun little things to the games to make them, well, more fun. We added some little BAM animations to the screen when you get a combo move now so that you know you got one, and believe me when I say that this tiny little addition made scoring in the games seem WAY cooler. Its suddenly something I seek, I want a combo because I want to see those jiggly letters float up in the little starburst (you know, like from comic books where it says BAM!) and reward me for my effort.

Next we are adding some little effects to the Win screen so that winning isn't so bland. Winning should be neat, and should look as much.

As for Easter eggs, and shopping list reward systems as mentioned by Joe in his article, we have those in spades.

For those following, we have decided to beta on Monday, its the "drop dead absolute no more delays, I'm serious" deadline. All this talk of polish though has made we want a Polish dog at Costco. Those are the best skunk meat and soda a 1.50 can buy I tell ya.

1 comment:

susan said...

the directions are obvious and easy to figure out, so very good. but, I do like that the stories are on the website. I like your stories! I'm glad you found a place for them.