Game Over, Not Over Yet

Hey Folks!

Since the mod merging stuff seemed to be testing well, I decided to tackle one of the higher priority features on the wishlist today: better Game Over screen data.

IMAGE(http://www.bluebottlegames.com/img/screenshots/screenshot-2014-05-30.png) For such a short game, that sure is a lot of text.

Many players have reported confusion when their games end, since they often miss the final log messages during screen fade-out. Others have asked for more stats, such as things accomplished in the game, and places visited.

Also, the Game Over screen was pretty ugly.

So I decided to give it a make-over, as well as add some more info to it. Clockwise from the top left, we now have:

  • Player sprite - See what you looked like just before you bit the dust. The usual time elapsed and death cause are still here.
  • New Game Over logo - The old stretched text was just a placeholder, so I added something more thematically consistent.
  • Player Conditions - This is a list of all known and unknown conditions on the player, and is sort of an experiment. It not only lists survival conditions (e.g. hunger, fatigue, etc.), but also choices made, locations visited, and other interesting stats.
  • Message Log - The lower left corner is the contents of the message log during the player's final moments. This shows the lead-up to death, and helps explain the context.
  • Buttons - I swapped out the old hacky play again button and replaced it with the normal play button. Plus, for kicks, I added a button to copy this screen's text and stats to the clipboard, in case players want to save it or share with others.

I'm not 100% thrilled with the layout. It looks clunky and off-balance. However, I do like that it showcases more of a story now. Players often trade stories on the forums, and this can help them to do so. It could also be useful in debugging some games that end prematurely.

I may have to move some things around, and accommodate text that scrolls off-screen. But this might be a good start.

Apart from the above, I also worked on some more improvements to mod-merging. I fixed the loading progress bar to reflect all mods being loaded, rather than just the current one. I also made an adjustment to the image storing step, so the debug counter shows the last successful image number stored, which can be handy for debugging the loading process.

I decided to make the mousewheel scroll the message window, rather than attack modes, as it was often tripping-up players in battle. (Switching attacks can rob players of crucial attack moves.) And I adjusted the backpack slot to be over 1 and down 2 grid spaces from its current location, to better fit storage space on items worn in the left shoulder.

There was a bug that caused the weather icon to show tooltips on the wrong screens, and this is fixed now. And finally, I'm trying to figure out the cause of messages appearing in the message window after the player dies.

Some pretty cool stuff getting done today! Hope everyone has a good weekend, and see you Monday!

Comments

Wyrenth's picture
Wyrenth

What about a tabbed/buttoned interface that allows you to switch between the logs instead of showing everything at once? "Final Moments" for the combat log, and "Autopsy Report" for conditions. :)

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

Tabbed viewing is a possibility. I feel like it'll still be lopsided, though. Probably because of the way I positioned the game over graphic and buttons right in the middle. I might have to consider moving them to one side, and have stats on the other.

I also considered rolling the stats like credits in a movie, but I think some players would be annoyed by having to wait for them to roll. The speed would either be too slow or too fast. Though, it's a video game, so I guess I can let the player control that.

Decisions, decisions!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games