Skill Overhaul: The Result

Work on the skills overhaul continued, including the latest round of feedback, and here's how it's looking:

IMAGE(http://www.bluebottlegames.com/img/screenshots/screenshot-2014-10-17.png) Simplified UI, and hopefully more intuitive.

I think there were some excellent points made in yesterday's feedback, and I was able to incorporate most of it in this new layout.

First of all, I decided to change "Skills" to "Abilities," and "Traits" to "Flaws," for clarity and accuracy. Strong is not a skill, per se, and "trait" isn't necessarily negative to the average person. "Abilities" and "Flaws" are more accurate for what we're talking about here, so I changed the language. (Code and game data references still use the old names, however, for compatibility reasons.)

Secondly, I took the suggestion to make the page more symmetric. Now both flaws and abilities simply flow to the right, so it should be clearer where things go. I removed the "Default" flaws, and gave the player free points to start instead, as you guys were right that it was confusing.

I also replaced the wordy instructions with simple arrows, which I think say pretty much the same thing in way less time. Stuff on the left goes to the right. And the green/orange "Amount Used/Left" text tells you how much you've used vs. have left. I've removed the Flaw total text, since it was kind of redundant. And I decided to leave the warning for Flaws, as it was important information not communicated elsewhere.

One of the invisible changes here is the first moddable game variable: starting points. As some of you suggested, it'd be nice to mod the number of starting points available. So I created a new data table called "gamevars" which stores name/value pairs for use in the game. Right now, it's just that starting points number. However, I think I can move some other stuff into there when I have time (e.g. starting date, starting hex coords, maybe even combat modifiers for strong, etc.).

A large chunk of the day had to be spent on fixing the various skill/trait functionality elsewhere in the game, now that traits don't use slots anymore. In particular, I had a lot of rewiring to do in Haggerty Health's eye augmentations, and some Yezinka clean-up.

Overall, this feels like a significant improvement in both UI and game balance, and I'm excited to try it out! Before that, however, I think it's time to promote v0.9942b to default build status. It has a few bugs, but seems otherwise stable. So I'll be working on that next week, so we can begin testing this next wave of test builds.

Have a good weekend, all!

Comments

Tactless's picture
Tactless

Clearer labels, symmetry, chaff trimming, and a moddable game variable. All great stuff.

You did say code and game data will use the old names for the moment, but since the Flaw warning is just self-contained text, one last typo to point out:

>These will allow more [skills], but beware: they come with disadvantages.

[abilities]

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Wyrenth's picture
Wyrenth

Yeah, this looks a lot more intuitive. I like. :) The only complaint I would have is that there's a lot of empty space, but overall this is a big improvement regarding flow and vernacular. Plenty of room for modders to add abilities and flaws, and the ability to mod starting points sounds good (I can see a quick and simple "Hard mode" mod to reduce this number, "Easy mode" to increase it, etc.).

Will there be a way for modders to save/call gamevars in encounters, objects, etc? For example, to check if a certain variable exists or is within a certain range before being able to trigger an encounter action or equip an item?

linibot's picture
linibot

Perfect. Like most of the game, this gets more things done than first meet the eye. Less flashy, less noisy, more substance. Thank you! Have a great weekend. :)


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Rovlad's picture
Rovlad

Looks good, just make sure that player is notified they're forfeiting any unspent points (if it is an option).

Matkingos's picture
Matkingos

Quick suggestion for the foil coat. Is it going to have uses outside Grayling, such as being used in combat to lower a drone's hit chance, or evading Skycorps? Or will it only be used at Grayling? I think it would be a good way to nerf drones.

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