We Got One!...?

I think we may have a winner! After a list of progressively shorter game titles, I reached a point where I thought, "okay, this is getting so short that it no longer tells anything about the game." Plus, the logo looked nicer, and more akin to NEO Scavenger's, if I made it longer again.

So after some more word-searching and tweaking, I think I've finally arrived at a safe title. No competitors so far. Some room for interpretive meaning. Logo looks good. Words in the title hint at some relevant game things. It's not perfect, but I'll be here all year if that's my goal. So I'm going to give it another night or two to check for staying power (and any IP conflicts).

In the meantime, I started tinkering with some title screen treatments for the game. It's not strictly necessary at this early stage. But it'd be nice to know how I'm going to present the game to the world, from a marketing point of view. Are there any thematic colors? Textures? Imagery? I may not arrive at answers to these questions before I reveal the title, but it doesn't hurt to explore these questions for a bit before I do.

On the mobile front, Tiago and I discussed micro-UI problems a bit more, and we decided to try out pinch and spread as a gesture to access some of the more crowded UI items in NEO Scavenger. The holy grail of this exercise is to be able to pick a tiny object like a glass shard or lighter out of a cluster of tiny objects using one's finger as an input tool, move it to the desired container, and fit it into a slot.

So far, this has proven to be tricky, even on 10" screens. The precision just isn't there with a fingertip. And this pretty much makes or breaks the game experience. So we have to get it right!

Anyway, this is our current focus. And with any luck, this experiment, or the zoom lens, or perhaps a combo of the two, will get us there.


matsy's picture

Have you thought about designing that aspect of the game more for tablet than just a copy of how it is done on PC?

It sounds like a bad UX having to pinch and zoom all the time for small items.

Could you not do something like selecting views. So for example, the inventory you makes it full screen? Then once you select it goes back to the normal view. Kind of like how Resident Evil used its inventory on Tue PS1.

Then again your may still have that issue on a 10" screen.

Malacodor's picture

I'd get rid of 1x1 and 1x2 items and replace them with 2x2 versions. Increase durability of items like lighters, nourishment value of food items and so on to compensate the increased space requirement, and reduce maximum stack size. Replace pill stacks with pill bottles, that lose durability on use, same with ammo. Increase inventory space in guns and batteries accordingly.

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

dcfedor's picture

It's true a 1-to-1 UI between PC and mobile is not ideal. And I might have to get creative if pinch/lens approaches are too tedious.

Tapping a container grid to expand it to full-screen might solve all the problems of pick-up/drop accuracy on small screens. Though, it'll still need to solve issues of input events "leaking" through to background objects (one of the current issues with lens/pinch zoom). It'd also potentially obscure the animation of where the item goes if using the "transfer" cursor or empty-out commands. But that might be an acceptable loss. And I'm unsure if we'd still need some way to zoom non-grid UI (e.g. slots for bandaging wounds).

Changing item sizes could also work, but I'd really like to avoid making separate content for each platform. That opens the rebalancing can of worms, plus managing two sets of data for different platforms. And probably, two sets of UI will still be needed since several items will have larger grids.

It's a crappy situation all around. No easy or safe solutions. But I'm starting with the least intrusive first :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games