UI Fixes, and Tutorials

Hey Folks! Back to gamedev today, thankfully. I managed to clear several UI fixes and improvements, confer with Tiago on some more, and get started on a tutorial.

The UI fixes were largely things Kaaven recommended after spending some time with the app. As someone who helped shaped the original UI with his suggestions, I was keen to see what he thought. And so far, some really good (if sobering) feedback!

The earlier sprite padding changes were part of this list, and today included some changes to recipes to take advantage of some quality-of-life changes Kaaven made in his mod. Namely, making "fire" a separate quick-recipe category, removing the talisman as a potential ingredient, as well as brightening the blue highlight when dragging items on the UI.

Tiago's also working on some changes suggested by Kaaven, including swipe support for some UI elements (toggling target in battle, attack modes, etc.) and some harder-to-hit buttons. He's also chasing down the last issues we're having on retina iOS devices (which we found thanks to video-Josh). We may have to go with anti-aliasing on said devices since the screen size looks illegible or has letterboxes from hell without it.

Finally, I've also started work on a tutorial system after resisting for many years. I think Kaaven is right that mobile users probably won't be as forgiving with unintuitive UI as PC users were, particularly since they won't be alt-tabbing to a wiki for help as much.

The current plan is to pop-up some tooltips at strategic moments to remind the user of certain UI features that can help. E.g. the first time they get a usable item as loot, the game will let them know how to open the context menu by showing a message and image about tap-and-hold to open the menu. The tutorial is dismissed with any user input at all. And after that, it will never show that tutorial again.

The list of events is currently 6 items strong:

  • Pinch zoom info first time small object received as loot.
  • Precision drag info first time items create a small empty grid space in a container.
  • Crafting output selector info first time recipe can produce more than one output.
  • Bandaging info first time turn ends with un-dressed wounds.
  • Sleeping bag info first time player ends turn with sleeping bag owned but not equipped in ground/camp.
  • Info on using items first time player receives usable item in inventory.

We may add more, or we may remove some. A lot will depend on how this feels in practice. We don't want them to interrupt whatever the user is doing, and we want them spaced-out enough over time not to be obtrusive. It'll be a difficult balance, but hopefully worth it!


Asthepanda2iscool2's picture

Lucky jerks... I learned how to play by dying a hundred times.

Rar! Rar rar rar! Thanks for reading :)

Malacodor's picture

Maybe add an option in the main menu to reset the tutorial. It sounds like these pop-ups are easily closed by accident.

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

ra1's picture

As long as you give fancy achievements for all of the stupid things players do, they will keep coming back for more.

dcfedor's picture

@Asthepanda2iscool2, or unlucky since it limits how much fun dying they're having :)

@Malacodor, good point! I'll make a note in the task.

@ra1, nooooo! No mindless achievements. Or I'm trying to avoid them, anyway :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games