App Rating, Musical Themes, and the Final Stretch?
Hey Folks! Sorry for the missed post yesterday. I got wrapped-up in a long email to Josh about the next track, and pretty much sent it minutes before I needed to head off with the fam to run some errands.
The email was regarding his next composition, which I'm thinking might be the game's main menu theme. And in a broader sense, a chance to apply a motif that acts as a musical signature for the game. E.g. The Elder Scrolls or Blade Runner have instantly recognizable musical phrases which can be very powerful in evoking a mood or drawing attention.
On the other hand, I have a vision for the main menu which is a bit more laid back and ambient. Something kind of like Wing Commander's interactive scenes (bar, barracks) or Metro 2033's main menu. Something that conjures an environment and immerses the player without grabbing them by the shirt.
Then again, there may be a way to do both. I think the title theme to Alien is such a case, where it is gentle-yet-memorable. It instantly evokes the setting without blasting everything into the background. We'll have to see what he thinks is doable.
In mobile news, Tiago is nearly done! He just checked-in one of the last features, and only a few small bugs remain. This last change was the "rate this game" dialog which asks players if they'd mind leaving a review.
I hemmed-and-hawed over this quite a bit, as it has the potential to annoy some players, but is also a very powerful tool for app survival on the marketplace.
What I ultimately decided on is that the app will basically ask the user if they'd mind leaving a review for others to see what they think, and only ever ask this once. The dialog will not reappear regardless of what the player chooses to do. Furthermore, it will only appear if they've unlocked the full version of the game, and played it a certain amount, and aren't in the middle of an important encounter or action.
Basically, try to be as respectful and unobtrusive as possible. And wait until a point where they're not likely to be mad as hell at the game :)
It will also start showing a new button on the main menu to rate the app at the same time, but this will stay there. I figure this is at least less annoying because it won't/can't interrupt anything.
It wasn't my favorite thing to design, as this fits squarely in marketing rather than mechanics. And it has the potential to be really slimy. But I hope I've managed to steer a line between too aggressive and too meek.
I guess we'll see in the reviews when the game launches (hopefully) soon!