Senior Production Blog 2 (1/27/2017)

And we're off!

Sunday came, and a massive 2 hour meeting with it, helping us understand what steps to make going forward. Before the meeting, I had worked with Julia, one of the artists on adapting some of her sketches into a UI Prototype.

The original sketch from Julia

The original sketch from Julia

Making interactive PDF's is something I set myself down to learn last year, I adapted this sketch and make some photoshop mockups using ingame assets I found poking around the repo. And then from there I took screenshots of every existing UI menu in engine, and stitched them all together.


It's rough, but it's much cleaner than the current UI:

Buttons are scattered all over the place and aren't really necessary all the time. The checkmark button is going away, as programmers this week have been working on an auto detect system that automatically checks and accepts correctly drawn kanji. We really only need 3 permanent buttons: play audio (pronunciation of kanji), undo, and hint. These 3 buttons are now permanently affixed to the bottom right of the screen, and any additional buttons can be moved down there with small glyphs as well. Something else about the above screenshot is how weighted it is to the left. The game takes place in the center, while the tutorial takes up 80% of the right 1/5th of the screen. This means that players are looking to the left every few moments for a game that takes place in the center of the screen. We plan on moving this tutorial UI above or on top of the game board, with freshly updated text.

The tutorial as it stands is wordy, overly formal, and too tutorial-y. It's in a game about samurai, with mention to them once at the very end. So this week I was giving the task of transcribing the entire player experience for the tutorial:

What words show up when, what animations for hints play when, when is the player left alone, and simplifying and decorating that old crusty text.

Even this is subject to change, as we have made the decision to go with smaller, starter kanji and teach combinations of them that make different kanji (think letters not words), but it's much more flavorful, gives encouragement,  and is less redundant. Tomorrow we meet again to discuss what's left in terms of getting things ready for Greenlight, but we've already made a lot of progress, and our initial steps in cleaning up the rough stuff in the original capstone prototype.

Luca Hibbard-Curto