Apr 27, 2018

Suzy Cube Update: April 27, 2018

#SuzyCube #gamedev #indiedev #madewithunity @NoodlecakeGames 
You want pretty pictures this week!? We got your pretty pictures right here!

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Last week, I announced that I would no longer be making nips, tucks and tweaks to the game's levels. As this had been the bulk of my work for a while, it has freed me up to take on some tasks I had originally pushed onto Noodlecake's plate allowing them to concentrate on the UI redesign and multi-platform support. One such task has been the creation of interstitial images to be presented at the end of each world. Up top is your first look at the progress on one such interstitial image. These aren't meant to "tell a story" per say, but simply as rewarding glimpses into Suzy's journey to recovering the Queen's stolen gold.

The "photos on a cork-board" motif was a natural choice given the idea I had for how these will be interacted with... Perhaps I've said too much...

Given this, I've been spending most of my time sketching!

Gotta keep doodling!

Some of these will end up getting cleaned up for use in game! 

You, I

Ok, I think I've been putting it off long enough. I'm sure you would all like to see what's up with the UI redesign. So, here it is!

Already better than the old one!

Ya, ya... There's still a lot of prettying up to do, but most of the functionality is there! It's quite a paradigm shift from the old UI, opting to present the levels as a row of large panels rather than a grid of icons. The major advantage of handling things this way is that the panels can show more information about the level, like stars collected, best clear time etc. without resorting to a pop-up the way I had been handling it.

Another major change is to the way levels become unlocked now. In my implementation, levels would play an unlock animation when returning to the level select screen. This forced me to scroll between worlds to ensure players saw the levels unlocking if multiple levels unlocked at the same time. Between levels unlocking due to completing the prerequisite level and others unlocking based on the number of stars collected, things could get kind of messy. Noodlecake's solution was for unlocking levels to be a user interaction. So, now, when all requirements are met to unlock a level the player needs to tap the panel to unlock it. Involving the user in the unlocking process should hopefully help them better understand the unlocking requirements and with the right animations and sounds could even be quite satisfying! And, instead of changing the player's focus, we are now using animated elements to call attention to offscreen levels which can be unlocked. Again, inviting the player to navigate to the levels which require their attention themselves. This, hopefully, should also make it nearly impossible for players to miss out on the fact some levels are unlocked.

If you're curious where things are headed, visually, here is one of the latest mockups showing what gamepad labeling of the buttons might look like.

Lookin' good!

Pretty snazzy, right!?

Well, that's it for this week. I'll be sharing more progress on the UI and interstitial in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

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