September 2014

It Will Look Like A Sunset

Fri, 09/12/2014 - 23:16 -- BlueWinds

A warning: this article, and many of the links within, discuss domestic violence.

I would like to take a moment to talk about something painful, but also important. Wihle I could go on about the injustice of the rich receiving special treatment, or the horrid, apologetic, hypocritical responses to the most recent and most public incident, I would instead like to focus on domestic violence itself, and, perhaps, its relationship - or lack thereof - with kink.

First, I'd like you to read this article. It is painful, and powerful, and important all at once - and it ought to put to rest, once and for all, the question of why people in abusive relationships don't just leave. Please, don't continue on here until you've read that. I want it to establish some context for what I'm about to write.

Did you read that article? Do you know what the title means? Read on.

User Experience

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 18:52 -- BlueWinds

So, believe it or not, I have still been working on the next sequel, and it's getting close to "demo-ready".

Over the last couple days I've been adding the market, where a player buys and sells cargo in various cities - the primary way of making money, other than completing storyline jobs.

The biggest thing that keeps slowing me down is iterating on the User Interface. I think a lot of amateur games consider it of secondary importance, "I'll fix it later" - but they never do, and in a game, the experience is everything. Cursed is a wonderful game, with great writing, but it's a horror to look at.

For a game like the one I'm developing, there's a lot of information to squeeze into not all that much space. How to present that information without causing "huge wall of text" issues is an interesting challenge, and one I keep iterating on. Lots of mouse-overs is one method - and unlike, the mouseovers are aimed at providing mechanical information, rather than flavor tidbits.

Another method is consistent colors / layout, hinting at what things mean without needing to make them explicit. Stats are always ordered a certain way, so when you see an empty box with a couple of dim numbers, it's readily apparent what it means - fill that box with a character matching those numbers.

Anyway, I'm still not 100% happy with some of my solutions, but I think when you see it in action you'll see how much I've learned in the process and agree how much of an improvement it is over my previous games. :)