Bat navigation mockup
Mockup for a game with a bat exploring a cave to swallow some delicious bugs. One button to control flying and mouse or touch to trigger the sonar in that direction.
You must avoid the walls and try to swallow as many bugs as possible. By default you’re completely blind, screen is pitch black, but you can shoot your sonar to make stuff (walls and bugs) “visible”, for a while.
In the mockup I’ve tried to show one pilar that’s solidifying because sonar is directed towards that direction (on the top) and another one that’s fading away form a previous sonar shoot.
The themes for #GPCv18 are still wandering in my head. Probably I’m not doing any game but I made this hobo tile. The original is 32x32.
I did this banker tile with Pixen
Teaching the player how to play - Pitfalls making a tutorial
Game mechanics Robot Memory are quite simple, there’s not much explanation needed in a match-2 game. But as soon as I completed some new games for the Classic mode, implementing a tutorial became an urgent matter. Nobody could understand how Rescue and Detective mode worked without some hints.
Then I set myself two goals regarding this topic:
- Using a minimum number of assets, nothing new when possible.
- As few text as possible. If you don’t depend on texts localization turns out easier and the barriers for the younger players is still down (that’s important in a simple game like Robot Memory).
As of now, I’m failing horribly in both aspects because I’m relaying on text banners to teach about some aspects of the game (like the mechanics on classic games) and I added a tutorial that’s completely hand drawn.
The slide show
I’m a big fan of introductory or tutorial levels, for that’s really the best way to show every aspect of the game but I was unable to come up with a way to use that idea in Robot Memory. There are no levels per se so I decided that the best would be a slide show.
This is one screenshot from the tutorial for arcade mode.
In other areas of the game the explanations must be compressed to barely a couple of lines of text that hopefully will be enough for the player to understand what’s going on. In that cases I have implemented this scrolling banners to print some instructions on screen.
The banner scrolls from the left side, off the screen. Stays for a while in the center, where it’s visible over all the elements of the game and then goes away.
I’m targeting a Universal app (that’s iPad & iPhone in the same package) so a hand drawn tutorial means that I need to include the bitmaps for both versions in the package with the resulting increase of weight. To optimize this I could render the tutorial with the game engine but without a scripting this would consume too much of my precious time. Well, at least it could be optimized easily.
Another problem with hand drawn tutorials is that they become outdated when other elements in the game change and the artist (poor creature) must rework it.
So children listen to my words: don’t use slide show tutorials. They suck!
Game over improved animation
Besides I fixed some minor details in the bar that shows how close you’re to unlock the next card.
I’m glad to introduce: the Robot service crew. Lovely design by @soriano_1. They look so cool I’m must find some way to add them to Robot Memory. What d’you think?
Robot Memory, Paper edition
Updating the gallery of cards
Today I’m improving several aspect of the gallery. In this section the player can check the status of the collection. Adding a tag with a name (or maybe the model) below each robot would be cool. This wasn’t planned but the artist put some kind of placeholders there and I cannot help it. I’d have to come up with some funny names.
First public release of Robot Memory and some doodle