Tuesday, March 08, 2005

I have some great ideas for my next game, which is frustrating because democracy isn't finished yet and there just aren't the hours in the day!
Anyway, I have made great strides today in getting more of the save/load bugs sorted out. It's still not quite ready for beta yet (I want feedback on a nearly finished game) and my icon artist is still ill...

It's quite amazing how much work is required to do the tutorial for a game. I'm quite happy with my first attempt at the Democracy tutorial now. It employs 3 basic systems. One is a spreadsheet that lays out what text should be displayed in each 'stage' of the tutorial, and where it goes onscreen. Another is the 'feature toggler' which turns on and off chunks of the game during the tutorial to prevent the player hitting a button and confusing the flow of the instructions, and the last system is the 'highlighter'. I thought about several ways to handle this, and ended up layering a semi-translucent black wash over the whole screen, then re-drawing the highlighted element (dialog, button etc) on top of it. This works superbly and I'm very happy. given an infinite budget I would have gone for a much more whizz bang animated effect, but for the style of the game this is pretty damned good.

Played Settlers V today (demo) -> very impressed.

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