Should Collectibles be explained ?

Monkey Archive Forums/Monkey Discussion/Should Collectibles be explained ?

Paul - Taiphoz(Posted 2016) [#1]
my current, and actually all of my shooters tend to have power-ups that are positive and negative, I love to balance things out so for example if I have a power up that boosts your move speed then I will also have one that lowers it, or if I have a power up that increases damage then in turn I will also have one that reduces it, it's not something you see often in shooters but it's something I like in terms of design.

As a result of this I have found that some of the people testing my game were a little unsure of what a power up/down actually did, in the old days we would get a little manual with our games and that normally explained all the power-ups, showing what they did be it a benefit or pitfall.

So I am thinking about creating a powers page which will show the player all the games power-(up/down)'s and explain what they do, should I spend time on this or should I leave things to the player to uncover.

Gerry Quinn(Posted 2016) [#2]
Do your power-ups always have net benefits? In other words does the one that reduces your speed increase your damage by more?

If they are not power-ups but penalties, you should colour them red to indicate it.

Paul - Taiphoz(Posted 2016) [#3]
Yeah I was thinking that while doing the mock page seen bellow.

So the ones with the Green Square at their back are all good, the ones with blue are bad(bad might be the wrong word) and the ones in yellow would be the players personal taste, things that will be specific to a players play style, personally I love to take full slide out which really spreads out your fire but others might want the full slide in to really focus their damage on a single target..

Paul - Taiphoz(Posted 2016) [#4]
I'v refined this idea more now and like where I am at, feedback still welcome tho but yeah I'm fairly comfortable with what I have.

What i'v done is each power up or I should call them pick ups have two squares behind them I call them shields, which sit behind the pickups Icon, one being rotated 45 degree's, with that in mind I have a basic colour system that should instantly inform the player if something is good for them or not.

Green = Good , Yellow = Optional = Blue = bad(still not the right word)

So something like the S>> Icon which is a speed up is both good and optional so one of its squares is green and the other is yellow(fortunately the above image has that setup), I plan to add a fourth colour which will be red and will denote something that really is bad for you and should be avoided as collecting it will have a detrimental effect on you but I have not worked on those yet.

Can anyone see any issue with this system ?

muddy_shoes(Posted 2016) [#5]
I don't really follow what "optional" means. Are the others compulsory?

With these sorts of things I just want the iconography to be clearly differentiable and preferably for multiple levels of notifications of what they did. So "stat up" pickups have a particular colour and shape and make a certain kind of sound and "stat down" differ. Also maybe do the classic text flying off or a speech announcement of the actual effect - "Speed Up" or whatever. What you've got looks okay to me although it all really depends on how the game plays and how busy the screen is etc.

Paul - Taiphoz(Posted 2016) [#6]
By Optional i mean something that does not really boost or down grade the players power/speed for example the ship has at higher power levels two satellite turrets, one of the optional pick ups just angles them in or out a little, its not going to boost you or buff you in any way or downgrade you so I call it optional, optional is just the word I use the hope is that the players will learn that a pickup with a yellow backing is not going to boost or downgrade them but it will change something.

Paul - Taiphoz(Posted 2016) [#7]
Oh yeah the Sound queue's are already there.

Monklet80(Posted 2016) [#8]
I can't see the image you're talking about but I'm thinking that if this is a high-speed, frenetic game, you want things to be really clear. Like, stupid clear. I think two squares is too much to analyse. A speed up is good, normally speaking. So that should be green (or blue, or glowing white, whatever). A pickup that has the opposite effect should be visually opposite, red instead of green or blue, surrounded by a black billowing cloud instead of glowing white, etc. Your colour system strikes me as ambiguous, especially if the player needs to evaluate two colours per pickup. Does playing your game really require learning a new colour coding system?

I wouldn't go for an in-between level. Any pickup that doesn't hurt you is a good pickup. If the player doesn't want them, they can learn to recognise them. Over time, I may learn that I don't want more than two speed pickups because my vehicle becomes uncontrollable. That's fine, they should still be green. Players shouldn't be in a position where they see a new pickup on screen and don't know whether to dodge or grab it.

Paul - Taiphoz(Posted 2016) [#9]
shouldn't be in a position where they see a new pickup on screen and don't know whether to dodge or grab it.

[edit - on reading that line again I did not understand it first time round, so yeah I do agree that the player at a glance should easily be able to tell if its safe to collect or not]

I do not agree with you on that regard , personally I love the idea that a pickup is situational, something that is a gain for the player in one situation may not be in another, I have just added a new mechanic to the game which allows the player to upgrade their ship with 3 different upgrades, one of which is a set of wings that remove all inertia, with wings you can max out on speed, without wings 1 speed up is fin any more and your traveling to much.

I work on game art a lot and it's not uncommon for me to do a 100% re-design of all art assets, but that being said I am happy with the way everything is looking at the moment, I have the advantage of actually seeing it in motion and I can say that for me at least the design works, it's clear immediately if something is good or bad for want of a better descriptive!

I have a set of things I want to get done for this month I will probably throw up a test build at the end of March so I can collect some more much needed and valued feedback.