Fortunes work has taken an upswing lately. Regular feedback is a huge help and I've been lucky enough to have made a friend who is willing to do a pretty good job of giving consistent feedback and poke me about making fortunes updates.
I've done a bit of restructuring of the user interface to try and make things like what team you're on and which score corresponds to which team more obvious(the fact that things like this aren't apparent are things you lose sight of when you know the game in and out and have been working on it for a long time.) Still need a way to make the different suits of cards clearer but that may have to be up to the final art to convey. Still would be good to be able to convey this somehow other then relying on the art though.
Also added a score summary at the end of hand before the divination screen to give a clearer picture of how you fared.
If you want to see how Fortunes is in its current state, go ahead an go play fortunes.
We've updated the Rules for Hexit Strategy and James has rendered a pdf with the rules and print outs for those of us who don't know us personally to be able to play as well.
We've also included a new special card from the first test version, an explosion hex which reveals and destroys surrounding hexes once it is revealed. Since it reveals the surrounding hexes before it destroys them, this can potentially cause a chain reaction.
I've been on a bit of a break due to moving to Philadelphia and the holidays but one major thing I am looking at as I get back to work on both fortunes and the side task of one game a month is legibility.
The only difficult part was realizing I needed to change the extension of the text file BMFont created from .fnt to .txt to get unity/NGUI to be able to read it properly. Also important is to backup your project before making changes to the atlas. I got some strange results when Unity crashed mid-way through the process.
I have some metrics issues which are preventing me from getting to one of the larger screens of text to show a better example of the new font. But once that is all resolved and bug tested I will get a new version of the game up here which will hopefully be at least 30% more readable and therefore 50% more fun.
Do you have any suggestions on how to make leaving feedback on the game easier? Please let me know!
So a big advantage of this big UI overhaul is that I have actually visible things to share today!
So there are a couple of things going on here. The entire information section at the top has been shoved over to the right and made more graphical. While the card hands of other players are now visible to give a better sense of what is going on around you.
I've also added some animations to playing the cards and a visual measure of how you're doing.
We are entering the final hours for the grimace kick starter. Thank you to everyone who has helped support us.
If you were waiting until the last minute we're hear, if you weren't planning on helping fund the project, we'd like some constructive feedback to help improve in the future.
Thanks for reading!
This past weekend Anthony went to SIEGE and I playtested the yet unnamed hexagon game.
We played for a couple hours before I had to leave.
This is what I think so far:
- The game balance is good. Your advantage can easily be taken away from you.
- The game can easily take a long time to play to completion. So much so that I am thinking of going to Anthony's this weekend, starting a game bright and early and not leaving until one of us wins.
- Even though the game can take a long time to play, no one that has sat down to play it has lost interest, even those compatriots that do not usually care to play games.
- The game has a good feedback loop and people get engaged in it really easily.
- The unknown unknowns tend to make players be very cautious. As does the number of items to keep track of.
- Counting things that are not there is a lot harder than you would think.
- It is very easy to strike earlier than you should. People can easily force your hand.
So far we like the current ruleset, but more testing is needed. After a few more weeks of testing, I will see about a how to play video, maybe sooner if we come up with a good name.
solely for the half way there line
So we've made it a little over halfway through the time left for the grimace kickstarter. I know some of the people I've talked to personally are procrastinating because they have time and I'm hoping others are doing the same too, but we're half way there, only 2 weeks left so go ahead and go for it folks.
In other news I've been reading The design of everyday things and User interface design for programmers. Hopefully these two books will help me with making fortunes more straight forward and obvious to people who don't already know the rules since the most common feedback I get is something that boils down to, "What do I do?".
So Saturday I was playtesting a new strategy game with a friend of mine.
It was a good game. Stupid moves were made (I fell into my own trap). The advantage went back and forth constantly. We both kept gaining and losing control of the board. I managed to take a path that my friend was making away from him and use it to my advantage. My pal got himself trapped behind enemy lines but that also managed to cut me off from the path I was going to take. In fact, I do not think there was a single point in that game where I did not feel threatened. It was a good game.
Eventually, I conceded, just so I could go to bed. It was five in the morning at that point, after all.
It was his first time playing, and my third, but he picked it up rather quickly.
But what really let me know that we are on to something special is that I have never seen this particular friend of mine drink so slowly. If we are hanging out, usually by that point we are pretty much gone, but not this night. We barely even talked, we were too busy playing.
I cannot wait to test some more.
So I got some feedback from reddit that people were confused about what to do when playing fortunes. Surprise to me, I've been working with this so long everything seems pretty natural.
So I've made two changes recently to help make things more intuitive. I greyed out the cards you can't play instead of just having there name turn red, and I worked on getting double click support in.
When I added the ability to drag your cards to play them I took out the old click to play. This was to prevent mis-playing cards which was admittedly mostly in preparation for the mobile version. This I think made things less intuitive in the web version. Hopefully this fixes things.
If you haven't already had a chance or you want to see the new updates please take a chance to go play fortunes now!
So running your first kickstarter can be harrowing, I was tempted to stay up that first night waiting for the first donation to come in. Already even though it's been going for a few days I've learned some valuable things
- Get someone outside the project to proofread your listing before you post. Things will make sense to you because you've spent so much time working on the project that may be vague or confusing to an outside audience.
- Double check the Rewards! Once someone has chosen one you won't be able to edit them so any embarassing mistakes or incorrect statements will be stuck on there after they're chosen
- Market your product before the kickstarter. It's been said elsewhere before but it's worth repeating. Kickstarter isn't some magical portal to find investors. Its a tool to allow people to invest in your project. You have to bring most of the people. This would have been easier if I'd gotten more people interested/excited about the project before the kickstarter. The people who have responded best are the ones who i mentioned the project to beforehand.
Do any of you have experience running a kickstarter? Share your stories below! If you have opinions on what makes a project worth investing in from the investor side we'd love to hear from you too.