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PedroFurtado

Prioritizing in game design ideas


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I'm not sure if I'm in the right category, but let's go:I made a card game and put it up on Android Market. I program, I write and I draw for the game, basically. So I've released it for free to get a feel of the market.

I didn't manage to get much of a feeling...

Anyways, I want to expand the game to make a paid version available before the end of October, and I want to know what you guys think I should prioritize:

Right now the game has a intricate story mode with a some card battles in-between and a free match mode.
I was thinking about making more of the story(like doubling it) and putting that plus in the story as the paid content. Of course, I have no idea if people even care about the plot in my game.
Other than that I could add some achievements, a mode where you face players in succession or a way to customize your options in the game(don't wanna add customization right now, since it may take too long).

Anyways, here is the link to the game, if you have Android: [url="https://market.android.com/details?id=main.pack&feature=search_result"]Game Link to the Android Market![/url] There are screenshots there and stuff, and a game description.

Tell me what you guys think!

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Gfx... Unless you find a real artist nothing else will matter. The problem with art quality of the game seems to outwieght any other problem.

Also basic polish is needed (you have strange words like "User" in the card description, this won't do, I recommend checking MTG terminology).

Only after the basic stuff is done you should worry about extras like story or achievements.

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Thank you for the input.

But is the graphic really that bad? I really don't wanna focus on the graphics(not my area of expertise) and I don't wanna involve other people directly in to the game either...

I can see why the card drawing would be really criticized, but what about the character graphics?

[url="https://g1.gstatic.com/android/market/main.pack/ss-320-0-0"]This screen[/url]

[url="https://www.gstatic.com/android/market/main.pack/ss-320-6-0"]This other one[/url]


Are those specific screens acceptable? Because I can try to work out the graphics in the card more, but I don't wanna change the entire art.

[url="https://www.gstatic.com/android/market/main.pack/ss-320-1-1"]I can see why this is bad, I can try to fix it[/url]

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I had a look at the page, have not had time to try it out yet but from what I see in the screens the graphics could use some more work. I like the broad style (it kind of reminds me of Quentin Blake) but it needs improving upon really.

[list][*]The characters are a bit out of proportion in the "this screen" maybe moving towards a more caricature style may help with that.[*]Theres to much basic white from what I can see just adding custom backgrounds would make the game look a lot more professional, it just seems empty now especially with the slightly washed out look of the characters.[*]Finally there are elements (like the text) that looks very jagged and pixelated. Smoothing such elements out would greatly improve its look.[/list]If I get time to check out the game properly I'll be sure to post more.




PS: The screen you linked isn't actually that bad, it just feels very basic.


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If you are developing for the Android Market, achievements are probably the way to go. On the short lived mobile games market, achievements can be what keeps the customer playing.

For the art, i would mostly recommend to add some basic shadowing to the windows. Right now it's blank white, this draws attention to the rough black outlines, especially when you have the android-buttons to reply right next to it. If you are planning on using those, i suggest making the rest of the menu and dialogue appear in a similar style. It's a small effort, but will have great effect.

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I just lost my post before submitting unfortunately (grr), so now you get the short version (sorry):

It needs polish. As Acharis said, some of the wording is awkward or unclear. For the dialogue, it would be better to show which character is saying what, or at the least start a new paragraph when the speaker changes. The graphics are not horrible IMO, but they aren't wonderful either (and I have no recommendations, being the least artistic person on the planet).

Also, what are the game rules? The story mode says that it will teach you the rules as you go along but this seems limited to telling you what each card does as you select it (which is OK, there is no need to learn every card when you only have a handful at a time to work with... but at the same time, I don't even know what is *possible*). Do you have a rule book (on a website or in the game)? After playing for a bit I'm still unsure how battles are resolved or even why some card are disappearing or moving, etc. What does support / ambush do? Specials (+1 attack chance)? Things like that.

I'll try again when I'm less tired.

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Thank you very much for the input, everyone!

Actually, I got a illustrator just now :( who should also give me advice about the overall interface... I didn't want to do this, but it'll maximize my time improving the game.


Yes, the white window, I was planning to change that, but I was actually only going to change the black border to a softer tone. I like a look of white for the game because it reminds me of the cards.
But I'l try adding some shadowing too!

I guess I'll add an in-depth manual on the game's rules that could be accessed anytime. I didn't prioritize this because I thought no one would read it, being a mobile game and all... But you would, Krez! [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif[/img]

I'm actually thinking about separating the dialog from the thoughts, making a dialog window popup, not sure if that would work out great though.

Thanks, guys!

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Eh, you're probably right that nobody (else) would read a manual, but there has to be something. Maybe just add in popup explanations for each thing that happens (the first time, or the first few times, or always until the player checks the "ok stop telling me this" box or something). Sorry I don't have a great idea for a solution... just think if you were going to explain this card game to a stranger who never played before, what would you have to tell them as the game progressed?

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I would personally go for Krez's in game tutorial over a manual as a preferred medium to tell a player how to play the game but i can understand using a manual as a quick fix till you can implement something better.

As for conversations, the JRPG way of doing it strikes me as the most effective way to implement clear conversations in a game like this. [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY8kamIWSWg"]This[/url] seems a decent example of what I mean. Some general advice is to just remember (in games) less is more when it comes to story, don't overload a player with a mountain of text all in one go.

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Yes, I'm thinking about adding a story segment meant solely to teach the game, as you would have quick matches with less cards, as to introduce mechanics one by one, instead of a manual.

And I just implemented something very similar to what you suggested for dialogs, Bigdeadbug. I'll post a screen later when I'm on my pc.

I'll try to keep the story paced well by the in between card games, but since at this point there is nothing to do but read story and play the card games, it's hard to balance at times.

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