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Ancient Greek Puzzle/Adventure Game - Looking For Honest Feedback

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Greetings ladies and gentlemen, I am currently taking a game interface design course as part of my bachelor’s degree program. As such I need to turn to the internet community for advice/opinions/critiques/suggestions on a few interface ideas for a proposed game I am working on. The game is a first person adventure set in ancient Greece within (a fictionalized version) of the labyrinth at Crete, and would be built for the PC initially. For a good reference point, think of the gameplay style of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. That being said the interface methods I need analyzed are as follows:

  • The game will rely heavily on using context sensitive areas or objects in the environment. Instead of using a pop up icon I am envisioning the character’s arm reaching out and ‘hovering’ over the object in question to indicate it can be used. The player would then hold down the left mouse button and mimic the motion needed to complete the action with the mouse. Again, think of Amnesia for the interaction style, but a replacing of the indicator icons.

  • The character collects scrolls and note fragments that help piece together puzzle solutions and applicable greek myths. I wanted to increase immersion by utilizing an animation of the character pulling out a scroll case and opening it. From there you would select which parchment to retrieve. Would this animation be too tedious over time or would it work out because you would be accessing it rather infrequently?

  • I would like to have two separate methods of accessing the inventory menu. The first would be the traditional key press which brings up the regular inventory screen. The other method, however, would be to allow the player to hold the right mouse button triggering a carousel style menu in the middle of the screen with all the inventory items. The player would be able to scroll through the menu by hovering the cursor over arrows on either side of the carousel. Select the object occurs by mousing over it and releasing the button. The character would then produce the selected item in his hands on screen.

That about sums it all up, thanks in advance for any feedback!

 

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The game sounds like a cool idea but I think the answer to all 3 bullet points is, the animation would be too tedious over time. Mechanics like that sound cool and immerse on paper but quickly become annoying in game. LA Noire had a mechanic similar to that where you would look around a room and your character would 'notice something' rather than the item being highlighted, which was cool at first but awful in the long run. As soon as you understand how it worked you're just running around waiting for him to start 'buzzing' like a crazy person. I would imagine the arm would be the same as you're just going to move over every screen as fast as possible waiting for the guy's arm to start it's animation rather than using your own intuition. The same thing goes for the scrolls, the idea of having to cycle through each one in real time over and over is going to get old fast. Things that make a game feel more real aren't always good. The fun will be in using those scrolls to solve the puzzles, not to slowly cycle through them.

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Thanks for the reply. Your response was insightful. I should elaborate on a few points however. The animation for the scrolls was just to preface a user menu that would pop up to organize everything you can select from. I wouldn't go so far as to make the player cycle through each scroll. Would this still seem to tedious over time? And for the context sensitivity, I do see where you are coming from concerning the players just scanning over the scene until they find something. I was hoping this would be circumvented by the fact that most of the puzzles will require objects that you collected elsewhere in the labyrinth to complete. So they will still require some sort of context sensitivity no matter what. Do you think that the traditional context sensitivity icon would just be preferred?

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