This is the third part of our deep dive on update 1.4. This time we are looking at our UI and how to make it more clear and functional for our players!
Problem 3 – The UI is hard to read!
Most of Rock Paper Feelings is spent looking at the game’s UI. Working on the previously mentioned solutions, it was natural to also update the UI continuously so that it could host them. Almost all UI elements have been updated to be more readable and better looking. I feel as though we’ve still got ways to go with the UI (particularly in the battle and map screen) but this is a step forward.
The battle UI
Previously, the emotions of birds were represented by numbers in the battle scene and with a graph in the emotional report. That’s inconsistent, and the numbers miscommunicated how the system worked. Sooo we just put a mini version of the emotional graph in the battle UI. This also opens up a lot of space, making the game breathe a bit more.
New version on the bottom.
I really wanted to update the emotional report to be clearer, and to give it a less abstract context. In 1.4 the emotional report is a notebook, which the player carries around. The player character takes note of everything their teammates are up to – which I find perfectly creepy. I’m happy that I have managed to squeeze in a bit of storytelling into the UI itself. Personally I also find it much easier to read now, too.
Top: old UI. Bottom: new UI. Details subject to change.
For 1.4, I have not attempted to make the map’s UI any prettier (even though that is high on the to-do list). However the functionality have been changed to be more streamlined and understandable. Previously, players had to be dragged into an adventure to start it – now, a player can simply click on the birds they want to include in their adventure, and hit start. I also removed the number-based emotional information from the map UI. Will have to find a way to include the emotional graph somewhere there..
Bird car is still alive and well in 1.4 😉
Time for testing!
That is Rock Paper Feelings 1.4! Now, a period of testing begins. I will try the game on friends and non-friends to see if our fixes have solved any of the game’s problems or if further iteration is needed. (It usually is!)
Would you like to playtest Rock Paper Feelings?
Follow this link to sign up as a playtester and download version 1.4!
That’s all! BYE
Rock Paper Feelings challenges the player in strange ways. Each battle is individually very easy to optimize – they are all decided in one swift turn, and the player only chooses placement. The birds may have abilities which trigger based on locations, but the player chooses no attacks.
However, at the core of Rock Paper Feelings lies two gameplay aspects which players must constantly balance against each other. These is short term planning, and long term planning. To survive the current battle while also preparing for the future ones.
Short term planning is fairly basic – solve the randomized puzzle to finish the battle with the least amount of hearts wasted. Multiple players hae commented on the simplicity of the game in this regard – and I agree!
Long term planning is what it sounds like. While managing their short term goal (survival) players must also manipulate their bird’s emotions to prepare for a big future battle. A player can fight the current battle and only focus on winning – but if they do they’ll have to face the consequences in the future battles, where they will be properly destroyed. This offers a new layer of strategic depth (in theory!)
However, to make these challenges work a few key points must be realized;
- The player must know what they are preparing for
This is exactly what the latest update is all about. We have tried to be clearer in what is coming next – and to further structure the game into preparation levels and test levels. This way, the player knows… what is coming and can prepare accordingly.
- Fulfilling the short term goals must contrast fulfilling the long term goals. Otherwise there is no balancing act. If the short term and long term goals align the player won’t have to change at all.