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Monday, February 3, 2014

DragCore Tutorial Pop-Ups

     DragCore needs some kind of instructions for new players explaining things that may cause frustration if one has to figure it out for themselves. People generally skip through instruction screens (as I learned from watching people play my other games) and making a gradual hidden tutorial for DragCore can only go so far. There are just a few mechanics that need to be explained.

    For that purpose I made a few images that pop up in the early levels of the game before the level starts. Only one will appear per level and only on certain levels that would need explanation. They are timed to disappear after 4 seconds or can be dismissed by tapping the screen, a natural action for people who want something on screen to go away. You can see the tutorial images below.

     This first image appears on the first level. It gives any random player picking up the game for the first time basic instruction of what to do. It also displays multiple enemy colors, showing players that this game offers more than what is seen on the first few stages. New enemy colors and behaviors are introduced over the course of many levels.

    This one is shown on the second level. In case players do not discover this mechanic themselves, this is a quick tip letting players know they can use a second finger to help clear out enemies. It also shows a yellow grid, the biggest grid you can draw that has a score multiplier of 4. Like the blue one in the first image, it shows what players are capable of by gaining combos. Players are likely to discover the "x2" multiplier in the first level and this shows that it is possible to get a combo up to "x4". 

     This image is shown later in the game when players come across a game mode where the Earth can be moved around manually. On these stages the Earth is covered with orange grid lines that light up when the player has at least one finger on screen. It's meant to make the player want to touch the Earth and discover how to move it around with the finger usually meant for tapping on enemies. 

     This further enforces the idea introduced in the second image, multi-touch functionality. Players need to know they can use two fingers at a time to play even though only one grid can be on screen at once. they can use two thumbs, both indexes, or an index & middle finger to play. They can use any combination of fingers actually. Whatever feels most comfortable based on the player's device.

     This last image is shown on the first level that offers a reward for Custom mode. You reveal new options for free play by beating challenges, then level up by playing to earn crystals. If you have a certain total of crystals, you can use the unlocked option. Buttons are "???" first, then display their required crystal level, then reveal their name and can be used. Even if you have their required crystal amount, they will still remain "???" until they are earned in Challenge mode.

     I'm hoping these make everything clear. I had a few people tell me how unclear TriGrid is about earning power cells and I'm trying new ways to explain the arcade type games that no one has seen before.

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