Wednesday’s update was about the Combat Screen, but there are lots of places we’ve improved the UI, from the top menu with a new bar showing you relevant stats to the torpedo icon images over the skill bar showing you which tubes are loaded (which is necessary in combat, as any Captain can attest to)!
Today we wanted to talk about the importance of your actions having direct input. A lot of the browser based games that we’ve seen out there have you click a button, and then they provide you with delayed feedback. You might get a dialog that pops up, or the data on the screen might change slightly to reflect that you just did something – but that’s the end of the action.
We’re not like other browser based games (we’re sure you’re already knew this, but it’s one of our talking points about the game so we’re going to keep bringing it up). In Silent Space Rebellion when you click on something, something happens right then and there. Drag a torpedo, your ship is loaded. Target a ship, and you’re going to engage in combat. Move grid squares and your radar will start sweeping your new location for enemies to take down.
In the interest of reflecting this principal everywhere in our game we’ve taken the Torpedo Loading menu and made some significant changes to it. The panel in question used to slide out of the left side of the screen and then have a series of selection tabs across the top. This was perfectly acceptable, and after much debate around the Developer table about which tab was most important, the Torpedo Tab was loaded by default.
This debate is what sparked the change – some players felt adjusting power was more critical to see first, some people felt that managing your gun load out was the most important thing. It was almost an entirely even split between the five panels that were selected at the time.
As a result of this, a decision was made to change the control that slides out the panel to also support which tab was opened on the inside at the same time. While this might seem like a logical and simple application of a button action, the framework that was used to develop this particular part of the UI wasn’t very user friendly, so it ended up being re-written by scratch.
This is just one more example, though, of how we plan to change the browser based gaming experience. You can be sure if you click something in our game, something is going to happen you’re going to have to react to in one way or another.
Until Next Time, Sink Enemy Shipping!