Frogatto & Friends

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Frogatto & Friends is an action-adventure game, starring a certain quixotic frog. Give it a try!
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Graphics News #13

October 24th, 2010 by Jetrel

Polish in games often comes from subtle, almost petty tweaks to design. Here for example is a recent tweak to the interior “side archway/door” graphics. A number of people have had trouble noticing the current doors, on the left; realizing that they’re an archway to walk through, rather than some odd decoration on the wall tiles. So we threw on a light-stream coming through it, to give it some additional contrast with the regular wall tiles.

These sort of ‘snags’ add up, and can make a game difficult or obtuse to understand; often enough to outright drive people away from playing your game. Unfortunately, I don’t have a more elegant strategy, besides ‘dead reckoning/intuition’ for preemptively identifying these kind of things – the ones that will be difficult for many people to understand at first glance. I welcome any thoughts/strategies in the comments. (besides the obvious ‘testing it on other people’)

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3 responses to “Graphics News #13”

  1. ET says:

    A few miscelaneous things, mostly graphics:
    – cave exits could use the sunlight visual
    – the harmless fish share the same dangerous looking mouse as the beetle-things. should probably have a more harmless-looking mouth
    – the water flow things (that push you) don’t have their graphics lining up even remotely closely with them.
    – game could use more harmless creatures, especially ones that don’t impede the progress of the player in any way. see inch-worms and small fish (Commander Keen #4), and the sheep-things (“Foop”, apparently – CK #3)
    – – right now the game looks sort of barren :/
    – – some games even had animated land tiles to fake creatures back before processors were very fast 😉
    – pressing up on an interesting object (person, door, etc) should activate it immediately. right now you have to wait until you are completely stopped
    – the active area on doors/people/etc could maybe be made bigger. every time I’m expecting that if I’m touching with the center of my body, it should work. (maybe it’s just me)

    Thanks for the great game!

  2. Jetrel says:

    – cave exits could use the sunlight visual
    Agreed.
    – game could use more harmless creatures
    Agreed.
    – – right now the game looks sort of barren
    Could you elaborate?
    If you’re suggesting that all the foliage in game be animated; that’d be very nice, but it’d also be very tricky to do, since doing it the brute-force way (just hand-animating all the art) would be too much work.

  3. nemo says:

    Except if you want that kind of teleporter-look on the door:
    What do you think about sth like the attached?

    [IMG]http://imgur.com/oUIsv.png[/IMG]
    http://imgur.com/oUIsv.png

    It’s maybe a little more natural… just a quick draft, as it is.