The Great Preloader Thread!

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Preloading can be a very boring experience for players. Discuss how to engage players in the game before it even starts, and neat ways to show preloaders!

 
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A good thing to include into a preloader is a small, fun game or mechanic people can play with, such as liquid: http://www.fastswf.com/ecVXiqU
Although it’s not much, it can provide entertainment for the duration of loading.

 
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That thing could be more entertaining with little additional weight on the preloader if:

The liquid was enclosed in a container of a more complex shape. Something with convex inner edges, nooks and crannies.

The whole container rotated around the center of the flash window based on the position of the mouse pointer (say, for instance, that the direction from the center of the window to the mouse pointer defines ‘down’, and rotate the container appropriately.)

On topic: EBF3 has a minigame in the preloader. So do other games, I recall seeing one very recently, but the actual game escapes me.

 
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Also, as EBF3 does, perhaps have an achievement or some in game reward for players who engage with the preloader. But, in that case, make sure they can revisit it without having to reload the game. And also make sure that the preloader advances upon user input, not automatically, or those with fast download speeds may be unable to play.

 
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In my game here I put in a talking preloader, he makes a couple of jokes and shows off some tricks he thinks are cool (changing text color), he gets worried that the developers (me and the team) will fire him and eventually gets depressed because he knows that he’s about to reach the end of his script and he’ll loop and have his memory erased.

I think I’m gonna start doing that more regularly, make him a reoccurring character in my preloaders for all my games

 
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Not a bad idea at all. Making a character of your preloader, I like it.