My newest game has gotten a lot of good feedback, but a re-occuring issue in my games—this newest one in particular—is the way the game is presented itself.
In my newest one, http://www.kongregate.com/games/lavaflame2/supah-dodge-adventures, I throw the player right into the main world. I have doors scattered around, and two small signs explaining that score = progress. One of the doors is a tutorial. I don’t explain anything about the game in its entirety: move over a door to enter, there are two worlds, defeat the boss to move to the next one. Nor do I explain the games small details: your look changes each level, upgrades, etc.
My questions are: should I not scatter the doors around? Should I make the player play the tutorial at the start (make it the starting scene)? Should I start the player on a screen with many chunks of text that explain the entire game and everything it has in it? Or do you have a different idea that you think is superior to mine (since I honestly don’t really like my own ideas, which is why I made this thread)
NO, I AM NOT ADVERTISING, SO DON’T EVEN TRY ME ON THAT
Your game is pretty good mechanically. As you kind of said already, the presentation sucks. It’s not the content so much as how it’s shown to the player, though. Ideally, you should find an artist to work with who can make the game look more appealing – anyone who tells you that graphics don’t matter is lying to you, and while some people can make the MS Paint look work pretty well, it doesn’t in your game.
I think the game is pretty self-explanatory if you ignore what the graphics actually look like. You could probably do with a title screen, but as far as what’s there goes, everything is pretty clear. There’s doors, a shop, a bridge, etc, it’s all pretty easy to work out. A visual representation of how to add planks to the bridge (rather than text explaining it) would have been nice, simply because most players dont’ read your text anyway. That’s also a giant no to the “screen full of text” you mentioned, by the way. The stuff at the top about leveling up isn’t needed, especialyl whne you don’t even display the level on that screen. Instead, put the exp / level indicator there, and display a notification when the player gets the 10% bonus.
Also, your achievement toasts should move up, its why they’re called toasts :D