Hey everyone, Sam here to tell you about how we are designing the intro (at least the non-interactive aspect) of our game. One of the problems with a designing only a small fraction of your game (be it a simple prototype or a vertical slice) is in choosing what information to convey to the player (both in terms of story you want to create and also in terms of instructions/tutorial). A game designer’s instinct might be to cram as much information as possible in your vertical slice. After all, the more jam packed your game is with content, the longer people will play it and want to replay it, right? Unfortunately, more content/information != players wanting to continue to play your game. In fact, the opposite tends to be true. Therefore, it is best practice to be very selective and smart about what you convey to your player. As some members of our team like to say, KISS (Keep it simple, silly).
Not only is conveying too much information detrimental to the overall experience of the game, but it also takes away time that could better be spent polishing your game. Therefore, for the intro of our game, we were directly inspired by games like Orchids to Dusk (the game can be found here). Although the intro to that game is very simple (and the story conveyed is also very basic), it gives you all the necessary information you need to start and is very efficient with the information. Thus, instead of trying to convey the very intricate story we mentioned a few weeks ago we are going very minimalist and basic with our approach in order to tease a basic story, but not waste the player’s time. Furthermore, we are designing our demo in that matter as well, keeping things relatively short, so the demo does not become bloated. We would much rather have players want more than for them to lose interest and give up. Below are two examples of screens we plan to use (both are WIP that will be changed as we progress further in development).
Sure, these are super basic, but can breeze through the information if they want to skip it and is not distracting to the overall experience. The second image gives you a little bit of insight into the story, but is deliberately vague and simple to both keep the flow going and to peak a player’s interest. Obviously, these will be fleshed out more as time goes on, but we would much rather design simple and to the point than make something that serves no purpose besides looking pretty.