Moving around test

Jay Nabonne

For any interested, I'm throwing this up to be looked at. It's just the bare bones skeleton of some ideas I was exploring for a game UI design. But I was quite happy with the way the movement worked (no explicit N/S/E/W while preserving orientation), and so I wanted to offer it up in case anyone else found it neat as well.

There is no typing. It's all clicks. The layout sucks. Minimal content. yada yada. (The idea is that there would be choices under each heading type - Look, Move, Do, and Talk - dynamically changing based on context. And inline links as well in the text when appropriate...)


My last game received a one-star rating over at IFDB because the reviewer said it fell apart two minutes in, when his attempts to get the car to move failed.

For a long time I've wondered if would not be easier (and more intuitive) to simply present the game as a regular parser, but give the player the various options available to them, to prevent the 'frustration' factor that can plague so many TA.

In a nutshell I like where you're going with this. Some may see it as too much like a gamebook, but I don't think having clickable links is necessarily a bad thing.

I think Quest's default settings do similar things to your own, but for some indiscernible reason I've never liked it (perhaps it's simply the unattractiveness of it all).

I sensed my enthusiasm for making these games was waning a little after having trotted out three games in as many months, but this has sparked my inspiration again.


I'll add that my preference would be for all the interactive links to be simple text rather than icons.

I'll knock up a screenshot of how I'm imagining things later on tonight.

The Pixie

I think it looks really cool. I like the transitions when you move around.

Jay Nabonne

I like those as well. :)


What transitions?

Anyway, if I could get something similar up and running it would look and operate thusly:

The navigation links are self-explanatory and could just as easily be kitchen or living room instead of compass points (as in Jay's demo)

Other interactive links would initially be clicked (to select) and then the fixed menu at the bottom of the screen would be used in conjunction with the selected item. So, to take the sword, you click it and then on take from the menu.

The gap between location and the interactive menu would be maintained so that the current location would always sit at a comfortable reading height on the screen.

! [Alt txt] (

Okay, so the html markdown for embedding images doesn't work on this forum either.

Jay Nabonne

"What transitions?" The way the map/compass scrolls when you're moving.

One reason I went with the arrangement I did is to provide a mental spatial orientation. It wasn't meant to be compass points as much as directions but to still allow the player to get a sense of which way things are oriented. I've read about the game Blue Lacuna, which used destinations as you wish to, and it was reported by players that they had a hard time forming a mental map of the room topology, without having some sort of frame of reference besides "you're now on the beach" or forest or whatever. People seem to need to know which way they've gone, not just where they've ended up in order to lay things out mentally. So I've been very wary of using only names for moving around, as I would rather learn from that mistake. Orienting the ways to go as I did was meant to solve that.

I like the look of what you have in the image. And the two step click to select and then activate is interesting as well.


Ah, sorry. I was looking for some kind of transition within the description.

I know exactly what you mean about orientation. I don't like maps, but I cannot deny that when I play games that use a 'live' map I have much better sense of place.

For me appearance and aesthetics are everything, so much so that I sacrifice useful things like maps, simply because I can't think of an attractive way to implement them.

The Pixie

For me appearance and aesthetics are everything, so much so that I sacrifice useful things like maps, simply because I can't think of an attractive way to implement them.

I would agree with that.


I like the use of buttons to move. What I'd really like, though, is buttons for interacting with things. One of the things I hate doing is trying to figure out what verb the programmer might have used. (not the same as trying to figure out a secret) And after trying all the ones that come to mind, if It's still eluding me, I quit the game in frustration.


That was pretty nice :) Good job, Jay!

Log in to post a reply.