This past holiday Monday I spent a few hours playing Guild Wars 2 and tried the Mystic Forge for the first time. As soon as I tried it I realized that the UI design
they were using would make a much better interface for the Unit Design screen in Miranda so I took a break from server optimization to rebuild that screen (and make
something I could take a screenshot of for a change.)
On the new unit design screen, every time you pick an item from your inventory to go into the design, the game applies the unit design rules and grays out any inventory items that don't fit the design based on your previous selections. This simple refinement eliminates a whole bunch of numbers and red things and greyed out things that players would have undoubtedly struggled with.
I was also reading an article on MineCraft where the author said that because there weren't any instructions for MineCraft when it started, that the community got together to discover what you could do in the game. I realized that all the stats that Miranda was exposing entirely precluded this kind of experimentation and discovery so I have removed all of the component stats from the UI. Players will have to figure out which components are best for what through experimentation and shared knowledge. Players will still have a few things to go on initially: name and description, price, quality (color), tier, sellability, veterancy and build time.
I've been wanting to do more video, so I recorded a demo of the new Unit Design screen (and some other things.) There isn't much game audio in the video, there's still lots of work to do on that.
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