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BrowserQuests™ Project Blog

Post Alpha Improvements (September 2019)

After receiving a variety of comments and feedback regarding the alpha release of BrowserQuests back in June, one critical issue has been identified--the way commands are presented and utilized within the system must be improved! Indeed, the clunky and time-consuming way that the command system works seems to really compromise a positive player experience with the game and is therefore the very next mechanism to be addressed and improved.

Currently, the player is provided with at least two separate dropdown menus to interact with the virtual gamemaster (GM). The first dropdown identifies WHO will be involved with the command (defaulting to the entire party) while the second dropdown identifies the ACTION that should take place (such as using a particular hero's ability). Often, a third dropdown is required to identify the action's TARGET (such as which ability to use), and, in some cases, a fourth dropdown is used to further identify a command FOCUS. Each time a dropdown is selected, the game server must identify all appropriate options for the next dropdown and display those options accordingly; it works, but the process is slow and tedious.

Additionally, most actions provided through the dropdown interface are not context-sensitive--actions appear even if they have no relevance to the situation at hand. For example, the player can elect to speak to someone when entering a new encounter area even if there's nobody there to speak to. Providing actions that are highly relevant to the situation at hand should simplify the process and help narrow-down what a player can do. So, the game's command system will soon receive a bit of an overhaul and hopefully become an easier mechanism to work with!

Additional post-alpha improvements will focus on the game's interface. For example, all of the hero panels will be shortened vertically so they can all fit on the left side of the screen, the GM prose section text will be increased and the right panel will become the sole domain of the improved command system. Work to introduce these initial alpha improvements has already begun and should be in place by the end of 2019.