New, Map-Centric UI! (September 2022)

New, Map-Centric UI! (September 2022)

Partial screenshot from the BrowserQuests online role-playing game system

Reviewing all the game feedback submitted over the past few years, the #1 request (by far) has been the introduction of a battle grid, where the player can actually see where her heroes are in relation to any encountered combatants (as well as the local environment). While implementing such a feature will not only be time-consuming but will change quite a few dynamics of the game, a step in that direction has been taken these past few months in rebuilding the game's UI to double the size of the location map and place it front and center so it could be used as a battle map in the future!

Rebuilding the map feature of the game required going back and rebuilding all the maps themselves, as they are now double in size and provide a lot of subtle detail (including "dungeon" locations that didn't utilize a specific map before, such as the underground kobold lair). The number of grid units on the map have also been increased from 100 to 225, providing more detail. Expanding the map size and centering it on the screen also required rebuilding the party roster elements (which are now placed to the left of the map) as well as rebuilding the story prose element (now placed to the right of the map). Hence, while the new UI should still look familiar to players, it's been almost totally redeveloped, requiring the last three months to rebuild.

With such substantial changes to the UI, each and every encounter within all six current modules had to be meticulously reviewed, edited and playtested as well (as, originally, there was too much text assigned to many of the encounters). This meant playing through all six modules one encounter at a time, reviewing how it appeared within the new UI, making appropriate changes (often breaking one encounter into two), then playtesting again and again. Note that a variety of improvements have been made to the story as well, such as ensuring that the party has enough water with them when they embark for the city of Blu within the Cyan Desert (in the past, players could arrive within the city without any water and not be able to proceed through a particular encounter).

With all these changes in place, the potential of implementing an actual battle grid in the future is much more possible. For now, however, it's time to return to the development of module #7 ("Assault on Chegoria!") and try to have that released sometime in December!