Blog posted by JPickford on Mon, 23 Mar 2009
Subject: Magnetic Billiards: Seriously Casual
We're currently overhauling the tutorial aspect of Magnetic Billiards. Originally, we built the tutorial as a series of individual 'lessons' which were separate from the main game. These have proved unpopular with testers so we've moved to a more dynamic help system built into the game. I was initially quite reluctant to go in this direction as I find being interrupted mid-game quite annoying and in many cases a bit overwhelming. Recent Rare games (Banjo N&B, Viva Pinata) are very guilty of bombarding the player with too much information and this is something we were keen to avoid.
Our solution has been to (hopefully) keep the interruptions to a sensible pace and limit the flow to keep the information both relevant and digestible. Also, we've been careful to keep the text brief and light-hearted whilst providing links to more detailed explanations.
All of the help is presented by 'Dr Stilly'. Each window contains three icons; the first will dismiss the information forever "Don't tell me this again", the second will open up the manual page for more detail and the last will dismiss the window for the rest of the current game but it'll appear again when relevant.