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Learning new features

Discussion in 'Level Creation Help' started by Don G Rowe, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. Don G Rowe

    Don G Rowe Famous Member

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    I work in training design, so I'm always interested in how new features get introduced to users. With that in mind, I created this level to introduce Zappers. The idea is that you learn that you can't occupy a space next to a Zapper.

    So if you'd be so kind ... pretend you've never seen a zapper, play this level and tell me if it shows you how Zappers work. Thanks!
     

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    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
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  2. Frenzies

    Frenzies Administrator Staff Member

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    It did explain it well, especially in the last part. Players normally learn about it while experimenting in the original level Home Security, but this one does explain it in more detail, so thank you for your effort. By the way, screenshots look better and are easier to scan when captured in landscape mode.

    P.S. Welcome to the forums! :)
     
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  3. nGord

    nGord Standby Administrator, Retired Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for sharing @Don G Rowe. I did as you requested and played the shared tutorial. Here are some points I observed:
    1. Most of the level is redundant as B does not need to venture near those areas;
    2. The red pillars make appreciating B's path and the distance that he is from the zappers needlessly more difficult to assess;
    3. The same could be said of the water effect, which, as nice as it is, makes block spaces more difficult to count; and
    4. Walking down the double-stone-wide path at the beginning seems redundant.

    Some of the zapper placements inevitably would have zapped me had I been playing the first time, but after the first zap, I may have been more inclined just to keep as much distance as possible from the zappers - and then fail to learn the true nuance of the zapper block's nature.

    As @Frenzies mentioned, the original level #15, Home Security, already has attempted to teach the player about the new special block. The utilitarian aspects of that level start first with putting B in a precarious position near a zapper - in fact as close as one can be - and thus teaching the minimum boundary relationship. The rest of the level continues to enforce this point with different movements of B over different terrain.

    I appreciate your enthusiasm and effort - and for starting this thread in the Level Creation Help subforum. Since your thread title did not specify zapper blocks, can I assume you have more training levels regarding other blocks as well?

    I would likewise very much appreciate your review of the Introduction_to_Mekorama.pdf document that many of us collaborated on to identify the core game mechanics. Any opinion would be fitting here under the topic of learning new features as that was the main objective of that document. Thanks and yes, welcome to the forum!
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
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  4. Don G Rowe

    Don G Rowe Famous Member

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    Thanks for the look and the advice. At the risk of sounding like a luddite, I think that screenshot was in landscape. At least I thought that's how my Samsung tablet was oriented when I grabbed the screenshot. Is there something I'm missing? This is my first need to screenshot anything in Android, so I'm something of a newbie there too.
     
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  5. Don G Rowe

    Don G Rowe Famous Member

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    Wow, thanks for the in-depth feedback. I'm actually going to finish this out as a regular level and will incorporate your feedback:

    I'll move B to the precarious position approximate the first zapper. That will be more instructive, and render the double-stone wide path more relevant (I did that originally only to mask the water outside the pond structure!)

    I'll meet you halfway -- I'll take out the brick towers, but keep the water.

    I'll wall off the path so B has to go by a more circuitous route through more areas.

    I'll have a look at the introduction document and let you know what I think. Might be a little while before I get to that, as I'm having to wrap up a ton of stuff at work for the end of the year. Again, thanks for the welcome and the feedback.
     
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  6. nGord

    nGord Standby Administrator, Retired Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry, but that is exactly what @Frenzies was stating: That it would be better if you orientate your display into portrait mode such that the card image fills the entire screen prior to taking the screenshot. That way all the resolution goes towards the card and its QR code.
     
  7. Don G Rowe

    Don G Rowe Famous Member

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  8. nGord

    nGord Standby Administrator, Retired Moderator Staff Member

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    1.
    Glad you noticed the difference. By the way, I can't help noticing that you placed your reply within the quote of my text. In the future it would help readers if only the quote is within the BBCode, i.e. between the QUOTE and /QUOTE tags and any new text is beyond the closeout tag.

    2.
    The Introduction_to_Mekorama.pdf document should be able to help you understand the Level Editor a bit better too. All the blocks are explained one by one including an entry on water, which reads:
    Water: the translucent blue fill colour that appears as water between the furthest stone-coloured, grass, and brick blocks (which it uses as its horizontal boundaries as these blocks are always fixed in the gamespace). The water does not affect gameplay (it only affects the sound), and it makes for a pleasing visual feature of a level.
    So, in other words, you may have not needed to add an entire row of stone blocks to hide the water as much as receding back (trashing) the respective stone, brick, or grass block that caused the water to extend that extra space in the first place.

    3.
    Say, have you seen the popular thread started by @trids called Tutorials and Helpful Levels? Your perspective on training design could help take some of those concepts into more playable levels. You may also appreciate many of @richardfu's levels (if you start chronologically) as his levels just so happen to introduce many of the new behaviours (that he and others have discovered) of Mekorama in an user-friendly and educational fashion. If you'd prefer to focus on more of the core game mechanics, then I suggest taking a look at @Chuckthulhu's album Kidthulhu, which aims to do what the original 50 levels did, but for a younger audience.
     
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  9. Chuckthulhu

    Chuckthulhu Spanish Moderator

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    Thanks for the mention. Also worth mentioning is @S. Nagy's album Mekorama for Children. It has far more levels than my album and has covered more features.
     
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  10. Frenzies

    Frenzies Administrator Staff Member

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    My bad, I meant that they're better in portrait mode.
     
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  11. nGord

    nGord Standby Administrator, Retired Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow, my bad too. Three times I must have read "...screenshots look better and are easier to scan when captured in landscape mode" and each time I thought I was reading "portrait mode." :eek:
     
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