In our previous blog, Keep Craft: Art vs. Imagination, we talked about the need to create a city overview giving the player a sense of their progression through the game. Check it out if you haven’t read it yet! The city overview is a beautiful addition to the game, but we had to think carefully about the best way to add it in.
The first hurdle was deciding where to incorporate it within the user interface. We thought briefly about putting it where the Stats screen existed, accessible through settings or tapping the Age in the upper left, but this would hide the feature away. We wanted it to be front and center to the player. It made sense that the best way to do this was to place it in a new tab on the bottom bar, and present it to the player as the first thing they see upon beginning the game.
Would that be good enough though? Simply having a new tab that just shows you what your city looks like is visually appealing, sure, but would players even bother to visit this new tab if it did not have some sort of relationship to Keep Craft’s core gameplay loop? We had to give players a concrete gameplay reason to frequently visit this page so they can see their city grow over time.
Fortunately, we had just the system in mind! If you recall, one of the reasons we created the town view was to give a sense of player progression. Another feature that testers had been requesting along these same lines was some sort of quest system to guide them.
Those familiar with the browser version of the game know that it can be very non-linear at times. Testers enjoyed building their city, but they wanted to know exactly what they were working towards besides just “building a bigger town.” Especially for a mobile game it is important that players understand early what they should be working towards.
There were also times that testers got stuck. A common roadblock is when the player does not have the storage capacity to unlock the next Library level, but they also do not have enough storage to buy more Warehouses (which is how you increase storage!). The solution is to purchase the Storage Management technology to unlock the Barn, but this was not always immediately apparent. Guiding the player to buy this technology with a quest is a great way to relieve this frustration.
Of course part of the fun of Keep Craft is finding out for yourself the best way to advance, so we will not be using the quest system to hold players’ hands too tightly! Our hope is that it will serve as a good guidance tool that gives the players some useful rewards along the way. It could also be a good way to incorporate a little story into the game, which is something we will talk more about in the future… 🙂 In the meantime follow us on Facebook for the latest updates! We have a lot of cool stuff coming up over the next couple weeks.