Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:40 am
Going back to the menu to move on is something I've seen a couple of games do it within the last couple of years and I find it immersion breaking.
Whenever I think of Maia and my hopes for it, I think of games like Theme Park, Settlers, Startopia, Theme Hospital and the like. Even games like Battlezone, Xcom or Starcraft, different genres, but similar joined up narrative.
In each of these games there are sandbox like levels with distinct end goals and varied game rules/states that make each level unique, sometimes teaching, sometimes challenging.
The other things all these games have in common is that once the end goal of the mission has been reached, there is a narrative which takes you to the next mission. In Theme Hospital it was the animated Monopoly like game board, Settlers had the world briefings, Xcom has the central hub and transport in and out of the mission zone.
Since the mechanics of this sort of "joined up narrative" can't be just thrown together on a moments notice (the very best of them feature voice overs) - I thought I'd mention this while there is still time to consider it (if this isn't already the plan).
I realise that development is probably already taking longer than you had hoped, costing more than you had planned, etc. But this goes beyond merely quality of life. It's the "just one more waf-fer thin mint" moments within the gameplay. It's that hook that once a mission ends, is dangled in front of the player's nose to say "sure, you could take a break now - but the next mission is waiting for you". Returning to the menu presents the player with the option to quit, it puts that thought in their head. It breaks the immersion and turns a truly epic game into just series of missions. I can't help but think that players who've been immersed for many hours/multiple missions of gameplay are going to think better of the game than players who dip in and dip out. And thinking better of the game could mean better word of mouth and more sales.
Anyway, I've done my bit and mentioned it. Hopefully it something that is already planned or at least, could be added.
My impression over the last few months is that Simon no longer checks the boards on a regular basis. Ruairi does sometimes (but only when his hours permit, which isn't often) and Caroline does more often. This post is really aimed at Simon though.