I talked before about the problems we needed to solve with Game UI. We’ve come a long way since then!
One of the biggest things we did was add an Input Now signal during Input Phase. When players miss an input, it flashes to them the next round to input. This way novice players learn when input takes place, and more advanced players will never see the cue.
Other things we did:
Added a blinking cursor during input phase – similar to a word application
Remove the frame during output phase, to take away the feeling that the input is something to be modified.
Animated the commands to disappear as they are played.
So how did these changes work? Great! This week we ran a playtest with people from different background. We had them play the game, and gave no instructions on how to play. Everyone – from young kids, to experience gamers, to moms – could eventually figure out how to play the game, and had a great time doing it.
The one thing we still need to address is giving indication as to how long input phase lasts. Many people – presumably those with musical experience – can tell just by the music, but many cannot. Since playing to the beat is actually not a necessary skill, but more of an aesthetic, we want to give a bit of a visual indicator as well.