Michaël Samyn, August 8, 2012
I have redone the in-game hints and instructions to match with the interaction redesign and the new focus on mouse controls rather than keyboard. They almost seem redundant now that the interactions have become so simple.
But I don’t want players to not know how to play. Exploration is fun but exploration of controls is not very interesting. It is also completely meaningless.
I dislike telling people how to play, though. And it’s quite hard to build a robust context-sensitive real-time hint system. I’m beginning to see the advantage of using conventional controls. Maybe I should see if I can’t use those in a future game.
Unless learning the controls can somehow become a sort of playing. Extending the honest expression of the fakeness of the game in Bientôt l’été through the holodeck device, one could make learning how to control the avatar part of the story.
Maybe we could even let the player design the controls in game. For each action that the avatar can do, the game asks the player how they want to execute that action. Or better, the avatar asks the player.
I want to move away from the avatar as simulated human anyway. Avatars are simple creatures with rigid logic. Maybe we can admit that to the player. Their stupidity could perhaps be charming and might stimulate a desire in the player to help them. Or at least to play along better.
That way it wouldn’t be the game that teaches the player how to interact. Instead, the player would figure out together with the avatar how to play.