Renoki Version 2.0

Renoki has been on the market for a while and I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on the game. Here are some of the improvements I’ve made so far.

Improving the Shop

People didn’t know what the items did. In particular, nobody had any idea what the wings did (which is pretty understandable). Anyway, I added a pop up box when you select the item and you have to press “BUY” in order to actually make the purchase. The pop up box has a short description of what the item does, hopefully eliminating all question.

Improving StartScreens

Having the informative picture on the start screen tended to be completely ignored. I’m not sure if it’s because the picture itself is unintuitive, or people don’t even realize that it has information on it. Anyway, I added some text to the start screens to make it painfully obvious what you are supposed to do. I really wanted to avoid using text but I couldn’t see any better way of doing it with the limited space I had.

Improving Number Monsters

Nobody understands the number monsters (correction, one person from work understood it). Anyway, I added text explaining what to do and also the first level with number monsters have the numbers painted on the door. This “should” make it painfully obvious what the point of this monster is.

Adding More Feedback
Someone brought up a good point that if sound is off, there is no feedback on good or bad hits. At first I thought of using the vibration feedback that Android already has built in for keypresses, but realized this might be too intrusive for users. Plus, it requires an explicit permission and I’m trying to keep my app permission free right now. So instead I have the entire gameboard briefly flash red when a bad press occurs. I think this worked out very well as it clearly stands out and indicates that something went wrong.

From an early stage of development, I wanted to add a Renoki Encyclopedia where I could list every Renoki along with funny descriptions/flavor text. I stumbled upon ViewPager, a brilliant little thing for Android that allows you to automatically do horizontal swiping of pages (similar to the current Android market). All you need to do is drop in some images to each page, and the user can easily swipe through each one. Now I just need to think up funny back stories for each Renoki.

Balance Tweaks
I think the game is too hard for people. I toned down the speeds for Normal and lowered shop prices. I realized that people actually mess up a lot so they have to buy hearts quite frequently. Someone mentioned that they got far in the game but were never able to save up enough to buy a hammer. I needed to amend this, as the later levels get really hard without the upgrades.

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