Time to time, you may have seen me say something to the effect of playtesters are always honest about what they feel, they don’t necessarily know what’s right. It’s good advice, generally speaking. Here’s a similar one.
If three people point out something weird in your interface, listen to them.
Hey, do you remember the game Hook, Line and Sinker I’m working on? Back here in April I’m waiting on printer runs for it, and it’s frustrating because it’s just big enough that it won’t go in a standard envelope so it takes seven weeks to get to me in Australia, so I’m working through remote people, anyway.
Thing is, this game has symbols for three card types, three suits. Here is what they were, this morning:
Hook, line, sinker.
Then my friend helping me with the prints looked at the sinker and said ‘huh, isn’t that a bobber?’
Now imagine me falling back into a conversation like a sudden memory moment in a movie, to one of my playtesters saying ‘huh, that’s a bobber.’
Then imagine in that moment, me falling back into another sudden memory, of Fox, looking at the art as I first devised it, and said to me, isn’t that bobber?
And then imagine me, sourly, today, doing this:
Does this look like a few hours of work? Because this was a few hours of work. Getting the sinker to look like a model of a sinker I could find on the internet. Trying my own style of the cable, trying to make sure it can fit in the same spaces as the others on all the cards, redoing the cards that need the art adjusted to accommodate the new bit – because hey, check this example card, where the white line vanishes.
Anyway, here are those gems, once more, now with the new ‘sinkery’ sinker. It would be easy to ignore it, but I knew I was on a track to hear ‘isn’t that a bobber’ one more time, and every time, any explanation (“I don’t much care,“) was going to start to annoy me.
So yeah. Game interface is important. Even if something is annoying to do, it’s worth doing if it stops you getting more annoyed later.