New Screen Design

I realize while working with the game that playing it is difficult because you don’t have the information you need to play effectively. I don’t have any feeling for the person with whom I’m interacting. There is a “relationships” display, but even with it the information is inadequate. Here’s what I have now:


To make my decisions properly, I need to know my relationships to both Camiggdo and Zubi. I can get that from the Relationships window, but it’s completely unintuitive. I need faces here, seven to be exact:

Camiggdo’s facial expression as he says that he likes Zubi.
Facial expressions representing my own feelings:
   1. My pGood for Camiggdo and Zubi
   2. My pTruthful for Camiggdo and Zubi
   3. My pPower for Camiggdo and Zubi

The result should look something like this:


Except that the generic boxy faces should show Nybun’s face. This should be part of the main display; I’ll call this the Relationship pane. Thus, the display must contain the following panes:

1. Stage information: where I am, who else is here.
2. Interlocutor information: what they just said, and their facial expression.
3. Relationship information: how I feel about interlocutor and 4Actor.
4. Sentence entry: where I enter my response. 

How to fit all this into the window? First, I think I need to keep it small enough to fit into the iPad screen; that would require me to fit into 960h x 640v. That’s going to make it tough. However, I had no problem fitting into that size with my first attempt at the display layout

I could make the Relationships display a scrolling pane, showing just the first two Actors, or perhaps even just the interlocutor. So here’s what I end up with:

New Layout

Some things to note, starting in the upper left: first, we show that Socrates and Darth Maul are also on this stage, which is a farmfield. Wendy’s face shows the appropriate inquistive facial expression. Moving to the right, we see that she has just asked me (I’m Ming the Merciless) who killed Wile E. Coyote. Directly underneath that, we see the sentence I am entering. I have already said “I tell Wendy that” and am now deciding whom to name as the murderer: Agent Smith, Bullwinkle, Snidely Whiplash, or Darth Maul. Lastly, in the lower left, we see a summary of my feelings towards the two prime characters, but by scrolling I can see feelings towards others. I don’t think that I want to use these generic block-faces; instead, I think I should use faces specific to Ming the Merciless here. 

Perhaps Wendy’s inquisitive facial expression should also be used in her icon in the upper right? But then would I use that same expression in the lower right? 

A Sad Realization
I think that I shall have to implement all the programming to make this happen. I had been intending to hire people to do this work, but now I am inclined toward making this a standalone program and using that to get funding. That stretches this project out by perhaps a year.