After seeing yet another NLD title screen blog post, I think it was finally time I expressed my dislike for it.
It's pretty apparent that people won't stop blogging about their minor progress, so I'm not here to tell you quit doing that. What I am here to tell you is that "New, Load, Delete" has gotten pretty ancient.
Here is why title screens like this annoy me so much:
1. You Didn't Come Up With It: As I told King in his latest blog post, 9 times out of 10, you slapped "New, Load, Del" across your title screen not because you thought of that completely on your own, but because you've been seeing it ever since you came to BYOND and assumed that's what a title screen was supposed to look like. You assumed wrong, unfortunately. NLD is what low quality anime games ( and probably some low quality original games ) have been using for years. Don't present your game the same way as those failures. Be unique and add buttons to your title screen that are descriptive and relevant. Here are some phrases you could use:
Start New Game or Begin New Adventure as opposed to just New.
Continue or Resume Game as opposed to Load.
Erase Game or Delete Character as opposed to just Delete or even worse, "Del".
You may also even want to include buttons like "Learn To Play", "Help", or "Options" on your title screen as well as copyright information in a small font towards the bottom of the screen. I.E. "Copyright © 2011 Hexbit Games". People should have instant access to things that teach them how to play, as well as options to configure the game ( difficulty, toggling sound etc. ).
2. Some Players Are New: If I'm a new player to BYOND and I log into your game, how will I know what "Load" means? Load what? A character? A map? Maybe resources? Players who have been around BYOND may be used to it, but that doesn't mean everyone is. Ask a completely random gamer who has never used BYOND what "del" means - I'm sure they'll have a dumbfounded expression on their face and respond with a shrug of the shoulders.
3. You Won't Stand Out: If your objective is to create a game that attracts players, you're making a terrible decision to use NLD. Basically what you've just done is blended yourself in with the rest of the people who never bothered to stop and ask themselves "Why am I putting NLD on my title screen?" I don't know about you, but when I'm looking through the games list, I instantly notice when someone uses phrases like the ones I listed above. It almost jumps out at me because I'm so accustomed to seeing NLD on everything. Presentation is important especially if you're planning to market your game and your title screen is apart of that.
NLD is going to leave people confused, not impressed.
To make a long story short, NLD isn't the way to go. What some BYONDers are doing now is taking login systems to the next level and making players have actual game accounts ( not BYOND accounts ) with passwords to them. This is a very good idea if you want your game to have a professional, MMO-look to it. I wouldn't say it's completely necessary, but honestly, anything is better than NLD. Animated title-screens and music are also nice. Teridal, NEStalgia, Decadence, and Hazordhu are a few of the games that have done a nice job with login screens.
With that said, the next blog post made with the sole purpose of showing off a title screen better not have "New, Load, Del" written on it.