ID:116242
 
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.
Though it does use the same method he's talking about in his post.

This one looks neat! Good job on it.
ShadeCyberPlatinum wrote:
Like mine for example
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdjrOHfbWLg

that actually is a really cool title
Peur Du Noir uses "New Game", "Load Game" and "Options". Is that okay? :C
Kumorii wrote:
Peur Du Noir uses "New Game", "Load Game" and "Options". Is that okay? :C

The reason it's better is because it lets people know what "New" and "Load" is. I know that when I click "New" I'm beginning a new game, and that when I hit "Load", I'll be loading a new game. There is no confusion.

Leaving it as just New and Load is bad.
This has got to be your best blog post.
I go back and forth on issues like this. It's good to explain why NLD is bad and get people to put more thought into things. But, these people are generally making bad games and a better title screen isn't going to change how bad these games are. It's almost convenient to have a crappy title screen, you can log in, say "oh, NLD, this game isn't worth my time", and leave.
Forum_account wrote:
I go back and forth on issues like this. It's good to explain why NLD is bad and get people to put more thought into things. But, these people are generally making bad games and a better title screen isn't going to change how bad these games are. It's almost convenient to have a crappy title screen, you can log in, say "oh, NLD, this game isn't worth my time", and leave.

Some people are making original games though. The last thing I want to see is an Eternia-quality game with NLD written on it.

Besides, even if the game is crap, it wouldn't hurt to see people slowly improve by making simple changes like this. NLD is an issue, but not many people were realizing it - including some people who might turn out to be promising developers.
The other thing that confuses me about title screens is why people make them first. It's like making the opening credits to a movie before you know who will be in it. It seems like most developers lose motivation in the amount of time it takes to make a title screen, interface, and character creation screen (and I have no idea why character creation screens are needed most of the time).
It's still a half step better than using the old popups and alerts to create a character or decide on NLD.
That all depends on how you develop.
I for one develop starting with logging in and working from there in. However, I always have some sort of plotline.
I feel like this entire thing is a little exaggurated.

"1. You Didn't Come Up With It"
Um, I don't think you came up with "Start New Game", "Continue", or "Delete Character". Sure, NLD is a popular option for BYONDers, but you also have to take into account that it's also a space-saver.

"You Won't Stand Out"
I don't think people worry too much about the startint/loading/deleting option in a game being unique. I think they worry more about the gameplay.

"how will I know what "Load" means"
I lol'ed at this. I've never heard of anybody freaking out because they didn't understand what "Load" meant. And if was really an issue, why would widely marketed games such as "The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion" have "New" and "Load" option?

Sure, using something other than NLD would be nice, but having it doesn't make a game bad or low quality.
WhiteShadows wrote:
Um, I don't think you came up with "Start New Game", "Continue", or "Delete Character". Sure, NLD is a popular option for BYONDers, but you also have to take into account that it's also a space-saver.

Yes I did. The point is that you use phrases that are descriptive. When I made titles for my game, I didn't go look at the most popular fan-game and try to imitate it. I knew what options I wanted players to have and how I wanted to word those options. And space is a non-issue. That's what font sizes are for.

I don't think people worry too much about the startint/loading/deleting option in a game being unique. I think they worry more about the gameplay.

You obviously don't know much about gaming if you think real developers don't take presentation seriously. You could also say that people don't worry much about the graphics either. That's not an excuse to be lazy and skimp on your artwork.

I lol'ed at this. I've never heard of anybody freaking out because they didn't understand what "Load" meant. And if was really an issue, why would widely marketed games such as "The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion" have "New" and "Load" option?

This is not the same situation. For one, I doubt the developers of Elder Scrolls decided on "New" and "Load" because other RPGs were using it. It also has more than just New and Load on it, but imagine if it didn't. It'd be really retarded for a game that complex to just have New and Load on the main menu, which basically means you just provided an example of a title screen that supports my ideas in the OP. Also, Elder Scrolls is not an MMO or a game that is known for people loading anything other than a character to it. Online games usually need to be patched, and a new user to BYOND wouldn't have much of an idea as to what a "Load" button would be used for especially since a lot people don't bother to write Help files for their games.

Sure, using something other than NLD would be nice, but having it doesn't make a game bad or low quality.

I never said it did. I'm trying to get people to question WHY they are using NLD. Is it because they saw it on something else, or because they thought of it on their own and felt that's what they should use? I'm also trying to get people to realize they can add even more to their title screen since a lot of BYONDers seem to be so enthused to work on and show off titles.

It seems you're basically defending people who are either ignorant or too lazy to put forth some actual effort into making a unique and relevant title screen. Going back to your Oblivion example, the main menu also had an Options, Credit, and Exit button as well as the version number at the bottom left of it. It's things like this I'm trying to get people to pick up on.
"Yes I did. The point is that you use phrases that are descriptive. When I made titles for my game, I didn't go look at the most popular fan-game and try to imitate it. I knew what options I wanted players to have and how I wanted to word those options. And space is a non-issue. That's what font sizes are for."

I'm pretty sure I've seen those options before somewhere, BYOND or not. What your basically saying can be applied to NLD also. It depends on what you play or look at. Also, saying space is a non-issue is untrue. Taking into account screen-size, readability, and other content a user would want on they starting screen.

"You obviously don't know much about gaming if you think real developers don't take presentation seriously. You could also say that people don't worry much about the graphics either. That's not an excuse to be lazy and skimp on your artwork."
You obviously overestimate the effect of words on a title screen. You think seeing NLD is going to turn people away, despite an otherwise good looking title screen? You think someone seeing something other than NLD is going to rave over the main screen -not- having NLD on it?

"This is not the same situation."
Not all BYOND games are MMO's, either. I know of a few single player games on BYOND (or potentially single player) that use NLD. And having other things -with- NLD didn't seem to be your point. Your point seemed to lie more with New, Load, and Delete being overused or "confusing."

"I never said it did."
Your right, I misread.

I don't think people use NLD because everyone else does, either. It's short and sweet, generally relevent to the game, and simple and effect as far as "presentation" goes (save for "Del," I agree with you on that.)
I'm pretty sure I've seen those options before somewhere, BYOND or not.

The point is that people use "new, load, delete" only because they saw other games use the same thing. It's not about thinking of something that has never been used before, its about using something that makes sense.
WhiteShadows wrote:
I'm pretty sure I've seen those options before somewhere, BYOND or not. What your basically saying can be applied to NLD also. It depends on what you play or look at. Also, saying space is a non-issue is untrue. Taking into account screen-size, readability, and other content a user would want on they starting screen.

You're not understanding. It's not a coincidence that so many BYONDers slap NLD onto their title screens. I'm sure I could run through the anime section of BYOND and provide you with NLD being used over and over. People have basically learned NLD from the games they played, which is why not only is NLD copied, but also gameplay, graphics etc. It's the same reason why we see so many bases wearing white diapers which is something I don't have to make a blog post about since Iain covered it a long time ago. It's monkey-see, monkey-do - BYONDers think that the correct way to do something is the way they see everyone else doing it.

I also still don't see your point with space. Show me a title screen with NLD that can't look just as good with the phrases I wrote above, just in a slightly smaller font size. Decadence is an example of a unique main menu, and the font of the options is small but still neat and readable.

You obviously overestimate the effect of words on a title screen. You think seeing NLD is going to turn people away, despite an otherwise good looking title screen? You think someone seeing something other than NLD is going to rave over the main screen -not- having NLD on it?

You underestimate the effect of effort. People don't "make it big" with half-assed attempts. What you don't seem to get yet is that NLD is a reflection on the entire game like Forum pointed out below. If you weren't devoted enough to do something as easy make a unique and relevant main menu for your game, what would make me expect that you put care and effort into the actual game? It's simple things like this that will lead to better quality games. Not only will people question why their title is the way it is, by also why their gameplay is almost identical to the next fan-game, or why their graphics and animations don't look original.

Not all BYOND games are MMO's, either. I know of a few single player games on BYOND (or potentially single player) that use NLD. And having other things -with- NLD didn't seem to be your point. Your point seemed to lie more with New, Load, and Delete being overused or "confusing."

My point was to use what you NEED to use, not what you see everyone else using. Like every aspect of game development, you should know why you do what you do. Why did I use NLD? Why did I put a white diaper on a bald guy? Why do I have my players punching logs to level up? The answer is simple: because they saw other people doing it. Developers with this copycat mindset never get anywhere.
Kso bro... What the fuck is wrong with 'New' 'Load' and 'Delete' ? You are just being a child. People do not actully give a fuck about those things. Let me ask you something, when you login the game and you see a NLD screen, you logout quickly? Well if you do, you are just an idiot.

Lets say I am a new player. I login the game, I press NEW. After making my charachter would I click the guide button now? Yes. Why didnt I click it before? Because I wanted to my charachter first. People do that on a whim.

A login screen does not attract players. The game does, the features and the gameplay attract players. Do not judge a book by it's cover.
Avainer1 wrote:
Kso bro... What the fuck is wrong with 'New' 'Load' and 'Delete' ? You are just being a child. People do not actully give a fuck about those things. Let me ask you something, when you login the game and you see a NLD screen, you logout quickly? Well if you do, you are just an idiot.

Lets say I am a new player. I login the game, I press NEW. After making my charachter would I click the guide button now? Yes. Why didnt I click it before? Because I wanted to my charachter first. People do that on a whim.

A login screen does not attract players. The game does, the features and the gameplay attract players. Do not judge a book by it's cover.

Actually he might, cause a couple years ago i wouldn't play a byond game with a horrible avatar.
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