A while back Lee made a request asking us for some advice about how we could deal with certain negative views. These reviews specifically mention time and again the fact that GameGuru to many feels like just a level editor, and Lee wanted some suggestions on how we would fix that.
Unfortunately i can't find that post now, and i didn't want to just email Lee directly because it would be nice to get some community views on it too.
I've been speaking to quite a few of the people on Steam about why they find GameGuru feels like just a level editor, and one of the recurring themes is that while it does do multiple level games, the process feels disconnected, it's not intuitive how to achieve this, and a lot of people don't realize that it can be done.
The biggest reason for this is that the maps are created, edited, and saved separately, and you have to add a winzone and place the name of the new map in the ifused field. This is not very intuitive and can be easily overlooked.
My idea would be to instead of having to handle all maps seperately, make it so that when you start creating a game, you create a Project, this would create a project folder in which the maps for the game would be stored in the mapbank.
There would then be a "Map" tab on the toolbar, in which much the same as adding entities you can click a button to add a new map, a box would come up where you can enter the name of the new map and choose random or flat etc. all maps would be listed the same as entities, and you could switch between them by clicking their icons (it would prompt a save each time you switch the same as normal), you would also have on the pop up an option to import a map from another project.
So the process would be:
1. File > New Project
2. In the Pop up name your project and click OK
3. In the side bar, click the add new map icon
4. in the pop up choose import map, new flat map, or new random map, fill out the name field, and click OK
5. create your level as normal, and if you want more levels repeat step 3 and 4.
As to the winzone, it could be changed so that instead of having to type the name of the map into the ifused field, it has a "Map" drop down that lists all the maps in the project folder.
While this wouldn't change much in the way of functionality, and yes would add a few steps, it would give the appearance of a "larger project" to those who are seeing GameGuru for the first time, and i believe would help reduce the number of people complaining that it's just a level editor.
An added bonus is that with it being based off of a project rather than each individual map, there is scope to have your standalone game name as the project name and not the first map name, plus for future updates there would be a UI available (the new map pop up) if someone could open up the setup.ini settings to be able to be selected on map creation for individual maps.
What do you guys think?
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