18 January 2011

New UI, part 2: Magic & Sacrifice

Magic is a critical part of King of Dragon Pass, which may explain why the Magic screen was so complex. There’s a list of Orlanthi deities, which we can’t assume players are familiar with. So they’re explained. We also showed their rune, both for Gloranthan color, and because it’s shown on advisors. And so you could see at a glance which temples you had, the temple size.

When you selected a deity, the right side of the screen showed information about the active and available blessings. (Not shown here is rollover help for a blessing.)

The iPhone screen didn’t have enough room for all of that, even without the standing stone. But it works much the same. We experimented with different layouts, and finally came up with the one you see here. Deity information is shown in a popup description balloon, and blessing information is always shown.

The Sacrifice dialog showed available sacrifices (which might differ from permanent blessings — several are explicitly a single use, such as Chalana Arroy’s Resurrection). Most one-time blessings also require that you specify extra information, such as what question you’re asking of the Ancestors. This extra information was shown on the left of the dialog.

In some cases, there’s room to include the extra choice within the dialog, for example, Maran Gor’s Blast Earth (which is targeted on another clan). But this only works because Maran Gor is a minor deity, with only two blessings (plus the option to sacrifice for Mysteries). Lhankor Mhy has four blessings. To handle this, I added a button which brings up a dialog that lets you choose the specific divination. And, for two of the questions, the clan you’re asking about. It’s a little more tapping than you needed in 1.0, but it’s not something you do often, and it follows the typical progressive disclosure model of the iPhone.


  1. Hi there, was just wondering whats going on here? Are you porting the game to the iphone or something?

  2. Yes -- see http://a-sharp.com/kodp/ios/ (and of course this blog).

  3. Oh, any chance the PC version will get some of the bug fixes too?

  4. For a number of reasons, no. (Probably worth a blog post with a longer explanation.)