WWE SuperCard: Onboarding

wwe supercard logoWhen I heard there was a digital CCG coming out in the WWE universe…I was confused more than anything. After hearing that WWE SuperCard (iTunes, Playwas downloaded 1.5 million times in the first week and a half of being available, I knew I had to give it a shot (for science!). After two days and some sore thumbs, I can see why it’s so popular.

But before a CCG can start hooking players into that sweet, sweet drip of new cards, it has to get players in the game first. Lets take a look at what all of those 1.5 million players had to get through before their first match in WWE SuperCard!

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Hearthstone: That New Card Smell

Hearthstone_LogoBlizzard’s Hearthstone (full name, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft) is a digital collectible card game that’s currently out on Mac, PC, and iPad. The obvious comparison is to the biggest CCG around, Magic: The Gathering. While MTG is a physical game that also has a digital component, Hearthstone is a purely digital game, designed to be purely digital. That poses both interesting challenges and opportunities.

Being a collectible card game, a huge hook of both of these game is of course, getting new cards. A recovering former MTG player myself, there is nothing quite like the experience of opening a new booster pack of cards. And while Hearthstone doesn’t reproduce that new card smell, it does go out of its way to try and evoke the same feelings as the real thing. Continue reading

Numolition: An Exercise in Minimal Mobile Instructions

numolition logo

Numolition (iTunes StoreGoogle Play) is a math-y puzzle game from Q42, makers of the previously discussed Quento. For me, it scratches a similar itch as Threes, despite being a very different game. And it has way more explosions.

More to the point though, Numolition makes an effort to get players up to speed with the most minimal amount of instruction possible, which is really cool. There are a couple of places where it might actually border on too little information…but for a game that looks like a well-illustrated comic book, that’s certainly the side of the line you want to be on.

In this article, I’ll take a look at a couple parts of the Numolition UX. And as a bonus, I had the chance to ask some of these questions to Martin Kool, designer of Numolition – so you’ll see his responses sprinkled throughout.

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iOOTP 2013: Consistency Wins Championships


Out of the Park Baseball (from Out of the Park Developments) is a PC-based baseball simulation that started back in 1999. iOOTP 2013 is the most recent iteration of the franchise that was released for iOS in the spring of 2013.

Putting a fully-featured, text-based baseball sim on the screen of a mobile phone is no small task. All the “gameplay” of iOOTP 2013 is essentially done through a series of menus and tables. It’s complicated for sure, but so is baseball, and that’s kinda the whole point.

When dealing with a big menu structure in your game, website, webapp, TV, ATM machine, car wash, or anywhere else, one of the keys to making it usable is consistency. If whatever the interface is keeps changing on your users, it’s going to be frustrating. And in iOOTP 2013, there are a few places that are frustrating because of needless inconsistency in the menus – let’s take a look.

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Ascension: Long Drags are a Drag

ascension_logoAscension: Chronicle of the Godslayer is a deckbuilding card game that’s been ported to iOS (iTunes link) and is on its way to PC and Android. If Dominion and Magic: the Gathering had a baby, this is probably what it would look like.

If you’re not familiar with any of these, that’s okay. The point is, it’s a card game that has a lot of stuff on the screen – there are a lot of moving parts. The developers are trying to take a game that is played on a table and squish it into an iPhone, and that’s not always an easy task.

Ascension, like a lot of games, only displays in landscape mode. It has made me realize just how wide my iPhone 5 is. This is because depending on how I’m holding my phone, certain drag actions in the game are really difficult to pull off. Let’s dig into an example.

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