Dev Diaries: First Time User Experience

Club Penguin has published a new post on the What’s New Blog. The post is about the debut of a new series called Dev Diaries. Today’s updates are about telling users how to join Club Penguin Island. Here’s what Megg wrote:

Greetings, penguins!

Starting today, we’ll be posting regular developer updates to keep you in the loop while we continue to build the island. This includes how we’ve built different parts of the island, some of the challenges we’ve overcome along the way, and things we’d like you, the community, to weigh in on. Sound good? Great!

“But wait!” The community shouts in unison, “What about all the work you guys have already done?”

That’s a great question! We’ll start off these updates by first catching you up on the work our team has done leading up our Geo-Beta release. How does that sound?

Developer notes:

FATOOEEE! (Hint: it’s NOT a yeti sneeze.)

FTUE (pronounced fa-too-ee) stands for First Time User Experience. It’s what a new player sees the first time they load a game.

The FTUE in Club Penguin Island is your intro to the island. When you join the game, you’ll sail in on the Migrator with Captain Rockhopper. This is an important moment that ONLY happens when you first join. Not only does it set up the story, but it also teaches you some gameplay controls. (Which you’re going to need because the ship is TOTALLY sinking)!

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, designing a great FTUE can actually be pretty crazy. Dan and Tyler, two of our devs (developers), created something called a “truth table.” A truth table is a list of events that are answered with a yes or no. Here’s a simplified version to give you an idea:

Okay, WHAT!? Don’t worry if that was tough to understand. So long as Dan and Tyler know what it means then everything will be fine.

Here’s a simpler way of looking at it:

Is the player logging in for the first time?
A. If yes, then start the game’s intro
B. If no, have them appear on the boardwalk

Later in the FTUE, there’s another question Tyler has to code:

Does the player have three bundles of wood to fix the Migrator?
A. If yes, they fix the Migrator
B. If no, Rockhopper asks them to find more wood

But the most important part is making everything fun. Designers work with Tyler and Dan to see what kind of cool things he can put into the FTUE. This is why you’ll blast out of a cannon from the damaged Migrator… because a cannon is WAY better than just jumping overboard. The result is an awesome intro to Club Penguin Island!

Now imagine if there were no FTUE. Your penguin would plop down on Club Penguin Island without sailing on the Migrator, trying the first adventure, or seeing Rockhopper’s perfect beard. That wouldn’t make much sense, would it? And that’s why we plan a special event the first time you log in!

Next time on Dev Diaries we’ll talk about how much we love penguin cannons. Okay, maybe not. But seriously, we should add about a hundred penguin cannons! 😀

Waddle on,

-Club Penguin Team



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