Hosted space for instruction manuals?

There’s not a lot of space in ROM for textual instruction manuals for most games. Team ARG had a good idea for their games on other Arduino-based gaming devices - if the user chooses “help” from the main menu, they built in a QR code that takes the user to a web page with instructions and game info. You can see it at the start of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ec8dLOM-MG0

It’d be cool if we could standardize something like this for Arduboy games. If community games will be uploaded to a central site like arduboy.com, then perhaps we could include an instructional text file or HTML page along with them and have QR codes in our games that point users to them. Just a thought.

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I like it :smile:

More words so I can make the reply.

If you go that route you might want to support some form of markdown (like what Github uses) on your site, or just read/consume the *.md files from GitHub repos. That would make it easier to manage for user contributions and/or easier to automate in some way.

I don’t know if you plan on curating the contributions (at least making sure that they run on the Arduboy) but you may eventually want to consider that if they are downloading code from the site. You could (as part of that process) add the QR code and then link to the online help.

The only reason I mention “Curating” is to help ensure that the end user gets the best possible experience when they try the code on the Arduboy. Didn’t want to imply an “App Store” model is necessary or warranted, just trying to think of how to manage community-contributed software in additon to maintaing a solid and functional product and user experience :wink:

This is something we could fairly readily get going on the current webservers. It basically requires a user upload some markdown into a database for the manual and we serve out some json to be rendered into html. I’ve got one ruby on rails app in the works that will do this. Ill keep it in mind for October. It would also be fairly easy to host the game itself this way.

Some curating is a good idea. We’ve talked a little about writing a manager for the EEPROM that people should abide by, so we don’t have save files being partially overwritten by random games left and right. It’d be nice if you could be confident that games from arduboy.com won’t interfere with each other like that.

But then you also don’t want to bog down peoples’ creativity too much with a lot of standards they have to follow!

I don’t know that ensuring that the code works on the Arduboy bogs down creativity, or would necessarily be taken that way.

I think of it from a perspective of that the games are how people will judge the Arduboy, and part of that “experience” (at least on an Arduino-based platform) is it compiling/running well the first time, and getting them to that point is going to be important.

Well, maybe I shouldn’t have put it in terms of creativity. I just think it’d be a shame if people were hesitant to upload cool games and unique demos because they’re not sure if they complied with the standards. But that might not end up being a problem, I don’t think a few crucial points would be too much to ask.

Creating those QR codes is not that hard at all. At work we added auto creation of QR codes with PHP and a plugin phpQR.

I don’t think there will be any requirements, just some suggestions and tools for certain features… in the end it’s just a bunch of arduino sketches :slight_smile: