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Lending a (UGC) Helping hand

Have you tried to play a new board game without reading the rules? Or jump straight into a game and attempt to learn it yourself?

It can be tricky, figuring out how to play a game without help. Sure, you might find out how to play eventually, but wouldn’t it be much easier if there was a quick and easy way to learn what the controls are, and what you actually have to do?

Well, our UI/UX guru Shaun explains how our new Help system will allow you to do just that...

Introducing our Help system

With the Neon Coast update, creators will now be able to lend a helping hand to players by adding instructions on how to play their games.

Whether it’s a light overview of getting started or explaining some deeper mechanics, this new system gives creators a great platform-level way of communicating their game to Crayta players.

In turn, players now have a unified and simple way of accessing help, no matter what game they are in. Accessible via the Current tab, the game details in the Play tab, or pressing F1/Back on their keyboard/gamepad respectively whilst in a game.

We’re hoping this will make discovering and learning any of the thousands of games in Crayta much easier than before, empowering more people to play!

Control the game

Of course, maybe you just want to know what the controls are, or need to quickly check how to do something in-game. Creators will also be able to set up control schemes that will show players which buttons to hit in order to achieve greatness in their games.

Inputs will be displayed both in a list, and a neat diagram which shows the game controls visually on your input method of choice!

This help system is designed to provide a base level of help and information to players, but of course the more you can do as creators, the better!

There are all sorts of packages you can add to your game that provide tutorials, contextual tips and help to really assist your players in learning and understanding your games.


We wanted to orientate players on where they were going and give an idea of how to play as quickly and easily as possible. So, we decided to add the help content to the loading screen, just like the scrolling tips you see in other games. Useful!

We decided to take it a step further, however, and give creators, even more, control over defining the look and feel of their experiences by introducing custom loading screens.

Now, creators can upload and add images to their games which will be displayed to players as they join, allowing every game to feel unique!

Direct with Lua

Whilst players can access help and control information via a multitude of ways, we’re adding some Lua API to help creators direct players to relevant help content via code.

These new endpoints will be on the User and can either be called with no arguments to open Help / Controls to the first page, or the page/scheme ID (described later) to open to a specific page.

user:OpenGameHelp( pageID )

user:OpenGameControls( schemeID )

Cool, how do I add Help features to my game?

All Help content (Instructions, controls and loading screens) are managed via the Game tab of the advanced editor (you’ll need to be using a keyboard, and press Tab to open advanced mode)

Adding Instructions

The Pages section holds the instruction content: explanations, tips, etc.

  • Press the + button to add a help page
  • Give it an ID (this won’t be seen by players, but can be used in the Help Lua API, described above)
  • Give the page a title
  • Write out the text of the page (you can display button icons in the text by using {primary-icon} , {interact-icon}etc)
    Be sure to use the button on the right to localise your help text into different languages.
  • Optionally, you can select an image to display alongside the page text — You will need to upload these via the Create site (clicking the link button on the bottom will open it)
  • Press the Preview Help button at the top any time you want to check how it’ll appear to users.

And you’re done! Once you publish or update your game, this help content will be available for players to read.

Adding Controls

  • Press the + button to add a control scheme
  • Give it an ID (this won’t be seen by players, but can be used in the Help Lua API, described above)
  • Give the scheme a title
  • Press Edit Input Labels to start setting up button labels for your game
Input labels view
  • From here, you can either use pre-populated labels for common inputs (Jump, Crouch, Interact etc) which are all localised for you; or you can write your own to match your game.

Once you’ve published, players will be able to see your control schemes via the Controls sub-tab, giving them a helpful resource to learn how to play your game!

Adding Loading Screens

  • Press the + button to add a control scheme
  • Hit Select Image to open the image selection view
  • Any images you have uploaded which have been approved will display here. Click the link button at the bottom to open the image upload on the Create site and upload any images you want to use.
    (Note: Loading screens should ideally be 4K, but images have to be less than 1MB in size — try using TinyPNG or Squoosh to reduce your file size)

Once you’ve published, the game will now randomly select one of your loading screen images to display to the player. Neat!

We’re hoping all these new features will help creators get their games played and appreciated more by players, but also make jumping into Crayta for a play session much more rewarding and fun too!



Posts by Unit 2 Games staff, mostly about Crayta

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Shaun Wall

UI / UX Designer working on Crayta - Spends more money on games than food.