Automatically a beautiful and intricate and authentic (but not so much so that male "videogamers" are turned off) splash screen appears. For the sake of simplicity, there are only 3 buttons on this screen: PLAY, MORE, and EXIT. The MORE button lets you uninstall, register, get Customer Support info, see credits, etc. But nobody will press the MORE button yet. Everybody will press PLAY.
Since the game has not yet been installed, pressing PLAY simply initiates
the installer. The game is placed on the user's hard drive in the most friendly
manner possible. The user is not told "Installation failed -- go reset your monitor
to 256 colors first, then come back and try again," as was done in Shanghai:
Great Moments. The user is not asked things like "find the make and model of
your sound card and video card in the following list" (but then in Windows 95
nobody does this anymore anyway, thank Gates for that).
Choose the installation option that you prefer:
Compact install (one tile set) 15 MB
Typical install (all tile sets) 50 MB
Because the CD contains the music and other assets for the game, please keep the CD handy to insert into the computer each time you play the game.
If the game had been installed previously, pressing PLAY on that splash
screen would of course bypass the installation process described above, and the
game starts immediately.
The game's title screen appears. This screen shows a dragon who is
guarding four buttons: SOLITAIRE, KIDS, DYNASTY, and MAH-JONGG. The
title theme is playing. If the user hits Enter on this screen (as opposed to
pointing and clicking), or if the user clicks on the screen anywhere except on
KIDS, MULTI-PLAY, or MAH-JONGG, the default action is SOLITAIRE. If the
user does nothing, the title screen remains displayed forever and the title theme
loops. There is no intro movie, no demo mode, none of that noise. Then again,
if it's just going to sit there forever anyway, why not cycle through the Wall Of
Fame screens and the credits? Anyway... There are probably spot animations
on the title screen (it's not entirely static). The SOLITAIRE button is probably
highlighted and/or flashing.
Clicking this button causes the "classic Shanghai" game to begin
immediately. The default tile set is Mah-Jongg, of course. If the user had played
before, then the last-selected tile set is displayed. See section I.2.A. for an
overview on this.
Clicking this button (it's easily recognized by kids because of its primary-
color look) causes the game to go to a Solitaire game, but with a layout of 28
tiles, using either the Alphabet or Household tile set as a default (TBD). See
section I.2.B. for an overview.
Assuming that the user would have to have the Chat Client activated to go play on the Net, clicking this button normally takes the user to a "solo" version of Dynasty, with Power Tiles, with one A.I. opponent (split screen). See section I.2.C. for an overview.
Assuming that the user would have to have the Chat Client activated to go play on the Net, clicking this button normally takes the user to a "solo" version of Mah-Jongg (with 3 A.I. opponents). Default game (non-Japanese versions) is straight Chinese rules. Default game for Japanese version is straight Japanese rules with 3 A.I. opponents. See section I.2.D. for an overview.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?