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Game Interface Design

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Game Interfaces are one of the hardest part of the design process the player will be lookin at them 24/7. It can make or break a game.

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Game Interface Design

  1. 1. Interfaces Chris Castaldi
  2. 2. An Interface is? <ul><li>Display of progress </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Map information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ammo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Map information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Feedback </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blinking health bar means your dying </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. A little Optics <ul><li>Low Resolution of the Eye </li></ul><ul><li>Long Side View </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Peripheral vision </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interfaces </li></ul><ul><ul><li>should always go on the edges away from our central vision </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The First Person <ul><li>Center of your view is always where your gun will shoot. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Targeting recital. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Health and ammo almost always on opposite sides. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To alert you of one or the other going low. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interface is Minimal. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t want to get things in the way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should also be semitransparent. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. System Shock II
  6. 6. First Person notes <ul><li>Where to put things? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Health on the left and ammo on the right. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Players who play FPS’s expect things to be in the same place. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Maps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Top of the screen out of the way of your target. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inventory/Weapon Choices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Toggled, either approaching from the sides or on top. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. 3 rd Person <ul><li>Many games are done in the 3 rd person because it creates the illusion of Peripheral Vision. </li></ul><ul><li>It also creates the movie feel being that you see yourself doing the actions. </li></ul><ul><li>3 rd person usually required Targeting so you know what you are aiming at. </li></ul>
  8. 9. God view perspective <ul><li>God view games usually deal with managing lots of objects/units </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sims </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Warcraft III </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most all of them have a clear distinction between management and action . </li></ul><ul><li>Also usually have the biggest interface of all. </li></ul>
  9. 11. Homeworld
  10. 12. Types of Interface <ul><li>Buttons ~ What will the F4 do now? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is available and what do I need to press. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These buttons are mutable each one can mean something different. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Management ~ How do I manage groups of things? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Group Movement / Composition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Raid Interfaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inventory (Items can be considered a type of unit) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Targeting ~ Who am I looking at? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Current (Target) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Health/other pool of target </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 13. Types of Interface (cont) <ul><li>Info ~ How much do you have? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current Weapon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ammo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inventory </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Textual ~ What is he saying and who is he? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually seen mostly in MMOs or RPGs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dialog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nameplates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Navigation ~ Where am I? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compass </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimaps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>World Maps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>X Marks the spot </li></ul></ul>
  12. 15. What makes an Interface bad? <ul><li>Chunky </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contains to much information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unresponsive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contains to little information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What makes an interface stick out? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bad typography </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fonts are important! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor Color Choices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorrect style </li></ul></ul>
  13. 16. Looking at Eudemons Online (The Bad) <ul><li>Font </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Square not rounded like the other font is. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two different fonts used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In different families </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Too much going on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Text overload </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lack of Targeting </li></ul>
  14. 18. Looking at Eudemons Online (The Good) <ul><li>Buttons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Buttons animated making it a bit more excitable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unit frames </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Pretty” with the subjection of the font </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Numbers are also pretty. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 19. How important of a role does the interface really play? <ul><li>Reality Cue: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Out of Air while underwater </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Entering a Irritated Area </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cooldowns for powers/spells </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>That your dying…. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Meta knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A good interfaces breaks reality while maintaining disbelief. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 20. Further Reading. <ul><li>Off With Their HUDs! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20060203/wilson_01.shtml </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evolution of the Interface. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.xyzzynews.com/xyzzy.7f.html </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What Games Teach us about human interaction. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2001/4/15/503/20814 </li></ul></ul>
  17. 21. Games Used: <ul><li>System Shock 2 by Irrational Games </li></ul><ul><li>Neverwinter Nights by Bioware </li></ul><ul><li>Warcraft 3 by Blizzard </li></ul><ul><li>Homeworld 2 by Sierra </li></ul><ul><li>Eudemons Online by TQ Entertainment </li></ul>