Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
With respect to a game, you should attempt to fulfill these needs
[in order] to translate to the following player questions.
What is the goal of this game? What is my immediate goal? What
should I be doing right now? The goal of the game should be
immediately clear from the beginning. Most games provide a
backstory video clip, whereas others have tutorial levels that step the
player through the game. For example, Halo provides a video scene
explaining some of the game goals up to the point when the Master
Chief is first thrown from the helicopter, whereas SimCity holds the
player's hand through a step-by-step tutorial.
What are these options and what do they do? Not all icons used
in the HUD will be metaphor related, and therefore players may
not know what will happen if they click on certain buttons in a
toolbar. To assist players, most games, especially RTS that have
numerous toolbars and even layered toolbars, include mouse over
tooltips. They don't appear straight away, but are timed for when
players hover too long over a button or some element of the game
Some tutorials ease players into options by making them available
one at a time after each is explained and used. In other games, making
new options and game actions available is part of the game. In Alice
Greenfingers , a market gardening game, the player starts out only
being able to dig, plant seeds, water, and pick the crop. As players
gain more experience, they are given more types of seeds to plant and
different farming implements to use. Each time one is introduced
it is explained.
How do I perform certain actions in the game? Answering this with
your interface requires some intuition and mind reading on the
part of your game. If it is a very complex environment it could be
impossible to know what the player wants to achieve. In a puzzle
game, however, where there are limited options on what the player's
next move will be, the game can provide hints on the next best move
by monitoring the player's progress. In the iPad game Fishdom , the
player can raise money to put fish in their virtual aquarium by playing
a Bejewelled -type puzzle game. When players stop interacting with the
puzzle game, they are presented with the next best move after
a short period.
Why did that happen? The feedback mechanisms within the game
environment should always endeavor to explain anything that has
occurred in the game environment. This can occur passively; for
example, if a player steps on a mine and gets blown up, resulting
in his health value going down, it is obvious what happened.
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