Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
This passive interaction has been further exaggerated in recent years with
the explosion of storage media and the memory available on the various
platforms. Back when games came on floppy discs or small cartridges and
computer or console memory was low, the number of game locations was
strictly controlled to ensure that the number of discs was kept as low as
possible or that the game fitted onto the console cartridge. This meant that
to give plenty of gameplay each location had a high number of possible
interactions for the player. This high interaction density gives the player a
very rewarding experience because there are always lots of interaction points
in any given location. With the change to CD-Rom discs and larger game
cartridges as the game storage media, the number of locations was no longer
so critical, and with huge worlds able to be created in 3D software packages
the tendency was towards creating much larger game environments with
larger or greater numbers of locations. For the player of the point-and-click
third person game, this meant an increasing amount of time where they
clicked and waited for the character - although the game worlds increased in
size, generally speaking, the amount of gameplay and points of interaction did
not increase in proportion. This led to a much reduced level of interaction
density (the number of things the player can do at any one time or within
any location). Even games where the player has direct control of the character
can sometimes feel as though all they are doing is running around large
locations, which in many ways is not a fully interactive experience.
Clearly, interactivity is so important that perfectly-valid methods of input
are seen by some as less dynamic.This in turn leads to an exploration of new
ways to use existing input devices.
One excellent development with mouse control was in the PC first
person shooter genre, where the movement of the mouse was directly trans-
lated into the movement of the character whose eyes the player is effectively
looking through. Suddenly, looking and moving around the 3D environ-
ments became so much more intuitive, particularly when combined with
other aspects of movement controlled through the keyboard.
Intuitive interfaces are very important because they allow the player to
start interacting with the game as swiftly as possible and achieving their
enjoyable experience without the hard work of learning a complex interface.
This intuitive control should also transfer through to the interface which
allows the player to interact with dialogue scenes. If the interface is not
intuitive during these scenes, then it is far more likely that the player will be
looking for a way to skip the scene altogether, which means that the way the
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