Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bring your video game to the mass market through the user interface.

In this video Fear talks about the importance of the user interface in your games and how you can use that information to attract more people to come play that game. For those of you that prefer to read, I have a basic written version available below.

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Keep It Simple, Stupid. (The KISS Principal)

The interface to the game should not be an “afterthought”. You already know what you want in your world and maybe even how it will look. The most important thing is how the user will access it. Work with the interface and make it better over time because you will never know how people will actually play your game when it is released. Don’t get too hung up on your vision. Chances are, you are the only one that will see it the way you intended.

When I hear a game developer say we are writing a game that “We” would play, you are alienating your potential userbase. Make that game an option or “Hard” mode. Most of us don’t have months or years to figure everything out.

Tutorials and help should be active while you are playing your game. Additional tutorials are nice, but hands-on training is always more deserable to players. Having a friendly face pop up and tell you what you are trying to accomplish the best way I have ever encountered.

Make your interface simple to use. If you can’t convince Mom, Dad, your spouce or Grandma that your game is really cool, your interface may need some help.

Interfaces should be the same throughout the entire game. It should look to anyone playing that one geek wrote the whole thing. Not a mish-mash of different menus and designs.

Make your game easy to just jump in and start playing. You can have options to make things more difficult and brain tasking later on, but just let them jump in and start shooting or building or whatever.

Enjoy what you create, and also make it something as many people as possible can actually access, then you will actually create a new vision that both you and your customers enjoy!

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