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Games Design @ Hull School of Art and Design

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Games Design (Y1, S1)

Year 1 of my Games Design Course, a module based on learning new techniques and developing my skills. Games Design: An Introduction. Module 2. Semester 1.

Games Design -Survey Feedback

I created a survey for the members of my class to fill in so that I could gain an understanding of certain aspects in which I would have to explore to create a fully functioning/well-designed game. As my game is aimed at 10-14 year olds and can include IP tie-ins I decided to ask the following questions.

  1. Name one of your favourite childhood television shows.

 

  • Thunderbirds
  • Winx Club
  • SpongeBob
  • The Angry Beavers
  • Yu-Gu-Oh
  • Pokemon
  • Happy Tree Friends
  • Tazmanian Devil/Looney Tunes
  • The Simpsons
  • Wacky Races
  • The Rugrats

2. What Environment would you suggest as a main hub area?

  • Some sort of room where the character can interact.
  • Interactive map that the player can navigate to each game level.
  • Interactive Map.
  • Warner Bros. style portals.
  • Toybox.
  • Book pages or mystical book with images
  • Disney Castle.
  • Kaibu Land.
  • Scooby Doo haunted house.
  • Palet Town.
  • Ghost Town.
  • Castle (Disney Themed).
  • The Avengers.
  • Penguin Cafe.
  • Different themed rooms depending on characters.

3. What game mechanics would you like to see in the game?

  • Points.
  • Discovery.
  • Discovery.
  • Collectables with points.
  • Time Countdown.
  • Bonus.
  • Anything.
  • Collectables.
  • Collections.
  • Secrets.
  • Countdowns to rewards.
  • Specialise the characters for different uses in different levels.
  • Temporary weapons, enhanced enemies, points system, leader-board and rank.
  • Countdown, bonus, points.
  • Bonus rounds, boss fights and puzzles.

4. What would you rate my presentation skills? 1 being bad and 10 being great.

  • 10 as always.
  • 8.5 because there is always room for improvement somewhere.
  • 9.
  • 9.
  • 10.
  • 9.
  • 8.
  • 10.
  • 9.
  • 8.
  • 8.
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10.
  • 8 the involvement was great.

5.Any advice? Any game examples research? Any sketches?

  • ‘World of Illusion’ – 1992.
  • Mickey’s Wild Adventure.
  • Tom & Jerry Fighting Game.
  • Crash Bandicoot.
  • Kingdom Hearts.
  • Super Smash Bros. (Lots of characters)
  • Research different art styles.
  • Animation.
  • Principles of animation.

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone that managed to take the time to fill out this survey; it has been of great help.

Below is my research that was influenced by some of the advice from the survey. I really appreciate all of the help.

Question 1 Research

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Question 5 Research

  • World of Illusion was realeased in 1992 by Sega on the Sega Mega Drive Console. This is a 2D game in which Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are magicians and one day the stumble across a magical box. This box takes them to a magical world and now they have to find a way out. This is a great game to research as it is 2D and involves the use of much loved cartoon characters.
  • One suggestion I am grateful for is another Mickey Mouse game called Mickey’s Wild Adventure. This game is also known as Mickey Mania and was originally released on Sega Devices and then later released via PlayStation. The game consists of playing as different types of Mickey Mouse characters from his previous roles in the original cartoons. Levels include Steamboat Willie, The Mad Doctor, the Lonesome Ghosts and more. This is also great to research as the game is 2D (as well as it trying to perform 2.5D motions) and again it includes an IP tie-in.
  • I have already considered the Tom and Jerry fighting game in a previous blog post. Feel free to have a look if you are interested as this is a great game to take notes from.
  • The well-known Crash Bandicoot is a classic. This game has many camera stances and certain levels can beplayed in 2.5D or even 3D. My favourite Crash Bandicoot would have to be either PlayStation 2 The Wrath of Cortex or PlayStation 2 Crash Tag Team Racing.
  • Kingdom Hearts is a game that uses anime characters from Final Fantasy and combines them with Disney characters. I find this game very interesting as I haven’t played Final Fantasy but I am a huge Disney fan so I like finding out who all of these new characters and it is something in which I can understand the anime art style.
  • I absolutely love Super Smash Bros. I play this game on the GameCube lots with my boyfriend. There is a large variety in characters to choose from also it features a really fun aspect in collecting characters and collectables. Although it is a fighting game I can take some advice from this as I love most of the game mechanics used.
  •  For research on different art styles I have looked at artists that have played a part in making 2.5D/2D platformers. Aymeric Kevin created some beautiful pieces for the most recent Rayman using parallax scrolling really well. I am incredibly happy someone mentioned different art styles as I started researching and discovered an amazing artist with the name of Laura Dawes. She is responsible for most of the sculptures and environments seen in Abe’s New ‘N’ Tasty and her work is incredible; it is all done in ZBrush and I am now inspired to learning more about this program. Below is a slideshow of some of the artwork that I have been inspired by.

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Bibliography

Rayman Legends Concept Art by Aymeric Kevin

http://www.randomstuff.org.uk/~laura/monsaic.html

https://www.vg247.com/2012/04/04/quick-shots-epic-mickey-power-of-illusion-screens-released/

http://www.crashmania.net/games/crash-bandicoot-3-warped/artwork/environments/

 

 

 

Games Design – User Interface Research and Design Process

User Interface Research

Tom & Jerry Game

As my aim is to create a 2.5D platformer game which includes famous cartoon IP-tie-ins I decided to research a game I used to play all the time with my cousin as a child. The game was great for 2 players as the aim was to beat the other player by chasing them or placing traps around the environment. As an example if Jerry turned the television on and Tom walked past it, Tom’s attention would be on the television for a few seconds giving Jerry the opportunity to attack Tom. I’m looking at a game where the player can only progress forward and many mini-game options will also be available as well as the main campaign.

The H.U.D for this game is nice and simple, however, I’m not really sure if I like the position in which the icons are placed. My favourite H.U.D aspect in this would have to be the health bar; the more damage the player takes equals the more damage to the character icon and health bar (a nice interactive feature). Also the power-up selection is nicely displayed as most games have power-ups in the main menu and it is usually awkward to work whereas this uses controller commands. If I was to improve this I would maybe put everything in the middle where the screen splits. From left to right Jerry’s Power-ups, Jerry’s Health Bar, Timer, Tom’s Health Bar, Tom’s Power-ups. I would do this so that the player doesn’t have as much confusion of where to look and it doesn’t take them as long to take in all of the information, therefore giving them more time to play.

User Interface Research 001.jpg

Image Source: http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps/915844-tom-and-jerry-in-house-trap/images/215

The Warriors

User Interface Research 002

Image Source: http://www.joblo.com/movie-news/10480

This game may not be aimed at children, however, I decided to discuss this game because of the unique health bar system. At first glance you may think that the health bar is the red bar underneath the players name, it is not though. The health bar is represented by the coloured circles under the players feet. I like this mechanic as you don’t have to look to the top of the screen to examine your health, you can still look at your player and continue to play the game as normal; also the bar changes colour to what we know as the three colours of health that we automatically know (green=healthy, orange=damaged, red=nearly dead). So with the health bar being so uniquely placed under their feet, you must be wondering what the red bar is. Well the red bar under the character name is a special power meter; when the player has earned enough points the character gets some sort of adrenaline rush and can fight faster and stronger, as well as taking less damage.

Flappy Bird

A very popular game that was released for mobile devices has a simple user interface that I think would have a chance to be good for my game. It is simple and easy to use although with my game being slightly more complex I would have to consider applying more aspects. The reason I like this H.U.D is because it shows a tutorial really simple and quick at the beginning and the points system is large and bold at the top of the screen.User Interface Research 003

 

Image Source: http://androidwidgetcenter.com/articles/flappy-bird-is-an-extremly-addictive-game-with-super-simple-graphics-and-gameplay/

The Original Super Mario Bros.

User Interface Research 004.jpg

Image Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKgKQ5wgSVY

User Interface Research 005.jpg

Image Source: http://www.joystickdivision.com/2009/12/new_super_mario_bros_wii_1080p.php

Going back to a great classic that is still popular to this day. This game has a nice user interface that is easy to read and very simplistic. Although there are a few numbers involved everything is easy to read and even if you can’t pay attention to the time limit you still have little gestures from the music warning you how long you have. The original had all of your stats in a line across the top of the screen whereas the classic decided to put health/lives and number of coins at one side and the point system and time limit at the other. Having to look from left to right constantly can be annoying, however, in my opinion I believe that they did this in knowing most people look more at the health and coins rather than the time limit and points. Sometimes you’re too busy playing the game to even notice.

Gex: Enter the Gecko

This is just one of the many of my favourite PlayStation one games as it was so random yet so fun. Thinking back to most of the old games I used to play I realised that some only have H.U.D designs that only appear when necessary. For example this Gex game has no H.U.D whilst playing, but if you get hurt by an enemy your health bar will appear and take away what is needed. Also if you collect an item the number you have collected will show up on screen for a few seconds. A great feature that I haven’t seen since PlayStation One game is the camera icon. This game allows the player to change the type of camera they want to play with (Automatic/Manual). When the player presses the camera buttons to adjust the angles of which they play in the camera icon will appear at the bottom right of the screen so they know what camera they are using.

User Interface Research 006.jpg

Image Source: http://www.vizzed.com/videogames/game.php?id=34617

Medievil PlayStation One

User Interface Research 007.jpg

Image Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOSWM3IlhXw

This game was very spooky at the time, however now we see it as fun and quirky. The H.U.D on the other hand was easy to read as it showed pictures as well as numbers/words. From left to right you have your weapon that is currently selected (and how much ammo you have left), your shield strength, your health bar, level percentage/progress and the amount of coins you have collected. This game introduced a quick weapon select option in which you press a shortcut key to switch weapons quickly.

The Tomb Raider Game Series

In the first original Tomb Raider Games there wasn’t much of a H.U.D. Again stats would only appear when needed. Most people used the pistols in Tomb Raider which are usually unlimited ammo so there was no need for an ammo count (unless using shotgun or desert eagle etc.) and the health would appear when damaged. I do like the way that some of the original Tomb raider games had a sprint/slash stamina bar as now in most RPG games made currently in 2016 we have a stamina bar. In the new Tomb Raider games (‘Tomb Raider’ and ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’) there is not a health bar as when Lara is in pain the screen goes red around the edges and is covered in blood as these games are known to be more graphic also you can unlock unlimited sprint in the skills menu. The weapon select is now different as there is a larger variety of weapons and we now have to limit ourselves with ammo and no weapon is unlimited. Using the d-pad the player can choose what weapon to use and what else to use along with it; for example you can use a bow but you have many choices such as lighting the bow on fire, using a poisonous bomb or attaching an explosive to it.

User Interface Research 008.jpg

Image Source: http://moarpowah.com/2013/03/22/the-retrospective-tomb-raider-1/

User Interface Research 009.jpg

http://tombraiders.net/stella/walks/TR9walk/details/ammo-select.html

Below are my designs for user interface within my game:

IMG_0061[1]
Quick Start-up Screen Mock-ups
For a game interface you have to take into consideration the Start-up screen as well as the H.U.D. Here are some quick sketches to where I want each aspect of the start-up screen to be positioned.

Font and Game Cover Research <—— Here is a word document that features more of my research about other games start-up screens and what type of font I want to use for my final game.

IMG_0062[1]
User Interface – Head-Up Display Designs
I played around with where I wanted the aspects of the H.U.D placing around the screen. When doing this I considered where the player prefers to look, how other games show their H.U.D and why also I looked at where is best for the player to look when they are needing to focus a lot on their game rather than the H.U.D.

IMG_2468
Getting closer to a final design

Here is my first final design. I wanted to create something that was easy for the player to understand for the target audience and also very decorative. I started with a quick design an developed the design further in Illustrator. The design feature (from top to bottom) a time limit/score, power-ups, special abilities gauge, character icon and a health bar. I really like the design, however, to improve it I would rather have the H.U.D across the top or on the right as the players attention is on the left trying to control the character and avoid objects and collect collectibles. On the other hand the designs are quite consistant and very colour coordinated.

Tom &amp; Jerry HUD
Tom & Jerry H.U.D Mock-up
Scooby Doo HUD
Scooby Doo H.U.D Mock-up
Garfield HUD
Garfield H.U.D Mock-up

The H.U.D Mock-ups above are going be used as my final. I like the way that each H.U.D is colour coordinated as it gives a slightly new touch to the players experience throughout the change in levels. I really like these H.U.D designs as they all have a black outline so they will stand out from the background, they are easy to read and feature no reading (just images). I feel like it could be improved, some could argue that the H.U.D is too big and too much of a distraction whereas you could understand that it is no distraction, however it is just easier to understand.

Overall I feel that I have done a really good job and I am looking at progressing further with all of my designs.

 

Game Design – My Game Ideas

Game Concepts

The brief requires me to look into different markets and develop ideas that will lead me to a final outcome. The groups consist of 10 – 14yrs (which can include IP tie-ins), 14yrs + (Female Market) and finally 35 + (Genre Market). I will have to include what the game is about, how the game works/plays and also mention copyright as well as including how this game suits the specific age group.

10 -14yrs (including the use of IP tie-ins)

My first Idea for this category included inspiration from an American Television show I watch called ‘Impractical Jokers’. The show is about four friends who compete in mini challenges (almost like playing dares) and the loser must complete an embarrassing task given by the other jokers. I thought that if I turned this into a virtual game that gamers can free roam around, it would be quite interesting. The character would move just like a character would in GTA, Skyrim or Fallout and also like those games you can view your character from first or third person. You will get a custom character that can roam around New York interacting with characters from the show to play minigames. You can play two player via the console and four player online. When playing with other players the loser will have to perform an embarrassing task.

Impractical Jokers

I had a second idea for this market which was in the style of the game ‘Castle of Illusion, Starring Mickey Mouse’. A 2.5D Platform Game which consists of a beginning main hub area with lots of doors leading to different levels, these levels will include themes from our favourite childhood television shows/Films such as LooneyTunes, Tom & Jerry, Scooby Doo, Roger Rabbit, Space Jam etc. Also looking at the game ‘Doritos Crash Course’ as an example of what I could in cooperate into the levels.

Mickey and the castle of illusion

14yrs + (Female Market)

Games for girls are difficult to create as girl gamers vary drastically. Some girls like games which include makeup and fashion whereas other girls like games with zombies or cars. My idea is suitable for all types of girl gamers as throughout the game or at the start I am thinking of having multiple choice questions pop up to debate how your game will play. You will also create your character and depending on the clothes you put on and the weapons you choose will decide what your first mission will be. As an example, if I was to put on Armor and carry a sword and the first multiple choice question was something like ‘What would your dream pet be? 1. Dog 2. Dragon 3. Fairy 4. Unicorn 5. None, animals are gross’ and I chose Dragon, the game would be similar to Skyrim whereas if I chose to wear elf like clothes and chose fairy on the multiple choice the game would be similar to the game ‘Kameo’.

I also had the idea to create a game that was similar to ‘The Sims’ or ‘Avatar Legends’ as in these games you can create your own character and also explore exciting new places. Games such as ‘The Sims’ have infinite gameplay which makes the game suitable for girls as they can play it whenever they like and they can play the game for as long as they want as they can’t really complete it.

Avatar LegendsThe Sims001

35yrs + (Genre Market)

The genre I chose for the 35+ market is action. I thought about how serious games can be educational but I wanted to also make them fun and dramatic. A lot of people dream about being a Fireman, Policeman or even part of the Army so I thought about making a game that lets you play a part in the Public Services. You can choose different story modes and choose which part of the team you want to pose as.Police001Fireman001

Overall

As a class we discussed all of our ideas one by one. We individually pitched our three ideas to the class and our teacher Paul and they gave us feedback on our work. Also they voted on which idea would be best to make into an actual game. My class decided that the first idea was best as 2.5D side scrollers are quite rare and idea 2 seemed to complex whereas idea three was too simple. I agree with everyone’s criticism and I’m going to acknowledge every bit of advice I get.

Games Design – User Interface and User Experience

UI = User Interface

UX = User Experience

The normal definition of a User interface is anything in the device you are using that you can interact with, for example a computer UI would be the display screen, the mouse/touchpad, the keyboard and everything that is interactive on the screen. The User Experience on the other hand is what the person interacting with the product thinks about whilst being immersed within the world of that device such as what the layout looks like, what the typography is like, what the interactions are like etc.

Within a game UI and UX are active at all times. The UI of a game can include a lot of things such as the start-up screen, each of the options on the start-up screen, the pause menu, the H.U.D, the controller and console itself are even included. The UX is how immersed in the game the gamer feels, play-ability, flow, fun, competitiveness, fairness etc.

Examples of a Good User Interface

Crash Bandicoot002.jpg

Crash Bandicoot – Crash of the Titans

The original Crash Bandicoot Series was the best but the new series I find has a great User Interface. One of the main reasons I like this game for UI is because during the loading screen there is a slight interaction that keeps you amused for those two minutes of waiting. The video below shows the game and if you look at point 0:39 you can see the loading screen, the screen is interactive and if you move the controller thumb-stick the paw prints move. It may only be a little thing but I find interaction on a loading screen is essential and should be used in more games.

*************************SPOILERS*************************

I know some people are still waiting to play Arkham Knight so if you haven’t played it yet I suggest you either skip this part or don’t watch the videos.

**********************************************************

Batman-Arkham-Knight

Batman: Arkham Knight

Batman Arkham Knight is really good with UI and UX. As soon as I played this game I didn’t want to come off of it because you have so much that is interactive and enjoyable yet it is still easy to access and understand. First of all you can play as different people within this game and each character has there own mode. (It is known as ‘Detective Mode’).

Batman has a detective mode that you get used to so well because it has been in the whole game series. With the press of one button you can reveal lots of information that is needed throughout a fight or through a stealth mission. Enemies that turn orange have a gun and blue enemies just fist fight, also when looking at one enemy in particular you can see their heart rate to know how scared they are and how likely they are to fight back or cower in fear. You can also see the weapon they are holding. I find it very useful for finding weak spots in walls, vents you can crawl through, secret areas and collectibles.

Harley Quinn has a different campaign which is all about fighting therefore her ‘Detective Mode’ is a little different. When in detective mode rather than the screen being misty and blue Harleys screen goes red/pink. Flat surfaces have writing on them that relate to her personality (See example above) which I find very interesting to look at as it is a way of showing that you are playing as her and you know how she feels and what she is thinking. All of the enemies in this campaign have guns so they are all the same colour (pink/red) also Harley Quinn has an extra feature that Batman doesn’t have which is called ‘Mayhem Mode’. In this mode Harley can run faster, take less damage and kill an enemy with one swing of her bat.

Also what is really good about this game is the in-game hints. The hints are helpful for all of the shortcuts as most of the game consists of using shortcuts such as the D-pad (Xbox One). If you can’t remember what button to press when the time is needed the shortcut will pop up at the bottom of the screen.

Vault Boy.jpg

Fallout 4

The game Fallout 4 is another great example for UI and UX. The interaction with the famous Pip-Boy has been one of the best User Interfaces as it pauses the game and everything you need is all in that one place. also you have a pet companion that you can command to do certain things such as search areas for items of interest and injure an enemy. Whilst playing the game you meet a lot of people across the way (good and bad). Some people you meet give you tasks/objectives/missions to complete and if you helkp them out they offer to help you and therefore you gain a bigger variety of choice in choosing a companion. I find that choosing a companion is great as you gain an emotional attachment to them as they have their own background/story, they have a variety of interactions such as talking, trading and commands also your relationship between you and them can change depending on the choices you make.Dogmeat.jpg

Pet Dog Companion known as ‘Dogmeat’

Pip-Boy.jpg

The Pip-Boy

Access Stats, Inventory, Data, Map and even a Radio.

OddWorld Abe Series

Abe’s Oddysee, Abe’s Exoddus, Oddworld Munch’s Oddysee, Abe’s New N Tasty

One of my favourite game series is the Oddworld Series created by Oddworld Inhabitants. I liked all of the games but I haven’t played Munch’s Oddysee because it’s a completely different game compared to the other games. I have recently played New ‘N’ Tasty and it is great (a remake of the original Abe’s Oddysee). The game series is great because it has an easy to use menu, a gamespeak menu so you can learn how to speak as the character and the story is great.

The gamespeak is a great feature as not many games feature something like this. Pressing certain buttons activates abe’s speaking and using this helps to acknowledge the other Muddokens and get further in the game. As well as being informative I find gamespeak quite fun as Abe is a funny character that you really get to know.

Examples of a Bad User Interface

Oblivion.jpg

Elder Scrolls iv – Oblivion

Oblivion is a great game but the user interface is very complex, especially for a beginner. Everything is seen as symbols and it’s difficult to learn all of them also all you can see is lots of numbers and words. Most of the User Interface is ignored by the player as it takes too long to sort all of your inventory, magic and more. Luckily the game is paused when you look at your User Interface.

Street Fighter.jpg

Street Fighter

The video below explains that fighting games have developed the H.U.D and stuck with a certain H.U.D. The H.U.D for the first Street Fighter was not successful enough as both health bars are in the middle whereas now the health bars are at the players side so it is easier to view it via their peripheral  vision.

Games Design – 2D Programs

Throughout this first semester I have learnt how to use many programs such as 3DS Max, Sketch Up, Premiere Pro and After Effects; however I have also learnt how to use 2D programs such as photoshop and illustrator. I have learnt how most of the tools work, how to use them and what to use them for. I have previously had experience on photoshop so I had a basic understanding of the program and I have been more focused on illustrator so that I can understand how to use it.

Some of my Photoshop work:

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Some of my Illustrator work:

 

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Games Design – Gamification

Gamification is using games to enhance your lifestyle, engage with more people of the public and to help work towards goals. Some games do this in a very subtle way whereas sometimes it’s just highly obvious. These games are a great way to interact with new people and they also make life a bit more enjoyable on the way. For example some students from Germany invented a device that attaches to the wait signal button near the traffic lights; it is the simple game of ‘Pong’ that was originally released in 1972. This game that you can play whilst waiting to cross the road brought a lot of people together as you can see in the video people giving high fives to the person they played against at the other side.

A few games that became very successful and helpful towards patients is ‘Genes in Space’, ‘Reverse the Odds’ and ‘The Impossible Line’. These games have been scientifically proven to help with cancer research. ‘Genes in Space’ is the most successful as each time you play it it helps towards finding a cure for cancer by spotting patterns of generic information.

Gamification is also used in advertising. The US Army needed more people to join the army so to get more recruits they brought out a game. The game is a tactical shooter, however, it’s not the same as games like ‘Call of Duty’. The game is more realistic so that the player gets a better experience of what it is really like to have a job in the army. To persuade the player even more, they have the chance to earn badges of honor therefore keeping the player more interested in the games using game mechanics.

And finally one of my favorite uses of gamification, the Nike+ Zombie Run. This game helps you with exercise, by using your headphones and earphones you can feel like you’re in a real Zombie Apocalypse as you can hear zombies behind you via your technology. It’s a great way to keep you motivated and you can also choose your settings. The settings give you lots of different experiences as seen below.

Zombie Run

All of these games are great to include in our everyday lives as they improve our fitness, our knowledge, help us connect with other people, find jobs and much more.

Links to Research and Videos

Pong Traffic Light System

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2868719/German-students-install-Pong-arcade-game-traffic-lights.html

Cancer Research – ‘Genes in Space’

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/play-to-cure-genes-in-space

 

Games Design – H.U.D

H.U.D (also known as Heads-Up Display) is used in nearly every game possible. This display is vital to the player as it holds information that we might need to succeed/continue in the game. A basic H.U.D will usually consist of a health reading, an XP system and a map, however some games like to go overboard and include way too much information therefore making the game more difficult for the player. A H.U.D needs to have a balance between simplicity and complication to achieve an easy to read display that is also decorative as well as informative.

Games as old as ‘Pong’ even had a H.U.D which was the score system; without that you would have no idea who would be winning. Pong was released in 1972 by Atari and this Heads-Up Display is nice and simple for us to read as you need to remember about the players line of vision.

Pong

Each player will always be looking at what is most important and to read a H.U.D the information cannot be scattered about as it will take more time for the player to read and understand that information. This is usually why a lot of H.U.D designs tend to have the same sort of placement.

For example racing games stick to using the corners. A speedometer seems to always be in the bottom right corner and the map is on the left; also lap times and the number of laps each have another corner.

Top Left Corner – Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift (PlayStation 2)

Top Right Corner – Need For Speed: Most Wanted (Xbox 360)

Bottom – Forza (Xbox One)

Combat games differ from racing games as when playing two player racing you are either split screen or online whereas a fighting game consists of the two players being on the same screen. With this in mind the health bars are normally at either the top or bottom of the screen so that the characters and environment are visible. The special moves/power bar is either with the health bar or at the opposite side of the screen. The player icon and name appear near the health bars as they are an indication to which side your player will start the game on.

Fighting game H.U.D Designs have varied over the years as many people try to improve them, however, as gamers we don’t like change in these cases as our intentions are to look in the ‘usual place’ for each part of information. One improvement that has recently been added is the curved/bent health bar. This health bar makes the health easier to read using our peripheral vision using the indentation to be a sign of the health bar being half way as well as the colour transitions (Green means healthy, Orange/Yellow means half way and Red is either Dead or close to being dead). And don’t forget each combat game has a timer in the middle for both players to read.

My Favourites

Bioshock

Bioshock

Each corner has a bit of simple information in it that makes my life easier as well as pressing certain buttons that pause the game as well as bringing up the option to switch plasmids or weapons. If I was to improve it I would experiment with a variety of layouts as it may be easy to read yet it may be time consuming because of the amount of time it takes to view each individual piece of information.

Skyrim

Skyrim.jpg

I really like the Skyrim H.U.D because it has all the information you need to know in your peripheral vision. Also the colour of each bar makes it a lot easier to know what you need to acknowledge. Whether it be magic (blue), health (red) or stamina (green). Also one of my favourite features has to be the enemy health bar; I find it very useful to know how much damage the enemy is taking from each hit of magic or from the use of a weapon.

I would improve the map though, mainly because it is great for navigation but the map does not tell you about the landscape. You could all of a sudden be going the right way and then end up having to climb a mountain whereas if you go on the map on the main menu it shows you where each path is and which ground is high or low.

H.U.D that need improving

Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts 001

I enjoy the game kingdom hearts, however, I have found a few glitches within using it as well as finding it quite had to use whilst in a battle. The magic and health gauges are easy to read but the little command box in the corner is quite difficult to use whilst fighting as you control this using the D-pad. I am used to holding an xbox controller so when it comes to playing Kingdom Hearts on the PlayStation 3 I find using the D-pad quite difficult.

On the other hand I am glad that Kingdom Hearts to used a shortcut button so that you can press one button on the controller to access a more simple way of using your magic and potions. The glitch that I found was the potions not working on the shortcut so I have to use the long way of accessing a health item therefore taking up more of my time and allowing the enemy to have an advantage.

Online Games

World of Warcraft and League of Legends

World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft looks like such a complex H.U.D Design. I have never played the game but just looking at the H.U.D makes me not want to play it as it is too complex for me. These types of games like to take over your life as some people get highly addicted to them mainly because there is so much information that it would be impossible to complete this game. The H.U.D may be colourful but it still doesn’t look great and the amount of numbers that are unexplained until you hover over them with the mouse is crazy.

League of Legends

The League of Legends H.U.D looks a bit more simple but it still has a lot of images and icons that confuse players. Many people out there play games like this and already have an easy understanding of the game; whereas if I played this game I would probably not use most of the buttons.

Games like this are very difficult and I don’t quite like them, but I do give the players of these games credit as they must be very good at memorising and playing these games.

Overall

Heads-Up Displays are forever improving and right at this moment inventors have came up with a temporary H.U.D for a car dashboard. This project has not been released yet as they intend to further improve the item. But I believe that it will reduce car crashes as it is at a better angle to view it at and it also may feature the aspects that a phone can provide therefore causing less people to view their phones whilst driving.

Games Design – The Prisoner Dilemma

Video Source: https://youtu.be/t9Lo2fgxWHw

The Prisoner effect/dilemma is used in most games (especially games that are online). It is a choice related issue that can change the end result of a game depending on which each character chose.

The example we know shows us how the dilemma works in jail, basically stating that each person that got arrested has a choice of two options; to either stay silent or tell them it wasn’t you and blame it on your friend. If one of the prisoners accuses their friend and the other one stay silent, the one that stayed silent would get 3 years in jail and the other one would go free, whereas if they both stay silent they will both go to prison but only for 1 year. If both prisoners accuse each other they will go to prison for 2 years each. Below is an easier way of understanding.

Prisoner 1     Prisoner 2            Prisoner 1     Prisoner 2        Total

Choice                                                       Years in Jail

Accuse P2     Stay Silent              0 years           3 years        3 Years

Stay Silent    Accuse P1               3 years            0 years       3 Years

Stay Silent    Stay Silent             1 year               1 year         2 years

Accuse P2      Accuse P1               2 Years            2 Years      4 Years

As you can see the better option would be to both stay silent because the result ends up spending a year in prison each, however, if you know that the other person will stay silent you could accuse them and go free therefore making the other person deal with the consequence of having to spend 3 years in jail.

The reason we use this ‘Prisoner Dilemma’ is because we don’t know what our team members or the other team are thinking and this Dilemma comes into effect whilst playing games such as Grand Theft Auto 5, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Elder Scrolls Online, Star Wars Battlefront, StarCraft etc.

I mainly understand ‘The Prisoner Dilemma’ in the game Grand Theft Auto 5 (when you play it online). When I have been online people have walked up to my character and tried to speak to me or contact me or invite me to a mission; the prisoner dilemma comes to play as I have the choice to either ignore him/join him and the other choice is to kill him, vice versa he has the same options. I choose to kill as you don’t want to risk it therefore they died and lost some of their money. Here are some examples of Grand Theft Auto Bounty Kills (Bounty Kills count as the prisoner dilemma as you have the choice to ignore the person or go after them to kill them).

Grand Theft Auto 5 Bounty Kills

Video Source: https://youtu.be/0Qvdy1iHbak

Overall I think that this effect can occur randomly and the end result will be unknown unless it is planned as a team. You have to go with your instinct and choose whether to silent and ignore everyone or kill your enemies. (Revenge is also a possibility).

Games Design – Casual vs Hardcore gaming

Games Design – Game Ideas

Our brief consists of us defining what Casual gaming is, developing thumbnail sketches of game concepts for specific age groups and finally creating a Project Proposal/High Concept Document which may also include a critical evaluation which can then be presented to the class.

Gaming Culture

Gaming has been around for years, and over the years it has developed incredibly. Everyone has their own opinion and some people prefer the old media whereas some people believe that new is better. In most cases we can agree that games can bring us together as a community, however some people think that gaming is bad for us. Everyone may have different opinion but we all know gaming exists and some of us don’t even realise we play games daily without even realising.

There are many different ways to game. Usually the way you game determines a gamer title for you. There are such gamers as:

  • Casual Gamers
  • Hardcore Gamers
  • Applied/Serious Gamers
  • Traditional Gamers

Casual Gaming

When someone is a casual gamer it can be interpreted in different ways depending on the person. Most people think a casual gamer is someone who has a little interest in gaming but is not too dedicated/willing to play a game every single day. Whereas some people get offended by that and think that a gamer should always be dedicated and put time and effort into games. Usually casual games are usually quite simple or a mobile app; whereas a hardcore/serious gamer know more about the games and the companies as well as knowing about a wider range of game styles. Casual Gamers play games such as Candy Crush, Farmville and 1010!

Candy Crush.jpeg

Casual

VS

Hardcore

Hardcore Gamer001

Hardcore Gaming

A hardcore gamer is someone who is dedicated in playing games and has a very large interest in a large variety of games. Hardcore gamers usually spend most of their money on games or the merchandise from that game, visit shops and game conventions to make friends as well as buy game related items and also I believe that hardcore gamers try to relate games to real life. Games that hardcore gamers play usually consist of a game series such as Halo, Bioshock, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto etc.

Applied/Serious Gaming

Applied or Serious Games are not well recognised; most people don’t even realise that they are playing one of these types of games. This style of game is generally a game that educates as well as entertain. These games come in a wide variety as some won’t even feel like games as they become boring and are seen as more of a task. I would say Brain Training games and Simulators would categorise as Serious Games because they educate and prepare you for things you may encounter in the real world.Brain Training Simulator

Traditional Gaming

From board games to the classic arcade games; what would you class as traditional? In my opinion I think that both of these type of games are traditional, I also believe that it depends on your age. As an example of the age theory I believe in you need to think about what games you played as a child compared to your grandparents. My grandparents enjoyed Chess, Jenga and as they got older they enjoyed the classic games such as Pacman and Mario whereas I see traditional games as PlayStation 1 games or GameCube etc.

What do you think to gaming cultures? And what type of gamer are you? Feel free to comment below this blog post.

Jenga001

Gameboy colour001 Gamecube

 

 

 

 

 


 


 


 

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