Monday, 23 April 2012

Task 20: Elements of game technology, part three: interaction design

I’ll be talking about the interaction in games and how we have gone from game pads to full blown 12 button controllers (not including directions) and how modern motion controllers are changing interactive design.

Intuitive definition

1. Using or based on what one feels to be true even without conscious reasoning; instinctive.
2. (Chiefly of computer software) Easy to use and understand.
Call of duty gets a lot of questions asked of it and a lot of them are negative due to its mass market domination and its countless releases. From first time gamers to seasoned gamers the control system is always scrutinized and nit picked over. I have been playing the franchise since the very beginning on pc to the latest console versions. When I play the game I do not think what buttons I need to press to kill somebody or to go into prone it is second nature to me I believe it to be intuitive but this is because I have built up muscle memory and cognitive skills.
To a first time user getting there head around the button layout takes time but call of duty helps you out with practice arenas at the start of the campaign and certain game modes like spec ops. Spec ops is where you go against waves of computer AI enemies racking up points to unlock guns and more ammunition. The hardest thing for a new gamer is to get their head around the thumb sticks. You need to move in a direction with on thumb pad, aim your gun with the other thumb pad, pull the triggers to aim down sights and shoot all at the same time.  Also on the screen you can get player clear prompts and helpful on screen reminders i.e. Press x to pick up weapon or Press A to climb. The prompt doesn’t get in the way and isn’t too intrusive and doesn’t break the immersion to much.
The new Wii and PlayStation 3 controllers are pushing the way game designers think about interaction and immersion with the player. Socom 4 is a great game to show the way the motion controls have immersed the player in the game. When you have the Sharpshooter peripheral for the motion controller you feel ready to play straight away. There is a digital trigger, a realistic pump action and even a firing mode selector this means the game can be even more realistic and immersive. When you tap the bottom of where the magazine should be, it reloads the gun in the game. When you jab the gun forwards your character brings out his knife and takes a swipe. Watching videos of people using the motion controls in the game I believe it can be fun in single player use but it wouldn’t work in multiplayer as people that use the normal PlayStation controllers would have a massive advantage.
My thoughts on motion controls, I see them to be gimmicky when they are implemented into the hard-core games like first person shooters but I can see it that it works perfectly in more casual games. I haven’t got around to playing a game in 3D but I can definitely see it becoming popular and very immersive as long as it doesn’t become just everything in your face 100% of your time. Another thing about 3D is that you currently have to wear glasses to view the TV, this can be uncomfortable and not practical to people with glasses already. People need to be able to afford a 3D TV without the wearing glasses before the 3D takes off.

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