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How to exit the game gracefully?

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#1 i_grad   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 12:04 PM

I was reading this article for boredom's sake and contemplating some resolutions to these design flaws. One issue that caught my attention was the two entries about quitting the game back to the desktop/dashboard/whatever, especially the "are you sure you want to quit?" dialog entry.

 

One answer I thought of is to have a countdown timer (3, maybe 5 seconds) after the player presses the quit button before the game actually quits. During this time the player can cancel the operation with a button press. This isn't as fast as Start->up->X->up->X, but it could be less annoying than a pop-up dialog box if implemented with a similar style to the rest of the game.

 

Thoughts? Other solutions to this design flaw?



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#2 GameCreator   Members   -  Reputation: 751

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 12:27 PM

Never make players wait to do what they want in a menu.  It's super annoying and no game I know does this.

 

That said, the article isn't especially clear.  If you got to the exit option through a menu, you don't need to do anything else.  You've already pressed at least one button earlier to get to the exit.  That's all the warning you need.  However, if your game is in windowed mode and there's a chance that you can accidentally click on the X at the top right corner (or wherever), definitely feel free to put in a quick "are you sure" confirmation.  But only for that specific case - not for the menu navigation.



#3 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1994

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 03:55 PM

The problem is more about unintentionally leaving the game and loosing your current status. I think one place where this is an issue for me is when I'm looking at reloading a saved game and I'm trying to get through the UI as fast as possible to get back to my game but I end up selecting the wrong thing. In this case, an "Are you sure" dialogue sometimes helps but not always as I can press buttons pretty quickly if I'm thinking that I know what's about to happen. The other time I think it happens to me is pretty much a similar situation is when I'm playing something like Civilization and I'm trying to end a current game and start another. After playing for several hours, my brain has turned to much and I can't seem to figure out which of the two menu options "Quit to Desktop" or "Quit to Main Menu" is the one I really want to push.

I think a timer that forces me to wait before I actually quit won't work because I'll be sitting there in my half zoned out state pushing buttons on my controller or mouse waiting for the game to do whatever it was I thought I had selected (probably "load game") instead. It'll be too late for me to react by the time I notice I made the wrong selection.

If you think about it, the more a user is interacting with a particular area of the UI the greater the opportunity will be for mistakes. So if you're expecting your user might be going into the Save or Load menu options regularly, maybe it'd be a good idea to put some separation between those options and the one to quit the game. Perhaps both in the physical screen real estate and the number of button presses required. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to require a user to use slightly more thought and interact just a bit more to do something that he will only be doing intentionally once per game session.
 



#4 ShiftyCake   Members   -  Reputation: 520

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 08:09 PM

the problem differs from game to game. If you're playing a game that loses progress if not saved properly, or cannot be saved, then thats where the quitting option becomes a problem.

 

Their are quite a few games that implement a time feature GameCreator, however most of them are mmorpg's, which is reasonable as the online feature can cause problems if disconnection is immediate. There have been quite a few times where my internet has turned off, but it took a few seconds for my character itself to be removed from in-game, causing me to die. Some mmorpg's implement both the time and are you sure features together, so once you click quit you are given a 10s window in which you can click quit again to close the game immediately. It's a mostly irrelevant feature, save for the off chance you need to leave in the space of the 2s required to click the quit button, but its nice nonetheless.

 

The problem with this, well, problem, is that their is no entirely correct solution. its a Comfortability vs Security problem, where adding to one will always minus from the other. It really just depend on what game you are playing, as I stated originally. A game that does not have a dynamic or auto save feature,or no save feature at all, would lean more heavily on the security side. Where as a game that does will focus more heavily on the comfortability side.

 

If I was leaning onto the Security side, I'd only have a quit to the main menu option on my menu bar. most games allow you to continue where you left off from the main menu, so in most cases this stops potential problems. however if that is not the case, I would make sure that accessing the quit option takes at least more then one click once you access the menu (basically a sub-menu, probably accessed through options). Finally I'd implement an are you sure to feature. An additional thing you could do is make sure that each click has to happen on a different part of the screen, so that rapid clicks in the same area don't cause a quit. This would remove 99% of the accidental quits, that 1% being the extremely unlucky person.

 

However if I was leaning onto the comfortability side, I'd have the quit to menu and quit to desktop on a sub-menu within the quit button. Well, less of a sub-menu, and more of a replacement for are you sure. It removes the need for are you sure and makes quitting feel nice, at least in my opinion. I would also make sure that clicking on them happens at a different part of the screen to avoid rapid clicks, however I'd do this at a lesser degree to make it less movement for your mouse. This makes it a lot less effective, as rapid clicking usually occurs in an area and not just one spot, but we are not going for Security here. There's not much else you can do for this, though I may be wrong, so its the easier of the two.

 

But to be honest, these kind of features are the 'that'd be nice' kind of features. I'd only worry about it after you've created your game, but by then a lot of developers have already moved onto their next project. moving off-topic, I never really liked the concept of starting a new project so soon after finishing your first one. Give at least half a month of extra time for a refresher, and another half to come back to the game you made and see if their are any design flaws, or areas you can improve in. Not to mention most of them will have already been pointed out by the community. But I digress, that's all I have to say on the topic.

 

EDIT: in light of the next two posts, I want to rephrase that I was talking about what things worked towards the goal of security, and what worked for the goal of comfort-ability. A combination of the two are generally good for most games. if you're playing a game like CoD Zombies, then you can spend up to entire days (theoretically infinite) playing it. You can't save your progress, and any disconnection results in the loss of your game. During this time you'll be taking plenty of breaks and, more often then not, won't be paying attention to the small things. In a case like that, i'd like as much security as possible. However on the contrary, you can play this game for one minute and then quit.

 

So on rethinking, I'd prefer to have this 'extreme' version of security as an optional feature. That way when im going for that score break or just want to play as long as possible, I can select it to ensure I don't accidentally disconnect.


Edited by ShiftyCake, 18 July 2014 - 11:44 AM.

If, at any point, what I post is hard to understand, tell me. I am bad at projecting my thoughts into real words, so I appreciate the knowledge that I need to edit my post.

 

I am not a professional writer, nor a professional game designer. Please, understand that everything you read is simply an opinion of mind and should not, at any point in time, be taken as a credible answer unless validated by others.

 

I do take brief bouts of disappearance so don't worry if I either don't reply to you or miss certain things. I am quite a lazy fellow.


#5 valrus   Members   -  Reputation: 583

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 08:29 PM

If I'm in the middle of gameplay, and ask to quit to the desktop, I think it's reasonable to ask me if I'm sure.

 

If I just quit to the main menu, and then ask to quit to the desktop, then I think it's reasonable to assume I meant to do exactly that.  (Unless both of these are mapped to "Esc", in which case make sure, because I may have accidentally hit it twice.)

 

What I don't like is where I quit, and it takes me to a menu, and I quit, and it takes me to a dialogue box, and I have to say "OK" to quit.  I don't want to do *three* things to quit.



#6 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1767

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 09:50 PM

The games that annoy me when it comes to quitting them are mostly those that give me a bloody loading screen as I'm quitting, and/or make me wade through stuff to actually exit.

 

In game > Menu > load screen > some other menu > load spinner > yet-another-menu > long load spinner > main menu > quit menu asking me if I actually want to leave the game > LOAD ****ING SPINNER > desktop

 

When what I want is

 

In game > Menu > Confirm I meant to quit in the middle of my game > Desktop. No loading spinners, no delay, no flashy sounds or graphics to make me think the game is more 'polished' than it really is.

 

 

The other thing that bugs me on quitting functions are games which have no knowledge about their save state.

 

In game > menu > save game > menu > quit game (Without doing anything to game state) > Are you sure you want to quit? unsaved data will be lost! (Wait, did I save, or didn't I just save? I'm tired and in a hurry...)


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#7 ShadowFlar3   Members   -  Reputation: 1253

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 05:43 AM

TLDR;

 

chance for player to have unsaved progress he could lose -> prompt quit

casual game / without saving -> instant quit

never -> player has to wait for timers or watch advertising/credits screens


Edited by ShadowFlar3, 18 July 2014 - 05:43 AM.


#8 NathanRunge   Members   -  Reputation: 422

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 07:56 AM

There are a number of approaches. The best approach is one that suits the context. The biggest complexity is how to handle saving data. If players will not wish to manage their own saved games, or are otherwise restricted from doing so, then it's reasonable to auto-save the game when exiting in most circumstances. If automatically saving the game is not a reasonable option, then a prompt might be a solid choice.

 

After reading this, one approach I considered to avoid cases of accidentally exiting the game would be to impose a time on the interaction of instructing the game to exit itself. Rather than allowing the player to tap/click the exit button, and then implementing something like a timer, make the exit button a 'hold button.' The player would be required to depress the button for a minimum length of time, such as 1.5 seconds. The interface device would then provide visual (and possibly auditory) feedback to indicate the progress toward exiting the game. This minimises the risk of accidentally hitting the wrong button, and diminishes the likelihood of exiting without thinking. Simultaneously it provides feedback to the player and does not require the player to wait, inactive, while a timer expires. Implemented well, it should be a satisfying interaction.


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#9 vvv2   Members   -  Reputation: 161

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 02:31 AM

 One issue that caught my attention was the two entries about quitting the game back to the desktop/dashboard/whatever, especially the "are you sure you want to quit?" dialog entry.

Hi,

 

- if I'm doing some shareware game, I put this dialogue with a few seconds delay and product promotion in it until the game is not registered. Registered game comes out without any holdback and fully advertising-free.

 

Good luck in your work.


© 2000 by "vvv2".

 


#10 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 18019

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 08:04 AM

The point as listed in the original article makes an assumption that simply doesn't hold true for all players in all games:

 

Our limbs are not flailing madly out of control. Mouse hands do not go rogue and start clicking random patches of screen. The left hemisphere of my brain has never betrayed me by trying to auction off my Diablo 3 inventory, or closed a game I didn't want closed.

A lot of people do accidentally trigger the option to exit a game for a number of reasons:

  • They're in a rush to reach another option, and mis-click.
  • They're rushing through a previous option and accidentally trigger multiple inputs.
  • They're tired or not paying full attention and simply click the wrong option.

If the player won't lose any progress (thanks to auto-save, because they have already saved manually, or because the whole concept isn't relevant to the game in question) then it's probably fine to simply quit, but if the player will lose progress by exiting the prompt will sometimes be welcome.

 

You don't need some new solution to this; a correctly implemented prompt is already a pretty ideal solution, and is one that players are already familiar and comfortable with.  As others have said above, this is only a problem if it's implemented poorly and becomes intrusive or bothers the player unnecessarily.

 

 

Then again on the second point about exiting, the article makes an assumption that doesn't always hold true:

If someone presses "exit," they have a right to expect an exit. It's an unambiguous command. It doesn't mean "hey let's leave the session and then restart the game on the main menu screen." It doesn't mean "the player has indicated they want to exit the game, let's ask them if they're sure they want to exit the game." It means they want you to go away now.

This is a flawed assumption, or at least one that only focusses on some situations whilst ignoring others; it's actually quite common for games to have a command to exit back to the main menu, and in many cases this is actually something the player may very well want to do.  The simple solution to this is to provide both options ("exit to menu", and "exit to desktop", or whatever phrasing makes the most sense for your context) and clearly label them.

 

...and then, because contrary to the authors suggestion the player may have actually chosen the wrong option by mistake, if there is a risk of losing unsaved progress you should probably prompt the player to confirm the action.

 

 

Do whatever is contextually appropriate for your game, and if there is a chance that the player might accidentally lose progress provide a fail-safe that is as unobtrusive as possible.



#11 Sik_the_hedgehog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1609

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 12:45 AM

Eh, my game just has a "quit" option that returns you to the main menu. However pressing Alt+F4 will quit the game immediately (without even fading), so in some sense both commands are available either way.


Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

#12 the incredible smoker   Members   -  Reputation: 312

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 10:32 AM

You can Always tell the player in the manual to use Alt + F4.

 

Does anyone know how to disable Alt+Control+Delete  and Alt + F4 for C++ ?,

Players should not be allowed to quit in my game, before they played 1 level, or win a mini exit stress game.

 

Fun.


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#13 Nypyren   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4190

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 12:34 PM

Coincidentally: Sometimes it might be good to disable ALT+F4. I was playing Divinity: Original Sin last night, was holding down ALT to view items on the ground, then hit F4 to select my fourth character to pick up a heavy item. Instantaneous exit without saving. Whoops!

#14 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1767

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 08:33 AM

Personally I would say that overriding standard OS level commands is a bad thing. Ideally your control scheme should be designed and laid out such that a user is very unlikely to accidentally select a command like alt+F4 (I'm really not a fan of F-keys being used for game commands due to just how common keyboards that lack distinct F-keys are. Forcing a user to then add the Fn key into the mix is not a good design in my mind. And given the number of people who now own ONLY a laptop, this issue should be considered by developers.)

 

OSX CMD+Q however is a little more tricky. 

 

 

A program should play nice in the environment it runs in. Along with exiting nicely it should also multitask nicely, not screw with system audio or video, and work well in various multi-monitor setups.


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#15 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7786

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 07:41 AM

Most gamers I know now have a shortcut on their keyboard to do Alt-F4 (ya, because two keys is too long).

When a player wants to quit, he wants to quit now.

Trying to alleviate the anxiety caused by a misclick from the player by delaying everyone's dedicated action would cause more harm than good.



#16 vvv2   Members   -  Reputation: 161

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 12:36 AM

Personally I would say that overriding standard OS level commands is a bad thing.

Hi,

- generally, the all current object-oriented programming language, has an independent "on close" event, where we can choose the outcome.
Good luck.


Edited by jbadams, 01 September 2014 - 06:43 AM.
Removed signature.


#17 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 18019

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 06:43 AM

 

Personally I would say that overriding standard OS level commands is a bad thing.

Hi,

- generally, the all current object-oriented programming language, has an independent "on close" event, where we can choose the outcome.
Good luck.

 

That's so barely relevant that I can only assume you're only responding in order to share the link in your signature -- and I've noticed that a lot of your other posts are pretty similar -- so I've removed it from this particular post.  Please try to ensure you're only replying if you have something relevant, meaningful and on-topic to say.



#18 vvv2   Members   -  Reputation: 161

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 01:55 AM

 

 

Personally I would say that overriding standard OS level commands is a bad thing.

Hi,

- generally, the all current object-oriented programming language, has an independent "on close" event, where we can choose the outcome.
Good luck.

 

That's so barely relevant that I can only assume you're only responding in order to share the link in your signature

Thank you for your opinion.
This message is to the intended meaning, that even trying to get away with Alt-F4, in modern language, we bid the walking "on close" or "on exit" event, where we have the opportunity to choose a return or exit. Without processing this event, just exit.
Thank you again.


Edited by jbadams, 02 September 2014 - 03:53 AM.
Removed signature.






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