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Ketchaval

Making it intuitive.

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This is done simply by having a button represent a catagory of actions. Example: A game has a button called the primary button. This button does all your primary actions which include swing sword, talk, use switch, open chest, ect. ect.. The you could have a secondary button such as jump and all things related to jumping. Just have a button become used for a catagory of actions.

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quote:
Original post by LtKicker
This is done simply by having a button represent a catagory of actions. Example: A game has a button called the primary button. This button does all your primary actions which include swing sword, talk, use switch, open chest, ect. ect.. The you could have a secondary button such as jump and all things related to jumping. Just have a button become used for a catagory of actions.


Huh!?!?

While LtKicker''s answer is very simplistic and straight forward, there is no ONE way of making intuitive interfaces-- or even can I really tell you point blank how to make a game more intuitive and accessible... Certainly the Atari theory listed above IS one way...

I am, basically, a GUI programmer so I''ve spent a lot of time researching and reading about making user interfaces more intuitive and easy to use. There are PLENTY of resources both in book form (such as Chronos''s suggestion) and on the internet-- One site that I loved was called the "Interface Hall of Shame"... but now if you do a search on that, it turns up many sites-- all of them pretty good. Most of them focus on web sites and OS stuff, but I think a lot of that applies.

The biggest problem, as I mentioned earlier, is I cannot tell you what intuitive design is... (You have to see it for yourself.) There are two options: 1. Copy some interface or elements of other intefaces, or 2. Try something new, taking a chance that it''s not gonna work.

Take #1. It''s safe. Follow standards, practices, and methods that have been used over the past many years of graphic user interfaces. Pay attention to the way Windows (especially, since most people use it) works, and how the inteface is. Follow this ''cause it''s most familiar to users. There are plenty of different ways of doing interfaces that are both easy and comfortable for users-- anything from the Windows 3.1 days on. The idea of what is "standard" has changed quite a bit since that time, especially because of the different way webpages navigate. But still, anything that has worked in the past will work in the present.

That is the easy way. #2 is quite a bit more difficult because you''re attempting to reinvent the wheel. (Maybe not quite to that extreme... More like trying to reinvent the keyboard. *AHEM* Mr. Dvorak!) So if you think you must try something new, for heaven''s sake TEST IT! Give it (Not the complete game, but the complete interface) to a hundred testers and have them tell you what they think. Listen to what they have to say. If any more than 20% of them complain that of a difficulty, change it. Another big lesson is customization. Allow the user to custom define the controls as much as possible... watch your play testers, see what their favorite setups are, and set that to default.

But there''s no reason to come up with a new gui... If you''re trying to re-invent the GUI just "to be different" or because you don''t want to do things the way everyone else does, perhaps you should re-evaluate the rest of your project... Some of the most successful games are those that use standard, re-used, intuitive interface and the developers saved all of their creative juices for things like storylines, plot, gameplay, graphics, etc. There''s no reason so reinvent the interface "just because". Some examples of where this was tried and failed was SimCity 4 (which''s inteface is nothing like the first 3 in the series!) and a game called Pirates: Quest For The Seas. (Ugh!)

But on the flipside of that flipside, there is value in trying new things. Neverwinter Nights got a lot of praise for it''s "radial interface" (though it HAS been used before)... Also the video game industry seems VERY tolerant of odd, strange, and less-intuitive intefaces. Look at Enter The Matrix-- it caught a LOT of heat for the controls being very difficult to learn.

-Desco-

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