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eelke_folmer

Interaction design patterns in Games

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Computer games are among the fastest growing, most profitable businesses in the entertainment world. A typical characteristic of the games sector is that’s it's predominantly hits driven; the top 99 titles (only 3.3% of development) account for 55% of all sales (DTI 2002). An additional problem that game developers face is the massively increasing scale of game development projects; as consoles and pc's advance in technology (video cards, size of memory, CPU power) increasingly complex game play and large quantities of realistic graphics become the standard. A natural consequence of this increase in scale is that the resources required to produce games is significantly increasing. High costs coupled with the low risk of success means developers are likely to focus on fewer and higher quality titles in future and developers have to make sure their game excels in every way possible. Many factors are involved in the success of a game such as providing innovative game play, a good storyline, nice artwork, realism, reputation, marketing efforts, etcetera may all, more or less, contribute to that unique gaming experience. Quality, in my opinion is also a very important asset; games have to perform really well; being able to deal with large volumes of complex data and graphics and running in real time and other qualities such as usability and reliability increasingly determine a games' success. A game that is difficult to learn to play, that difficult to control and which crashes often is doomed to fail in a highly competitive market. Based upon this reasoning, I defined a small collection of interaction design patterns for games. My collection can be found on: http://www.eelke.com/research/patterns/idig-patterns.html If anyone wants to take a look and provide me with some feedback I would greatly appreciate it. If you have suggestions for new patterns let me know!

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I don't have much to add to this, but the idea of cataloguing these types of patterns is very interesting.

I'm curious to see where this type of work leads.

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Yeah well there is a very thin line between what is called a feature and what is really something that is beneficial to usability. For example a simple thing such as saving one can consider that something to be beneficial to usability (such as being able to save in games) but one cannot imagine a word processor without being able to save as that would not

I came up with a few new patterns; I would like your feedback I will just provide concise description of the pattern

Skip Cut scene
problem: gamer has to watch a particular scene which is part of the story but already knows this scene or just does not want to watch it.
solution: offer the option to skip the scene

Quick Load/Save
problem: Saving / Loading takes time and interrupts game play:
solution: provide quick load and quick save

Journal/log
problem: Gamers are bombarded with information essential to the fullfilment of the game but the gamer cannot remember everything
solution: record all necessary information that the user has collected in a log or journal and allow the user to instantly consult this journal.

Replay
problem: Gamer has performed a "spectacular" action and would like to relive this experience without playing
solution: Replay this action

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