Reference Material

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Game Design General

Command & Control

NF

Architecture

Color

Voice

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UX

GAP Acessiblity Heuristic

  1. Goals
    1. Overall goal: The player is presented clear goals (e.g. overriding goals) early enough or is able to create her own goals and is able to understand and identify them
    2. Short-time goals: There can be multiple goals on each level (short-term and long-term goals), so that there are more strategies to win. Furthermore the player knows how to reach the goal without getting stuck
  2. Motivation
    1. The player is receiving meaningful rewards. The acquisition of skills (personal and in-game skills) can also be a reward
    2. The game does not stagnate and the player feels the progress
    3. The game and the outcome are perceived as being fair
    4. The game itself is replayable and the player enjoys playing it
    5. The game play does not require the player to fulfil boring tasks
    6. Challenges are positive game experiences and encourage the user to continue playing
    7. The first-time experience is encouraging
  3. Challenge
    1. The game is paced to apply pressure to but does not frustrate the player
    2. Challenge, strategy and pace are in balance
    3. The artificial intelligence is reasonable, visible to the player, consistent with the player’s expectations and yet unpredictable
    4. There are variable difficulty levels for a greater challenge
    5. The challenge of the game is adapted to the acquired skills. The difficulty level varies so the player experiences greater challenges as she develops mastery
    6. Challenging tasks are not required to be completed more than once (e.g. when dying after completing a hard task)
    7. The game is easy to learn, but hard to maste
  4. Learning
    1. The player is given space to make mistakes, but the failure conditions must be understandable
    2. The learning curve is shortened. The user’s expectations are met and the player has enough information to get immediately started (or at least after reading the instruction once)
    3. General help displaying the game’s fundamentals exists and is a meaningful addition to the game and provides useful assistance before and during the game
    4. Tutorials and adjustable levels are able to involve the player quickly (learning) and provided upon request throughout the entire game
  5. Control
    1. The player feels that she is in control. That includes the control over the character as well as the impact onto the game world. It is clear what’s happening in the game
    2. The player can impact the game world and make changes
    3. The player is able to skip non-playable and repeating content if not required by the game play
    4. The game mechanics feel natural and have correct weight and momentum. Furthermore they are appropriate for the situation the player is facing
    5. The player is able to save the game in different states (applies to non arcade-like games) and is able to easily turn the game off and on
    6. The player is able to respond to threats and opportunities
  6. Consistency
    1. Changes the player makes to the game world are persistent and noticeable
    2. The game is consistent and responds to the user’s action in a predictable manner. This includes consistency between the game elements and the overarching settings as well as the story
  7. Game Story
    1. The meaningful game story supports the game play and is discovered as part of the game play
    2. The story suspends disbelief and is perceived as a single vision, i.e. the story is planned through to the end
    3. The game emotionally transports the player into a level of personal involvement (e.g. scare, threat, thrill, reward, punishment)
  8. Feedback
    1. The acoustic and visual effects arouse interest and provide meaningful feedback at the right time
    2. Feedback creates a challenging and exciting interaction and involves the player by creating emotions
    3. The feedback is given immediately to the player’s action
    4. The player is able to identify game elements such as avatars, enemies, obstacles, power ups, threats or opportunities (orthogonal unit differentiation)
    5. The player knows where she is on the mini-map if there is one and does not have to memorize the level design
    6. The player does not have to memorize resources like bullets, life, score, points and ammunition
  9. Visual appearance
    1. In-game objects are standing out (contrast, texture, colour, brightness), even for players with bad eyesight or colour blindness and cannot easily be misinterpreted
    2. The objects look like what they are for (affordance)
  10. Interaction
    1. Input methods are easy to manage and have an appropriate level of sensitivity and responsiveness
    2. Alternative methods of interaction are available and intuitive. When existing interaction methods are employed, they are adhering to standards
    3. The first player action is obvious and results in immediate positive feedback
  11. Customization
    1. The game allows for an appropriate level of customization concerning different aspects (e.g. audio and video settings, etc.)
    2. The input methods allow customization concerning the mappings. The customization is persistent
  12. Menu and interface elements (HUD)
    1. The interface is consistent in control, colour, typography and dialog design (e.g. large blocks of text are avoided, no abbreviations) and as non-intrusive as possible
    2. The menu is intuitive and the meanings are obvious and perceived as a part of the game
    3. The visual representation (i.e. the view) allows the user to have a clear, unobstructed view of the area and of all visual information that is tied to the location
    4. Relevant information is displayed and the critical information stands out. Irrelevant information is left out. The user is provided enough information to recognize her status and to make proper decisions
    5. If standard interface elements are used (buttons, scroll bars, pop-up menus), they are adhering to common game interface design guidelines