Sunday, 22 April 2012

Interaction Design

Most gamers are used to a conventional layout for their controls when hopping from one game to the next. 

This is true of most FPS games - 

Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 

R1 button - Attack

Neutral lstick- Movement

X button- Stand/Jump

C button- Crouch/Prone
L1 button- Aim Down Sights

R3 button- Melee Attack 

T button- Switch Weapons

L3 button- Sprint/Steady Scope 

R2 button- Throw Frag/Throw Back Grenade 

L2 button- Throw Special Grenade 

Neutral dpad- Inventory 

S button- Reload 

S hold- Use 

Neutral dpad- Night Vision Goggles 

Start button- Show Objectives/Scores

Medal of Honor

Directional Pad
Up = Dynamic HUD. Left = Grenade Launcher. Supper Actions (Multiplayer). Right = Select Fire Mode. Support Actions (Multiplayer). Down = Change Vision Goggles.
Left Thumbstick
Right Thumbstick
Click Left Thumbstick
Click Right Thumbstick
A Button
Jump. Switch Seat (Multiplayer).
B Button
Change Stance. Prone (Hold).
X Button
Reload. Context Action.
Y Button
Change Weapon. Equip Pistol (Tap Twice).
Left Bumper
Peek and Lean. Alternative Weapon (Multiplayer).
Right Bumper
Throw Grenade
Left Trigger
Iron Sights
Start Button
Pause Menu
Right Trigger
Fire Weapon
Back Button
Objectives Menu. Scoreboard (Multiplayer).

Most adventure games follow a similar established layout -
God of War III
Directional Button
Switch Weapons
Left Analog Stick
Right Analog Stick
Evade. Target Select.
X Button
Jump. Double Jump (Tap Twice). Icarus Wings (Hold).
Square Button
Normal Attack. Battering Ram (When Holding Certain Items).
Triangle Button
Heavy Attack. Launch and Follow Enemy into Air (Hold).
Circle Button
L1 Button
Block. Parry.
R1 Button
Action. Interact. Drop (From Ledge). Grapple.
R2 Button
Use Magic
Combat Grapple
Use Items
Rage of Sparta
Kick Objects
Hold R1 and press X Button to charge and release.
Rotate Objects
Rapidly Switch Weapon

Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow

So to go from established conventions such as these to this - 

That is quite a radical step. 
Fundamentally it comes down to Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft gaining a broader scope of audience. 

We are a technologically driven society. Even our Grandparents send e-mails. 
Everyone is connected. 
So how do you bring this enclave into the fold? Especially when some have never held a 'Controller' before. 

You simplify the formula. 
Allow interaction using familiar gestures, one button input events, even voice commands. 
Even the most technophobic parent can get involved and not feel like a complete halfwit. 
(see what I did there) 

(oh god.......)

This new model for gaming promoted a very positive experience for players. 
You were no longer slouched back in your chair but 'actively' taking part in a gaming experience.

Suddenly games were focused more on fitness and family activities. 

And soon celebrity endorsements followed, advertisement campaigns spanning Television and the Internet. Nintendo alone spent $200 million through 2006 promoting the wii

Helen Mirren on her wii Balance Board

Toys R Us in New York - 2006

I personally feel this was a great progression for the games industry, as it changed the perception of the video gaming culture for the world. 

Everyone could be a gamer. Not just obese spotty nerds in their bedrooms. 

Pearl the information vampire - Blade (1998)
(sorry in advance to fellow nerds!)

Now the games took place in the living room on the big flat screen TV with every one joining in.

Nintendo's wii re-established it's position in the console wars as the highest selling console from 2006 - 2012. And increased its gaming demographic to suit all ages. It has won awards for innovation and "Breakthrough Technology".

Microsoft's Kinect shipped 18 million units between 2010 - 2012. Averaging 133, 333 units per day
And held the Guiness World Record for the "fastest selling consumer electronics device
(This record is now held by Apple's iPad which sold 311, 666 per day)

A great product for people who have ants in their pants and just love to dance.

Sony released the Playstation Move technology which didn't sell quite as many units (between 2010 - 2011, 8.8 million units) but advanced the motion controller technology to its highest point so far. 
And earned Sony the Popular Science Award 2010 for "Most immersive game controller"

So now that both the xbox 360 and the PS3 have implemented motion controlled technology into their games, it has placed the wii back in it's low-tech moribund state. 

Which would explain the 180 that Nintendo have pulled recently to appeal to 'core' gamers with this device -

 Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata made this curious comment in an interview with 

"I now regret that we didn't tie up with someone outside the company to market the Wii. If we had done that, the fate of the Wii might have been different... Now I am aware that we should not rely too much on ourselves. You will see what I mean by this when we market the 3DS and the Wii in the future.

The growing list of games that feature on the upcoming Nintendo console are more focused on Mature gaming, 'core' gaming.

Which just illustrates how cyclic the industry can be. 

No comments:

Post a Comment