Archive for the ‘GUI’ tag

M:A:D Screenshot #1


Sharing a simple screenshot we took some days ago showing buildings, units and the first version of the GUI.

All feedback is welcome and see you soon!


Posted: July 15th, 2009
at 9:30am by Vlad

Tagged with , , , , ,

Categories: The art of VGS

Comments: 8 comments

Thoughts on user interaction

hardcore-gamerDoesn’t matter how many games you’ve made or how many tests you’ll perform, you’ll always have a lot of doubts when it comes to how to put the interaction in your game feedback loop.

User interaction grows on me in a weird way. Experience should make it easier, but as time goes by I tend to put more and more variables to the design stage. I want the player experience to be flawless.

Flawless interaction

In my humble opinion for the interaction to be flawless, the following requirements must be met:

1. Minimal interaction

The player’s effort to get something done must be minimal, except if that effort is part of the game’s mechanic.

2. Perfect feedback

The player’s effort to get something done must have its counterpart in the game that must perform the player’s order but also inform the player that the order was received correctly. If the player’s order is not accepted by the core rules of the game design, the player must be undoubtedly informed that it was not possible to perform the action and why.

3. Seamless integration

Both interaction and feedback must be integrated in a way that is natural to the game. For instance, if you have a very simple mechanic and the player action is not allowed, you shouldn’t pause the game and give the player a huge chunk of text explaining why that is happening. A simple sound and some red markings on screen should make it obvious for the player.

Our rules

With all of the above in mind, I look at our current project and decided on the following…

1. Mouse Hover

Every time the player moves the mouse on top of some meaningful element (usually a game token) the game will always produce feedback about the element. The feedback will always be presented in the same screen space. Information formatting will be as similar as possible to all elements, respecting the smaller differences between each element type.

2. Mouse Click

GUI buttons were created to remove unnecessary effort. As an example, given a large playarea where you’d need to find a game token, click it and choose a task by another click would involveĀ the player searching for the game token in the map, clicking it, analysing a set of options and clicking one. We created GUI buttons where the player simply has to click the option he wants.

From the feedback point of view, the button will only be available if all conditions are met to perform the action of the given button. More, if the player hovers the button, information will be given in the determined info space to why the player cannot perform that action.

The only elements that involve two clicks are elements that interact with other elements. In this case, we opted to make the first mouse click select the element and make the element information fixed and then the second click on the element to interact with will create a contextual decision.


What is described above is already implemented in our current project. I predict some tuning of some issues regarding user interaction with the game but the results make the game feel ridiculously simple to play. My biggest question is if this feeling is only ours or if the players will feel the same.

See you all soon,

Posted: June 29th, 2009
at 12:00am by Vlad

Tagged with , , , ,

Categories: The design of VGS

Comments: No comments