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Learning from Games: Seven Principles of Effective Design

A hy~lee


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ben hyde - February 21, 2003

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I never understood why people find games so easy to use. Simple tasks such as starting games, selecting options, and controlling the damn thing are always a hassle. And in those 3-D shot-at-everything-that-moves games, you always select a too powerful weapon by accident and end up killing yourself when firing. They could learn a lot from us usability wise-guys.

Henrik Olsen | February 21, 2003


Being inspired by games design in designing User Interface is no new thing. Some of the folks who designed the Mac came from Atari - one of the first and most successfull games companies. In "The Art of Human Computer Interface Design" (Brenda Laurel. ed.) There's an article on this (the book is at my workplace...).

Gunnar Langemark | February 21, 2003


It is (or should be) a two way process :) And of course some games have poor interfaces - the point is to learn from what games seem to be doing -at times- very successfully (not what they are doing -equally- badly ;) The other strong argument is that games are often much simpler than interactive software (or a web shopping cart???). The idea that I found particular interesting is the opening display sequence, which shows you 'someone' playing the game. The nearest software has come to this is the where movies show you a moving cursor... Imagine watching a series of demonstrations of some of the key things you can do with a software program. Not the details but the significant processes and results. The Laurel book has loads of other classic essays too. The article Lessons from Computer Game Design was by Chris Crawford (see below).


ben hyde | February 24, 2003



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