Bloodborne’s cues and feedback quality

Clear feedback that conveys personality

Identifying interactive objects : highlights and error messages

Players somtimes confuse natural lighting with iteraction cues but interactive items are easy to identify

Light effects are very effective to draw the player’s attention on objects. In Bloodborne, the lighting tends to attrack the player to decoration that isn’t interactive. It soon becomes easy to make the difference between “natural light” and actual items to pick up thanks to a shiny dot and a highlight in the dark that is active even without a torch.

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Bloodborne : It’s all about timing the actions right

Conveying cues for well timed actions

People reaction times vary depending upon the type of cue they recieve : visual or auditory. Getting the timing right requires to give clear information on the moment it can be performed. Depending upon the mastery level required and the type of interactions, cues for timings will be more or less evident.

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Usability review of Walking Dead : Road to survival

When I started playing Road to Survival, I was impressed y the polish of some of the usability. The first time user experience is far better than lots of games I tried, but it is also a quite confusing experience.

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Cupcake 2048 usability evaluation

As part of a benchmark series, we will look at many 2048 games out there to see how they compare, and highlight best practices swell as common pitfalls for this type of games.

Next up, Cupcake 2048.

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Full Indie 2016 : Effective audio design

Audio can do much more for your game than giving a tone and informing player behavior. Kevin Regamy showed many example of great sound design for inspiration. He illustrated how considering audio early and often in a project can give better results – just like for user research.  Here’s some of the benefits Kevin highlighted.

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Playtest insights on Amanita’s Botanicula : interaction design and the complexity of puzzles

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.39.23PART 2 Botanicula is a “relaxed game perfect for hardcore gamers, their partners, families and seniors”; A point and Click adventure by Amanita Designs, who already won our hearts with Machinarium.

I’ve had the chance to test this game with two teenagers: Joe, a core gamer, Alex, a casual gamer and Robin, a 5 year old little girl, a 66 year old grand mother and a zen-game loving mom. Here’s some highlights of their player experiences.

Tested on PC/Mac

This review includes screenshots and details of the end of the game, beware of spoilers

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Usability for core games and Bloodborne’s first time experience

Usability for hardcore gamers

Usability is about removing un-necessary actions to support a user’s activity. In games, this means reducing repetitive and boring tasks that don’t add value to the gameplay. Typically, while the gameplay loops include some difficulty, the interaction design of menus, controls and interfaces should be straightforward. Players need to focus on how to solve riddles, beat a boss or master a level, not struggle with menus or try to start up the game. Only few games like octodad can justify that struggling with movement is the fun part of the game. In most cases, it isn’t.

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Playtest insights on Amanita’s Botanicula : goals, guidance and storytelling

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 10.39.23Part 1 Botanicula is a “relaxed game perfect for hardcore gamers, their partners, families and seniors”; A point and Click adventure by Amanita Designs, who already won our hearts with Machinarium.

I’ve had the chance to test this game with two teenagers: Joe, a core gamer, Alex, a casual gamer and Robin, a 5 year old little girl, a 66 year old grand mother and a zen-game loving mom. Here’s some highlights of their player experiences.

Tested on PC/Mac

Continue reading Playtest insights on Amanita’s Botanicula : goals, guidance and storytelling

Hexic 2048 usability evaluation

As part of a benchmark series, we will look at many 2048 games out there to see how they compare, and highlight best practices swell as common pitfalls for this type of games.

Next up, Hexic 2048.

Continue reading Hexic 2048 usability evaluation

Game review : Catherine’s Tutorials and Controls Usability Review

Tutorials & Controls in Catherine’s nightmares

In this article, we are going to have a closer look at Catherine’s controls and tutorials. Let’s have a look at how players accomodate awkward controls by moving from using the stick to using the less input-error-prone directional arrows. Next, we will see how even the good tutorial of Catherine can fire back when too much explanations discourage users from using game features.

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