Game Design 2 (2010): Lecture 7 - Micro and Macro Design

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This week's class looks at the technique of presenting multiple *scales* of data in one image. Micro / Macro designs allow the user to choose at what level they engage with the information.

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  • Game Design 2 (2010): Lecture 7 - Micro and Macro Design

    1. 1. 2010 Game Design 2 Lecture 7: Micro / Macro Readings http://www.comu346.com dfarrell@davidlearnsgames.com
    2. 2. Free Stuff • email Frank Geraghty • You get: • Visio • Visual Studio • Windows XP,Vista, 7 pro etc.. • Doesn’t come with office (link from uni for £50 version)
    3. 3. World of Goo
    4. 4. Micro / Macro Readings ‘A method for presenting large quantities of data at high densities in a way that a broad overview of the data is given and yet an immense amount of detail is provided.’ Ruddle 2002
    5. 5. Definition • Visualising data at two levels in one image • Micro Data (low level detail) • Macro Data (high level detail) • User / Viewer can get a rough idea at a glance but also see detailed information
    6. 6. Layering & Separation? • Layering & Separation == multiple types of information • Micro & Macro == multiple scales of information
    7. 7. Spatial • Maps can show geographical breakdown of a location as well as local detail • Geometry of land mass as well as regional breakdown.
    8. 8. 4th Dimension • More subtle macro readings can look into time.
    9. 9. • The circular layout of the centre of Senlis shows its history as a Gallo-Roman fortification.
    10. 10. • Glasgow’s industrial history, built around the River Clyde is apparent by the density on its shore. • Stirling borders a river but the lack of focus shows its different history.
    11. 11. Symbolic Use • Micro / Macro design is not always geographic. • This poster shows that from the work of many hands, one great plan will be fulfilled.
    12. 12. Character Design • In games, it is often possible to read many scales of information from looking at a character: • character class, team, attack, defence, health etc.
    13. 13. Combining M/M & L&S • The London Air Quality Network website has to provide a very dense set of data in an intuitive interface. • They layer user interface elements over a rich map which shows different types of data as well as different scales of data. • http://bit.ly/londonair
    14. 14. ddddddddddfsdfadf • dd
    15. 15. Meaning through Scale • The Vietnam Veterans Memorial achieves its visual and emotional strength through micro / macro design. (Tufte, p43)
    16. 16. • 58,000 dead soldiers • scale can be seen at a distance • Individual names up close • Ordered by date of death
    17. 17. Relative Data • http://bit.ly/billiondollargram • Shows spend / cost in billions from US budget and events • Can see immediately highest spent areas • Can also see actual numbers
    18. 18. Stem and Leaf • Like a bar chart / histogram but uses the space that would normally be used by solid blocks of colour.
    19. 19. 218 Mountains •d
    20. 20. • Glance tells distribution • Analysis provides more • Scale given • Necessary to round
    21. 21. 292 Trains
    22. 22. 292 Trains (badly)
    23. 23. • 777 more characters • hard to see how frequently trains leave at a given hour • rush hour? • 11pm trains?
    24. 24. Stem & Leaf Improve? • How can you modify the stem & leaf plot to show more information (such as platform number)?
    25. 25. Back to Back S&L
    26. 26. Missile or Toothbrush? • 7000 objects > 10 cm in diameter in space • rocket engines, bin bags, frozen sewage, shrapnel from tests, 1 wrench and 1 toothbrush • Only 5% are functional satellites • Necessary to track for safety of launches
    27. 27. • Note the ring on the second image. • this is the geostationary orbit used by satellites • The scale of the problem can be seen, not only in overall but also in terms of orbit height and relative density of areas.
    28. 28. Why Micro & Macro? • We thrive in information rich contexts • Visually rich displays are not only appropriate to convey information but are often the optimal way to do so.
    29. 29. • If information is spread over multiple screens, the user needs to keep that information in memory • If information is condensed into one screen / graphic, it only requires understanding.
    30. 30. • Micro / Macro designs enforce local and global comparisons but do so without the need to context switch. • Power is given to the user to decide what level of detail is required.
    31. 31. Too complicated? • Don’t forget that the data is never the problem. ‘Clutter and confusion are failures of design, not attributes of information‘ (Tufte)
    32. 32. Downsides of M/M • creating good Micro / Macro design is hard. • it is easier to have one display for each scale of data. • it may be necessary to gather or process more data (e.g. stem plot vs bar chart) • it may be difficult to blend the scales together.

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