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Game Design 2 (2013): Immersion Through Game UI

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Diegesis can help the player lose themselves in UI.

Diegesis can help the player lose themselves in UI.

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  • 1. 2013 Game Design 2 Lecture 7: Immersion through UI http://gcugd2.com Sunday, 3 November 13 david.farrell@gcu.ac.uk
  • 2. Reading • Anthony Stonehouse http://bit.ly/9isY6D • Erik Fagerhold & Magnus Lorentzon (2009) http://bit.ly/d0HfcW • Gamasutra (Marcus Andrews @ EA:DICE) http://bit.ly/9H6xuL • SlideShare presentation from Fagerhold http://slidesha.re/bjxr4I Sunday, 3 November 13
  • 3. Immersive UI • Trend towards minimal HUD • UI as transparent as possible to not distract player Sunday, 3 November 13
  • 4. Terminology • Diegetic: Interface included in the game world • Non-diegetic: Interface rendered outside game world • Spatial: UI Elements resented in game’s 3D space but not be an actual in-game entity • Meta: Representations can be in game but aren’t necessarily visualised spatially for player Sunday, 3 November 13
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  • 12. Case Study: Far Cry 2 • Goes to great lengths to make UI diegetic • especially hard for FPS games • Uses in-game gadgets perform traditional HUD roles • map • time • weapon condition Sunday, 3 November 13
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  • 15. What works? • Novelty factor • diging bullets out of arm • Ubisoft promoting UI in marketing • Interaction with NPCs • you can see what that character is doing • injury rescue Sunday, 3 November 13
  • 16. What doesn’t work? • UI seems conflicted • there are traditional non-diegetic HUD elements such as: ammo; interaction opportunities; health etc Sunday, 3 November 13
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  • 19. • The non-diegetic elements fade in and out • Some elements of the UI don’t provide the player with enough information Sunday, 3 November 13
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  • 21. What does it mean? • The struggles of FC2 show that it is nearly hopeless for (realistic FPS) games to be playable and 100% diegetic • If you make a late decision to compliment your diegetic components with nondiegetic, the design will suffer - best to plan Sunday, 3 November 13
  • 22. Case Study: Dead Space • Fully diegetic interface. • Unlike most games, they had an explicit direction that all UI elements be ‘in the game world’ • Fairly traditional HUD system with a twist • all rendered as in-game holograms Sunday, 3 November 13
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  • 24. • in addition to the holograms, Dead Space also draws interface on the actual player avatar Sunday, 3 November 13
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  • 26. What works? • Sci-Fi Fiction lends itself to diegetic UI • “typical UI, rendered atypically” • Perspective • Using player avatar as a canvas is a great way to promote immersion • largely depending on setting & 3rd person camera • Preserving Functionality • preserves functionality but adds style Sunday, 3 November 13
  • 27. What doesn’t work? • Functionality breakdown • the holographic 3D map failed to aid player navigation leading to the implementation of another, complimentary feature - the ‘locator’ that has a completely new diegetic spatial method Sunday, 3 November 13
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  • 29. What does it mean? • Fairly traditional interface rendered in novel fashion. • May be unrealised potential benefit of diegetic & innovative UI • Whilst the UI may have helped in the marketing (& sales?) its benefit to the gameplay is subjective Sunday, 3 November 13
  • 30. Case Study: TF 2 • Uses mixed methods to communicate • very much a “whatever works” approach Sunday, 3 November 13
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  • 34. What works? • Mix of UI elements from each of the categories provides for lots of info without a cluttered HUD • shows that UI components don’t need to have an immediately obvious theme or be immersive to work Sunday, 3 November 13
  • 35. What doesn’t work • the mix of styles can be perceived as a bit messy • inconsistencies can require more cognition from the player Sunday, 3 November 13
  • 36. What does it mean? • TF2 has hardly any diegetic qualities but largely succeeds in UI design. • Shows that players will tolerate mixing styles in an interface Sunday, 3 November 13
  • 37. Summary • Diegetic interface elements can help to reinforce the fiction of a game and can help keep the player immersed. • Diegetic elements are harder to design and integrate than non-diegetic elements especially in FPS games like Far Cry 2 • When there is a trade off between immersion and functionality - functionality must be given priority Sunday, 3 November 13

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