2013

Game Design 2
Lecture 9: Micro / Macro Readings

http://gcugd2.com

david.farrell@gcu.ac.uk
Micro / Macro Readings
‘A method for presenting large quantities of data at high
densities in a way that a broad overview ...
Definition
• Visualising data at two levels in one image
• Micro Data (low level detail)
• Macro Data (high level detail)
•...
Layering & Separation?
• Layering & Separation == multiple types of
information + how to separate

• Micro & Macro == mult...
Spatial
• Maps can show geographical breakdown of
a location as well as local detail

• Geometry of land mass as well as r...
§
4th Dimension

• More subtle macro readings can look into
time.
• The circular layout of the centre of Senlis
shows its history as a Gallo-Roman
fortification.
• Glasgow’s industrial history, built around

the River Clyde is apparent by the density
on its shore.

• Stirling borders...
Symbolic Use
• Micro / Macro design

is not always geographic.

• This poster shows that

from the work of many
hands, one...
Character Design
• In games, it is often possible to read many
scales of information from looking at a
character:

• chara...
Combining M/M & L&S
• The London Air Quality Network website
has to provide a very dense set of data in
an intuitive inter...
ddddddddddfsdfadf

• dd
Meaning through Scale
• The Vietnam Veterans Memorial achieves its
visual and emotional strength through
micro / macro des...
• 58,000 dead soldiers
• scale can be seen at a
distance

• Individual names up close
• Ordered by date of
death
Relative Data
• http://bit.ly/billiondollargram
• Shows spend / cost in billions
from US budget and events

• Can see imme...
Stem and Leaf
• Like a bar chart / histogram but uses the

space that would normally be used by solid
blocks of colour.
218 Mountains

•d
• Glance tells distribution
• Analysis provides more
• Scale given
• Necessary to round
292 Trains
292 Trains (badly)
• 777 more characters
• hard to see how frequently trains leave at a
given hour

• rush hour?
• 11pm trains?
Stem & Leaf Improve?
• How can you modify the stem & leaf plot
to show more information (such as
platform number)?
Back to Back S&L
Missile or Toothbrush?
• 7000 objects > 10 cm in diameter in space
• rocket engines, bin bags, frozen sewage,
shrapnel fro...
• Note the ring on the second image.
• this is the geostationary orbit used by
satellites

• The scale of the problem can ...
Why Micro & Macro?
• We thrive in information rich contexts
• Visually rich displays are not only

appropriate to convey i...
• If information is spread over multiple
screens, the user needs to keep that
information in memory

• If information is c...
• Micro / Macro designs enforce local and

global comparisons but do so without the
need to context switch.

• Power is gi...
Downsides of M/M
• creating good Micro / Macro design is hard.
• it is easier to have one display for each
scale of data.
...
Too complicated?
• Don’t forget that the data is never the
problem.

‘Clutter and confusion are failures of
design, not at...
Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 9 - Micro and Macro Design for Game Communication
Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 9 - Micro and Macro Design for Game Communication
Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 9 - Micro and Macro Design for Game Communication
Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 9 - Micro and Macro Design for Game Communication
Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 9 - Micro and Macro Design for Game Communication
Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 9 - Micro and Macro Design for Game Communication
Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 9 - Micro and Macro Design for Game Communication
Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 9 - Micro and Macro Design for Game Communication
Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 9 - Micro and Macro Design for Game Communication
Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 9 - Micro and Macro Design for Game Communication
Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 9 - Micro and Macro Design for Game Communication
Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 9 - Micro and Macro Design for Game Communication
Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 9 - Micro and Macro Design for Game Communication
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Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 9 - Micro and Macro Design for Game Communication

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We look at presenting more than one scale of info at a time.

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Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 9 - Micro and Macro Design for Game Communication

  1. 1. 2013 Game Design 2 Lecture 9: Micro / Macro Readings http://gcugd2.com david.farrell@gcu.ac.uk
  2. 2. 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
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. Layering & Separation? • Layering & Separation == multiple types of information + how to separate • Micro & Macro == multiple scales of information
  5. 5. Spatial • Maps can show geographical breakdown of a location as well as local detail • Geometry of land mass as well as regional breakdown.
  6. 6. §
  7. 7. 4th Dimension • More subtle macro readings can look into time.
  8. 8. • The circular layout of the centre of Senlis shows its history as a Gallo-Roman fortification.
  9. 9. • 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.
  10. 10. 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.
  11. 11. 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.
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. ddddddddddfsdfadf • dd
  14. 14. Meaning through Scale • The Vietnam Veterans Memorial achieves its visual and emotional strength through micro / macro design. (Tufte, p43)
  15. 15. • 58,000 dead soldiers • scale can be seen at a distance • Individual names up close • Ordered by date of death
  16. 16. 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
  17. 17. Stem and Leaf • Like a bar chart / histogram but uses the space that would normally be used by solid blocks of colour.
  18. 18. 218 Mountains •d
  19. 19. • Glance tells distribution • Analysis provides more • Scale given • Necessary to round
  20. 20. 292 Trains
  21. 21. 292 Trains (badly)
  22. 22. • 777 more characters • hard to see how frequently trains leave at a given hour • rush hour? • 11pm trains?
  23. 23. Stem & Leaf Improve? • How can you modify the stem & leaf plot to show more information (such as platform number)?
  24. 24. Back to Back S&L
  25. 25. 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
  26. 26. • 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.
  27. 27. 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.
  28. 28. • 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.
  29. 29. • 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.
  30. 30. 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.
  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)

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