Wednesday, February 15, 2006

New Ocean?!?

I don't know about everyone on here but I had NO idea there was a new ocean, the Southern Ocean. I asked a few people I work with and no one heard about this either, somehow 6 years ago someone snuck in a new ocean and none of us realized it. Amazing.

I started re-reaidng, 'The Design of Everyday Things' by Donald Norman this week. A wonderful book about industrial design and how things in general are designed poorly and how they could be improved upon. He has this whole chapter where he is talking about phone systems and how confusing they are and there is a wonderful paragraph that I thought I would share with everyone:

"It is interesting that things like the "R" button are largely determined through examples. Somebody asks, 'What is the "R" button used for?' and the answer is to give an example: 'You can push "R" to access loudspeaker paging.' If nobody can think of an example, the feature is dropped. Designers are pretty bright people, however. They can come up with a plausible-sounding example for almost anything. Hence, you get features, many many features, and these features hang on for a long time. The end result is complex interfaces for essentially simple things."

I couldn't stop laughing and was just thinking about this is completely the case with videogames - especially sequels. Things keep getting more and more complicated and the developers don't even bother to notice/care. The returning users usually don't care but the new users are completely blown away with the complexity - look at any new version of DDR or any fighting game released this year for that matter.

As a quick addendum to my previous post about why some games have communities and some don't - me and Omar, a designer from Gun, had a long discussion about this before I posted and one of the conclusions that we came to were: games need something interesting to talk about. Take that for whats its worth.

No comments: