Monday, 2 May 2011

Interaction Design

Interaction in games is a major factor that game developers are constantly improving and implementing new solutions. Without it games would be that same as any other form of entartainment. However it is important for the developers to create a device or a system that is easily accesible for the user. The design has to be clear so that the players are able to play the game however they want without getting frustrated that they can't do or compleate the game becouse the design is a failure.
This perticular field is very wide. It can refer to tools such as remote controlers, joysticks, early console controlers and many other devices that have been on the market since gaming was invented. It also contains stuff like menu design, some parts of game design and control systems. I will be focusing here only on the first set in my entry.
Controlers and various devices are on the market to make the gaming experience better. Back in the days they where pretty much all the same becouse the advancement of the industry didn't allow the developers to create something industry changeing. On of the devices of that kind was the joystick. I remember when I had my first joystick. It was in the late 80's. Used to own my first IBM computer back then. When I was always using my keyboard to do everything having a chance to play games with that device was something magic. As I look at it now it's design reminds me of some sort of blocky space ship from an old cheesy sci-fi moovie. Two buttons on it and a stick with 4 axis in the miidle. The stick was thick as a ballpen. It also had 4 rubber stands on the bottom for better grip or to stick it to the desk. Anyway playing games with that device was very entertaining. Tho there where not alot of games that supported that kind of devices I had to wait couple of years to unleash the full potential of a joystick. Few years later when I used to have my first PC and when a flight symulator game came out I wanted to try it out again. Games have moved on so have the joysticks. I did buy a new one at that time. The difference was staggering. The new design was nothing like the previous one. Now it looked like a proper fighter jet steering stick. I plugged it in and runned the flight symulator F22 game. That was one of the greatest feeling ever playing that game. I have to say that the invention of joystick could have been the beginning of simmilar controllers. Steering wheel etc.

Nowdays we have alot of new devices. Game pads, joysticks, steering wheels, different wii controlers for different games and many more. There is one that focused my interest lately. We all know that nowdays is the era of motion controllers for consoles. Kinect, Playstation Move and those Wii controlers. A developer called razer has presented his new product some time ago. It is called Hydra. They showed it on CES 2011 and whats better they showed it with PORTAL2 ! Here is a video of it in action :

To be honest it looks like a rip off from the nunchack wii controller. Playing custom game maps in portal 2 could be fun but the controler itself demands special custom made maps for it to work. Overall it's not a new invention becouse Wii has already done that but they never calibrated it to work corectly. I think that Hydra could be a better version of that controller and also what is cool about it it will be available for PC !

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