Week 8 Game Critique 4: Interface Feedback

League of Legend

Diegetic, Not-Diegetic or Hybrid

League of Legend’s feedback is a hybrid that consist of both diegetic and non-diegetic elements. From the HUD we are able to see spells and character statues, team chat as well as a mini map. Amongst your team the HUD would be diegetic but censored from your opponent. Players in the game on both teams are able to see the health bar that hovers above each character, this spatial diegetic element is heavily used. However, non-diegetic qualities would be when players take damage, die or revive, only the player of each character can see these elements. There is a diegetic element where text and voice notification is present in the game when heroes die or towers are destroyed

Appropriate/Intuitive Feedback

League of Legend does not stray away from the many traditional HUD layouts (Left, Right and Bottom). I would say the layout is efficient in presenting information that is necessary in the game. With a team based game, chat is needed to communicate strategies and plans, while the mini map is needed to help out teams that are struggling in different areas of the map and also look at how the team is doing against the opponent.

There are buttons for casting spells (“q,w,e,r” buttons) but there you can also click on the spells. I would say hitting the buttons are faster while when hitting the button to “ping” on the minimap is faster then the hitting the hot key. It is beneficial when hitting ping because it also alerts the other players of what is happening in the game.

Skyrim

Diegetic, Not-Diegetic or Hybrid

Skyrim’s HUD is considered to be non-diegetic while keeping traditional layout (top and bottom). The top consist of a compass for direction while the bottom has health, magic and stamina laid out horizontally. With their new HUD, it is not less intrusive when players are not losing any health, magic and stamina, they will fade to provide for view of the environment. When hitting the menu button, it presents a compass like menu with 4 selections that can be selected: skills, items, map and magic (top, right, bottom, left). Spatial non-diegetic elements are incorporated when viewing enemies health bars that are not intrusive in the game. There are some diegetic parts where NPCS give out quests or talk to the user and players can choose to either do the quest or not, when completing a quest, text will appear and you may need to follow arrows to hand in the quest item/task.

Appropriate/Intuitive Feedback
In an exploration game, I would say that the less distractions the better. The HUD right now is efficient with fading out the HUD. However, when selecting items, magic and viewing maps I feel that it takes away from the immersiveness of the environment because it stops the game. Although, there is a shortcut “favourite” menu to do quick switches with items, spells or weapons but it still stops the game time and creates this abrupt pause in the player’s immersion into the environment. The console version of the game seems to allow more freedom of movement in the game while on PC, the mouse restricts movement and some players buy a controller for the game to have better control of their character.

Preference

League of Legend’s HUD is doing a better job in presenting information because it is needed in the game, while Skyrim’s HUD focus more on bring the player into the gaming world with less visual information as possible. I would prefer a hybrid of both diegetic and not-diegetic HUD, but both types of HUD perform effectively in these two different types of game(team based strategy game and exploration game). I would think that Skyrim’s HUD can be improved to create less of a pause in the game to effectively bring players into the game world by integrating a more diegetic interface.

Week 4 Game Critique 3: Tetris DS- Marathon

The original Tetris came out dozens of years ago, countless spin-offs and re-imaginings have since been released with varying degrees of success. Now it’s Nintendo’s turn to add their magical touch to Tetris with Tetris DS for the Nintendo DS.

There are six main modes in Tetris DS, and each of them has their own theme. The standard Tetris mode is your most simple. Differently shaped blocks fall down from the top of the screen one at a time, and the goal is to create a line of shapes in a given row. Clear a row, and your score increases. Clear two or more lines, and you score even more points.

Push is a unique take on the Tetris formula. It uses a Donkey Kong theme as its background. Opponents try to push each other’s blocks into their opponent’s area by clearing two or more lines. So while your blocks are falling downward, your opponent’s blocks are falling upward. Hence how you’re pushing one another by clearing lines. Once the bundle of blocks has infiltrated the danger line of a given player, the push battle is over and a victor is crowned.

Game Level Fun: High Concepts

Ergonomics is used in the game in a way where the AI opponent is away for the player’s comfort level and the difficulty level increases as the player pushes the opponent to win the game.

The flow of the game is based on the difficulty level, it gets more intense as player hold on longer and continues to push/battle the opponent. It begins rather simple, but the opponent picks up their pace in clearing lines, the difficulty is rather linear and gradually increase the difficulty. This would keep the players hooked because they want to win and beat their opponent. There isn’t much wow factor, with impressive graphics but rather the competitiveness that motivates the players to play. The more challenging, the more the player gets hooked into the game; hence they become hooked even without the impressive graphics. The game focuses more on skills and the players to respond and react to situations that they are put on the spot as well as strategy of how to win quickly or not lose so fast.

Week 3 Game Critique 2: League of Legends

Game Mode

There are 2 modes in League of Legends: Classic game mode and Dominion mode. For Dominion mode there is one map that is 5v5, Crystal Scar map with two types of gameplay: normal blind pick or draft pick. The game is viewed is top-down isometric perspective in third person (omnipresence).

For blind pick, you do not get to see your opponents heroes till loading screen pops up. As for draft pick, each team take turn banning/omitting champions/heroes.

The team then picks characters in this order:

  1. first team that bans character picks 1 character, opponent chooses 2 characters
  2. first team chooses 2 characters, opponent chooses 2 characters
  3. first team chooses 2 characters, and opponent chooses last character

There are two main modes in this game: 1.) defend your own capture point, 2.) take over opponent’s capture points and to do these you must engage in combat with them, along with team work with your team.

Core Mechanics

League of Legends is known for game play on the Field of Justice map. Dominion is a new 5v5 type of game on a new map, the Crystal Scar Field of Justice to destroy the enemy nexus. Dominion’s play style is a “capture-and –hold’ that brings faster action and tactical game play. Both team’s nexus has 500 life points and these life points diminish by controlling more Capture points than the enemy team; no damage is done with equal amount of Capture Points. The map has 5 Capture Points, with more Points captured, spawning of minions will increase.

The cons are that if you are paired with lower level players, there is a higher chance of losing. Dominion requires higher team co-ordinationin to maintain your teams capture points and if losing one capture point there is a high chance the team could lose if they only have 2 capture points left, their nexus life would decrease more. An additional would be some players are item reliant and do not play well in the early period of the game and could cost the team more damage. Overall, it is a fast paced game if the players like to get a dose of League of Legends.

Flowboard

Week 3 Game Critique 2: Skyrim

Game Mode

The Elder Scrolls series as incorporated their traditional non-linear gameplay into Skyrim, where players can explore the open world of Skyrim on foot, on horse, and fast-travel to cities, towns and dungeons after they have been discovered. The world is viewed in third person and first person perspective with a top-down map of the places that you’ve been to for quick transportation.

The main mode is exploration and compact that interchange depending on the player’s decision/choices. Quests are given to the players by non-player characters (NPCs) in the world, and these quests can be dynamically altered to accommodate for player’s actions which may influence the quest’s objectives.

An additional mode would be when not completing quests, players can interact with NPCs through conversations, and request favours or training in skills from the player. In addition to the scripted quests, there are limitless number of side quests that dynamically generate to provide players this non-linear game world experience.

Core Mechanics

The core gameplay is mostly combat with magic and weapons that the player obtains. The UI is based on a minimalistic approach, removing clutters as opposed to how MMO or Dungeon crawlers are designed. The more you do, the better you will get throughout the game; the more you pick pocket, the better you get.

There is a favourites menu where you can access all of your inventory that you carry where the game pauses instead of the usual MMO where there is a skill bar and they can access with hotkeys.

The cons of this game is that there are a few glitches in the open world and most characters have perfect body proportions, even for those with alien heads on humanoid bodies. There are not much variety in combats and pretty much hands on. A realistic feature is the more inventory that is carried, slower you move; its a con and pro depending which aspect of the game you are looking at, gameplay or realistic feel of the game. Skyrim consists of a lot of travelling, but withquick travel, players benefit and are able to move quickly from one location to another. More often, enemies find you instead of you finding enemies.

Flowboard

Week 1 Game Critique 1: Skyrim

Skyrim is a role-playing game that allows players to explore the open world of Skyrim with non-linear gameplay.

Mechanics:

Skyrim’s plot is affected by the player’s decisions, quests and side-quests are assigned by non-player characters and based on how the player decides to complete the task. There are consequences for the actions that the player’s make in the game.

-Leveling up of character through experience acquisition
-Skill point allocation by choice of player
-Long range and melee characters with full character customization
-Dramatic fantasy inspired storyline with a strong plot

Dynamics:

-Skyrim’s main plot is to defeat the Dragons and protect the empire and that is done by finding the warrior that could hear The Voice. Players can decide what to do in the game, not necessarily completing the storyline.

-There are hostile NPCs that can attack the player while exploring the world of Skyrim.

-There limitless quests that are generated randomly during the player’s game play, these can be completed if the player decides to take on the task.

– The leveling up system encourages continuous play and development to improve your character.

-There are different class/play styles that the player can choose without changing their character’s storyline

Aesthetics:

Discovery:

Players explore and live the world of Skyrim. Players can change character class as the game goes on to experience different character’s attribute in the game.

Submission:

Please of the non-linearity of the game, players can past the time by living and being part of Skyrim, instead of reality. With many quests and territories to explore, it is limitless to the amount of activities players can do in the Skyrim.

Sensation:

While in Skyrim, players experience the different roles of each character class. Their sensations are drawn to the types of quests, surroundings and non-player characters as well, becoming part of the world.

Overall enjoyment of this game for me is the sensation and discoveries in the game world, because of the non-linear gameplay it allows players freedom to explore and create and alter the outcome depending on how they want the game to end.

Week 1 Game Critique 1: League of Legends- Dominion

League of Legends (LoL) falls into the genre of multiplayer online battle area (MOBA) , that is an action real-time strategy (ARTS) video game where each player control a single character and compete with each other.

League of Legends emphasizes on team-play where players on each team can select and control one “hero”, a powerful unit with various abilities and advantages to form a team’s overall strategy. The objective of such games is for the player’s team to destroy the opposing side’s main structure with the help of periodically spawned computer-controlled units that march towards the enemy’s main structure.

Mechanics:

League of Legends is known for game play on the Field of Justice map. Dominion is a new 5v5 type of game on a new map, the Crystal Scar Field of Justice to destroy the enemy nexus. Dominion’s play style is a “capture-and –hold’ that brings faster action and tactical game play. Both team’s nexus has 500 life points and these life points diminish by controlling more Capture points than the enemy team; no damage is done with equal amount of Capture Points. The map has 5 Capture Points, with more Points captured, spawning of minions will increase.

–Same variety of characters (heroes) and the item composition is the same but limited to the game mode, with exclusive items only available when playing Dominion.

-Players are able to buy particular items that they believe would help counter or defeat enemy’s hero/character. This occurs at the beginning of the game and when players die and waits to get back into the game.

-Challenges when playing against higher level players, and working as a team with players that have various skills, style and level.

Dynamic:

-Health/Speed buffs are located in between the Capturing Points to increase rotation and movement in the map.

-Quests are issued to both teams every 5 minutes, involving capturing particular enemy-held Point and defending Capture points your team controls. Once quest if complete, enemy’s nexus takes 20 damage and grants 10% bonus damage to the team that completed the question.

-In the middle of the map there is a buff that both teams can fight to obtain that benefits their game play. This buff appears every 3 minutes after the first buff is captured by a team.

-In-game leveling up increases as player kills their enemy or minions and increases their characters skills/abilities. This encourages players to play more to improve their characters’ abilities.

The game dynamic provides entertainment for both players in the game and spectators based on the strategies each player picks. Because it is a live game, players have to decide on the types of items, spells and strategies that benefit the team on the spot. Spectators can observe and view the style of each player and critique the decisions made or if they find alternative strategy that could be more beneficial for the team. Overall the dynamics allow a fast-paced strategic game.

Aesthetics

Fellowship:

In this real-time strategy game, it is based on tea work, there could be one skilled player in the game but it is not guarantee that they would win. This game is based on how to work together and help each other when it is needed and the type of strategies that the team decides to implement.

Challenge:

The challenges of this game is playing against different skilled players and working with different players online. Players must be flexible to adapt to the types of play style and roles that the teams decides or assigns them.

Fantasy:

The world of League of Legends is full of magic and supernatural phenomena. All characters have different strengths/ skills that categorize them as a certain type of mythological creature such as Mage, Tank and Warrior / Archer.

Overall enjoyment of this game for me is the team work and bond created when play this game with players worldwide and the fantasy aspect/aesthetics of the game.