All posts tagged: software

Short thoughts on games and interaction design

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For some odd reason, I’ve been chatting more with people that are interested creating web 2.0 applications that borrow substantially from online games. If you see games as a technique for teaching skills and maintaining attention in a pleasurable fashion, I would expect this crossbreeding to only expand in the future. Why games are interesting to the web Website developers are desperate to have their users enjoy the experience of using the website. If you […]

Thoughts on Silverlight, Expression and Games

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I just got out of the packed keynote for MIX 07 in the surreal universe that is Las Vegas. The event was set in an enormous hall at the Venetian with four cinema sized screens dominating the stage. You could see individual pores on each speaker. A band on raised stage was rocking out to sweet accordion music set to what appears to be lyrics about pickles. All around me are masses of developers, designers […]

"Content is Bad"

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I just came across an article by the good folks at Introversion discussing procedural animation and its benefits versus hand crafted content. Some of my favorite games of all time are riddled with procedural content. The universes of Elite, the dungeons of NetHack, the random maps of Age of Wonders…all these are littered with procedural content. And how could I forget Dice Wars. Or Tetris. Or Poker. The more handcrafted content you build, the more […]

One Billion Buttons Please: Should we build features for experts or newbies?

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I just returned from a lovely evening sipping flasks of yogurt-soju cocktails followed by a wobbly post-beverage walk in the brisk wet Seattle air. It is on libationary nights like this that I find myself musing about interaction design. Certainly, such behavior must be an incurable disease rooted deeply in the nerves at the base of the spine, but after this much alchohol, I can’t help but give in. Tonight’s stream of thought kept returning […]

The Wii Help Cat: A lesson in interaction design

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The Nintendo Wii has an inexplicably complex help system. A cat wanders onto the screen periodically. If you move your cursor quickly towards the cat, he’ll run away. However, if you are careful, you can sneak your cursor up on the cat, your cursor will turn into a hand and you can grab him. When you do, you get a tip about how to use the Wii dashboard. From a simple efficiency driven point of […]

Building fun into your software designs

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I’ve been thinking lately about how game design applies to the broader topic of software development. Game design is all about creating pleasurable learning experiences and mastery of conceptual tools. Surely more traditional software could benefit from the design wisdom and theory that we’ve built up over the years in the game industry. The current state of the art technique for user experience design is the scenario-driven development. It isn’t all that good at creating […]

The Passion of the Developers

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A thousand little decisions go into the creation of a great product. Most are not in the specs or master plans. Instead, they are implemented by testers and programmers. Yet, these are the same people that are traditionally lampooned as geeky and out of touch with the target customers. What would happen if the developers possessed a deep understanding of their customers needs and desires? Suddenly, those thousand little decisions aren’t introducing random noise into […]