Diagetic Gaming Interfaces

Imagine flying a modern passenger aircraft but without the complex array of instruments you’d expect to see informing you of air speed, altitude and heading. All you have at your disposal is the flight yoke, which you recognise from having seen countless pilots pull out of nose dives, moments before impact, in movies. There’s also a throttle control (for speed) and let’s throw in another dozen or so anonymous levers and buttons of varying importance, perhaps based on how colorful they are or how many can be pressed at once. Just to make things interesting, we’ll start you off at 36,000ft in the air. You can tell you’re pretty high because you can’t see any […]

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The Narrative of Weather in Gaming

The chaos of a raging storm or the tenderness of a falling snowflake both have the ability to evoke an emotional response. They set a scene and prepare the audience for what’s to come. This audiovisual conveyance is what captures the attention of a user and provides a buffer for slower paced storytelling, whether that’s through gameplay or otherwise. The first time I became enamoured with an in-game environment was after seeing the introduction sequence to Zelda: A link to the past running on the SNES. The scene has become iconic in gaming – the player wakes up in the midst of a thunder storm, during the night, to follow after their father who has […]

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Beyond Inventory Systems

Going on an adventure means, at some point, having to look through your pockets for those all important bits of kit. Whether it’s a map, compass or gauntlet of power, you need to make sure your preparations weren’t in vain and that you’ll last long enough to reach the next safe spot. Inventory systems are a core component of many genres and aren’t exclusive to roleplaying games. Choosing your loadout in a first person shooter, making sure you have your long and short range options carefully considered also qualifies. Rather than focusing on the different ways of handling a grid of images (as most discussion on this topic seems to get stuck), I wanted to […]

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Cartography in Gaming

To this day, I continue to get excited whenever I see a game map. I feel the urge to explore and my imagination goes into overdrive, creating stories for the areas depicted and quickly convincing myself that the world is more expansive and fantastic than it usually ends up being. This ‘runaway imagination train’ effect is something I always look to experience when I pickup a new game and hope to be able to replicate in future projects. In games, maps tend to provide context. They show us where we sit in the scheme of things and sometimes allow us to gauge our progress en route to a terminal destination, be it a snowy mountain […]

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