Sign in to follow this  
Ronnie

Game Maker's Toolkit

Recommended Posts

I’ll pop this into the Spider-Man thread too, but probably another great watch from Mark. I’ll finish the game first :p 

Edited by Julius Caesar
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will definitely watch that later. I've never felt compelled to Patreon someone, but Mark is really tempting, such great content. I really hope he does a video on Hollow Knight, he seemed to be hinting at it in his Boss Keys episode.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I need to play Hollow Knight this episode of Boss Keys has just reminded me...

The video does contain spoilers for the game so I guess, don't watch it if you haven't played it? I haven't but I wanted to watch the video anyway.

Plus I don't feel like it spoiled the game for me, it has just made me more interested in playing it because I was reading about everyone else playing it in the thread and saying things about finishing the game but not really finishing it? And then stuff about the dlc... etc etc... and now it makes more sense to me, so I'll take a look at this game now probably sooner than I originally intended, even though technically everything is on the Switch backlog and it's just a case of prioritisation.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant video, and one of the longest he's ever done. Everything that utter masterpiece of a game deserves, I can't imagine another Metroidvania topping it for me.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watched it last night and it was great to be reminded of how wonderful that game is. 

Absurdly spoilers video though - definitely don't do what @S.C.G did, only watch the video if you've already finished the game.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, killthenet said:

Watched it last night and it was great to be reminded of how wonderful that game is. 

Absurdly spoilers video though - definitely don't do what @S.C.G did, only watch the video if you've already finished the game.

Oh yeah, no that's what I meant... I wasn't advocating people watch the video if they hadn't played the game, I know I did but that's just me. :D

I don't know how to describe it other than it's like with Super Metroid... I knew how that ended before I played the game but it didn't stop me from enjoying it. :smile:

I still fully intend to play through Hollow Knight, the main reason I hadn't until now was that I waited for the physical release but it's high up on my list along with Celeste. :peace:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad he pointed out the changes made to the Colour Dungeon in Link's Awakening Switch; that immediately stood out to me when I played it (they even changed the hint dialogue to reflect the colourblind adaptations!)

 

Also glad he pointed out the stupid font choices with FE Three Houses; really poor all around there (especially since the Japanese version uses a much larger and much more legible font).

 

I get why Nintendo don't include full button remapping with their own games, but it's still a shame that they still don't have system level button remapping for those that really need it.

Edited by Dcubed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posting this here because it's the kind of video Mark Brown would make, and the presenter is hilarious. As mentioned in top YT comment, it's great that she sticks to her own opinion despite the fact that the developers she interviews offer the opposite view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UI/UX stuff is really quite interesting, it’s there in pretty much everything we do but often overlooked as something that somebody needs to sit down and think about. Finding people that do it well is really difficult and one area I’ve had hiring problems for no matter where I’ve been over the last few years.

It’s one of those annoying areas that when it’s good nobody notices it’s there, but when it’s bad it causes an uproar. Very frustrating for the people that do that work.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad she raised the fact that indie game UIs are generally more flamboyant/eccentric. While I generally prefer minimalist or customisable designs, there's definitely still space for other approaches. I remember enjoying Papers Please for its more creative aesthetic, and the fact that certain areas of the screen appeared to be bigger than they needed to be - as if the developer was making a virtue of sacrificing functionality in favour of style. Retro UI designs probably also play into a nostalgia for outdated operating systems or software. Papers Please took me back to using Windows 98, or playing Monkey Island, when elements of the UI weren't responsive to your mouse pointer. Today everything on your desktop animates or changes colour depending on your mouse position, which is obviously helpful, but it's nice to revert back to a time when things weren't so slick. One of the pleasures of Monkey Island was the fact that you never knew if you were about to click on the right area of the screen until the game world reacted to your click. Contrast to today's games, where the interactivity of certain objects in the world is revealed (or 'spoiled') to you before you make the effort to interact with them, be it through button prompts, the colour of the objects themselves (e.g. if they have a shiny quality to them) or other signals. 

Also, was reminded of this after sharing the last video. Great channel:

 

Edited by dwarf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(Fair warning, this post is a tad rambly. All I'm doing is throwing several ideas and views I have on the subject)

That Polygon video touches on an idea I've had for some time now: the idea that certain design choices are "outdated", or that certain QoL features are strict improvements, when... that's not necessarily the case.

For example, when we played Ori and the Blind Forest for the N-E Game Club, we generally agreed that exploration isn't one of the game's fortes, and that ultimately came down to the fact that it kept telling you where you need to go, and where your goal is supposed to be. Objective markers are one of those QoL improvements that many a game use, but it doesn't really serve your game well if you want the player to explore the game world at their own pace (pretty important if you're looking to convey loneliness, whether that be used for serenity or horror).

Going even further, the presence of an in-game map is generally understood to be an essential feature for any Metroidvania, but the original Metroid II for the Game Boy lacks one. However, that game is designed around bite-size segments that are easy to memorise, so a map isn't too vital to navigate that game. In fact, it makes the game creepier and more immersive in many ways, because you never know how large or narrow a given area is when you enter it.
(Funnily enough, there is an immersion-breaking QoL feature in that game: an "objective counter" of sorts, that tells you how many Metroids are there still in the game, but it doesn't tell you how many are left in an area. It really only tells you how far you are from the end. Or rather, it tricks you into thinking you're closer than you really are. I don't think that counter was necessarily put there for the benefit of the player, so I think it counts as a creative use of UI)

A pretty apt comparison between the two games: both feature a "Lost Woods" segment at some point. Ori straight up tells the player what's happening and smudges the map for as long as you're in that segment (the actual Lost Woods in Ocarina of Time did something similar by having your mini-map be generally useless at that point). However, when Metroid II does it, it tells you nothing and there's no map to clue you in. You might be a few rooms deep into this trap, and you won't notice until you try to trek back from the last entrance you took. There's a genuine sense of confusion and desperation here, impossible to achieve if there's a map at the corner for you to rely on (since you'll know from the moment you enter that something's wrong).

I don't think these QoL perks should be ignored either, I think "rethought" is the way to go, developers should consider their own UI more often. The Lost Woods scenario I posited can be replicated if the in-game map is filled normally, only to erase itself a couple of rooms in. Not many developers bother to think like that, letting their UI "trick" the player, but maybe that sort of attitude should be more widespread.

Objective markers is another design choice I find annoying. They obliterate any illusion of freedom the player might have, and in some bad cases, might even be insulting. But even those can be well used if you reduce them to a vague order: for example, Hitman games tend to only give you "Locate [target's name] and kill them". Sometimes only the general location is given, and in a few cases, the target wasn't where the agency thought they were (the map will still show the target in that spot even after you found out they weren't there).

Finally, I've noticed some games take away UI features in higher Difficulty levels. Mark of the Ninja, Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, and the Hitman series all include Hard Modes where certain features are removed for the sake of immersive difficulty. Not sure if this is the best way to go (it might not be easy to communicate which difficulty is the intended one), but it does allow for experimentation, and definitely improves replayability.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprised the Prime games didn't get mentioned in regards to UI. OK, the games have the advantage of the fact that your character is wearing a suit of armour as it were and is looking through a visor. But so does Halo and yet it displays the info in a fairly standard way. The fact that the Prime games have you directly looking through said visor and then all crucial info like health, ammo, radar, mini-map etc is displayed on said visor in such a natural fashion, it's still one of the best UI designs I've seen in games. Hopefully Prime 4 keeps that sort of design.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

One of Mark Brown's best videos in a while IMO

 

"How do I decide when I'm satisfied?"

Can someone give this poor guy a hug.

  • Haha 2
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this