I’m not a hardcore gamer, but iOS just make gaming more play-able to me. Gaming, besides helping me getting my mind + psyched me off when I feel pretty tired/bored, often shows me something i couldn’t see before.
Lately I stumbled upon a game called Samurai 2 and ended up thinking of naturalness of tap in touch based interface. Days later, I ended up downloading and playing EA’s Mass Effect Infiltrator. The reason?
- The graphics on its icon and screenshots look super neat
- Well it was discounted! Like we need any reason to download it, huh? :))
Mass Effect Infiltrator: The Insight
After reasonable amount of time of playing ME: Infiltrator, i fell for it. It was quite exact feeling when i fell for Infinity Blade. I tried to analyze what makes the game feel so fun. Funnily, lately i’ve become obsessed with UX and I ended up with several points from ME Infiltrator that might be applicable in UX field:
Seriously, seeing thing that being executed smoothly is a very nice pleasure. It isn’t about graphics, it’s more about experience. Stunning visual stimulates better feeling, thus stimulates better experience.
Short thought on different matter: now i just realize why Apple is so obsessed with retina display. IMO, if you’ve accustomed to retina display, any other screen doesn’t feel sharp. Even if it’s iPad 2’s screen.
It doesn’t force player to do everything
I played Gameloft’s NOVA 2 while ago. It was a quite awesome game, but playing it became pretty tiresome after a while. I have to control the character’s movement, dodging from enemy’s attack, selecting correct weapon and aiming the enemy at the same time. ME Infiltrator, at the other hand, simplifying task that player has to do. While player still able to control the character completely, it intuitively suggests simpler gesture in combat situation. Be intuitive of what player should do, and what the system should decide for player.
Different gesture for different form factor
Touch based device shouldn’t completely imitate the control of console device, vice versa. Case in point: tapping a virtual button is tiring. ME Infiltrator comes with more elegant control: tap to aim, hold tap and hold tap and drop. It is awesome because it doesn’t make me feel exhausted after spending some time completing the game for the second time. Different form factor has different ‘natural gesture’.
Dividing task into small and understandable chunks
Long tasks are tiring. ME Infiltrator’s story is divided into several chapters, but the chapters themselves are divided into smaller chunks: ambush to ambush. After an ambush, the game is automatically saved player’s performance is clearly assessed. Even better, there are the options to continue and replay the ambush if player doesn’t happy with his performance.
Making sure that the player knows exactly where he is, is a big deal.
Optimizing audio & visual to shows player current situation
In ME Infiltrator, it is ridiculously obvious whether it’s ‘safe time’ (time when player control the character from a location toward another location) or the ‘ambush time’ when the enemies are attacking the character. There is no confusion of why the hell player’s character is dead. If there are enemies, there are pointers for it. Clarity is king.
Challenge, not confusion
If the game is too easy, it would be boring. If it is too hard, so hard it confuses the player, none would play the game. I think the ability to challenge, or make the player think in the fun way of how to solve a task is a really game-changer.
The effect of upgrading the equipment can be felt obviously
Different equipment distinctly shows different result. Different action should obviously produces different result. Period.
In a nutshell
It’s been really fun playing ME Infiltrator. Getting insight of it just make the game even better 😀
So have you play ME Infiltrator? What do you guys think?