1. First impressions

      written by Ray Benefield
      Hope you guys like the slight site upgrades, nobody responded to my last post so :P. I told you guys I would also inform you of anything big Reach wise. Well here are two popular streams that you can watch of players who have gotten in early:


      Anyways, back to design talk shall we? Now that most of you have a good grasp of perspectives, I want to take a moment to side-track a little in order to prepare you for the next thing I want to talk about with perspectives. Today I would like to take you through the power of first impressions, why they are important, and a mindset that will help you make good first impressions.

      Make It or Break It

      First impressions are a powerful thing and something that all designers have to understand to the fullest. We have a limited amount of time to make people like what we are giving them. If our customers do not like what we have to offer them then we could potentially stop them from playing our content for good as well as lose a large amount of credibility. A first impression can make or break a game or level. If you do not win them over, you may loose them forever. Remember this, as this is something that has to be grasped fully for you to truly appreciate the first impression you give and so you put in maximum effort to making the first impression count.

      Race for Satisfaction

      Whether you like it or not you do not have much time to get your consumers to like your product. In order for you to keep players coming back for more, you have got to satisfy them before they grow bored. It is a race to making them like what you have to offer. Put yourself into that mindset every time you decide to design and build something. Think to yourself "Is the person playing this going to enjoy it before he gets bored?"... "Is there any way that I can offer my user a more enjoyable experience closer to the beginning rather than at the end?"... "Is there anything happening early on that could possibly ruin or hinder the player's ability to truly enjoy what I have given them?". Once you have earned the player's trust, they are more reluctant to accept any possible mistakes they run into in the future and point them out to you rather than just stop playing.

      Real Life Analogue

      I stated a while ago that there is an almost direct correlation to all things design in real and virtual life. Hmmm... looking back I only state level design, I'll go back to that topic later. But anyways, think about first impressions in real life cases when some company is trying to offer you a product and earn your satisfaction. The best example I have to offer is a restaurant. How many times have you eaten at a restaurant for the first time, didn't like it for one reason or another, and then never went back to the restaurant? It could have been the food, the service, or the price; the point is that the restaurant failed to give you a good first impression and you lost their trust in them. Do not fall into that same trap.

      That's all folks

      This relates to perspectives... don't you worry, I'll explain over the next few days ;). Remember that you guys have an assignment at the end of my last perspective article. I will be going over your analysees soon (plural of analysis? lol). Til' my next post... adéu.


      Cerberus Beast said...

      Excellent article, as always.

      I'm not sure if you have a notification system on the blog that displays when someone replies or who that person is, so I'll use this most recent of posts to put forth my analysis of the Swordbase(?) screenshot.

      My eyes are immediately drawn to the weapon and the two lighted rooms in the background. This is due to the color contrast. The weapon is placed in the middle of the wall, and its darker color makes it stand out against the white of the wall. The doors to the left also stand out due to the fact that they have light emanating from them, while the walls are darker and unlit.

      Those are just the sheer aesthetics of the picture, disregarding gameplay significance. It was postulated by Prod that the weapon had headshot capability, meaning it is incredibly important for the gametype, Headhunter. If I were the player in the shot, I would be picking up the weapon and scanning those two entrances for foes who might come out of them. Next,we have the capture point arrows on the UI. From what I know of the gametype, if I lurk around one of those, I'm sure to get a skull or two. If I manage to get a skull and I need to cap it quickly, I'll need to know where those points are. I also feel that the radar is a subconscious focus point. It's ability to display enemies that might be moving on the other side of the entrance makes it very valuable and worthy of attention at any point.

      ^Had to type fast, as I need to leave for a weekend trip. Check you later.