这也是我为何会认为《水果忍者》是一款优秀游戏的重要原因。游戏加载后玩家便会看到一系列表示不同游戏玩法的图标。如果你用传统方法去轻点图标，将会出现“一只手”告知你，应该滑动图标才能进行选择。在游戏正式开始之前，Half Brick Studios便通过一个简单的动画告知玩家游戏的核心机制。在这款游戏中，游戏前端内容不只有菜单系统，还包括交互指南，即采用一种简单的方法向玩家传达游戏的本质内容。
Snapshot: Fruit Ninja’s subtle act of game design genius
by Keith Stuart
Designing a game’s front-end is something that’s often left until very late in the development process – and even then it’s rarely thought of as part of the entire experience. Whenever I visit studios to see their latest projects, they’ll usually whiz through the menu system, muttering things like ‘this is all place-holder stuff, please ignore it’. And amid that self-conscious kerfuffle I will usually catch a glimpse of something that looks like a cross between a seven-year-old’s Christmas list and a ransom letter.
Some developers don’t even both to properly polish the front end for the final release. Have you ever played a Cave shooter? Their menus are more densely challenging and obtuse than most of the end-of-level boss battles – I feel like I should be awarded Achievement Points for just accessing the game. That’s not really the best approach.
That’s why I think Fruit Ninja is a work of genius. At least the front end is. When the game loads, you’re presented with a series of icons that denote gameplay options – but if you try to tap on one in the traditional way, a hand appears on the screen and shows you that, no, you need to swipe through the icon in order to select it. In one simple animation, before the game even begins, developer Half Brick Studios has taught you the game’s central mechanic. Here, the front end isn’t just a menu system, it’s an interactive tutorial – it contains and communicates the very essence of the game with an almost zen-like simplicity.
Certainly, modern developers are now very consciously attempting to break down the traditional barrier between the front end and the game; because they know instinctively that front ends are unnatural. Half-Life, with its wonderful rail ride into the bowels of Black Mesa, and Grand Theft Auto IV with its elaborate credits sequence seek to create a sort of interstitial zone between the menu and the game – and that’s a nice idea because it prevents that jarring sensation of flashing from a front-end screen to – usually these days – an non-interactive cut-scene.
But this still leaves that opening screen on its own, away from the themes and concepts of the game. Scribblenauts does a great job of making the menu fun and entertaining, and that at least informs the player of what they can expect form the rest of the game, but it is still not the rest of the game. It is separate. The latest Fifa games are getting there, because they integrate a sort of kickabout game into the menu – and that continues while the match loads up. Black Ops also uses an interrogation room as its menu system, with sound effects and samples from the game recurring in the background, allowing you to mentally pressurise to the dark and oppressive cold war setting.
Of course, Fruit Ninja has a very simple mechanic; you possibly couldn’t describe every facet of say, Skyrim, on the first screen the player sees when they load up the game. But developers should think about the semiotics of menu design, and what they’re saying to players when we boot up. Why, for example, do so many games force us to go through a ‘start’ screen, before getting to the menu? In the early days Codemasters had a very simple design philosophy for its front ends – within three button presses, the player should be in the game. But those three button presses rarely told the player what they should be doing – that was left to the cassette inlay instructions – or nowadays the ghastly in-game tutorial.
All games are systems of learning and communication; they have a visual language with some shared elements, but every title has its own signs that it needs the player to understand. Fruit Ninja does it in such a way that many people won’t even realise they’ve learned practically all they need to learn. Players have been indoctrinated into the world of fresh produce-based martial arts, as though it were the most natural thing in the world. That is game design genius.(souece:hookshotinc)