我们总是很难为游戏的加速器调整一个完美的视角，特别是当存在许多使用于某些内容并不适用于其它内容的不同的配置。那就将这种校准留给用户；《Tilt to Live》便有效地做到了这点，即提供3个预先装置好的配置，以及一个定制设置让玩家能够根据自己的喜欢去调整设备的角度。这也能够帮助你避免在玩游戏的时候需要不断调整设备。
我们认为应该有更多游戏能够使用视觉效果去标记其他玩家到达某一关卡（随后打败了目标）的位置。《涂鸦跳跃》是最终使用这一功能的游戏，而后来《Wheeler’s Treasure》和最近的《Super 7》也纷纷使用了这一功能。《Super 7》是至今为止执行得最好的一款游戏；玩家可以将自己最后的分数或者个人最高分发布在OpenFeint的好友墙上或全球高分排行榜单上。
On game design: User interface is as important as your game
by Ben Briggs
After a long hiatus, we’re going to start up our series on game design again; we find it helps to catalogue our thoughts on different aspects of various titles and they also give an insight of why we grade various games the way that we do. In this article we’re going to take a look at user interface which is arguably as important as the gameplay itself. A great interface doesn’t make a user jump through hoops to access what he or she wants to get to.
Multiple save states
It’s now common for games to save the current state of play when exited via the home button or on an incoming phone call. What’s less common but becoming increasingly more relevant is the idea that a game should save state for each mode that it includes should the user wish to begin a new game. Instead of wiping progress, the game simply saves state for a later time and only resets the mode should the player want to end their game.
Plants vs. Zombies—amongst others—has such a system that keeps state for multiple games at once. As well as being able to keep an adventure game you can keep multiple games in the quick play mode which includes minigames as well as a handful of scenarios for each of the different assaults on your house. Because there are so many different levels that are available the system could be considered overkill, but it’s great that you don’t have to lose any of your progress if you want to try another stage.
Multiple save games
There is a definite need for multiple profiles to be included on the iPhone OS; if only because handing your device over to your friend gives them access to your personal data. Slightly less important is the ability to have multiple game saves, but we think that it’s a worthy addition. It gives your friend an opportunity to play the game but to experience it for themselves from the beginning, rather than at five levels in where the difficulty is more unforgiving. It also stops them hindering your progress!
Devil Invasion has a good implementation of this; an autosave slot is kept so that you don’t lose progress if you have only one game. But you also have six slots that you can save in when you like!
Screen orientation detection
The iPhone and iPod touch both have headphone jacks in a different location on the device, and ideally you want the headphone cord to be coming from the top of the device when it’s in landscape mode. It’s uncomfortable to try and wrap your hands around the device with the lead sticking out in the bottom left, but the majority of games seem designed for the iPod touch and not the iPhone with the jack on the top alongside the sleep/wake button and SIM card slot. Therefore, holding the device in the right position for the game can be a problem. It’s easily solved by detecting the device orientation and flipping the screen accordingly, much like Angry Birds.
Similarly this technique can be used to optimise the user interface for portrait or landscape; this feature benefits the iPad more than the smaller devices but it doesn’t mean that iPhone games haven’t been designed with this capability. We can think back as early as Smiles when we started to see interfaces that rotated depending on device orientation and that also affected the gameplay.
Finger friendly hit targets
If you’re going to use virtual buttons, bigger is always better, and the bottom strip of icons in Fieldrunners is a perfect example. True, you don’t want to sacrifice too much of the available playing area but if that control is absolutely necessary don’t make it difficult to press. It sounds obvious, but many ports have come over from mobile with minuscule buttons and they look substandard compared to native iPhone games.
Ditch tap to start
Historically, programmers have used the text “Press any key to continue” whenever processing needed to be suspended as in old command lines where a scrollable output wasn’t possible. Nowadays, “press start” or “touch the screen” to continue serve no purpose except to make the player jump through a hoop to begin the game; just to make sure it has your attention. They are completely unnecessary and we’d love to see the back of this “feature” for good.
The ideal viewing angle for accelerometer based titles is hard to get right, especially as there are a myriad of different configurations that may work for some and won’t for others. Leave calibration to the user; a great example of how to do this is in Tilt to Live which offers three preset configurations plus a custom setting that allows you to angle the device how you’d like. Certainly it helps you to avoid hunching over your device whilst you’re trying to playing a game.
In game high score challenging
Visually marking where another player got to in a level (and subsequently beating that target) is a great concept that we think more games should be using. Doodle Jump started this all off, but later Wheeler’s Treasure and most recently Super 7 have made use of it. Super 7 is by far the best implementation yet; giving you opportunity to beat your last score or personal best alongside your OpenFeint friends and global high score leaders.
Obviously, the best user interface is invisible as bad design is immediately noticeable. However, with the amount of games available today it doesn’t make sense to craft user interfaces with anything but the finest attention to detail. Do this and you will reap the rewards.(source:gamasuncovered)