Not Having A Map Is Intuitive?

Posted: June 16, 2011 in Game Design
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The inspiration for this post comes from a comments over at JPH’s blog. So the he’s talking a lot about Dungeon Siege 3 demo, most of which is unrelated to the point I’m making. The main thing is that the game has a minimap but it doesn’t have a real map, but if you press R it will show a glowing path to your destination. Apparently this idea isn’t new, and can be traced back to Fable 2. Taking away the map was a design decision to make the game more intuitive.

I’ve got a great idea to make a really intuitive game. Make the game a single button press. The game goes something like this, 10 minute opening cutscene, a single button press to punch a guy in the face, and another 10 minute cutscene, followed by credits. That’s so intuitive anyone can play. No need for counter-intuitive things like maps, inventory, dialogue trees,  combat mechanics, or anything else that might make people’s heads hurt.

Sarcasm aside, are we really at the point where looking at a map  to figure out where to go next is too hard? I guess it takes the absolute genius of Visceral Games to have a button activated glowing path, and a map, in the same game. Last time I checked nobody is compelled to look at a map just cause it’s in the game, so including a map shouldn’t bother people just cause its not intuitive.

Basically your choices are to wander around with no direction if you want to explore, or go exactly where the next mission objective is. The cool thing about a map is that you can look at it and decide where to go, and figure out how to get there. Some games like Grand Theft Auto, let you choose a place on the map and it gives you a short path there on your minimap. Instead of a path that goes where the game designer wants you to go, you can have a path that goes where you want to go.

Obviously things like deciding where to go, and player choice, are far too complicated for players to handle, so its probably best to get rid of those things, in exchange for a more intuitive game.

  1. JPH says:

    The second paragraph just made me think of quick time events.

    • maxff says:

      A thing shows up on the screen telling you what button to press, and then you press it. What could be more intuitive? Clearly quick time events are the pinnacle of game design.

  2. Curtis says:

    yeah it is sad how games are getting I’ve noticed a lot of the games i have now are fun but there fail proof too there’s so many ways to not die it makes hard mode like normal

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