Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Simon Reed

Quite an interesting talk we had today, someone who works in the industry as a game interface designer. Im fairly interested in this as I had touched on this a bit during my game modification days, was changing the original splash screens/menu images, colours and also icons which were used in game. Its good thinking about how things are designed, things such as cashpoints and mobile phone menus etc. Although I already realised that design goes into these its easy to take it for granted, usually its done very well but there are some points which are a bit confusing with certain designs. One example is that i recently bought a new phone and while txting was trying to select a person to send it to but I was confused to what was actually highlighted. All that you seen was what looked like a white background and a blue selection area, scrolling up and down looking for what was selected on the blue but in fact the selection was in white and the background was blue, after realising this it became very logical but at first sights I was unsure. (Also on my old phone the selection was in blue on a white background) The thing about interface and HUD's is that it must be easily understood and have a certain logic to it from the first sight.
I studied a course in graphic design (and also knew about it as my dad's a graphic designer) so I get the jist of how things work, at some points doing graphic design seems like a natural talent to me. Although its not really a skill im wanting to go into buisiness with creating things such as interface, DvD/Game covers is sometimes quite enjoyable.
Anyway yeah the talk with Simon was quite informative and reminded me about interface design, one thing which I thought was interesting is that technologies are changing and so will the interface. Rather than boring old text in 4 corners of a screen its constantly evolving to be a lot more innotive and creative, seen in the presentation was the use of the 3d menu's as if the screen is your head turning and looking for things (like in a FPS game) which adds a lot more interest to simply finding the "Start Game" button. Another interesting example I seen in the talk was about in a 3rd person shoot-em-up where rather than the health being a PNG/ALpha overlapping everything it was actually visible on the back of the characters themselves. This was a sci-fi shooter where things like this would work rather than a game such as Crash Bandicoot where basically 1 hit and you die.
I would be interested to see that interface in action. Yeah it was a good talk and had a lot of insights, he originally worked in 3d but didnt want to stop there, kept his options open but sort of a contradiction in the fact that as 2nd years we are meant to have a goal thought about and go towards it, but I believe Simon was referring to in the professional world outside of education.

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