Borderlands is a series that’s absolutely driven by the desire to collect loot. When the original Borderlands was released back in 2009, I heard it referred to frequently as “the Diablo 2 of shooters”. It’s fitting then, that Borderlands 2 has a limited edition that comes with a replica loot chest.
All of the guns and other loot in the Borderlands series are randomly generated, and while the story is great, finding a legendary rocket launcher is really the reason to play. Collecting more and better guns is as good a driving force as any to play a game, right? But managing all that loot can be a challenge, and for a game that’s as loot-driven as Borderlands 2 is, Gearbox could have dealing with all of those sweet, sweet guns a little bit easier.
So gameaccessibilityguidelines.com gives game developers a simple, understandable checklist of ways to improve the accessibility of their games, ranging from easy to hard. This is awesome particularly for disabled gamers, but implementing many of the guidelines will benefit everybody. I’d like to take a quick look at a few of my favorite guidelines that I wish more games had just for the sake of usability. Continue reading →
One of the many game modes in the EA’s Madden NFL football series is the “Create a Superstar” mode. It puts an RPG-esque twist on winning the Lombardi Trophy by letting you “level up” your superstar’s skills as you gain experience. This concept certainly isn’t novel though – I’ve talked a little bit about a similar mode in MLB 2K12 recently.
Since you are creating a superstar after all, there are quite a few details to be worked out – from hair style to shoe color and all kinds of things in between. Madden NFL even includes an extensive list of colleges that your superstar could have attended. I’m not sure exactly how many there are, but it’s a ludicrous amount. And this is where the problem comes in – EA might have picked the worst possible way for players to select a college.
Writing an article about PopCap Games’ Peggle is a dangerous proposition. After conquering my Peggle addiction a year or so ago, diving back in for “research purposes” has definitely brought back a flood of old memories. Peggle is one of the most addicting games that I’ve ever played, and there are a lot of reasons for that.
From a UX perspective, my absolute favorite part of the game is how it progresses at just the right pace. It’s a casual game, sure, so pacing doesn’t mean quite the same thing as it does in an RPG or an action title. But Peggle still knows how to drip you just enough of it’s gloriously sweet peg-busting action to keep you hooked for “just one more level”…
Despite the fact that the Xbox 360 controller features some 11 digital buttons (plus a bunch of other stuff), games still manage to find ways to use them all. As a result, button overloading is a problem. When users anticipate one functionality and are given another, it shakes their confidence and breaks the immersion by reminding them of the controller in their hands.