Fearsome Thorny Pigeons Laz Matech_week1assignment_march2015

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Nielsens 10 Heuristics

Nielsens 10 HeuristicsFearsome Thorny PigeonsAssignment 1Full Sail UniversityGame SummaryThis game is an adventure platformer focusing on an enchanted snowball that was brought down to Hell for a ceremony. The snowball decides to try to escape, and the games various levels revolve around that escape, with the final trial being a fight with the Devil himself.

In the game, the player will progress through levels of varying layouts including platforming and puzzles as they try to progress to the next area. They will encounter various enemies, ranging from the Damned, a slow moving zombie-like enemy, to massive dragons.ProblemDamage that is sustained is not adequately conveyed to the player.RatingImportantDescriptionWhile the player is moving through the world, he can sustain damage from enemies on screen. This damage is not conveyed by sound or visually. This keeps the player from being aware of losing additional health.SolutionA simple blink of the screen or flash of color on the character when a hit was taken would convey that damage was being received.Reference ShotVisibility of System Status

ProblemArrows used for power ups do not accurately imply shrinking/growing of the characterRatingMinorDescriptionArrows arent able to show that they are able to make the player shrink or grow. There is no text or image to show that it does anything.SolutionEither add text stating shrink/grow, or change the animation from an arrow into a contracting/expanding circle respectively.Reference ShotMatch Between System and the Real World

ProblemThe death screen gives no indication on how to respawnRatingImportantDescriptionWhen the player dies by any method, there is no prompt or message that informs the player of what to do next.SolutionA simple string stating would suffice, and lead to less confusion after a deathReference ShotUser Control and Freedom

ProblemMapping of arrow keys is inconsistent with gaming standards.RatingImportantDescriptionIf a player wishes to use the arrow keys to move, the standard left / right arrow keys do not work for moving the character left or right. Instead the player has to use the up / down arrow keys to move which is inconsistent with the visuals.SolutionChange the key bindings in order to match the visuals.Reference ShotConsistency and StandardsProblemThe quit/exit buttons do not give the player any confirmation after clicking them.RatingMediumDescriptionThere is no confirmation menu to clicking either the Quit or Exit buttons, they simply kick you straight to the main menu/desktop.SolutionWithin the Pause Menu and Main Menu, The Quit and Exit options should have a confirmation dialog for the user to verify their choice.Reference ShotError PreventionProblemDoesnt teach player how to play or explain any elements of the game.RatingImportantDescriptionThere isnt a point within the game that the game stops and tells the player any information about the game, leaving the player to figure everything out by trial by fire.SolutionA quick pop up that explains some basic information would work in explaining controls to the player.Reference ShotRecognition Rather Than Recall

ProblemControls are not stated, cannot be remapped, and there is no way of checking them.RatingImportantDescriptionThere is no menu for the controls, and they cannot be remapped in any way. This means players are forced to use one set of controls throughout the entire game.SolutionCreating a menu allowing the controls to be remapped to different parts of the keyboard or mouse to allow players to use a set up that is more comfortable for each player. This also allows for players to figure out the controls of how to play.Reference ShotFlexibility and Efficiency of Use

ProblemMenu buttons and text match too closely in color. The menu layout is also in a strange location in the lower right portion of the screen.RatingMinorDescriptionThe menu buttons have a snowy background with white text in the foreground, making the text difficult to read. The menu is also situated in the lower right part of the screen, making it hard to notice if you are not paying attention.SolutionMake the menu buttons a plain color, like white, and the text black to have better contrast. Move the menu centrally so that the player is more likely to notice it.Reference ShotAesthetic and Minimalist Design

ProblemNo character feedback upon player deathRatingImportantDescriptionThere is no information given when the player dies. The player model despawns, and the rest of the game continues playing with no prompt or anything displaying what happened.SolutionGive some form of prompt or information when the player dies. A simple with the game stopping in the background would suffice.Reference ShotHelp Users Recognize, Diagnose and Recover From Errors

ProblemNo help menu, and provided documentation is out of dateRatingImportantDescriptionThere is nowhere in the game that tells the player how to play in menus or otherwise, and the included documentation is out of date in regards to the controls ie. it has no mention of mouse control.SolutionProviding a tutorial on how to play and the game or outside up-to-date documentation of the mechanics of the game for players who are new can easily pick up and play.Reference ShotHelp and DocumentationReferencesNielsen, J. January, 1995. 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design. Retrieved from http://www.nngroup.com/articles/ten-usability-heuristics/Nielsen, J. January, 1995. Characteristics of Usability Problems Found by Heuristic Evaluation. Retrieved from http://www.nngroup.com/articles/usability-problems-found-by-heuristic-evaluation/Gill, T., Mangold, M., Patterson, L. West, K., Whildin, J. May, 2012. Snow Chance In Hell. Produced by Full Sail University