User Experience – 2010-02-21

Shazam! Abra kadabra! Bazinga! Ooohm…

I have an app on my phone that can identify any song just by listening to and analyzing a few seconds of the melody. If I did not understand how the underlying technology works it might be tempting to imagine that it operates by magic. How about if I know how the technology works? If I know how the songs fingerprints are created, stored and identified? If I know all that and still find myself amazed every time I use it, surely there must be something larger at play?

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Interaction Design – 2010-02-14

Heavy Rain – Limited gameplay interaction redefined?

I am very excited about Heavy Rain. Not on the pretence of the game being the next step in interactive storytelling or a more mature gaming experience. Besides what looks to be a good story set to beautiful visuals and a dynamic score there is a promise of better interaction. This game will tackle the issue of the dreaded Quick Time Event. Quick Time Events are best described as cut scenes where the actual gameplay is limited and the interaction is often of simple nature, e.g. press a button repeteadly at the right moment. The ambitions where originally even higher as the develepors had Sonys upcoming motion controller in mind. What Heavy Rain will try to do is create unique interactions for moves and actions and have them map more naturaly to physical actions from real life. The game will make use of all available inputs of the six axis hand controler and make use of multiple simulatinious inputs to create these more natural mappings. How well they manage to execute this remains to be seen but it would be good for the console game industry as a whole if Heavy Rain changes the traditionaly unimaginative QTE and replaces it with something a bit more immersive.