When the camera in a game is done well everything feels just right, everything just flows. It’s the reason why Journey, why Inside, why Mario Kart 8, and just about every Nintendo game feels just as if anyone could play them.
Knowing how to deal with the eye not only helps you make your game more accessible but it also makes it easier to follow in the most hectic of moments.
From: PlayDead’s INSIDE
My goal: Is to explain how to design the game around the eye’s limitations and create experiences that are more comfortable for our users. I will start with the simple yet effective concept of Eye-Tracing.
From: Mad Max Fury Road
Follow the red circle: We can immediately read where the motorcycle is between shots and we see the barrel on the shotgun, each shot takes less than a second, yet we read every beat, and that’s because the eye is directed so well here.
Eye tracing is an editing technique used to direct where the eyes of a viewer will be across several shots, in other words it’s strategically moving the eyes of your player to a specific point in the screen and using it in different fun ways.
Create an environment in which you know which part of the frame your player is most likely to be looking at, this can be performed a number of ways but I wont get in the details of composition, color theory, photography or animation. I will only talk about the eyes.
Now, how does something from cinema world, a world where everything is scripted, and there’s a cut every 5 seconds or so apply to an interactive medium? Well the answer is simple it does so in a completely different way.
I will jump back and forth between games and movies but this is a game focused article.
Do Your Eyes Follow?
What does the player see? What do you as a creator want them to see?
Do those 2 align? Can they?
Eyes have a 5 degree central vision, this is where we read books, if our target moves outside of the near-peripheral section of our eyesight the eyes will have to change positions.
TVs tend to hang in the mid peripheral, it feels as if it covers the whole vision but it really doesn’t. Close one eye and make a frame with your hands observe how much your monitor or your TV takes of your vision space.
My rules are:
Screen Is A Plane Not A Window.
Eyes Are Slow.
Eyes Need A Home.
Up And Down Before Left And Right.
One Thing At A Time.
The Screen Is A Plane Not A Window
The screen is a flat surface, not a window to another world.
The key word here is Planar space! This is the basis of eye tracing, and designing moving media in a way that is easy to read for people. Even 3D movies need to compose in planar space.
Maintaining the focus in a slowly moving point in planar space makes it easier on the eyes because your eyes have to move way less.
Eyes need a home
Even when there’s nothing to be seen, the eyes should be directed to a point on the screen.
From:Mario Kart 8
In hectic game-play, having one direct point to return to is imperative as it gives the eyes a simple point to return to as they jump from object to object during the action.
In games like Mario Kart the player doesn’t have to worry where the character is, but where the obstacles are.
Apparently, creators are not allowed to write about taboo topics anymore without “promoting” them. You can only write things you believe in!
Seriously! It’s such a new trend now to shame writers, artists, and anyone creative for it being CREATIVE in a fictional work! You’re not allowed to write about ANYTHING that may be “problematic” or “disgusting” unless you yourself get off on it!
You write about incest? You MUST ADVOCATE FOR INCEST!
You wanna write about rape? YOU MUST BE A RAPIST!
You wanna write about torture? YOU’RE A SICK SADIST!
Yup! THAT’S WHAT THE WORLD HAS COME TO NOW! NO MORE CREATIVE THOUGHT! NO MORE PLAYING IN THE FICTIONAL REALM! EVERYTHING MUST BE FULL OF RAINBOWS AND HAPPINESS OR ELSE YOU’RE A SCUMBAG!
To ANYONE who thinks this: Get over yourself.
Seriously. I’m pointing at some fandoms right now with my words, but if this applies to you, then you are being pointed at too.
Just because we creators create something with taboo topics in it doesn’t fucking mean we advocate for it. If YOU have a problem with it, then don’t watch/read/look at it.
I’m 100% done with people being so close-minded about creative works and the freedoms it has. It’s FICTION. It’s NOT REAL.
If you cannot separate fiction from reality, then stay away from fiction and I mean this both lovingly for your mental health and aggressively to protect creative works from bullshit censorship.
We use taboos to make unique/interesting stories. You may not like it, but we’re the ones making the story. Not you. We are weaving and carving our FICTIONAL worlds however we want so we can tell our stories in the ways we want to.
Don’t like it? MAKE SOMETHING YOURSELF. The world needs more creatives and if you wanna tell a story then tell it however YOU want to tell it.
But FUCK YOU if you ever think a creator advocates for taboo subjects just because they put it in their works.
Signed, a creator who has written about child/sex trafficking, rape, kidnapping, torture porn, murder, the dark web, Christian mythos, hard drugs, and alcohol abuse.
for november I worked on climbing, swimming and diving, as well as an ability where you can shoot a bubble and bubble a guy. you can jump on them for a boost, or you can eat it! so many choices. flying is updated, and there’s a playable demo too
What I want to say:
Bethesda genuinely has interesting stories to tell and a world that could be more interesting if the devs and artists were given the freedom to truly explore the concepts and the world they create beyond just a capitalist product made to be sold.
What I actually say:
Bethesda sucks fuck you Todd Howard