Game UX - And Temtem for all
-a look at Accessibility #1-
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When people talk about User Experience, there are some common misbeliefs induced by the use of screens. Interfaces sure are a mean to help or guide the players, but they truly are a thin part of UX overall.
‘Accessibility’ in video games is the ability a team have to make their game reachable to the largest number of people. That often focus on making the extra-step allowing players with disabilities to enjoy your game by their own means.
In this monster taming game, a particular attention has been paid to ease of use. As a PC & consoles game, players can always use the regular ways to play, such as a controller and/or the keyboard+mouse combo.
The experience can be divided in 4 interaction domains: exploration, fight, menus and interactions. In order to give to almost everyone the possibility to enjoy everything, all essential interactions are resumed to a bare minimum of inputs: 2 buttons and a cursor.
Yup, all one need to play Temtem is just a mouse (or any equivalent device).
One of the first thing to come when making a game is obviously moving the player’s character. In Temtem, the players will use the right-click button, with two different behaviours.
1. Maintaining the right-click button allows you to just guide the character with the directions of the cursor. That can be very practical when farming for wild encounters or in some long-way trip flow.
2. The player can right-click to mark a spot insight and the character will move by itself to its destination. It is really practical when the path to reach some spots is tricky. Or, obviously, when one doesn’t have the ability to maintain pressure on a button. It’s a click-to-go kind of thing.
B. Fight and capture
The first use of the mouse cursor and buttons in a fight is pretty typical. One just hover and select the targeted action.
As Temtem allows the players to quit the game and come back in the middle of a wild fight (or a story fight, but not in a competitive match), the only-mouse configuration needed to allow the pause menu to appear, and that’s done by right-clicking anywhere on the screen.
The right-click button has another use during a fight. It allows the player to display a popup with more details on the available attacks.
This one is almost as usual, with a nice subtility. Right-click is contextual. Depending on where the player use it on the screen, it will have a different behaviour.
For example, in the temtems management computer menu, if the player right-click on one of the temtems, options appear to help manage the temtem.
But, when the cursor is elsewhere on the screen, it simply closes the management interface. In fact, the right-click button used in blank areas is often a “close” or “go back” button.
To access the main menu without the Escape key or the Start button, Temtem have a smart way to do so. Indeed, there’s a preview of the menu on the left of the screen (where it appears with any other technique) that slides a little when you hover it with a mouse, and if you click on it, it will make the menu pop out on sight.
Little speech bubbles appear when an interaction is at reach. It can be talking to the NPC in front of the character, or even fishing if you stand next to a water stream.
If a third button is available (let’s say a middle-click or wheel-click), sweets emotes are just a click away.
In a matter of accessibility, there is always room for improvement.
But Temtem is really of to a good start.