Monday, 22 June 2015

Top Tips For Expediting Game Design Process

When it comes to organizing coherent networks of information documents are not of much importance. A lot many things need to be written in the pre-production phase of a game. However, there are ways in which writing can be limited. In this blog post, I will be discussing about some of the tips which can be used for efficient designing at the outset of the project.
 
mobile game design

Brief Prototype:

A design document contains rough text which is open to interpretation. No words can express the estimated feel of the game. On the other hand, the important mechanics of majority of the game concepts can be coded and tested quickly. Developing a prototype is better than writing a corresponding detailed design description. A prototype helps in describing and providing means for analyzing the quality of game concept.

This is the perfect starting point for the preproduction process. A playable sample can give every team member a solid sense of what the game will be. Everyone can give their feedback on the same. A working prototype works better than anything else. Avoid using fancy visuals as they might not let you and your teammates to judge the gameplay. Pretty images might camouflage the shortcomings in your design.

Limited Documents:

Game development is a time-consuming process. There’s no one who wants to go through huge number of documents. An effective design document must focus on presenting the important information to be used by each teammate. The document should be written in simple and descriptive language. The font used must be big. Content should be arranged in a manner that is fluid for users irrespective of their reading skills.

Long paragraphs must be avoided as they eat readers' time and interest. Writing in a simple language gives you time to focus on other amazing design tasks. It is advisable to spend more time in drawing than in writing long technical documents.

Keep your Peers in Consideration Whilst Writing:

Design documents may be written for client, manager, or developer. Different readers have different requirements. A client would not be interested to know the technology you will be using for implementation. On the other hand, developers might need some of these details to analyze the technical constraints involved in the process.

Asking your readers for a feedback on what you wrote can be a good way to improve your writing skills. This will help you create perfect documents.

Run Tests in Advance:

End clients may reject a coherent design if they don't get to see the resulting game at the first place. There might a number of discussions or arguments over a specific mechanics especially where there is more than one option.

In such cases a set of reference games will be useful. The benefit of this is that every team member can visualize the difference between two mechanics. Everyone can eventually experience the benefit of one over the other.

Start Your Day with Research:

Brainstorm for new ideas. However, it must not be a continuous task as it may leave you exhausted. Also, switching between concept research, programming, drawing, and writing is not a good idea. A short term work plan is essential to boost productivity. Create a to-do list and gather all the ideas on your arrival at office. Structure your work in such a way that it helps make the best use of your available time. This helps you focus on the overall picture and helps in arranging your ideas.

Learn Coding:

Game designer must be skilled at gameplay programming. This also makes easy for you to communicate with developers. You can also test your ideas yourself.

Game designer with coding knowledge is a perfect fit for a game studio. All you need to do is get equipped with coding basics and few samples of your work. Developers will find your coding language useful as they will get a playable example. For professional advancement it is important for you to have programming skills. Skill along with versatility makes a good lead.

Make Use of Images:

Attractive images are worth a thousand words. They can truly reflect your game's ambiance. Easy to read diagrams can be used to describe systems. The overall visuals and feel delivered by your documents will impact how your colleagues perceive your work.

Curtail the Iterative Loop:

All design related jobs make it critical to iterate. An iterative workflow helps you handle limited features at a time and get feedback on them before they are polished. Shorten the loop so that your peers can ensure that you are going in the right direction.

Use Analytics in the Initial Stages:


Irrespective of the number of testers working on the project, you can track different types of data with analytics API. This will give you an idea about the balance in your project. This data is helpful in the initial stages of your project. Use a tool like GameAnalytics to track and plot the data.

Make use of Efficient Tools:

When it comes to prototyping some IDEs have edge over others. Many developers use HTML 5 IDE construct 2. Actual developers working on corresponding game might choose to go with another engine to code the final product. It is always best to go with common set of tools. Unity is a perfect tool when it comes to native games
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Make Use of Placeholder Content:

Ensure that you avail of placeholder assets and snippets of code. When it comes to game concept, it is important to find the right design direction.

All in all it can be said that for speeding up the game design process you need to use prototypes, write code with teammates in consideration, and ensure that your presentation is lucid.

About Author:

Michael Waugh is a Tech Blogger & work with Potenza Global Solutions. PGS is leading mobile game development company that involves a team of expert game developers and designers who are trained to deliver various mobile games projects with great professionalism.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Unifying UX Across iOS and Android - Is It Cross Platform Compatible Design?

The question that has come to our mind with the availability of Phone Gap and Xamarin advancing in the market, providing efficiency to restore both as OS’s iOS & Android with a single code-base, is, whether our aim should be the bonding experiences over both the systems ?

As compared to iOS, where the coordination is much severe for providing QA applications in the app store, there is a vast difference in the quality between Android Apps in the mark    et. The difference between iOS application and Android apps is that there is a feeling of warmth while using the former which can be experienced during the mobile application development. Whereas, the Android seems to be a smaller version.


Mobile Apps Design


Similar, But Different - Post Material Design

Because of the release of material design by Google, the consistency of Google’s collection of products has begun to crop up. But, because of the effective differences between Google’s guidelines and Apples’, the credit definitely goes to Google. These guidelines in return have helped Android developers in building up custom Android services.

Re-Building The iOS Experience for Android

Yes, definitely we can rebuild the iOS experience for Android. In view of the similarities between the two systems, from the angle of UX/UI, certain questions arise like why would you? What would you gain by doing this? A perceived cost saving in the development of time application?

Let us reverse the question. What would you do if you had an Android specific application and decided to put the experience back to iOS?  What would you think about your iOS users? After all, both the OS’s demand similar respects.

Going back to the original question, as, can we unify the experience between, iOS and Android? Still remains to be a debatable question.  You could Focus an experience in terms of brand values, messaging and alignment in terms of visual direction could be done, but, as far as the actual interactions are concerned within each platform, it is the operating system that drives the main or basic experience, not the application itself and this is the reason why Google and Apple have taken so long creating their guidelines.

The main Difference Between the two Systems is as Follows:-

In iOS system, there is no Universal Back Button which is agnostic and allows you to go revert to actions outside the app experience. The navigation/action bar position is at the bottom with a target area of 44px x 44px. Whereas, in Android system, there is Universal Back Button which is app agnostic and allows you to go revert to actions outside of the app experience. The navigation/action bar position is at the top with a target area of 48px x 48px.

Universal Back Button:

The big back button on Android is of a universal control, allowing user to pass back through the previous interaction as well as outside of the application that are currently in to ease the movement between the applications.

Navigation Bar/ Action Bar:

Google definitely chooses just the opposite as compared to Apple guidelines which encourages designers to place tools, actions and buttons in the lower bar on the screen, leaving the top to clear with one or two buttons. The users of the OS have inherited and learnt these patterns over the years.

Target Area:

It may be of less importance, but its command is high on its users, as in the Android community larger target area is acceptable to pick up an iOS device. Whereas, as compared to iOS, button target areas are bigger on Android.

The following are the points of difference between iOS Facebook and Android Facebook.
  • The search box is different in both the systems
  • The Chat drawer (top right icon) has a different visual treatment
  • Positioning of global controls over Status, Photo, and check-in
  • Additional component box for adding a status on Android that is not on iOS
  • Gestural differences between the two programs. When you swipe slowly to the right on Android, you have to move between the Activity Feed, Friend requests, messages, etc, as the same is not present on iOS
  • Different typography (Helvetica Neue on iOS and Roboto on Android)
  • Smaller UI items such as colour on iconography
Thus, looking to the above, we can gather the differences but, apart from the differences there are different pattern applied to the internal application search and also the user-flow can be experienced on both the systems.

Facebook iOS:

A User taps search which is a new search page displaying Recently Searched, but has a ‘Cancel’ button applied after the search field, which is a standard iOS pattern.

Facebook Android:


A User taps search which is a new search page and displays recently searched but has a ‘Back’ button applied before the search field, which is a standard iOS pattern.

The business on Facebook continuously keeps on repeating and improving on their OS’s. Hence, the application should be tweaked according to its performance.

Conclusion

Thus, there is a huge difference between the two OS’s. Time could be saved by using a single code; both iOS and Android have their own significance and identity as well as distinct characteristic. It solely depends upon its users to owe the experiences.

About Author:

With blogging experience in various fields of technology, Michael Waugh has gained impressive knowledge about Mobile Application Development. Currently he is associated with Potenza Global Solutions, a top-notch IT company that deals with various mobile apps.