E1. Design for Knowledge Transfer

“I understand a lot of features in the game because they are familiar to me from my experience with other games. I am able to start playing right away since I understand how to use the mechanics from prior experiences.”

Players who understand the terminology, mechanics, and controls of the game are able to learn quicker.

Controls and terminology that fit industry standard decrease barriers to play. Players who are able to pull from prior knowledge (controls, systems, mechanics) are able to discover the novel and unique features faster. This increases immersion and engagement early on allows players to have a deeper experience of the game.

Examples (adhered):

  • Up We Go!: While climbing, players come across climbing cables with the phrase “Save Point” written on them. The use of this industry standard vocabulary helps the player understand what the cables are, and ensures that they know to look for a cable if they want to save the game.
  • Lucky's Tale: The player correctly understands that the coin collection mechanic in this game is similar to the coin collection mechanic in the (very well-known) Super Mario games. He also notices the invisible coins in the game quickly, as invisible coins are a common feature in the Mario platformer games.
  • Trials on Tatooine: The player immediately knows what to do with a lightsaber when he receives it, because he is familiar with the Star Wars universe. He quickly figures out how to activate it and knows that he can deflect bullets with it.
  • Edge of Nowhere: The player is able to aim and shoot rocks at aliens by holding and then releasing the RB button, which is the industry standard for aiming.
  • Chronos: Upon finding a key card, the player immediately guesses that it will be used as the solution to a puzzle, because he has encountered similar puzzles in other games he has played: “Key card! I didn't know there would be puzzle solving, that’s pretty cool.” He also immediately recognizes that he will have to use the key card to open a door.

Examples (violated):

  • Ocean's Descent: A first-time PSVR player is unaware that the game is a 360 degree experience, because other VR consoles he has played on before were not. He therefore does not know he can look behind him, which causes a heightened sense of fear during the shark attack because he did not know what was happening behind him. “Where’d it go…? You can’t look behind you in this game,” he incorrectly assumes. “In Playstation VR, you can’t look behind you.”