Monday, April 28, 2014

Interface Design

An interesting challenge in this project is to emulate the style panels of old mainframe computer system and adapting them to function in game. A simple google search of "pdp 8 panel" will give an interesting cross section of panels being used.

But the challenge comes until modern studies on user experience and proper interface design. This game is somewhat counter to modern practice which I don't believe is a reflection on the old panel design. I think it is a case where the older computers were operated by people with training on specific interfaces. This is similar to this game. I don't expect a new player to jump in, throw some switches and launch a space ship. Things are just not that simple.

But sometimes you gain accidental boosts to usability. Take for instance the beloved operating system Windows 8. I personally have not yet upgraded. I suspect I will when Windows 7 is no longer supported in 2020. But I did try parts of the game on a Windows 8 touchscreen and found the game much more enjoyable when controlled with a combination of touch screen and mouse/keyboard input.

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