Saturday, December 9

Cueing Player Action

Hello everyone, last night I saw a play at my school called Oroonoko. Besides the fact that it was a great play, I noticed something that all plays do: cueing the actors. But cues are not just effective on stage, they can be very useful in games as well. Signals can be given in game to "prompt" a player to do something. This happen all the time in probably every game you play, and is a big part of how you know where to go and what to do as a player.

When thinking about this, the first example I came upon was for a stealth game, not unlike Splinter Cell. When presented with crossing a narrow hallway with gaurds lining the walls, the player could be cued to act when the overhead light shuts off for a few seconds. Other examples are when gaurds speak with each other while the player is eavesdropping; "Hey Bob, I left the gate key in my locker, just pick it up there when you go on shift." An actual game example is The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, where you know to use the baton evey time you see a tri-force symbol on the floor. There are tons of these to be found in probably every game you play, new or old.

In summary: Cues can be used to prompt the player. In most cases, a player should know where to go and at least an idea of what to do at all times. The game should accomodate this need by providing cues, which, off the player hints or whistle him or her into action. Its effective, necesary, and a great part of game design.

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