Video games are pretty popular nowadays, so Developers/Publishers are always trying to capitalising on that. They want us to keep playing their games, obviously, so how can they make sure we spend as much time as possible, playing their game?
The User Interface
As someone who works in a software development company, user experience, or UX, plays a key role.
The user interface (UI for short) is the thing you see when you’re playing a game. How much ammo you have left, your health bar, map, quest list, tool bars etc. are all part of the UI. It makes a world of difference when you’re playing a game that has a bad UI compared to a far better one.
Let’s focus on Destiny 2 as it’s a perfect example of how you keep players hooked, and more specifically we’ll look at the use of progress bars and the percentage.
Destiny 2 Has Three Critical Bars
Progress bars. In any form of media, they indicate how far along you are on an objective. In Destiny, they’re shown in an easy to access area, your character screen, which you access often.
Why am I making such a big deal out of a few progress bars? Well, every time you go to your character page or Faction vendors, you see your level bar. For Factions, your progress is determined by how many tokens you’ve handed in. Once you reach the required amount, you get an Engram!
If you’ve played Destiny, you’ve likely been in a situation where you’ve “almost” levelled up or you’re just “one more upgrade” away from getting to Power level 280. Another hour or two flies past then you’re ready for that 5 hour sleep. I’ve been there. ; )
Percentages to Show your Progress
Another way Destiny manages to keep you playing is the Milestone frame. You have missions that show your progress in percent form. So surprise surprise, just like progress bars, you can just spend another five minutes…or one hour finishing off those Milestones. After all, you’re guaranteed a reward from all of them, so why not spend that extra time!
It’s the notion of constant progression and seeing there’s always another upgrade somewhere, which is what keeps a lot of players hooked, including me.
Not only that, but everything is accessible from one area. Milestones, the character screen, Director, friend list and Clan screen are all one button away. It’s simple, but it is addictive, and we know it. Bungie did a good job of creating one big carrot on a stick, and they’re not alone.
What do you think of Destiny 2’s user interface? Does it work for you? If not, why not?