Good Design, Bad Design Vol. 7 – The Best and Worst of Graphic and UI Design in Games ~ Design Doc


Ooh, time for Good Design, Bad Design the
Seventh. If this is your first time here, welcome. You can start with this one now and go back
to watch the others later. We’re here to talk about lots of examples
of good and bad graphic design in games. Things like menus, UI, camera work, color
choice, font choice, animation, character design. The Presentation of Information. There will be good games with bad graphic
design, and vice versa. But first, a quick word from today’s sponsor,
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classes or workshops. You can try it out with a free 2 month trial
by signing up with our link below. Good Design Sayonara Wild Hearts has a killer look and feel. It’s a top 10 game on my ‘cohesive style
leaderboard. In a nutshell, Sayonara Wild Hearts is an
abstract, music based arcade style runner. It’s essentially a playable music album with
a stylish, ethereal narrative stitching each of the album’s songs together, flooding your
senses at all times. Oh and Queen Latifah is the narrator. Queen Latifah: Silver Rank! Sayonara Wild Hearts’ gameplay is on rails,
which really makes the playable-music-video theme possible. Every camera angle, every action beat, every
scene transition is intricately tied to a level’s song. In one level you’ll be in an intense motorcycle
chase in a city during a verse but as the chorus begins, the city streets suddenly crumble
and you take the chase into the air. It’s that kind of spectacle that’s front
and center here. The game’s flashy style is always on the verge
of overwhelming your senses, but the game does a few things to keep it manageable. Wild Hearts only uses two inputs, the directions
for movement and timed button prompts. The game keeps shifting what it will ask you
to do. In some stages you’re only moving left and
right. In others you have full 360 movement. Sometimes your drifting in a car, and sometimes
you’re targeting multiple enemies like in Panzer Dragoon. There’s a lot of contextual variety, but
you’re always weaving through obstacles, grabbing as many collectables as you can for a higher
score, with only a few simple mechanical tasks to think about at any time. The collectables themselves all meld with
the visuals as well, and help keep the player focused on the game’s sights and sounds. Wild Hearts is able to get away with the intense
visuals partially because of how simple the core gameplay is. The more complicated and demanding the game’s
mechanics are, the less a game can dazzle with graphics without overwhelming the player,
or letting the graphical effort go to waste. There’s only so much of a player’s attention
to go around. Think of games like Rock Band. The mechanics of playing the instruments can
be very demanding. Players get tunnel vision when focusing on
their track of notes. It’s very common for a player to not see what’s
going on in the background at all. In a game like Sayonara Wild Hearts, whose
core is so focused on pairing visual style with music, a complicated set of mechanics
would undercut what they wanted the player to focus on. By dialing down the gameplay knob, the designers
at Simogo freed up the attention of the player that let them take in the must-play audiovisual
experience of Sayonara Wild Hearts. Bad Design Some games like to hide secrets. Sometimes, like in Metroid and Zelda, hidden
things are core to a game’s design. But there’s a trick to designing secrets and
hidden things. If you hide them too well, no one will find
them. They might as well not be there. If you don’t hide them well enough, well then
they aren’t really secret now, are they? So how do you communicate a secret? You DON’T do what the original Rayman does, ’cause… maaaaan. But hold up a sec, we first have to talk about
affordances. Affordances are the little clues that suggest
how to interact with an object or system. The handles and panels on doors are the classic
example. Put a handle on the side to pull and a flat
panel on the side to push, and people will tend to intuit what they need to do to open
the door, without any other instructions. Video games have tons of affordances in their
visual design. Lots of the affordances you’ve probably stopped
even noticing consciously. Unusual platforms, subtle inconsistencies
in the environment. In the visual language of games, little imperfections
suggest that something is happening here, and you should investigate more. So that gets us back to secrets. A game can use affordances to telegraph that
there’s a secret to be found. You can be really, really subtle. Games like Fez and The Witness are partially
great because discovering these obscure affordances becomes a core part of the game. But the game should at least put SOMETHING
there. Mario 64 is pretty good at using affordances
to highlight its secrets. Here in the Cool Cool Mountain penguin slide
there’s a line of coins that lead directly into the wall. Coins are there to be collected, so a player
collects them and hey hey! There’s a secret path! The form of the coin line leads you directly
to the hole in the wall. That’s an affordance. Back in the overworld, once you have 10 stars,
this beam of light shows up in the main central hub. What could that be? Better get my camera out and… OH GEEZ I’M FLYING. Ohhh boy. That’s an affordance. Without some subtle affordance, a player will
either completely ignore a secret, or randomly perform an action expecting something to eventually
happen. It’s like when you mash the A button in a
Pokemon game next to a random bush or trash can, hoping that you’ll stumble upon a hidden
item. There are no affordances for secret items
on the floor, but once in a great while you’ll find one, so you keep checking everywhere. Without the affordances, players waste time
mashing a button in an empty room. Pokemon isn’t great at it, but at least
the items involved are just extras. And that brings us back to Rayman. Rayman is divided into stages, and your job
is to travel through each of them and open the cages you find along the way. Punch the cage, and you liberate the electoons
inside. There are six cages spread out over a handful
of sections in each stage. Hope you can find all of them, because you
have to. You have to find every cage to unlock the
final level. It’s not like you get a bad ending or anything
if you can’t find them all, you just do not get one. So they’re just scattered throughout the
worlds, right? How hard could that be. Oh, it sucks. A BIG chunk of these cages are invisible. At least, until you find the right trigger. What is the trigger? Wouldn’t you like to know. There are invisible triggers EVERYWHERE in
this game. Some of them hide deadly hazards that pop
up two feet in front of you. Some make the actual route to the end of the
level appear, out of nowhere. And some, like this one, make those missing
cages appear. Your only clue that a trigger was tripped
is that one musical cue. It only plays once, and it doesn’t tell you
what happened. You figure it out. My favorite is this one from the first Band
Land stage where there’s a trigger BEHIND the goal sign. It spawns a cloud behind you off screen and
leads you to a hidden cage. Rayman gives you almost literally nothing
to go off of. Nothing about where the secret trigger might
be located. Nothing about how to trigger it. Nothing about how it reveals things that are
necessary to get to the end of the game, and nothing about where the secret will appear. By providing almost no information about its
secrets, the first Rayman is a case-in-point of the importance of affordances. Good Design Every game has to teach something to the player. No matter how easy to play or how intuitive
you say a game is, every game has unique controls, unique graphical signals, unique systems,
unique strategies, all kinds of things that at some point the player has to be taught
in order to play the game. That teaching process is called ‘conveyance’,
and it’s complicated because there are so many different ways a game could do it. It could use text box tutorials, visual cues,
demonstrations of character behaviors, or a hundred other things, and probably a mix
of several of them, to get the full picture of the game into the mind of a player. Generally, the quicker, easier, and less noticeable
a game can teach you its rules the better, but there are always trade offs. Text tutorials are thorough, but they tend
to put a stop to the fun to teach you something. And just like a lecture in a big classroom,
showing the text by itself is not a guarantee that the player is going to absorb the material. A little visual note can be seamless, but
it might just be overlooked entirely. It’s surprising sometimes how obvious you
have to make a point for it to actually get through to someone. Plus, if you as a designer already know the
information it might be tricky to gauge whether or not the hint is clear enough. Every conveyance technique has benefits and
drawbacks and every game might prioritize different things that might work better with
its style. But it’s not just about style. Proper conveyance can mean the difference
between a game that’s difficult but fair and a game that feels cheap. Celeste is a great example. Despite being a very dense and difficult platformer,
Celeste is inviting and easy to pick up because of its high-quality conveyance. Celeste starts with a pretty standard jumping
tutorial. Short hop here, long hop here. You have to prove you know what you’re capable
of doing to continue. But should you fail and fall into a pit here,
there’s a more subtle lesson to learn. You’re immediately taught that death is just
a minor setback. That’s not as obvious as ‘how high can my
character jump’, but it’s no less important. Teaching that quick and early makes other
lessons easier to teach, as it encourages players to experiment, and take chances. Celeste has dozens of subtle lessons like
these that wordlessly teach the player but it does dip its toes into a couple of classic
dialog-box tutorials. Just for a second. Like when it teaches you how to climb and
more importantly, how to dash. Lots of games might just teach you the dash
straight away, but Celeste makes it its own micro-drama. You’re running across a collapsing bridge,
it’s clear you’re not going to make it. You desperately jump to the other side and
then… *caw* Boom, lesson learned. They could’ve taken a more direct intrusive
approach. That little bird from the climbing tutorial
could chime in with a short paragraph on exactly how your dash works. That would have worked, but not as well. Instead it teaches with the minimal amount
of words, adds just a smidge of tension, and only stops the action when you would have
been stopped by falling into the pit anyway. From there, you’re a few screens into the
game and you already have all of your basic tools in just a couple of minutes. Everything after that is about the little
nuances of your new skills. The way the skills interact with each other
and with the steady stream of gimmicks the game throws at you. They’re all taught purely through the level
design and visual effects on your character. Your jump’s height, mid-air control, stamina
while climbing with these little animated clouds, the tell when you’re about to run
out of stamina, how far you can climb, dashing in any direction, how your character’s hair
color relates to dashing, replenishing your stamina and dash upon landing, how momentum
works on moving platforms, these crystals that replenish your dash in the air, these
strange cosmic blocks that auto-dash you in a straight line, and many more. None of these mechanics are explicitly told
to you. It’s all conveyed through intuition and by
building on the game’s own behaviors up to that point piece by piece. And, to make sure you got the lesson, you
subtly won’t be able to proceed without understanding each and every one of these mechanics. Celeste has worked to remove as much frustration
as possible. Liberal checkpointing and infinite lives help,
but its conveyance strategy plays a big part too. Despite being a very difficult and mechanically
dense platformer, Celeste’s developers made the conveyance of all of those mechanics as
seamless and lightweight as they could. Bad Design So first of all, I love JoJo. My favorite part? 4 Favorite JoJo? Joseph. Favorite Stand? It’s a tie between Killer Queen from part
4 and Moody Blues from part 5. So I grabbed JoJo Eyes of Heaven on sale. Oof. JoJo Eyes of Heaven is a game made for JoJo
fans. ONLY for fans. It’s got tons of series hallmarks – the poses,
crazy abilities, the colorful presentation in its UI design, this stuff, OHMYGODDDD and some great character
crossovers and interactions. But I hope you get a lot from that because
the rest of the game has some issues. And God help you if you’re not already a fan,
because if you can’t appreciate all of those obscure references, and super stylish attack
cutscenes, there’s really not that much else here. Eyes of Heaven’s conveyance is pretty terrible. It’s not great at visually communicating to
new players what is going on in its gameplay, even though the core of it isn’t all that
complicated. So Eyes of Heaven is a 2v2 arena based fighter
similar to the Naruto Ninja Storm games or the J-Stars series. You have your standard light and heavy attacks,
you can pick up and use objects scattered throughout the arena and you have character
specific special attacks. Every character has a variety of signature
moves that are direct references to the source material. But there’s the first problem. If you aren’t already familiar with the series,
you will be instantly lost. Even if you are, the game will lead you astray. The presentation of each character’s special
moves is bizarre. To use a special move, you hold down L1 and
choose from a list of unique moves. There’s a move on each face button and a
couple of EX moves on the shoulder buttons. But the moves are all named with translated
quotes from the manga. The quotes are vaguely associated with the
move, but it’s pretty loose. Some aren’t too bad, if you’re familiar with
the series. Jotaro’s ‘Ora Ora’ brings out the iconic flurry
of punches. Some are actually descriptive in a way, like
his other move ‘I stopped time.’, which… stops time. But then there are moves like DIO’s ‘There’s
no escape!’. Who knows what that does. Turns out it’s a knife-throwing attack. Bruno has a long-distance punch called ‘Disgraces
like you screw up everything they do!’ Yeah, if you had an encyclopedic knowledge
of the specific JoJo translation used from when this game came out, maybe you could take
a guess. But, c’mon. You even have to wait for half of these move
names to scroll across the screen. It puts another unnecessary step between the
player and them actually figuring out how to play the character. It’s not just the names, either. The animations and effects don’t do a great
job at conveying what some of the moves actually do. Most characters have a couple of special attacks
that leave you wondering what happened, even when you know what a character’s powers
are in the manga. It could be the attack’s range, its additional
effects, if it has synergy with other moves, is the button input versatile. Oh, but they provided a pause menu datalog. Yeah, that’s just as good as being intuitive. Problem solved. Whether it be from a weird translation, or
from expecting too much source material familiarity from all of its players, the game puts up
a lot of unnecessary roadblocks. Between the animation ambiguity and the quote-based
naming scheme for its moves, JoJo Eyes of Heaven makes for a confusing and frustrating
pickup and play brawler. Good Design Well this has been a long time coming. Judging the UI and graphic design of Monster
Hunter World is a little…complicated. There are still a LOT of issues with it, but
it’s easy to overlook the improvements the series HAS made. Monster Hunter World brought so many new players
to a series that was once seen as inaccessible to newcomers. Part of that is thanks to the substantial
UI quality of life improvements while you’re out on hunts. The new scoutfly system improves monster tracking
by a lot. When you first search for a monster, you have
to find its tracks. The more tracks you find, the more you’ll
improve your scoutflies, which help lead you towards the target and highlight other collectables. In previous games you had to blindly wander
around each area until you got a sense for each monster’s movement and where their
habitats were located. The scout flies and the open sandbox design
of the map streamlines the process, and makes repeating hunts way less tedious. As you hunt each monster, you’ll raise your
research level on that specific monster, giving you the monster’s weaknesses, drops, breakable
parts, and more, in the new in-game bestiary instead of making you look it up in an online
guide. All sorts of other feedback is improved in
World too. Colored damage numbers tell you how effectively
you’re attacking the monsters. White for ineffective attacks, orange for
weak spot hits for full damage. They’re small so they don’t feel intrusive
and if you’re a bit of a purist and don’t want this information, you have the option
to just turn it off. The HUD is clean, and packs a ton of information
in the amount of space it uses. Health, stamina, timer, weapon sharpness,
a detailed minimap, the cool icons for each monster in this neat tribal style. I even appreciate the little controls cheat
sheet in the top right corner. It helps newer players try out new weapon
types, and the attack options even keep up with the weapon attack context changes. These changes aren’t geared for the hardcore
series fan, so it makes sense that some of them wouldn’t necessarily like it. The argument goes that limiting the amount
of information will force players to get better at the game. That putting in the info makes the game do
the work for you, and that new players won’t be as engaged in combat if they can use the
new info as a crutch. But I don’t agree that that’s a problem. That’s not why I come to Monster Hunter. The monster hunting experience is, and the
hunts remain as engaging as they ever were. And now, more people are able to see them
for the quality gaming experiences they are, without a lot of crud getting in the way,
hiding what Capcom has been able to make. Bad Design You didn’t think I’d go that easy on Monster
Hunter, did you? Of course there are plenty of things the series
could still improve on. My top priority would be to streamline all
of the prep work you have to do before you go on hunts. Not removing it, streamlining it. The menus and hub make prep way more convoluted
than necessary. All I want to do is to kill this beautiful creature
and turn it into a little hat. Maybe some boots. Is that too much to ask? Astera is the hub for the base game, and I
don’t like it. Hub areas that act as diegetic menus can be
a fun way to make the world feel more immersive. At least until the novelty wears off. Astera is broken into 2 floors. The quest board and item box are near the
trade yard, right next to the entrance, which is fine. The rest of the commonly used facilities like
the workshop, used for crafting, and the canteen, used for temporary bonuses on your next hunt,
are placed too far away for how much you’ll use them. They’re on the 2nd floor which means at
the start of every quest, you have to walk through the trade yard to either go up these
winding stairs or take this chain lift up to the canteen. The Tailraider Safari, used for farming materials,
is separated by an entire loading screen, either in your private room or in the research
base. All by its lonesome. Taking so long to go from station to station
after every single hunt gets real old, real fast. It’s not immersive, it’s just padding. Thankfully, the new hub town in the Iceborne
expansion has a much better layout and centralizes everything. The game’s busy, dense, and convoluted menus
are their own ball of problems. The worst of them is the Investigations menu. Investigation quests are procedurally generated
hunts that you gain during other hunts. They’re great for farming monsters, but setting
them up is reeeeaaaal dumb. You have to walk over to the resource center,
manually pick them from a list of targets, then walk BACK to the quest board and pick
them up like a normal quest. You get a limited number of slots for investigations,
so you’ll eventually have to do some spring cleaning. To delete a quest, you have to sort the quests,
search 20 pages to find the one you don’t want anymore, delete it, then start over,
because the game took you back out to the first page. Repeat a few dozen times. It ain’t fun. There are tons more tiny issues, of course. The crafting wishlist only has 6 slots. The game saves your radial menu settings with
your item loadouts and doesn’t tell you. If you don’t know how it works, it kinda looks
like the game just deleted all of your radial menu settings. The game just doesn’t explain how mechanics
like Negative Affinity work. The gathering hub exists as this weird half-usable
mini-hub. You have to trudge through the busywork of
crafting all of these expendable items the game rains down on you. Super dense and busy menus, like this, this,
and this. It’s a long list, and while it’s shorter
than it was, it’s longer than you’d like. Monster Hunter World is a game whose very
essence seems tied with its byzantine mechanics and menus, but it doesn’t have to be. Tweaking the menus, UI, and mechanics to be
cleaner, and friendlier to newcomers can still retain all of the complexity and depth that
series fans know and love, and would still make Monster Hunter a series worth studying. *chill vibes outro from Monster Hunter World*

99 comments

  • pupypup

    I didn't get a notification for thus even though I have the bell on :/

    Reply
  • Hinoga

    I never clicked on a video so fast

    Reply
  • Bananowy Dealer

    Im the fastest here 🙂 this is a really good video, thank you for it.

    Reply
  • Rafael Pereira

    Love your videos man

    Reply
  • McToaster

    me: 🙁
    design doc: releases another good design bad design
    me: 😀

    Reply
  • Mr Slagowhoreusrex

    gRaPHiC DeSIGn iS MY PasSiOn

    Reply
  • Heartless Kyōakuna

    1:45 you're probably the first person I've seen saying something good about Sonic Chronicles.
    That game deserve more recognition.

    Reply
  • Just curious

    For the past few weeks I actually got to go and get to know and practice at a company that makes websites for companies and I’ve been doing a lot of UX and UI stuff, and I just wanted to to thank you for making this series because in there I’ve realized how much I’ve learned so much from it and the knowledge has been really useful. If it weren’t for these videos I’d have 0 knowledge about what I’m doing and it wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable

    Reply
  • pupypup

    18:25 id rather argue that it changes the games presentation. It says this isn't a game where the fun is figuring out how absolutely everything works. It says it's a game that has some semi complicated controls and the fun is in using all sorts of different mechanics together.

    Reply
  • Kaimax_61

    The monster hunter bit,
    FYI, you don't need to delete the investigations one by one, they'll just get replaced if you already hit max. So, the oldest ones you haven't registered will be auto deleted.

    Reply
  • kingroger 98

    just by looking at the thumbnail i knew you were finally talking about the jojo game.

    oh how waited for this day to come.

    Reply
  • John Petrucci

    What's the name of that outro music? 😳

    Reply
  • Archie Aung

    Not gonna lie you had me in the first half with MH

    Reply
  • Broderick Siz

    Not that I don’t agree that running up and down Astera does get old fast, but you do realise that there is another item chest close to the workshop and another another one close to the canteen? And a questboard next to the workshop and that you can speak to the handler and it will work as a questboard? You still need to go up and down for resource centre, shop, captain, etc., so your criticism still stands, but the one example you made was incorrect.

    Reply
  • KerronekkuMoz

    keep em comin madud you da best

    Reply
  • César Henrique Kopp

    You are amazing and diserve a lot more subs. <3

    Reply
  • Judy Gambel

    Oh my god that vaal theme i love it

    Reply
  • joaquin trujillo

    Great video as always!

    Still hoping to see Guilty Gear Xrd on a good design video someday, still the most fun fighting game tutorial out there

    Reply
  • Not Straight Very Gay Catgirl

    I wouldn't want to be subject to epilepsy and have to get anywhere near sayonara wild hearts.

    Reply
  • jack goldberg

    Can you talk about Tetris effect!

    Reply
  • Lugmillord

    Wow. Sayonara Wild Hearts looks incredible.

    Reply
  • chocolatepain

    You make really solid content dude. You deserve my subs. Also, is your good design /bad design tone a send up to the Animaniacs mime skit?

    Reply
  • Grim1952

    You could do a whole episode on how awful the menus in MHW are.
    Thank god for Pat teaching Woolie how the menus work for like an hour…

    Reply
  • Huy Tùng Nguyễn

    So it's true that JoJo fans who play CyberConnect games like Eyes of Heaven and All Star Battle says that those games are great at recreating manga's art style, aesthetic, characters move sets/voice acting and fanservices but they have lots of gameplay issues, balancing and questionable design choices… Guess the only perfect JoJo fighting game would be Capcom's Heritage for the Future.

    Reply
  • haxkn

    I'll mention at least, Monster Hunter World, with loadouts, it now asks if you want to change the radial menu, as of a patch, which was implemented before I started playing it

    Reply
  • Taylor Dant

    Loved this video! I'd be curious to see your opinion or another look at MHW now that Iceborne is out and has fixed a lot of those awful menuing issues (investigation clearing being a big one). Seliana is leaps and bounds above Astera in terms of usability, and fixed a lot of the dead air problems I had with pre-hunt stuff. Of course, there's also the Guiding Lands, so…

    Reply
  • Joel Kuipers

    Thank you for another video. This content is amazing!

    Reply
  • masterofdoom5000

    I like no damage numbers on Monhun, the blood splash on hit and hitstop when hitting body parts told me everything I needed. It was less gamey and required you to observe and respond, even if for the most part smacking something in the face IS the go to place for damage.

    Reply
  • alasanof

    How come Crazy Bus and that weird Sonic game are in that top ten cohesive style chat?

    Reply
  • Khed

    Using the slinger to pop the mega barrels instead of your switch axe overhead slam hurts my soul

    Reply
  • Lucas Martins

    Celeste is absolutely a great example of good game design, but I don't like the way the dash mechanic is conveyed to the player. I've seen a handful of people who didn't realize until way later in the game that you can dash in directions other than just diagonally up. Nowhere in the game is this explained, which can make some sections way more difficult than intended.

    Reply
  • Jirujan

    15:20 probably because japanese need less 'letter' to make a sentence

    Reply
  • Magistone

    One of the most eye-opening moments for me in terms of game design was in Celeste. I got to the level with the moving black blocks and understood pretty quickly that they move in the direction of the arrow. But then I got to the point where the blocks had buttons on them and their movement was no help. Of course, I was confused what to do, but thankfully that part had multiple places to go so I wasn’t forced to figure it out on my own. I went to a different room where one of those button blocks moved under a low ceiling of spikes, no naturally I jumped onto the block and tried to duck under the spikes. Imagine my shock when the block itself moved down and the arrow changed direction because of me pressing down, and I instantly understood exactly how these blocks work. The game essentially tricked me into learning something, and I will always remember that moment.

    Reply
  • xtiandg0914

    How abut take a look at Ar Tonelico Qoga for some awful designs in comparison to Ar Tonelico: Melodies of Metafalica design.

    Just an idea about comparing the design of two games in the series and see how one has a bad design while the other game has good design, especially if one is a sequel to another. Something that kinda interesting to think about, and I hope you consider it. Thanks for your work and sharing your expertise in design towels appreciate design even more.

    Reply
  • SnooDoodle

    You realise there's more than 6 slots for wishlists in MHW… Right? You get pages of space to wishlist what things you're looking to craft.

    Reply
  • Tired Yuuswvi

    Vaal Hazak BGM plays ah, I see you're a man of culture as well

    Reply
  • Claudio zappulla

    design doc has watched jojo,this is a momentous revelation

    Reply
  • Sporetrix

    The first Rayman game is also a good example of why you should playtest your games, because it never was. That's why this game has so many weird design choices. The whole "Hidden triggers" thing is definitely a byproduct of that. At least, i hope so, or the devs were a bunch of maniacs.

    Reply
  • Ken Bladehart

    The Monster Hunter problem was present in the older games too. Generations and Generations Ultimate are the one I want to point out
    I dont what the hell they are thinking when making these games. Im absolutely not going praise them for doing QoL and ease to access for facilities updates for the next expansion when these thing should number one priority for the base game (and all the time)

    Capcom:
    "Wanna check your talisman melding results? Hur dur! Exit the online hub!"

    Also Capcom:
    "Aww we felt sorry for doing that. Here, you can check your talisman melding result from your Housekeeper"
    "We should have done that with the base game but hur dur, we are Capcom"

    This seriously infuriates me

    Reply
  • Blue

    Honestly, MHW's menus, aspects of the UI design (especially when compared to older games), and the whole of Astera could have been their own entire video.
    There's a laundry list of things that could be analyzed and improved upon.

    Reply
  • ZelenPixel

    rayman origins/legends does the affordances thing pretty well i feel. it just hides some subareas and sometimes other neat stuff behind a foreground that disappears once you get close. theyre super easy to find but it feels nice
    i only had to look up where a subarea/cage is for either of these(which ive both 100%ed) a grand total of once!

    Reply
  • Garomasta

    Speaking of invisible triggers, how about DuckTales? All throughout the game there are tiles that spawn a diamond, but only after you've passed them. Why not just have them floating there to begin with like the coins in Mario or the rings in Sonic? I honestly hated that.

    Reply
  • Güiro Lizard

    Video starts at 1:29

    Reply
  • Mace 2.0

    Fun fact: The GBA Version of Rayman DOES show triggers, which is a small shiny thing… Then again, you could at least cheese the game by selecting the level & press SELECT + B to make the level think you had all the cages.

    Reply
  • 666blaziken

    Another game that is simarly badly designed to Rayman is super pitfall. God, avgn tore that game a new one.

    Reply
  • Jonathan Mallet

    Most of the Monster Hunter gripes have been fixed in Iceborne though, there's multiple pages of wish list now, sorting for Investigation, Seliana makes the hub way more streamlined, the items sets have been fixed as well. The video is already outdated for the MH part

    Reply
  • Torokami 110

    I really love these videos. I'm going to do a bit of game design myself in the next 2 months, so I'm excited to see your new volume. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
  • Sakuma

    You always think the previous volume is the final one until a new one comes.

    Reply
  • Daniel Uranga

    The talk about affordances and convayence like in Rayman is why playtesting is so important. It isn't as simple as playing the game yourself, but also having other people try it blindly and see if they have trouble. The Rayman devs didn't see a problem with the invisible triggers because they put them in and knew where they were. The Eyes of Heaven devs didn't need to wait for move names to scroll by because they named/translated the moves themselves and mapped the buttons.

    Reply
  • Gizensha Fox

    For me, diegetic menus work best when they're optional – Yes, you can walk from the shop to shop in Splatoon 2's hub, or you can use L/R to swap between shops after accessing the first shop from the pause menu. Depends on your mood that day. And you can (as I usually did back when I was playing) mix and match, going to the first shop by walking and then L/Ring between them. That gives the best of both worlds – the immersion of diegetic menus for shopping, the convenience of, well, actual, honest to god, menus.

    Reply
  • Servant Rider

    I don't have a problem with dense, busy menus. But then, I'm a trpg kinda guy so when an RPG throws dozens of short words and numbers at me in a variety of layouts across three or more windows, I'm just like "Fuck yeah let's do this!"

    But it's not for everyone haha

    Reply
  • Jacob Ridley

    Thanks god they made seliana flat, now that seliana exists I hate Astera

    Reply
  • Nuno The Dude

    So glad someone pointed the radial bs thing

    Reply
  • TNobody 0214

    Ummm I agree MHW does have some insane design choices on menus but the quest board and item box is in more places in astera then just the research center. A pair is at the canteen and forge respectively. The wishlist for craftling is, ( i think) 6 pages of 6. Not alot still but enough to have what your looking for in the ready.
    I also had issues with the radial menu so I get that. But when talking about investigations I had more issues making the one I want appear show up in the first place since what will make a certain mission appear is about as well communicated as how to how the menus are.
    Though with sorting the investigations it lets get pretty detail as to what you sort for, often just sorting by what your hunting to be first makes it easy to find whatever you need. Unless you have like 10+ missions of the same hunt but that your issue I would think at that point.
    I do agree all and all though that MHW has some really messed up menu to navigate. The fact the forge is so offset compared to a majority of other thing in Astera, tail raiders being stuck behind a load screen making feel unimportant, gathering hub feeling half baked while also being the only place to go to to do the arena challenges which you need to do for specific weapons and armour. Way to make can be condense, moved, or streamlined to be easier on the player in-between hunts. But I just wanted to point out where in your some basic misleading can create an idea something is worse then what it is.

    Reply
  • willnationsdev

    19:27 This actually sounds a lot like the hub area of Phantom Dust (a real-time action game that wraps a Magic: the Gathering card battle system on the original Xbox) . Every time you beat a level, you had to walk through multiple loading screens to get to the shop, check out the new stock of cards/skills, walk all the way back to the quest area (the "Battle Terminal") and then, more often than you'd like, there wouldn't be any open quests. You'd then have to go marching all over the hub map talking to each of the NPCs until one of them suddenly has a quest for you (and who it is changes every time). What's even worse is that some of the characters change where they hang out, so you don't always even find the right person right off the bat. The only time the game is fun is when you are actively battling or deck building (which it is great with), but there is so much other meaningless busywork to slog through that it really pollutes the gameplay experience.

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  • thechucknorrisofNSMB

    "Think of games like Rock Band. […] Players get tunnel vision when focusing on their track of notes. It's very common for a player to not see what's going on in the background at all." So much so that the currently existing fanbase plays on Clone Hero, whose "background" is solid black for almost every song.

    Reply
  • Brian Fong

    1:28 Skip Ad

    Reply
  • Ar sen

    On Monster Hunter World, there is another quest board on the second floor of aestera, and there's always the handler if you want to deal with… that, but I do agree that it should be much more condensed and centralized. So many stalls on the first floor do nothing, the meeting area is only used for cutscenes, there's a small pavilion that looks out over the first hunting ground that I only found because I often hug walls in games, and even then it's a long walk to get to said pavilion. There's so much empty space in aestera, that I think they probably designed it with the mindset that they had stronger hardware to work with and didn't think about what the actual function of the area was until it was nearly finished.

    Reply
  • Slydime

    1:45 crazy bus!

    Reply
  • Pixxz

    You should check out Sayonara Wild Hearts. It's full of good design.

    Reply
  • CentrifugalFacewear

    iceborne fixes a lot of the 'bad design' complaints–menus, investigations, radial menus, more compact hub zone, cats and farming in one place, consumables are given like candy rather than needing to craft them, etc etc

    Reply
  • Forever Master I

    As a Minecraft (Java) builder and resource pack designer, I am always looking for the best ways to communicate something to the user. And these fascinating videos help me decide!

    All of the GUIs in my pack were originally transparent, but I later changed them to match the default MC textures better.

    I hate it when people overuse signs on Multiplayer servers. They are not always the best method for in-game communication, and too many of these complex tile entities in an area will lower everyone's framerates.
    ===================
    I suggest you one day talk about or mention/feature "CrossCode" in a video. This Action-Adventure RPG became my favorite game in recent years. The game teaches itself in great detail, but it also respects the player's intelligence.

    Reply
  • The Friend of Many Squirrels

    Monster hunter has always been a great game with a lot of clunky and senseless gameplay. In a way that has its charms but i also love to see when something is finally more convenient

    Reply
  • Pe pi

    > sees thumbnail

    At last … it is time!

    Reply
  • Zoë E.

    Oh jojo… I own both eyes of heaven and all star battle, I do love them but playing them can be so frustrating. Eyes of heaven especially because I’m less familiar with arena style fighters, while asb is more what I’m used too. Also eyes of heaven not having local mp sucks I like playing with friends because most of mine love jjba too ://

    Reply
  • Tyrranis

    I see you too are a disciple of the almighty Switch Axe.

    I'm also surprised you didn't mention the improvements they made to Selianas' Gathering Hub. One of the major problems with Asteras one is the limited amount of facilities it has. Yes, you can launch quests, shop for items and eat, but that's all you can do. If you want to accept investigation quests, turn in bounties, forge new weapons and/or armour at the blacksmith, turn in monster research, purchase items from the not-always-available Argosy merchant or handle the botanical research (growing free items), you HAD to leave the Gathering Hub in Astera and go through a loading screen.

    In Selianas' Gathering Hub, most of these services were made available, either through vendors (or a small transition in the case of the blacksmith). The only services in Seliana that weren't also in the Gathering Hub were the Research Commission (where you improve your guidebook with the monsters you hunt) and the Steamworks (a new addition to Iceborne).

    However, this is also kind of confusing as well. With so many new vendors around, it is hard to remember which one does what, and the minimap icons aren't overly helpful either.

    Reply
  • That Other Guy

    I've played jojo EoH on ps3 which only has a Japanese version available on there, and I just learned what quotes mean

    Reply
  • nerdpiggy

    How much fun do you have designing those good design/bad design in-betweens?

    Reply
  • OneGamer2EnvyThemAll

    While I can't say anything of the more general combat mechanics, I think EoH was pretty concise with character-specific abilities and skills. The fact that selecting a skill in the menu brings up a text box explicitly stating every thing the move can do + misc. capabilities is, while not intuitive, should at least be… sub-satisfactory (and God forbid a move's description cross-references another move on a different character because of the quote names). But my biggest criticism is that the game (plus All Star Battle) just doesn't want to tutorialize anything. As someone that put the movesets on the JoJo Wiki to try and help people understand what the game and characters can offer, it took me two weeks of playing to figure out what the magenta and green flashes by the character icons were:

    Flash Cancels and Flash Bursts, activated with L1+R1. If you have an understanding of fighting games, you can immediately grasp what they do based off the names plus a single demonstration alone, but good luck knowing how to input them when going in blind.

    On the other hand, I'm surprised you didn't bring up the mistranslations potentially affecting the gameplay experience and learning process. Look up Pet Shop or THE WORLD Diego's skills (yes I'm advertising the wiki); them and a few other characters have ability names that are inconsistent with EX variants (which certainly doesn't help with the quote names), or if you look up Weather Report or Funny Valentine's movesets, the desc. will straight up have false and misleading information in the text, saying that X move does Y when it actually can't, or stating something that implies that X move does Y when it actually does Z. This is definitely a case where the translators did/could not game-test to verify that their translations were correct.

    I'm sure you would have mentioned Pet Shop if you saw that abomination's ability list.

    Reply
  • Caleb Willden

    1:43 "…my Cohesive Style Leaderboard:"
    shows Mario Party 8

    Reply
  • Melancholy Orgy

    But Rayman has affordances. Not nearly enough, to be fair, but there are definitely some even in the gameplay you showcased.

    Much like coins in Mario games and wumpa fruits in Crash Bandicoot games, the blue tings often lead you toward the intended path or secrets in the environment.

    Additionally, there are plenty of environmental clues in the form of out-of-place platforms or other objects that will get you to investigate further.

    Once you learn how Rayman usually implements affordances it'll become slightly easier to figure out where the secrets are in the game.

    It's not perfect and some of the things hidden under what look like bottomless pits can be infuriating trial and error to find, but all in all I don't consider it to be particularly egregious in this regard.

    It would have been nice to see you give positive examples even if you consider the game to exhibit examples of bad game design, like you did with Monster Hunter World.

    Just felt like adding my two cents. It's a great video and I enjoy this video series in general!

    Reply
  • Artorius Lima

    I've waited SOOOO long for this MHW video! Walking through Astera is a chore. It forced me to download mods like "Better NPC locations", which put the most important facilities up there in the Gathering Hub, all centralized. You don't get Smithy making new equipment cutscenes anymore… But who doesn't skip it after the first 10?

    Reply
  • Harmony

    I don't think Pokemon is bad at affordances so much as it is inconsistent. There's been a lot of times where I was able to intuit that a discolored patch of ground or a rock at a dead end would hold an item, but just as often they _don't_. It feels like a coin flip every time I check something that looks suspect.

    Though there are still those completely random spots like you pointed out in the video (although I'd argue that Cut tree is a variant of the "rock at a dead end" one if you approach it from the other side). I guess you could argue that's what the Itemfinder is for.

    Reply
  • Caleb Willden

    My friend bought me Monster Hunter Tri Ultimate for the 3DS. I tried to play it. I really tried. It was really painful. I loved the demo, where you just jump in and slay some monsters, but when you have to trudge through menus and figure out SO many things on your own, I just couldn't keep playing. WAY too much time spent doing anything, and if you don't finish a hunt in the arbitrary time limit it gives you, WHELP. Time to start over.

    It made me REALLY appreciate the elegance and simplicity within The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

    Reply
  • Themlgdinosaur 12

    Boi where is darkest dungeon

    Reply
  • Renegade Jade

    So… does your "Cohesive Style Leaderboard" mean we'll see CrazyBus in a future video?

    Reply
  • Abel ord

    One for your cohesive style leaderboard: Dishonored 2

    Reply
  • Cirom Breeze

    I'll admit, the Monster Hunter part being in both got a chuckle out of me – and I'm someone who's been with the series since Tri. Though while I agree with most of it… I'll admit that there's a lot of satisfaction in the prep-work and planning out a good build, and I'll be sad if that gets simplified. (Note: Simplified does not necessarily mean made easier – the complexity is nice, not knowing how the complexity works is not.)

    Reply
  • TurnTwister

    Waiting on an Arc System Works JoJo game

    Reply
  • ParkNPlay

    Wait there's a jojo game? Nani?

    Reply
  • Edison Crux

    Alright, unpopular opinion here, but if we're going to talk about Celeste's good design this seems like a good time to mention a problem I don't see anyone talking about—the inconsistent style of that game.

    The gameplay has beautiful pixel art, but the speech bubbles use clean, animated line drawings and a smooth font. Both look nice on their own, but those styles really don't fit well together. Add on top of that the level select is a 3D render of a mountain, and the overall presentation comes off a little mismatched.

    There's also a disconnect between the gameplay and story. Again, both are good on their own, but they don't feel like they belong together. The story feels very grounded, with a girl dealing with real issues of depression and anxiety, characters coming from the mystical land of Seatle, and so on. There are ghosts and such, but the narrative comes across fairly grounded. Once the gameplay starts, it's completely different; you can dash in the air, your hair changes color, there are spikes and death traps everywhere… there's no effort at tying the story and the gameplay together. It's like when a cutscene shows you hesitate to kill someone, when up until that point the game has had you slaughter dozens. There's a disconnect that I really felt when playing Celeste, and I haven't seen anyone else talk about it.

    This is just my opinion, and I'm not bashing the game; it just surprises me this aspect is never brought up in discussion.

    Reply
  • Attac Mage

    19:15 felt like a girlfriend review segment

    Reply
  • ShahS 1221

    Thank god the hub area can be fixed all in mods in MHW 😂

    Reply
  • LRGonzales

    As soon as I heard that tune from Celeste start in the background, I thought, "there's no way Celeste hasn't been in one of these, this feels like deja vu"

    Reply
  • Margarito Trevino

    Didnt u already do celeste dash mechanic good design?

    Reply
  • Assirra

    You don't actually need to delete your older investigations. Once you reach the 250 limit it will auto override your oldest one. Also, while i understand some issues like the radical menu nonsense once a game starts to have plenty mechanics you will have menus on menus on menus. It's easy to say "look at how this platformer teaches you all these things very easily" but a full on rpg will need menus to make it all doable.

    Reply
  • Jeremiah peters

    Shovel knight has excellent conveyances too

    Reply
  • SoaPuffball

    me yesterday: plot twist is that the jojo game will be in a bad game design segment

    actual video: jojo is in bad game design

    Reply
  • DanThePropMan

    Good to see that Pyre made your Top 10 Cohesive Design list. That game is a masterclass in how to thread your art style into every part of a game.

    Reply
  • Lennart Mangels

    Isthatamothafuckingjojosrefrence

    Reply
  • Gpe. _31

    Hi again! (Bet u don’t remember, but eh) have you tried WarioWare DIY? It’s a great game like Mario maker but more robust, and have mostly everything you need to do mini games (micro games ) it’s on the Nintendo DS. I love it because you have an easy tutorial and a lot of activities to have your creativity flowing, a few already created games for you to master! Also, there’s a ‘forum’ where you can see some tips! Lastly, an Easter egg I love it’s the comics, one of them is a random hero journey, and each four panels are given daily. In the end, it gives you the “Thank you for playing!” Well I, because it was my first time getting it, felt so nice. Also, thanks for reading my rant about this game!

    Reply
  • SonOfMael V3: Legend of the Aramouto

    Your point on affordances really stuck out to me as someone who loves finding secrets from even the smallest hints. I think Pokemon greatly improved on its hidden item affordances over time, as even without the Itemfinder it's not hard to find quite a few hidden items just based on suspiciously placed gaps or rocks.

    Reply
  • aikouka

    I can't recall if you've covered Warframe in previous videos, but after the talk about Monster Hunter World, I think you could do nearly an entire episode of all the awkward design and gameplay choices in Warframe.

    Reply
  • Lennart Mangels

    One of the most annoying things with mhw ui is that; lets say youre in your item box changing equipment and you want to go to your items, you press B then up and then A. Problem is that if you press B to go back it doesnt go back instantly but has a little animation, which is totally fine, what is not fine however is that it doesnt register any inputs you make while it is playing. That means you cant just press the buttons how ever fast you like noooo you need to press B wait
    … then press up and A and if you dont wait it just ignores your press up and sends you back to your equipment or if your way to fast it doesnt do anything and you need to press the buttons again… i already need to walk 10 sec to the canteen but there i can just chill and not think, know where i do need to pay attention and think? Yeah picking my fucking items and youre not letting me ahhhhhh its not even that the ui itself sucks (which it does) you can deal with that given enough time and experience you cant fix that with experience!!! AHHHHHHHH

    Rant off

    Clarification: that little animation is kinda like a swipe you can already see and read the text but it doesnt register anything untill everything completely stops

    Reply
  • A duck

    sees thumbnail

    JOTARO!

    Reply
  • Laughing At You

    Your ending critique about the location of the quest board and item box is not entirely correct. There are a set of quest boards and item boxes directly next to the canteen and right outside the forge, respectively. You don't need to go thru the tradeyard every single time.

    Reply
  • Sarada

    Sayonara Wild Hearts looks so cool I'd love to try it! Sadly I couldn't look at the footage after half a minute because it was starting to trigger a migraine :'(

    Reply
  • Sorry TurdStation

    Celeste is 💩

    Reply
  • AshnSilvercorp

    now the one thing I'd commend for Monster Hunter throughout its years of terrible menus to go through, is solid color mapping. I generally am able to get what jewel deco means something based on it's color.

    That doesn't save the system much tho…

    Reply

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