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Design Process Behind the Xbox 360 36

Jason writes "I recently attended a SIGCHI (Special Interest Group for Computer Human Interaction) where the presenters talked through some of the design process and user experience work conducted during the design and development of the Xbox 360. Understanding the user experience isn't just about traditional software any more; Gaming software deserves the same attention to detail graphics software receives."
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Design Process Behind the Xbox 360

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  • xbox 360 (Score:2, Interesting)

    As a professional designer, some nice points there that we do actually do as part of the process of making a new product, but as always it skims the surface. What I want to know though is if they are actually worth buying one?
    • Re:xbox 360 (Score:1, Troll)

      by RickPartin ( 892479 ) *
      There are plenty of reviews and user comments out there for the 360 and its games. Plenty of info for making an informed choice. Do you really want this article to degenerate into the same old marketing drivel we see day in day out?
    • Article has been /.'d , but as a designer myself I find it interesting that microsoft's controller has gotten such rave reviews (at least compared to ps3's). Knowing people at MS's usability labs, they have fairly intensive usability studies and they throw a lot of money at making sure the entire experience is right. I wonder if Sony's usability department lost it's focus on PS3's controller? I have a feeling they were just lucky with the first design and never really dedicated much time (or money) towards
  • Gaming software deserves the same attention to detail graphics software receives.

    A video game that requires a 20-button gamepad probably equals or exceeds the user-interface complexity of Photoshop. Developers should design better games with simpler controls.
    • Some games just require complex interaction and there's just no way around it. Not every game interaction is going to be as easy as PacMan. For example, in FPS I like to have all my keyboard input mapped to the left side of the keyboard so I can have my right hand on the mouse. If you look at a game like BattleField 2, I can't even even manage that. "Oh, oh, my chopper is going down...time to bail...hope I can find number 9 on the keyboard for my parachute before I splat". The only other option is lots
      • Re:Video graphics... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by akac ( 571059 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @10:14PM (#14847803) Homepage
        I think that's where context sensitive keys play in. You should be able to have a key that handles multiple actions depending on the vehicle or type of player you are.
        • Making interaction context-sensitive is like having the game play for you. Take it to extremes and imagine a 1-button FPS:
          press A to aim,
          press A to fire,
          press A to dodge,
          press A to locate, pick up and use medkit,
          press A to become bored,
          press A to quit.

          It's fair enough for a fun-type game, but some games are meant to challenge. In that type of game having e.g. the fire button also be a context-sensitive use button sucks - you've just pressed the keys for walking up to a door and firing a flak cannon into it,
          • Re:Video graphics... (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward
            You obviously haven't played Resident Evil 4. The A button is used to shoot, chuck grenades, tip over items, activate items, jump, climb ledges, kick and talk. There is never an instance where any of the actions get confused. The levels are designed intelligently enough to prevent that. Yet it's probably one of the best games available in its console generation.
      • re-map the parachute key to something like 'q'.
      • Re:Video graphics... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by aiken_d ( 127097 )
        Chording might be a reasonable solution; imagine in your BF2 sceario if the Q key meant controlling the chopper, and holding it down changedd the functions of the other keys on the left side, such that Q+T = bail out.

        I'm not saying that's the best solution, just that there need not be a one-to-one correlation between possible interactions with a game and number of buttons required.

      • Team Fortress Classic used menus(engineering functions, stealth costumes, etc) activated w/ the right mouse button, IIRC. That wasn't too clumsy. Mind you, you are usually building sentry guns not in the crossfire.
      • I use very few keyboard shortcust for EVE Online. Ctrl+Left mouse is the most common one to lock a target. Beyond that, everything can be done with the mouse without any trouble. Rightclick opens a menue on just about everything in the game. The only possible problem is going through a menue to warp out in combat if it's laggy and then it's still not that hard.
  • I'm more interested in finding out about the Nextgen-ness of console names. The naming process, of the Xbox 2 err xbox 360, that's what interests me!
    • 360?

      It's the number of degrees in a circle! ...And the number of consoles manufactured! ...And the amount you have to pay for it!
    • That's because the xbox 360 wasn't really an Xbox 2.0, it was an Xbox with a new video card and cpu for incentive to buy, with the horrible security system of the original xbox fixed. It was like a Microsoft "do over" for the original xbox.
    • Over a year and a half ago I had an email from GameSpot offering me the opportunity to take part in a third party survey, which turned out to be for Microsoft. The questionnaire presented several potential names for the X360 including Xbox 247, Xbox HD and of course Xbox 360. I think there may have been one or two others but they didn't stick in my memory. I was asked which names I liked the best and why, and what my reasons were for disliking any of them. IIRC I said I liked Xbox 360 the most myself.

      They a
    • OXM ran an article on that, actually. Basically, a bunch of guys sat around a table and threw names around for a long time. Then, since that wasn't working, they smuggled in some pot and got the name-factory going.
  • Slashdotted (Score:3, Informative)

    by CrazyJim1 ( 809850 ) on Saturday March 04, 2006 @03:05AM (#14848804) Journal
    This Account Has Been Suspended

    Please contact the billing/support department as soon as possible.
  • I get a download message, which downloads an empty file. This site is suffering.

    Where can I read TFA?

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll