Sunday, November 21, 2004

After a lot of trawling the web looking for information on Data visualisation, I have come to the conclusion that nobody really studies abstract data visualisation in non-graph form.
For a simulation game, this is a real challenge. How do I present a vast amount of data to the player in an uncluttered and easy to use way?
I guess the nearest comparison to my game data-wise is something like SimCity. It has a vast amount of data, and its accessed in conventional ways using graphs and lists etc. SimCity gets away with this, because the whole screen isn't just data, it has a lovely 3D world you can play in as well.
This is also the method of choice for most political games. they represent the physical country in a 3D or isometric engine. The actual data is accessed through sub menus.
Now on my budget, I dont have the option to do a 3D world, but to be honest I am glad I don't.
One of the games I worked on (briefly) was Republic:The Revolution. This was a political power struggle game, with a vastly complex 3D world added in.
So superflous was the 3D world, they actually added a 2D top down view you could use instead.
In other words, the game itself was completely divorced from the 3D representation. All the 3D bit did was make the game take an extra 3 years and cost an extra x million dollars to make.
I'm glad I can't be tempted to just bung in a 3D world in the middle of the screen. It means I have to really think hard about interface design and game design.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home