Happy Friday everyone! In this week's roundup we're chatting about action games, the latest progress of the Microsoft/Zenimax deal and the importance of simple user interfaces. Plus, as ever, much more... Enjoy!
I'm a huge fan of WW1 & WW2 shooters like Medal of Honor, Call of Duty and the more recent Battlefield 1. Enlisted is an MMO squad based shooter where you can play as either an infantry squad leader, tank crew or aircraft pilot. In the game you pick one solider from a squad of comrades, with the rest controlled by AI that follow your orders. However you can switch which squad member you control which is an intriguing mechanic. The game is being developed by Darkflow Software and this week released a PS5 trailer, which looks fantastic. The game is currently in closed beta, which is now open to PS5 players, and the studio are very open about the development, posting regular updates on their website.
Microsoft's acquisition of ZeniMax (and by association, Bethesda) has progressed significantly this week, and as a result, a wealth of classic Bethesda titles are arriving today on Xbox Game Pass. The service will now feature classic Doom titles, Prey, Morrowind, and more.
Phil Spencer's also elaborated on what future title exclusivity may look like, suggesting that while existing contracts will be honoured, future ZeniMax titles will be "exclusive to platforms where Game Pass exists". Hmmm.
What makes this particularly interesting is the niche audience of Roblox, which is largely players aged under 12. It's is more than a game, it is an online platform and game creation ecosystem. Players log on to play games developed by other players. There are over 20 million games available at present.
Game creators on the platform can monetise their creations, too. Some have even started building full-blown development teams - such as Team Adopt Me, which is a global, fully remote studio of 39 people.
Certainly a title to be familiar with, and one to watch as something that looks a little different on the varied games industry landscape.
This week it was revealed we're getting a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, similar to what many perceive to be the high point of the series, Turtles In Time. TMNT: Shredder's Revenge is being made by Dotemu, the same studio who made Streets Of Rage 4, and Tribute Games, a studio known for making 16-bit style side-scrollers, so I've got faith that these two studios can nail the vintage feel! While we don't know when its coming out, we do know it is at the very least coming to PC, and specific consoles are to be announced at a later date.
In a roundup a few weeks ago I wrote about the return of College Football (American football), to the world of gaming. Well, I hope you all weren't too excited, as it's now been revealed that the game won't launch until 2023! So you've got quite a wait on your hands. This information has surfaced from an internal document that was obtained by Matt Brown, the publisher of Extra Points, via an Open Records request. In the document, the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) told colleges and universities that EA intends to launch the new college football video game in July of 2023.
In more exciting news, well for me anyway, I finally managed to get an Xbox! After months of trying, and a bottling out of a couple of attempts, I now have an order in place. I should be picking up my Series X on Sunday, so am looking forward to diving into Game Pass.
A good user interface is simple to use, and helps you achieve your task quickly and easily. A bad user interface will frustrate players before they've even had a chance to start playing. Nobody wants to set a bad first impression.
Enter Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and its extremely overwhelming multiplayer screens. There is so much going on here that many new (and veteran) players would find navigating these screens daunting. When you make everything look important, nothing looks important. All the elements on the screen fight for attention, the player doesn't know where to look and frustration levels grow.
Part of the problem here is undoubtedly new content: bundles, events, weapons, battle passes, challenges and more are all added over time. As designers, we need to consider all these different content types, even if most of it doesn't exist when we begin designing our interfaces.
For what it's worth, I have only heard good things about Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's gameplay, and it's great to see a game with a multitude of content. It's a shame that on this occasion the user interface is a point of frustration for many players.
Thanks for joining us for this week's roundup. Let us know over on Twitter what caught your attention this week, or what games you've been playing. If you want more content from us, head on over to our YouTube channel which is packed full of interviews with industry experts, videogame marketing discussions, and gameplay footage.
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