How to Use 6th Sense in Games to Identify Interaction Opportunities (Acagamic Tip Tuesday #15)

the acagamic tip tuesday May 24, 2022
Odin's Sight enables extra information in the AC Valhalla game

Happy Tuesday morning, and welcome back to The Acagamic Tip Tuesday.

Here is a short UX tip, two useful links, and a research finding from the world of UX Research & Design for games. 

This will only take a few minutes to read.

Game UX Tip of the Week

Enable Sixth Sense: In graphically complex 3D games, allow your players to identify all interaction opportunities via non-diegetic overlays for a limited time.

Players can miss the location of various points of interest and other interactive elements and agents in specific locations of the game world or misinterpret them if they are presented diegetically, meaning as part of the game world. When your game is dense with complex information and players need to make sense of movement patterns of enemy AI, for example, it helps to give them the opportunity to process more information about the game world through this sixth sense interface help. Because the advantage gained through this would make playing less fun if available throughout, it is often time-limited.

Arkham Knight Detective Mode Screenshot

Arkham Knight Detective Mode Screenshot

In the Batman: Arkham games, the player has the ability to trigger 'Detective Mode' to reveal more information about the world and gather clues.

The Assassin's Creed series uses Eagle Eye vision to show non-diegetic game objects. This screenshot shows the latest iteration of this called Odin's Vision in the Valhalla game.

In the game series Assassin's Creed, the function Eagle's Sight allows players to assess extra information about the game world. Specifically seeing enemies through obstructions. The newest release features an enhanced version of this called Odin's Sight, which provides a wealth of extra information about easy-to-miss game items, enemies, and interactions in the game world.

Things I said on Twitter

I was on vacation this week, so my tweets were pre-scripted, and I am only now replying to them.

→ "People haven't realized that shipping a flawed game will have a much larger impact on your budget than hiring a senior UX researcher." (Share this on Twitter)

→ "UX researchers are ok. Game designers are ok.  What's not ok is that sometimes they don't communicate daily during a project." (Share this on Twitter)

→ "Anyone can learn UX research.

Things you don't need:

psychology degree, expensive education, marketing background, coding knowledge

Things you need:

empathy, books, blogs, podcasts, mentors, willingness to learn, attention to detail, listening skills" (Share this on Twitter)

→ "The best UX researchers are psychologists who are dating designers." (Share this on Twitter)


Two Links

Games Research Find of the Week

These researchers are providing some hot new findings about how playing video games can actually increase your IQ. They studied 9855 children from the USA starting at 9-10 years into 11-12 years (2-year study). After two years, gaming positively impacted intelligence. Notably, there is still a gender gap in that age group with boys spending about twice as much time playing games than girls, while girls spend significantly more time socializing (social media, text, video chat) at that age. However, at age 9–10, girls with higher intelligence played video games slightly more often. After 2 years, children who played more video games at 9–10 years showed the most gains in intelligence two years later, and this did not differ between boys or girls in the study (those are the only genders reported in the study). Gaming seems to have a positive effect on the cognitive development of children, compared to watching (videos or TV) or mediated socializing.

Read the full study:

Sauce, B., Liebherr, M., Judd, N. et al. The impact of digital media on children’s intelligence while controlling for genetic differences in cognition and socioeconomic background. Sci Rep 12, 7720 (2022). 

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Your UX Professor,


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