terça-feira, 27 de maio de 2014

The shell

We are always looking for graphics, mechanics, dynamics, information architecture, gameplay, writing and many other features of a game. But, there is one aspect of them that is always overlooked: the shell.

As Omernick says (2004, p.248) “the word shell describes the initial screens and menus a player encounters when first starting a game. The most basic purpose of a shell is to act as an introduction and a doorway to the gameplay. By offering options like Save and Load, controller configurations, and a good old Start button, you are allowing players to choose how and when they want to play the game”.

The first contact with the game is fundamental to establish a dialogue with the player. It’s simple, but the initial menu is the primary access to the gaming world. Keeping it simple and intuitive is a key factor for a good experience. Even for casual games, the shell is an essential thing to capture the user’s attention to the gameplay.

In your next project, take time to watch the first steps of the player within the game.


OMERNICK, Matthew. Creating the art of the game. California: New Riders, 2004.

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