In Gamasutra's latest feature
, researcher and professor Kristine Jorgensen examines how the interface of games affects players, finding that "most of the players" are content with HUD traditional overlays.
In recent years, Jorgensen writes, "we have seen designers being drawn towards integrating the user interface into the game environment in different ways." Surveying 22 participants across four different games, she has arrived at the conclusion, however, that the majority of sampled gamers see "the user interface as a necessary tool that has become conventional to video games as a media genre."
While at either end of the spectrum are gamers who despise interfaces that break the fiction and gamers who don't care about the fiction -- and thus the seamlessness of the experience whatsoever -- Jorgensen has found that a careful balance can be struck that pleases most.
Moreover, she finds that in-game fiction that supports interface decisions can mitigate the artificiality while presenting readable, useful information.
"In a gaming situation, interface features provide information that eases gameplay and they are therefore enhancing more than hindering immersion. However, once a feature doesn't serve its purpose and function anymore, the feature becomes annoying and risks ruining the sense of involvement in the game," she writes.
To find out more about this UI research, read Gamasutra's latest feature
, The User Interface Continuum: A Study Of Player Preference, which is live now.