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Feature: 'Too Many Clicks!'

Could games like Civilization benefit from putting their interfaces on a diet? Can a player control too many objects at once in a strategy game? Are the thinking man's war simulations bowing down to energetic arcade controls? Today's main Gamasutra
Could games like Civilization benefit from putting their interfaces on a diet? Can a player control too many objects at once in a strategy game? Are the thinking man's war simulations bowing down to energetic arcade controls? Today's main Gamasutra feature tries to answer these questions. In the introduction to his in-depth article on the matter, author Philip Goetz explains: "Computer games traditionally have a player control one or more units on the screen. In early games, each player controlled one unit. As CPU power grew, players controlled more and more units. Today, a player might have hundreds of units, each one of which they must control individually. The unit-based user interface (UI) is no longer sufficient. This article will suggest a different way of thinking about UIs, and will discuss how to compare one UI to another, or one UI to the theoretical maximally efficient UI, to tell if your game can be improved. I’ll use examples primarily from strategy games, but it applies to UIs for programs of all kinds." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, including lots more detail on Goetz's interesting concepts (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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