design-friendly gaming

As a graphic design student, I can’t help but notice when I game is being friendly to the trained eye of a graphic designer and when it is totally missing the mark. (If you don’t know exactly what good graphic design looks like, here’s an example) The best example of a design-friendly game is Mirror’s Edge.

Mirror’s Edge uses stark color contrasts in many of it’s environments. They end up looking brilliant (color-wise), modern, and edgy. Pay attention if you play this, and look at the color choices. Well, actually, it’s hard to miss.


Limbo is pretty design-friendly due to its simplicity. Graphic Design is all about simplicity joining effectiveness – which is also a great way to describe Limbo.

I would say Half-Life 2 is also effective in its simplicity: One can play through the entire story without a loading screen or a break from the first person viewpoint. And the entire map was designed with the super simple valve engine which makes use of simple ideas like physics and mechanisms. That makes for a solid, simple, and constructive gameplay experience.

Little Big Planet is quite a designer-friendly title, but for different reasons. It’s overall mood is soaked with a playfulness that was subtly well-planned. One might not recognize right away how much work went into making something that appears so simple. That’ s design genius.

If any reader has any at all thoughts on the subject, I encourage you to comment.  


2 responses to “design-friendly gaming

  1. Agreed. I remember the days when I would get stuck for hours because I didn’t see a gray switch in a gray corner. We’ve gotten much better at this, but not totally.

  2. I got stuck in Limbo often for that very reason. That’s one huge difference between that game and Mirror’s Edge.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s