August 24, 2006

[Console] Small Print Follow-Up

Wow, it isn't often that you get to do a real follow-up in the same day, but the opportunity presented itself over at blog of Ozymandias, who was nice enough to post screenshots of the boardgames that are coming to Xbox Live Arcade.

Let's see how well these games follow the readability rules from the last post.

"Alhambra" looks pretty good. The numbers on the cards and tiles are nice and large, as are the numbers by the avatars at the top. The only cause for concern would be the smaller numbers on the tiles on the left. The 9, 7 and 4 are nearly blurred out of existence.

"Carcassonne" has a significant amount of small text. While legends like "Next Tile" aren't that big of a deal, look at the stats by the avatars. The green player's stats are nearly invisible, and most of those numbers will be hard to read on an SDTV. Plus, it's hard to make out where the pieces have been placed due to color blending. (The only way you can see the yellow piece on the far right tile is because of the shadow, and even that won't help on an SDTV.)

"Settlers of Catan" is a mixture of good and bad. The massive tiles and pieces are going to be great regardless of your TV, but the command icons blend together and the names under the avatars are so small they may as well not even be there. For the second shot, I can't tell which player is selected: red because of the halo, or blue because of the blue X underneath him. I'm going to assume red because of the subtle "give" arrow shift. The command legend is fairly small, but given the amount of empty space on the screen, having it that small doesn't make a lot of sense. Also, the numbers on top of the cards (the 4 on the sheep for example) blend badly. (Update 4:39p: I'll say that the numbers blend. That 4 on the sheep that I saw was really a 1, and I couldn't tell until I blew the picture up to 1280x720.)

So, if you were making these games, which changes would you make to enhance the 10' experience?

(Update 4:39p: Added comment, corrected spelling error.)

No comments: