There’s a lot game developers could learn from standard user experience practices applied to the web. One in particular (which has been driving me absolutely nuts lately while playing Need For Speed Most Wanted) is having to confirm every action I do. But not only that, they take it a step further down the path of most annoying user experience ever, by making the default option ‘No/Cancel’. I think there’s a better chance that I am indeed, going to want to do follow through with the action I have requested, than if I had selected it by mistake. Why they insist on treating me like a moron and adding 2 extra clicks (1 to select the right option, the other to click it) for every action I initiate, I have no idea. Luckily for us, there aren’t too many developers that are guilty of this bad practice. But EA is notorious for it. Every EA developed game I’ve played as far as I can recall has done this.
While we’re on the subject – why can’t we customize our experience? I’m not talking about changing the rims on your ride, but how the interface is presented and how we interact with it. Every application I use on a daily basis, whether it be Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Thunderbird (email) or MSN Messenger can be customized – how they look, act, what menu/toolbar items I see and even how things are laid out. In a game, I have absolutely no say in the matter. If there was a standard set of UI preferences – things like “auto-confirm redundant, annoying alerts” in NFS Most Wanted, the experience would be far more pleasant. After all, we are talking about user experience based on our interaction with the user interface.