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Designing a Gesture Input System – Part 3

We have already discussed the technical side of our gesture recognition system. Of course, these technical aspects and inner workings of the game are not relevant to players at all. They simply want to have fun, so we must provide them with a system that’s both challenging and rewarding without being frustrating. While things are not set in stone yet, our current plan is to allow players to “write” spells using a very simple “sentence” structure. The image shows you what this might look like.

Essentially, we want to reuse gestures frequently so that players can get accustomed to them and learn them in a fun way. Early on in the game, players may only be required to draw the gesture for “Fire”, which is the middle square of Example I in the image. Doing so may generate a little flame in the player’s hand that might be used to light up a dark environment. Later, gestures can be extended and combined in many different ways. So the fire gesture might be extended into “Fire-Push” to launch a fire ball or “Fire-Push-Burst” to cause a big explosion.

We will have to do a lot of playtesting to find out how much complexity we can demand of players without things becoming frustrating. We don’t want to overcomplicate the system, but we do want to give players a sense of achievement when they successfully cast a powerful spell.

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