Why we replaced all UI buttons with sliders in our Ruberg game

Here’s another weekly peek into our upcoming Rube Goldberg machine game, Ruberg. This time we wanted to show how we’ve ended up with sliders instead of buttons for our in-game options.

 

 

In our game, players interact with the environment through the use of grabbers. Because building a Rube Goldberg machine often requires a lot of finesse (e.x. placing a domino in the middle of a bunch of placed dominoes), we decided to make the controllers not collide with the environment. This creates an issue, however, when interacting with buttons, which requires you to press down on.

We thought about:

  • Squeezing the trigger button on the controller when the controller intersects the button.

But, Andrew and I didn’t like how there was a disconnect between the affordance of the button and the action required to activate it. Our experience in the opening scene of The Lab confirmed this.

  • Using the grabber to grab onto the button and to press down on it.

This felt like too much work for the user.

  • Having the controller collide only with the button but still not with the environment.

This creates two different characteristics for the same controller.

In the end, we decided on using sliders. Using sliders gave us some benefits:

  • Built-in safeguard to prevent accidental activations. Sliders offer this by way of having the user drag the slider across a distance.
  • Built-in ability to allow changing of minds. You can backtrack on your decision while in the process of activating since the slider must travel to the end of the track to activate.
  • A physical and fun way to activate/deactivate options in a fun physics-based game.

Let us know what you think!

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