Saturday, September 01, 2007

Design Flaw: In Your Face

The Game: In Your Face

The background: In Your Face is a street basketball game for the original Nintendo Game Boy. At the beginning of every game, a coin-flip animation is shown to represent the practice of flipping a coin to determine which side gets control of the ball.

The problem: The coin-flip animation is purely cosmetic, for the human player always gets initial control of the ball. The virtual coin's behavior does not agree with the player's expectation that a coin flip should produce random outcomes, thus the game's implicit promise to the player is broken.

The solution: Allow the coin flip to determine who gets control of the ball, or else get rid of the coin flip animation.

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