One-button interactions and game design

Gamasutra has a relevant article about "one button" video games (Berbank Green ). The point is to explore human computer interaction with a concrete limitation: having one button. I picked up few parts but you should read it anyway!

In this article, one button is the limitation on interaction. Using this limitation, the reader can then draw their own conclusions about how these ideas may be exploited on multi-button interaction systems. (...) By beginning with the most fundamental interaction, it is possible to carefully explore and experiment with it. (...) Our button has two states: Pressed and released. How can this be used?

There are an infinite number of answers to this, so let's begin with some basic actions of early computer or arcade games.

  • Movement (the Player Toy's movement around the playfield)
  • Attacking (the execution of an aggressive move or construction and deployment of a projectile)
  • Activation (a change in state of one or more Toys or playfield elements)

All of the above might be considered actions of the Player Toy, and for the moment this will be the focus.

Then the author explains how game designers can derive applications from the above. I won't explicit the others parts of the article, just read! Why do I blog this? this kind of reflection by game designers is very worthwile, it gives a very interestinf summary of their vision and how they connect interaction with a pad to their interaction design.