Game Interface Customization

I’ve seen a few posts lately where the question is posed: Do you want to be able to customize the game interface.  My somewhat cranky answer has been NO, spend the developer’s time on other aspects of the game.  I have also (I can confess anything here because I have like five readers, and I think it is my Spambot Fanclub) said something along the lines of “most interfaces are standardized and are so similar there is no need”.

game interface

Life lays in wait to humble me.  It has been a good thing for me to be playing the three Dungeon Challenge games simultaneously because I am apparently full of the Brown Sauce.   If it is all alike, why can’t I find how to leave a group in Rift?   Why do I stumble between these games in figuring out such simple things as opening my inventory, joining and leaving groups, adding abilities to my toolbar, all the simple things are in fact just different enough to cause me to die at the worst, curse my stupidity at the best?

That said, I have taught enough Microsoft Office and other classes on new software to say, you need to learn the interface basics as one of your first tasks with a new piece of software.  Before you dive in and use it, take a few moments to look at the screen, and the menus and submenus to see where everything is.  Make notes for yourself if you need to.   You don’t need to take in everything at once, but you do have to learn each piece of software, because in the real world, you must be able to switch between applications efficiently, and nobody is going to allow you to customize their program for yourself.  You have to do that on your own by learning what you need to get started, then add in functionality as you become comfortable or need the new features.

So my answer is the same, and I should be approaching these games myself that same way, write down those basics before I go any further and add in elements as I become more comfortable.