I’m not attending the Game Developers Conference (I did several years ago) but Mark Oehlert remarked in his mobile talk today at the eLearning Forum (which should be available later at their site, courtesy of Avaltus) that he was there. So I googled and found the transcript of the keynote by Nintendo’s president, Satoru Iwata. In it he mentioned Nintendo’s benchmarks for games that I thought were not only interesting but potentially useful:
We call these standards the Four Is. First, is it truly innovative – something different from what has come before? Second, is it intuitive? Do the control of the game and the direction of gameplay seem natural? Third, is it inviting? Do you want to spend time in this world? And finally, how does it measure up in terms of interface? Can the player connect in new ways?
I’m not sure that the interface and intuitive aren’t highly correlated, but I always like nice mnemonic guides, that are, well, inspiring. So maybe that’s the fifth I…
Regardless, I think these are pretty good criteria you might use to evaluate your design