Theory: The Top 10 Things I Learned in My First Semester, #7

There’s good juice and bad juice in video games. Good juice directs the player’s attention to where it needs to be, and clearly indicates what the situation is so that the player can respond correctly. Bad juice either misdirects the player or gives confusing feedback. Don’t simply assume that your game is automatically getting better because you’re putting more juice in; test to make sure the juice is the good kind.

As a negative example, take a look at Super Street Fighter II Turbo. The particle effect for a blocked attack is blood red, while the effect for a successful hit is light blue. Although this might sound arbitrary-but-harmless, it’s pretty confusing during a fast-paced match. Seeing what looks like blood splatter, but is actually an indication that no blood was spilled, can easily lead to wrong play. Avoid bad juice!

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