May 01, 2011

Abbreviations for primary and secondary attributes

Today's post probably will be one of the stranger ones in this blog. But I'm feeling like having a zen moment of game design right now. While paging through release 6 of Gaia Gamma and fiddling with stuff for release 7 I noticed a minor detail that I subconsciously had been following in order to make the design even smoother.

What I am talking about - as funny as it may sound - is the harmonious alignment of one- and two-letter-abbrevations used for primary and secondary attributes.

Let me explain: All the primary attributes (strength, intelligence, will, dexterity, toughness, charisma, perception) use exactly one letter as an abbreviation (S, I, W, D, T, C, P). All the secondary attributes (hit points, gamma points, physical defense, mental defense, movement rate, size) use two-letter-abbreviations (HP, GP, PD, MD, MR, SZ).

This recognition gave me above-mentioned "zen moment of game design" as the alignment of attribute categories with abbreviation lengths seems wonderful. But maybe I'm just a little bit tired ;-)

In any case I believe that it is helpful on a subconscious level for players in the game if a design takes into account such peculiarities. Ok, enough rambling for today - this was a really strange post.

BTW, does anyone think that "willpower" might be a better attribute name that just "will"?

1 comment:

  1. I love that you noticed this, *and* that you think it will be an important enough factor to follow. I agree with you that it makes sense to conform to this rule-set. Just don't fall in love with an attribute name that shares the first letter with another :-).
    Also, 'willpower' is much better than just 'will'.