Our next UI evaluation is for a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), the eRepublik. One of our graduate students who was studying game design recommended this game as an interesting study in user interface design. From his recommendation: "eRepublik includes politics, economics, warfare, and social interaction, and takes at least 15 minutes per day, every day. The first few days are a little dull, but the game gets massively more interesting as your character progress." You need to register and create a "character," but the game is free.
You should create a character and play it for at least a week. (That is, start this homework today!) This will allow you to get familiar with some aspects of the game.
In your report, tell us which parts of the game you used, and your in-game name. Consider such things as navigation, clarity, and appropriate use of social interaction tools. Try to evaluate from the UI perspective, and not just whether you personally enjoy the game. Comments such as "this game is boring," "this game rocks," or "I didn't like it" are not valid in your evaluation. In a game, time to learn is important, but the goal is not to learn everything as fast as possible. Rather, part of the fun of playing a game is learning, so the learning needs to happen at an "appropriate pace."
Submit a brief report. State which parts of the website you evaluated. Also fill out and submit a copy of the evaluation criteria and checklist provided.
Be prepared to explain your comments to the class. We will look at the game during class on our Examples and Discussion day. And very important: Don't put a game ahead of your studies!!!