Down is Up, Dammit

While at the Eurogamer Expo last month, the first thing I did when I got my hands on Batman: Arkham City wasn’t to administer some caped justice on some goons, nor was it to grapple to a rooftop and show off my bat-skills. It wasn’t even to watch the opening cut scene. The first thing I did when I got my hands on Batman: Arkham City was to go to the options menu and invert the Y axis.

Those of us who prefer their Y axis inverted are in the minority (I conducted a quick Facebook poll and it was 93 to 29 against, stats fans).

It is suggested that it all comes down to where the player imagines themselves in relation to the character. The image below shows how a player who imagines they are behind the player would make them look up.

Alternatively, if the player imagines that they are inside or in front of the character, the following image shows how they would look up.

Surely it makes sense for all 3rd person games to have an inverted Y axis as the default then, as the player is intentionally positioned behind the character?

Apparently not, so our first experience of every new game we play will continue to be the options screen.

Rest assured that if I ever design a game that requires it, I’m making an inverted Y axis the default. Let’s see how you like it, majority!

About Adam

Games designer, Newcastle fan and prolific tea drinker
This entry was posted in Design Discussion, Eurogamer Expo, Research. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Down is Up, Dammit

  1. Joe Barker says:

    In the words of RATM – Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!

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