Posted on March 2, 2018
No Stop, No Problem
Most people don’t think about the menu of a game adding to the overall experience and creating a connection between the player and the game. Typically, the menu prevents us from becoming immersed in the game and separates its users from the game world and the real world. It is a nondiegetic operative frame that most games have, but few pay much attention to it. However, this is not the case with Warframe.
First let me start by explaining how Warframe “works”. Warframe is a game in which you go on missions and depending on the mission you choose to go on, determines if you go with other online players or alone. Now, depending on the type of mission you choose to go on, the menu changes. For example, when you play with other online players, the world is still happening and moving on its own, like all MMORPG games. And on the contrary, when you play a solo mission, the menu pauses the game and prevents the game world from moving. Although it is unique how these two menus correlate and go hand in hand, Warframe has yet another “menu” and separates it from other games.
When you finish a mission, or are choosing a mission to go on, you are sent to your ship. In this ship you can change weapons, do practice fighting, change appearance, and obviously choose a mission to go on. I considered this in between scene to be a menu as well for it has all the functions of a menu, but also it is interactive. You must move around the ship to locate these different places to perform the operations I listed above. This interactive menu helps keep the user immersed in the game, all the while still acting as a menu. Even though it has the characteristics and preforms the same purpose of a menu, doesn’t feel quite like a menu. This menu manages to keep the attention of those playing, and very creatively closes the bounds between operator and machine. For this reasoning, Warframe has one of the most creative menu’s that blurs the distinction between the game’s menu, and its play.
Nooney, Laine. Debugging Game History, A critical Lexicon. MIT Press: 2016.Print.