The Dynamic Response System is a CryEngine editor that allows users to implement dialogues in a game and to connect them to specific events. The goal of the project was the redesign of the DRS editor in order to minimize cognitive friction and enhance the degree of learnability of the interface.

Crytek is an independent video game developer, publisher and technology provider based in Frankfurt. CryEngine is a game engine designed by Crytek.

Tasks: Research & analysis / UX / UI / Prototype

New flow and interface

The DRS Editor presented an unintuitive interface that was causing several usability issues. The inability to be self-explanatory, due to hidden functionalities and actions, was affecting the learning curve for new users and the dialogue management by experienced users.

The goal of the redesign of the editor was to make all primary actions immediately accessible and to improve flexibility in managing the dialog database. A main toolbar was missing and all primary functions were embedded into a right-click menu, which was quite unintuitive.
All affordances of the dialog database related to the items were presented misleadingly, leading users to think they were not editable. Affordances were redesigned in order to convey their function and usage in a more self-explanatory way.
The organization of dialogues like grouping or batch editing was not available, causing users to increase the amount of time when setting up parameters or rearranging the list order.

Former interface

The filtering functionality was completely missing in the previous design. This capability is quite critical when it comes to the organization of the dialog database, which can be composed of a considerable amount of items.

New filter

Filter selection

Filter editing

Filter deletion

The Responses and Variable tabs are spaces where the dialogues can be associated with specific in-game events in order to structure the narrative of the game. Especially the first one was presenting again a quite nested and not intuitive layout with the lack of primary call-to-action elements and missing self-explanatory elements on the interface to guide users in the process.

The layout of the tabs was divided into 3 areas creating a sequential workflow. Each section could be hidden according to the stage users are at, allowing them to focus only on activities of interest. Additional fields and affordances were added to increase the level of guidance, along with visual cues, like the tree structure in the list sections.

Responses tab

Variables tab

Usability tests