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Doom Slayer UX

Analysing the onboarding experience for new players in Doom Eternal

Doom Eternal 101

Image 1: Screenshot of the game title during the intro cutscene.
Source: WCCFtech.

Play conditions

Learning how to play with Hell On Earth

Image 2: Screenshots of the intro’s cutscene. On the first image the Doom Slayer is called “we will send unto them…only you” with the mark of the slayer showing up. On the second image, the camera slowly approaches Earth, and we listen to despair and calls for help.

What helps players learn the game?

1. Start with a simple HUD and add complexity throughout the game

Image 3: Screenshot of the first room after the intro’s cutscene. First HUD: grey rectangle on the left with shields and health, grey rectangle on the right with the amount of ammo available for the shotgun.
Image 4: Screenshot of a few minutes later after the conclusion of the first objective. The HUD has a few more info on the screen. Differences on the purple rectangles.

2. Colours grouped by meaning

Image 5: Screenshot of the intro’s cutscene: inside The Fortress of Doom all lights are blue.
Image 6: Screenshots of the game. First line: Green shields, Blue potions for health, orange ammo for the shotgun. All with very clear functions, you can relate the colours with the screenshot of the HUD below (second line): shields green, health blue, and weapons/ammo orange.

3. Easy to navigate and colour code for navigation

Image 7: Screenshot of the second room after the first objective is activated. You can see inside the grey rectangle how the navigation is clear and straightforward, close to real-life representations.
Image 8: Screenshots of the game. First line: the first rock to be moved with a green light that indicates the path is that way and the green lights at the door the player should go through. Second line: shield rewards telling the player which way to go on the first double jump of the game.

4. Pop-ups with tutorials and a safe place to practice

Image 9: Screenshot of the game’s first pop up teaching players how to perform a glory kill.
Image 10: Screenshot of the game’s first tutorial safe room.
Image 11: Screenshot zoomed in to show the design of the pop-up.

5. Easy to find rewards

Image 12: Screenshot of the first room just two steps in front of the place the character was teleported to. On the right, you can see the first reward.

6. Gradually introduced weapons (and upgrades) followed by new demons and challenges to test them

Image 13: Screenshot of a game pop-up about a specific challenge related to how to find and use a demon’s weak point against it.

7. Required pace and strategy are taught quickly

8. Start and end in a safe place

Image 14: Screenshot of the game’s intro cutscene: The Fortress of Doom, watching quietly in space.

9. Exploration items, collectibles, and puzzles for experienced players

Image 15: Screenshot of the game’s question mark with a secret collectible.

10. Guns and other bloody fun on the first battles with demons

Image 16: Gif of the game’s pop up about glory kill. A gory spectacle that takes advantage of the colour code talked about on point 2 to add a bit of fun to it.

What would I improve and how?

1. Enlarge text size in pop-ups if players enlarge HUD size

  • Tutorial pop-ups are essential to teach players during this learning stage. If they miss the info, they can get killed, and/or they will need to stop the flow of the game to check on the menu the info.
  • These pop-ups are very well organized to teach players effectively; it’s a waste if they can’t read it.
Image 17: Redesign of the pop-up with bigger text and higher emphasis on the close button, the same used to perform the action taught on the pop-up.

2. Use the button described in the pop-up to close it

  • The pop-ups that use this strategy are more effective to teach players.
  • Players got frustrated because the mechanic to close the pop-up changed without an apparent justification.

3. Provider more instructions if the player chooses the lowest difficulty level “I’m Too Young to Die”

  • Less experienced players were not as likely to take risk actions during the game.
  • Less experienced players do not know standards for actions with a controller.
  • They already don’t know how to play and keep feeling like they don’t know and will not learn. The learning curve gets slower and therefore, more demanding.
Image 17: Redesign of the first room with instructions to help players on the “I’m Too Young To Die” difficulty.

4. Soldiers more obvious that are demons

Image 18: Screenshot of the game. As you enter the first big room full of demons to fight, you see this image. Both soldiers are fighting demons.
Source: VG247.

Final thoughts



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