Since last Thursday, I have been playing Forge of Empires, a browser-based resource management and strategy game. Starting the game has been a little slow, due to other time commitments of late. One of the features I noticed right away, however, is the avatars.
I thought it was enjoyable to be able to pick what I look like, but I noticed that there wasn’t very much representation in the avatars. The overwhelming majority was white, and many of the people who I suspected to be POC had very Caucasian features and made it hard to tell. In addition, most of the avatars were men, but the representation of white women was much better than that of any POC. The picture to the right is the first page of the avatar options, and future pages aren’t much better.
As far as the GUI in general goes, it is decent enough to use without major hangups, but it could definitely be better in my opinion. There is a resource bar at the top, and there is a main menu that leads you to many of the other menus and screens that you might need. The other menus are represented by icons that are pretty self-explanatory. The friend and neighbor bar felt a little weird though. It is at the bottom of the screen, separate from the global and neighborhood chat, which I find odd. It seems like it would make sense to have all of the social aspects of the game found in one menu, but they are not. You have your friends list at the bottom, the message center a part of the main menu, and the global/neighborhood chat can be accessed from a seemingly random button at the top. This isn’t too much of a nuisance, but it was annoying to try and find out how to friend and talk to people when it is all disjoint.