#1 Posted by TuftyMcTavish (17 posts) -
Dan Teasdale (a game designer dude that worked on the Rock Band series) has followed up a question on the last Bombcast regarding Splash Screens in games. An interesting read.
Linkage - DanT's Design Blog: More than you should need to know about splash screens.
Here's a preview: 

Anyway, in the last episode, someone wrote in and asked why splash screens exist. The response back was basically “Uh, I dunno, maybe it’s a holdover from arcades, or because developers love seeing the name of their games or something”.

My designer sense shed a single tear. 

#2 Posted by supermike6 (3767 posts) -

That's really interesting. I never really thought about it that much. I do agree with the point about it being a nice "Welcome to the game!" when you first boot it up.

#3 Edited by MattyFTM (14605 posts) -

That was a really interesting read. We had the same discussion on the forums a few months ago, and came up with roughly the same conclusion as the bombcast guys, it's nice hearing an response from someone who actually knows what they're talking about.

#4 Posted by Cypher (103 posts) -

Just to expand on Dan's points a bit, there's also a bunch of other things you need/want to make sure the players see when they boot the game, such that the "Press Start" screen is a way of saying "The player has acknowledged the game": Stuff like selecting save data location/destination, "This game saves progress automatically, look at this icon for that", online pass prompts (e.g. Need For Speed Hot Pursuit), and a few other things the game might need. If you're particularly curious about seeing this in practice, create a fresh, online-enabled, Xbox Live profile sometime, load up something like Hot Pursuit, and write down every screen you see until you get to the game's main menu.
It could also be used as a way to reduce any initial disengagement on the user's part if the initial load time is long. Two 15 second load times will feel shorter than one 30 second load time if you need to press a button in the middle of them: If you can move some bookkeeping/loading after the user has pressed a button, instead of before, then that's a nice way of going about things.

#5 Posted by Jimbo (10214 posts) -

Technical reasons aside, I'm not a fan of games 'going live' without checking I'm there.  Chances are, if there's any kind of load or boot up time to endure then I'm going to wander off somewhere, probably make a sandwich, have a nice nap, spend ten minutes trying to remember how to even get the console image up on my TV, and then I might be ready for the game to start.
That issue however pales into insignificance compared to PC games that try to funnel you directly into the game without first giving you access to display settings.  This issue is literally the worst and should result in an immediate 1 Star rating and the developer being shut down by the government.