Editor’s Note: This is the first post in a selection of 20 all-time greatest gameplay tools. A gameplay tool is any kind of application that enhance the gaming experience in some way. It can help a player make better decisions, make it easier for a person to communicate strategy, or just help a person have more fun. People have been using them for decades without realizing it. It’s about time we popularize the concept!
I’ve always held a maxim that the best gameplay tools do one thing extremely well, rather than trying to be the one tool to rule them all. Destiny Item Manager is one gameplay tool that blows that maxim out of the water. Bungie has done a great job supporting Destiny and Destiny 2 via API, and the DIM team has made the most of that fact by providing the community with a beautiful tool that enables players to manage their inventory and view collections, vendors, and progress to boot.
Destiny provides a perfect blend of classic shooter and RPG elements; there are tons of weapons, armor, vehicles, and items that can affect your character’s abilities or make cosmetic changes. Bungie knows that adding thousands of items to a game creates complexities for the player and can potentially cause UX/UI headaches that can slow down the game experience. Swapping equipment mid-mission, storing and retrieving items from the vault, and comparing loadouts between characters are important aspects of gameplay, and DIM helps with each of these components and more.
A simple, intuitive design presents the user with an easy way to view all of their characters’ currently equipped weapons, inventories, and vaults. The most beautiful element of this tool is that a player can actually equip, trade, or store items from *within* the app! Most gameplay tools don’t have the ability to take in-game actions, but thanks to DIM leveraging Bungie’s API, this tool can truly do it all. My favorite way to use the tool is by having my iPhone next to me while I play so I can take care of any inventory management at the push of a button, rather than having to switch characters or head to the vault. This allows me to spend more time focused on my favorite parts of the game and less time being frustrated in inventory management.
Of course, we can’t forget the fact that Destiny Item Manager gives a web interface for players to see pretty much every important detail of their Destiny journey. One can see their milestones, ranks, triumphs, challenges, and factions. A comprehensive list of every item on the game can help completionists prove they’ve gotten every possible piece of loot. The creators are even nice enough to update the vendor list each week so players are always aware of what’s available from which vendor. This is a truly amazing gameplay tool.
This tool is not only incredible in its intuitiveness and comprehensiveness, what’s equally incredible is the fact that it’s an open source project. This means anyone in the world can download the application’s source code and use it for any purpose, adding whatever they might want (not that DIM has left much out). The team has truly created something special with this tool, which gamers and developers should look to emulate when creating their own gameplay tools.