Stockholm syndrome :
PLAYER ENGAGEMENT – FILLING THE GLASS: I had a revelation just recently that every simulated achievement or struggle within a game is a push and pull sequence. At it’s very foundation it’s the act of filling a glass or emptying a glass; then attaining more glasses to empty and fill once more. But the resistance and opposition to our attempts to fill the glass is what makes the act itself engaging. This becomes almost obvious when you think of all the meters and gauges involved in measuring your achievement within a game: health bars, experience bars, mana levels, power levels, attack modifiers, defense modifiers. But things get more interesting when you begin to see the relationship between the state of the glass and your attempt to fill or empty it. Let’s say you have too much water for the glass, so your new goal is to earn a bigger glass. Or the power you just gained allows you to poke a hole in your opponents glass causing it to empty faster. And now a power you have temporarily causes your water to turn to ice so the opponents hole poking attempt is futile. Better yet, you have the ability to destroy you opponents glass causing them to need back-ups if they are to continue the battle. All of these different thought processes begin to outline the thousands of interesting ways to turn the act of emptying and filling a glass (pushing and pulling) into something engaging and memorable. This is the simple beauty of Game Design.
REACHING FOR THE STICK: How often as designer’s do we look to punishments and death penalties to coax the player into making the “right” decisions? Like good little digital parents we teach and poke and prod until the player gets the picture. But very often the most effective way to teach a player right from wrong in relation to the game world is to reward them in subtle and powerful ways that they are on the right path. To remind them without saying a word, or entice them without showing any signs of the obvious thought and development. This is when the world itself truly feels alive and the player’s path feels rewarding and natural. Like the digital world around them is bestowing countless and subtle blessings on them for being awesome. Instead of countless punishments for being inadequate.
(NOTE: Rob Pardo (VP of Game Design at Blizzard) touched on this during his 2010 KeyNote at GDC, highly recommend checking it out)
Very excited for the release of this game. For more info go to www.primeonline.com or www.pitchblackgames.com This is the newest Q and A that they do every Friday, which is something that I think more developers should do. Kudos Pitch Black.
My favorite quotes of this stream:
- “Did you not hear me?” “No I wasn’t listening”
- “Just me and Al Gore, we used to have death-matches in QUAKE”
Special note for this stream: There may be BETA testing open tonight!
Very excited for the release of this game. For more info go to www.primeonline.com or www.pitchblackgames.com This is the newest Q and A that they do pretty much weekly, which in my opinion is something more developers should do. These guys love the community, and the community loves them back.
My favorite quote of this stream “Atari 2600, not that old common guys!?”