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Gameplay: Consists of the challenges and actions that a game offers. Challenges for the player to overcome and actions that let her overcome them
The primary goal of a game designer is to provide entertainment Gameplay is the primary means of entertainment Without gameplay, an activity may be fun, but it is not a game
Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration -Thomas Edison
Most of what makes a game fun has nothing to do with imagination or creativity The vast majority of things that make a game not fun result from bad execution rather than a bad idea.
(1) Avoid elementary errors: Bad programming, bad music and sound, bad art, bad user interfaces, and bad game design all ruin the players funs
(2) Tuning and Polishing: -This means paying attention to detail, getting everything perfect. -This is the difference between a good game and a mediocre one.
(3) Imaginative variations on the games premise: -Take the basic elements of the game and construct and enjoyable experience out of them -Level designers do most of this work
(4) True design innovation: Encompasses the games original idea and subsequent decisions that you make
Innovation by the game designer contributes only a small part of the fun of the game. This may make it sound like there is not a lot of point in game design…
There is no formula for making your game fun There are a set of principles to keep in mind as your design and build your game:
Gameplay comes first: Create your game to give people fun things to do
Get a feature right or leave it out: It is far worse to ship a game with a broken feature than it is to with a missing feature
Design around the player: Examine every decision from the players point of view. Games that lose sight of the player, lose sight of fun
Know your target audience: Different groups of players want different things, know what they want and what they think is fun, and then provide it
Abstract or automate parts of the simulation that arent fun: If you model your game on the real world, leave out the parts that arent fun
Be true to your vision: Dont add unnecessary features that will distract you from your original vision.
Strive for harmony, elegance, and beauty: A lack of aesthetic perfection doesnt take all the fun out of a game, but the absence of these qualities appreciably diminishes it
When youre up to your ass in alligators, its hard to remember that your original objective was to drain the swamp -Unattributed
Explicit Challenges: Challenges that are told directly to the player i.e save the princess -Typically the topmost and the bottom most challenges are explicit challenges
Implicit Challenges: Challenges that the player discovers on their own - Most intermediate challenges are implicit - If there are no implicit challenges, it doesnt feel like a game
Reward victory no matter how the players achieve it
Intrinsic skill: The level of skill needed to surmount the challenge if you give the player an unlimited amount of time in which to do it.
Stress: Measures how a player perceives the effect of time pressure on his ability to meet a challenge requiring a given level of intrinsic skill.
Absolute Difficulty: Refers to the intrinsic skill required and stressfulness put together
Tests the players physical abilities – most commonly hand-eye coordination There are different types of physical coordination challenges…
Speed and Reaction time: Speed challenges test the players ability to make rapid inputs on the controls Reaction time challenges test the players ability to react quickly to events Example: Tetris
Accuracy and Precision: Accuracy and Precision challenges need not to take place in a time limit Example: Wii Sports Archery
Intuitive understanding of physics In a racing game, players must learn through experience a cars breaking distance, acceleration rate, etc. Example: Portal
Timing and Rhythm: Timing and Rhythm challenges test the players ability to press the right button at the right time Example – Guitar Hero
Combination moves: Many fighting games require complex combinations of button presses in order to do a cool move Example – Street Fighter
Formal logic puzzles: The definition of the puzzle contains, or explains everything the player needs to solve to puzzle Example – Minesweeper
Avoid trial and error solutions
Mathematical challenges: Include an element of chance Example - Hearts
Discourages careful strategic thought and instead encourages direct brute-force solution Increases the stress on a player and changes the feeling of the gameplay considerably Example - Frogger
Direct test of players knowledge of factual information Usually occurs in trivia and quiz games Example – Trivial Pursuit Design Rule: Make it clear when factual knowledge is required
Tests the players ability to recall things the she has seen or heard in the game Action and adventure games get you to remember things that will be needed later on Example -
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