BTÖ-6164 Anticipatory vs. Complex Systems Good designers will try to guess what players are going to attempt to do and make certain their game responds well to those actions. Anticipatory school of game design: the designer thinks of what players might do and hardwires the game to work well with those actions. Creating reliable, consistent systems with which your game will function
BTÖ-6165 Emergence It is the development of numerous robust and logical systems that leads to player-unique solutions to situations in the game. Establishing a game universe that functions in accordance with logical rules players can easily understand and use to their advantage allows those same players to come up with their own solutions to the problems the game presents.
BTÖ-6167 Types of Non-Linearity When we say we want our games to be non-linear, we mean we want them to provide choices for players to make, different paths they can take to get from point A to point B, from the game’s beginning to its end. We can mean this in a number of ways: in terms of the game’s story (storytelling) how players solve the game’s challenges (multiple solutions) the order in which players tackle the challenges, and (order) in which challenges players choose to engage (selection)
BTÖ-6168 Implementation Odyssey: The legend of Nemesis
BTÖ-6169 Implementation Rule of Thumb: if you want to have multiple solutions or paths, they should all be equally compelling so players will not feel cheated at having picked the much less spectacular way. Suggestion: Designers who think too highly of their own design skills may also avoid non- linearity in their designs because they want players to experience every single element of the game they decide to include.
BTÖ-61610 The Purpose of Non-Linearity It is important to always remember that non- linearity is included in the game to provide players some meaningful authorship in the way they play the game. Non-linearity is great for providing players with a reason to replay the game. A note of caution: all designers should understand that non-linearity is not about having players wander around the game-world aimlessly.
BTÖ-61612 Modeling Reality The more real we make the games, proponents say, the more compelling and immersive gamers will find them. But is this always the case? If the designer, in an attempt to achieve a greater degree of reality, decides to include too many unnecessary and dull details, the game will likely become tedious to play.
BTÖ-61613 Modeling Reality Using reality as a basis for your game has its advantages, however. First and foremost, it provides players with a world they are instantly familiar with, a world in which they have some idea of what actions are reasonable and which are out of the question.
BTÖ-61614 Modeling Reality A potential downside to having a realistic world is that, since the game mimics a reality players are familiar with, players will expect certain game- world elements to work in certain ways and will be very quick to notice when something fails to do so.
BTÖ-61616 Teaching the Player Attempting to model reality may be one way to give players an advantage going into your game- world; through their own life experiences, players will know to some extent what to expect of your game-world. However, even with the most realistic game, players will need time to learn how to play your game, and this learning experience is often a crucial time in a player’s overall experience.
BTÖ-61617 Teaching the Player In the past: Long manuals Today: “Jump right in” You must introduce the complexity of your game-world gradually through the gameplay instead of through the manual.
BTÖ-61618 Teaching the Player It is important that during the introduction of these controls players are in safe environment that engenders learning. During this learning period in the game, it is important to reward players for even the simplest of accomplishments.
BTÖ-61619 Tutorials Recently, many complex games have started introducing players to the gaming world through a tutorial level that exists outside of the game- world proper. These tutorial levels are generally a good idea and are certainly an improvement over teaching players about the game in the manual.
BTÖ-61621 Controls and Input Nothing is more frustrating to players than knowing exactly what they want their game- world character to do but being unable to actually get her to do that because the controls will not let them. Keep your controls simple! Less is more! One technique that can be used to make your controls intuitive to a variety of playersis to include multiple ways to achieve the same effect.
BTÖ-61622 Output and Game-World Feedback While the player’s ability to intuitively control the game-world may be key to a successful game, outputting vital information about that game- world to players is just as important.