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Robert Massaioli
Software Developer and Games Affectionado
Interests: Programming, Games, Reading, Learning, Inventing
Recent Activity
It sounds like you are against seeing patterns in the craft of design because it somehow hurts some sort of free thinking... That's just silly really. Definitions are the backbone of understanding and are useful tools in any task; design or otherwise. Keep the insightful definitions coming.
Congratulations on so much hard work and well spent effort to write such great articles. I have to say that I like some of the articles that go into a little more depth and really explain the contents of what you are thinking correctly. Don't let the tl;dr people go too far. Also if you are going to release your book for only 5 dollars then I'm sold. I have spent more for less before; this is a no-brainer. And on the kindle too. Thankyou so much for all the great work so far.
TL;DR: Optional busywork is what you really need and that also aids replayability. I agree that busywork is not fun but I have a slightly different view that relates strongly to the replayability of a game. Lets use TES:Oblivion as our example, most specifically the 'Fast Travel' feature. The feature is there so that you can skip vast swathes of walking running and jumping if you choose to and just get straight to the action. The point here is that you can play the game without fast travelling and enjoy the scenery and find new and interesting places on the way. Or, if you find that is too much Busywork, then just fast travel to where you need to be. All in all I think this is the right was to do it: you can have busywork in your game, but give the user the option to skip it completely if they want to. The 'autorun' feature in most RPG's is another good example of this, you have alot of land to run over so the game is nice enough to say "okay, just press this button and we will keep running for you until you reach your destination"; once again giving the player the option whether or not to engage in busywork. This style of optional busywork aides replayability because it means that in the second run through the player can skip many many parts of the busywork and just get straight to the parts of the game that they thought were fun. I do play Oblivion again for that very reason.
Toggle Commented Jun 1, 2011 on Busywork is not Fun [Design] at What Games Are
I am making a puzzle game at the moment and I am not seeing where death fits into my game mechanic. You cannot 'loose' a level in a puzzle game but you can not finish it and in a way it defeats that what you mean for puzzle games? I guess perhaps a puzzle has the opposite in that getting to new levels is like living more rather than dying less.
Exactly right. Sony completely dropped the ball when it came to consoles and gaming in general. I remember that my first console ever was a Playstation. Now I have an XBox and I have never looked back; Sony lost my trust early on when all I could see were games that were designed to grab money and nothing else. Nothing epic that really contained what games are.
Very true. Lost Odyssey felt like this in many ways when I would get stuck in a cinematic that I could not escape from and I would have to sit there for far too long listening to somebody else speak. Now I love a good story, but it went too far in one theatric, that while listening to a speech given by a character that was not even my normal doll, I was forced to walk down stairs (~2s) to a new really long cinematic and then walk up those stairs again to a really long cinematic. My point is that super long trailers also feel like you are forcing the player to listen to what you have to say.
@Mark: I think the main difference that he was trying to get across was that you can measure engagement and not gameplay. A game can have great gameplay (in your opinion) but not end up engaging that many players. While you may think a game sucks and it still engages almost every muggle on the market. That is the difference and that is the change in thought required from going from great gameplay to great engagement. You might like good gameplay features to increase engagement but ultimately it is engagement that will be the measure of your game.
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Apr 16, 2011