From oct 2010 my educational posts are published only on Pip

29 juni 2011

Games should have a guided path

I had an hour to spend today at the jury's public discussion of the Stockholm based game education programs of FutureGames. We listend to jury members from DICE (Battlefield), Teotl (The Ball), Lionhead (Fable) och Frictional Games (Amnesia)who were about to elect a winner of the final exam projects. I have not yet had the chance to play the games but the discussions aroused a few thoughts.

The first game discussed was a rhythmical batting game compared to Patapon, but the jury members could not get through it and felt there should be more instructions to it. I spontanously thought about the target group of such a game and finally the designer of the game asked the jury if they had ever played this kind of game before, and no, they had not. A game jury should probably be put together out of different gaming types to be fair I guess. No matter how great each and everyone is in their field, the mix in the jury is crucial.

The second game discussed showed this even more. Someone got disappointed by being alone in a forest while someone appreciated the well rendered pine trees as an experience all alone and yet someone else wanted to find more objects and actions to explore.

Several of the games presented lead to the discussion about whether a game should have a guided path or not. The conclusion was that you always need rewardings for your actions, some hidden and subtle progression and that every action needs to get clear response to make the game meaningful. I thought about Sims where you need to make people fall in love to get children and you need to get children to be able to make them go to school and so on. It's both rewarding and making a path of progression. (as is life)

Well finally I thought about how also fantastic but yet junior game developers tend to concentrate on the core game and forget the same thing as for example e-commerce and communities. They fail to quickly introduce the game functionalities to the user and add more by time. They don't make clear why the user should want to come back soon, or want to go on to the very end of the game. No matter how great a game idea is it is more fun if people will want to play it... a lot.

Looking forward to work with the students on this this fall.""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5623717952350852818"

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