Cause 1 : challenge :
“Games depend on the uncertainty of the outcome in every play for their dramatic tension. And players invest their emotions in that uncertainty, making it the job of the game designer to craft a satisfying resolution to the game, usually in the form of a measurable and unequal outcome.”
I decided to start with a challenge as it is a major element of most of gameplays. Games are filled with different types of obstacles and intellectually stimulating challenges and are the outstanding teachers of problem solving. Conflicts, enemies and hazards challenge players creating tension while player strives to resolve the game in their own favour. There tend to be parallel challenges throught the game ending with a major challenge at the end with a major reward. enough Effects : New skills, feel a sense of achievement, frustration, too easy, too hard, can be solved by skill levels, other solution : in Skyrim most challenges are attuned to the main character’s current level
simplicity/complexity : balance
” The conflict challenges the players creating tension as they work to resolve problems and varying levels of achievement or frustration. Increasing the challenge can cause a rising sense of tension and If the challenge is too great it can cause frustration”.
Connected with a challenge is balance and fairness. On the other hand If the challenge is not increasing player might feel bored.
Effects : New skills, feel a sense of achievement Judgement, punishment, reward, fairness, chance vs skill, rewarding risk
Cause 6 : social/community :
It is very impressive how deep can multiplayer connections be. It makes you able to interact with friends and family. You can choose cooperation or competition.
Cause 2 : rules/functional : ““Rules are respected because the players
understand that they are a key structural element of the game, and without them, the
game would not function”. what are the foundational rules? Laws, what enforces rules, how are they introduced? Play – “The amount of movement allowed within
the system”, interface – intuitive, mechanics, time, constraints, functional space, forces/abilities, help ––feedback, accessibility, rules ,
Effects : confusion, frustration, easy to understand
Important in rules is obtaining information
“The hero is the player, and the game needs to give the player information, so the way some games go about this is to make the hero the dumbest character in the game…He doesn’t have the same knowledge as everyone else. “
„For us, we address this problem by first keeping the hero In character. Then, we make the hero proactive rather than reactive. Instead of asking for information, he demands it.
Our character grows if he moves from taking orders to making them,”
Perhaps he threatens the characters, or fools them, or overhears conversations, or offers something
of his own that gets him what he needs. The one thing that your hero can’t do is ask for the information.
Cause 4 : intimacy : „ There is an intimacy to playing a game on your computer. You sit next to the monitor; you control the game with mouse and keyboard. Your mind is keyed-in to the space that you’ve created for your computer” Personal values, love, friendship, emotion –“ How powerfully we can affect players on an emotional level. And I’m not only talking about excitement or fear, questions of friendship, loyalty, dread, tension, and exhilaration. The power of virtual touch-of the player holding the hand of the character he’s charged to protect” connect emotionally with the experience, passion, pass of time, freedom, pleasure, joy, fun, Maslovs hierarchy of needs
Other intimate thing is control and power (fantasy of being powerful
“Of course, as in real life, control is an illusion or at best, a temporary condition, but it is one that humans like.”
“In his book Why Don’t Zebras Get Ulcers, biologist Robert Sapolsky argues that the two things that create happiness are control and, if you can’t have control, predictability.
Predictability- language genres of games
Cause 5 : flexible play and drama : “each player in the game, became a CONTENT CREATOR within the context of the game. The game exists as much in the imagination of the players as it does in any physical reality.
“ let the player have control of key narrative moments, either by triggering them through their actions, or in fact, having the game reveal key story In other words, when dealing with your narrative, create a priority for telling your story as follows: play it, display it, say it.” multiple ways of achieving goal doesn’t make feel constrained encourage to explore and experiment without feeling frustrated, meaningful choices makes experience more powerful
Cause 7 : flow : Good example of a perfect flow are games made by Telltale studio which are extremely cinematic with convincing illusion of interactivity which makes action has a perfect flow.
“we often rely on the exact same techniques for time and location transitions as film, often in the form of cinematics or cut-scenes (no interactive story moments within the game).”
Action, visible progress, developing world and character, having impact on surrounding through the game
Cause 8 : immersive experience : anthropology, sociology behavioural psychology, elements corresponding to life- simulated reality, economics, technology, world, theme (objects, environment)
Cause 9 : atmosphere : special powers, secrets, weird elements, surprise – ” I went hiking and found a lake, it was quite a surprise for me to stumble upon it”, creativity and imagination – capture the imagination Inspiration, memorable moments, personalisation – “Sense of engagement comes from different things for different players”, atmosphere, theme, fantasy
Effects : New skills, feel a sense of achievement
Cause 11 : character : traits, transformation, “ agent through which dramatic stories are told”,
“We can allow you to walk in the shoes of anyone we can imagine. How powerful is that?” “Good dialogue and stories come from well conceived characters in exciting dramatic situations”
Home – “power of allowing players to leave a personal mark on the world-the narcissistic aspect of game playing.”
interaction with other characters NPC- conversation/dialogue, care for the party members, ally system
Cause 12 : experience : “exciting experiences we share and talk about. They can, and do, have an impact and leave an impression, often in ways that traditional entertainment can’t, because when we play a game, we are active participants in the process.” – interactivity
It is important to remember that your story is working in
unison with gameplay. The more your story can be told through gameplay, the better. Much like the film axiom “Don’t say it, show it,” “Don’t show it, play it.” ” Interesting and unique situations in which you hope players will find themselves.”
Interest- interest curve, goals, curiosity, utopia, motivation – “”Desire to work towards the
objective is a measure for our involvement in the game.”, hero’s journey, novelty,
story- “2. For most of us, it began when, at bedtime, somebody promised to tell you a story.” “epic stories and fairy tales” “adventure stories” unfold with the game”
Cause 13 : visual : design, aesthetics, elegance, beauty
” The cultural impact of digital games has grown to rival television and films as an industry has matured over the past three decades. Game industry revenues have been growing at a double-digit rate for years and have long eclipsed the domestic box office of the film industry, reaching 14.8 billion dollars in 2012. “ what shows how important player on a market game industry is.
other kind of challenge is puzzle (fun, tricky, not too easy not too hard, integrated into experience)
having a good amount of puzzle
Effect: make player stop and think, „puzzles take something familiar and give it a novel twist
good way to invite us to be playful, giving us permission
to do something not practical” , toy/interaction, New skills
What makes player engage in PC games
Introduction : (player centric approach)
– “It’s important to remember, that what has made games such a long-lasting form of human entertainment is not intrinsic to any technology or medium but to the experience of players. “–
As we all know it’s much easier to empathise with our own needs than to truly understand the needs of a diverse audience, which requires much commitment to gathering player’s feedback through building physical prototypes of the game mechanics and a lot of testing to understand how others enjoy games.
In my cause and effect essay I am going to take a challenge of presenting my thoughts on how different factors affect the level of engagement of the player in a PC game. I decided to group similar factors in chapters to show how they rely to each other.
I started creating main points for my introduction.
flexible play and drama
My first step in approaching writing my essay was choosing main books I want to refer to and reading them with underlying main points and quotes I would like to use in my essay.
I created mind mapping of main points of my essay
I decided to stay with a title : What makes players engage in games but narrow it down to PC games. In contrast to Playstation we use PC in our own space, on a desk, which creates kind of intimacy. Playstation is placed most of the times in a living room in a center of a room, accessible for everyone. It makes experience different between those platforms and I am more experience with PC so I decided to choose this platform.
From the beginning of a module knew that I want to write an essay about games and game industry, because it is a field that I want to connect my future with. When I was studying on Erasmus I had a module from game design called Advanced Level Design. My assignment was to design a game level. In preparation for this task I started with visiting a library and searched through game design books for an inspiration. I found lots of great literature on a subject. Now my task was to choose my title. My first ideas were : 1. How games benefit from cinematics ; 2. What makes players engage in games.
The main object of the animation was to show the contrast between situation in countries from East block and “american dream”. It also showed how hard was for Eastern people to change anything in the system and how those living in communism were having difficulties adopting to changes. It was also about deprivation of basic needs and rights lack of availability of food, lack of personal freedom and self expression and how all of this was creating tension and frustration at the end leaving trauma making adaptation to changes more difficult. Opposition to how hard it was in East block was showing West reality with plenty of products available, relaxed lives, sexual liberation, freedom of self expression and live free of worries.
It depicts contrast between two realities and builds tension and dramatics of East with use of black, white and earth colors, thick dynamic lines in opposition to colorful, rich and relaxed West with well supplied, consumption focused, commercial and meaningless society.
putting everything together…
I made all the scenes in After Effects in separate compositions to be able to mix compositions with each other. I removed the grain from all the compositions and created few adjustment layers to customize the look of the footage. If I would be doing this animation again I would make a bigger scenography. Bacause I had small space not all the angles and directions are matching the reality.
Initial tests were performed with the use of B1 white paper sheet and black and white paint. Idea for the animation was walking and transforming hand. While doing first test we made many mistakes. The paint was not drying which made future frames more and more gray. We were absolutely covering previous frames, so there was no consistency with the following ones, because we had no reference to follow. Also instead of moving object fastly we got stuck at one square.
While doing actual animation we changed the medium to color chalks on black board(make a photo of black board) to avoid problems we had with paint. It gave us satisfactory results.
For the future we should use better camera.