Achievement Unlocked: A Reflection

When I think of game ideas I often begin with two main design points, the game purpose and  the beginning, progress and endgame (these I have bundled as one main point as they build off of each other). The past few weeks I’ve focused on developing and exploring these points.

Multi-platform, Procedurally and Randomly Generated, Rogue Likish, Twin Stick Shooter to Board Game

The Binding of Isaac board game I  was  designing forced me to explore randomness and board design. while dice rolls can make a game more dynamic, spending all the players time rolling die can easily become tedious and as Grant details in his blog ‘The role of luck: Why RNG isn’t the answer’, elements of randomness can degrade the importance of player skill , potentially leaving players alienated from the point of reaching endgame.

Board Free or Just Bored?

Personally I find conceptual game spaces to be incredible tool for involving players and building familiar premises for players to interact with. The first pen and paper game I created in week 3 did away with the idea of boards and pieces and focused entirely on the interactions between players. The second pen and paper game I created further explored this idea of a completely player focused mind game. By minimising physical elements of a game it can make a game quick to play while still being dynamic enough to play over. However the downside to this is a reduced sense of achievement. Because there is no physical representation of progression it can be  difficult for players to feel like they are succeeding in a goal other than one-upping the other players.

Blue Pill, Red Pill

Playing Betrayal at House on the Hill illustrated to me what Murphy is talking about when she states, “Playing a video game is a risk free and socially acceptable way of engaging in a bit of virtual body play” (Murphy, S). I feel this quote applies to more than just video games in that table top games also allow players to essentially ‘escape’ reality. Betrayal … uses common horror tropes and character archetypes, allowing players to put themselves in the role of another person in a fantasy setting which they most likely won’t encounter ‘in real life’. Expanding on this, I want to take something that is often encountered ‘in real life’ and represent it in a surrealistic way in a game format. Essentially the game ceases to be a platform for escaping reality but instead players are asked to engage with reality in response to the game, opening the game space to the virtual world, the real world and the players own mind.

Current leaps and bounds in virtual reality technology aims to bring the virtual world into the physical realm but I think an important side note to this is how the players experience is built upon  beyond opening their play space.


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