Category Archives: Features

What is Rational to the Player?

To the detriment of all, I have started playing World of Warcraft again and it got me thinking about the topic of player rationalizing. When players do not understand the underlying rules or system for something, they naturally tend to rationalize based on their experiences.

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Curiosity Killed the Player

So lately I have been playing a lot of Minecraft, which probably is not surprising considering its recent rise in popularity. I keep finding myself coming back to play it whenever I get some free time. However, I have had a difficult time figuring out why I keep coming back to it. For anyone that does not know, Minecraft is a game about building and survival. Sort of like a digital Lego set with some enemies that try to kill you as you build. I consider myself a somewhat creative person, so no doubt I enjoy the building aspect of the game; and exploring the caverns and open spaces of the virtual world are rather fun as well. But really, what is the point? Anything I create in the game will probably never been seen by anyone, save my wife who will just say “that’s nice”. So what am I spending my time for? Long gone are the days of my childhood when I would build Lego structures in order to pretend my constructed spaceship was a real one. I do not plan on pretending my castle in Minecraft is genuine. Let me leave this here  for now and I will come back to it.

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Sacrificing for Immersion: User Interfaces

It seems like more and more video games are taking elements that used to be simple parts of the user interface and turning them into elaborate 3-D interfaces. This causes me to question whether or not designers’ and programmers’ time would be better spent elsewhere Let me explain what I mean.

An example of what I am talking about can be seen in Assassin’s Creed 2 and it’s armor and weapons systems. In the game, your character owns an estate called the Monteriggioni Villa. This serves as a home base and as you accomplish more in the game, the villa displays some of your accomplishments and can be upgraded with money you earn throughout the game. The Villa also has a weapon room which houses all of the weapons you own; the same goes for your armor. Whenever you want you can go to rooms and swap items from the displays. The issue that I have with this is “Is all of that necessary?”. I could just as easily play the game where I could swap items from an inventory by pressing pause or an inventory button and scrolling through what I own. Certainly having the rooms gives some eye candy and perhaps a sense of accomplishment, but how much effort had to be poured into making it. How much better could other aspects of the game been if time was not devoted to that. If you play the game all the way through, you realize that the villa is essentially pointless. It does not really matter if you upgrade it or use it at all because there are other ways to earn money.

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I am the God of War: An Analysis of Game Feel and God of War I and II

How can someone become a god? What does it feel like to wield the power of a god? These are likely issues that the developers of God of War I and II had to consider. The purpose of this article is to analyze God of War I and II through the conceptual framework of “Game Feel” presented by Swink (2007) and to evaluate if this framework is sufficient for understanding the success of these games. In addition, a modification to the framework is suggested to create a more encompassing model of successful game design.

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