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beantas

Drawing the Player Back

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After you stop playing a game, what thought in your mind draws you back and makes you want to go back to the game? Or conversely, what makes you _not_ want to go back to a game (besides the obvious problem of getting stuck)? Even though games are complex, I find myself usually thinking of one small thing about the game which draws me back. For example, I kept going back to Streetfighter 2 because I enjoyed doing the Dragon punch. I kept going back to GTA3 because I enjoyed how the Yakuza Stinger handled tight turns. And I usually think of one small thing about a game which makes me throw it away. I stopped playing Warcraft3 because I didn''t feel like learning how to counter a Huntress rush. I stopped playing Aggressive Inline because catching a grind was a bit less lenient than Tony Hawk. Does this happen to anyone else?

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What draws the player back is (IMHO):
30% what he'' s already seen (as you said, for example the Dragon Punch).
70% what he is promised to see. For example new game objects (which bring new capabilities, new candy effects...) for example in RPGs/MMORPGs or Hack&Slash. Another example: the unveil of the story (which, IMO, is the principal interest in DeusEx, for example). Another example: the promise of success amongst other players (Ut2003, MMORPGs...), or of success in mastering the game(yeah it''s exciting...)(for example God-Like games).

We sould design games with this in mind...

If you have any thoughts, come on...

While(game.quality == good)
play();

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I went back to TIE Fighter partly because I wanted to complete all the secret mission objectives, but also to hopefully duplicate some of the accidentally well-composed space battles. Sometimes the same missions would seem pretty boring just because of how the action unfolded. Still, I kept going back, hoping to experience it again.

I remember one mission where the first four squadrons of TIE Advanced were being delivered, and I had to escort them from the carrier to the Star Destroyer. Meanwhile, a pirate''s cruiser hypered in and was releasing Headhunters to take out the TIE Advanced. With all the craft flying around all over the place (TIE Interceptors taking on the Headhunters, Y-Wings trying to destroy the carrier, Headhunters going after the Interceptors and Advanced), handling the battles and deciding which target I would go after next became pretty frantic, especially if I decided to stray from escorting and cover some TIE Interceptors for the heck of it.

The large cruisers I would see in the background behind some craft I just destryoed just added an ambience that made the whole thing seem alive.

Independence War 2, however, I put away just because the idea of getting familiar with where I could get particular items just didn''t appeal to me. I prefer to master craft handling and battle tactics, not familiarity with regions and just knowing where to go when I need something. I prefer the "hop in and play" style.

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quote:
Original post by Argus
I think it all has to do with the "coolness factor" of a game.


Yes, but our job as G. Designers is to analyse this factor.
Of course, there are multiple ways and patterns to do that, none of them is the perfect answer. We must simply choose ones that are efficient and convenient for our current work.

While(game.quality == good)
play();

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Decisions. Choices made throughout a game, that I wonder if I had done differently.

If a game offers multiple "viable" decisions that impact the game environment, it is human nature for the player to want to return to try other paths.

The classic "what if" syndrome.

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I kept going back to Diablo 2. There were three reasons, I think: the skill system, the battle system, and the item system.

I was always thinking of new ways to distribute skills while I was into D2. Different combinations of skills were always popping up in my brain when I was in bed, etc.

But what to use those skills for? For use in the battle system! You could either duel other players, which was great competition against other players, or you could kill monsters! It's always satisfying to just obliterate a whole crapload of enemies. Hack-n-slash is fun, even though it seems pretty basic.

One of the other reasons the battles were fun though, was because of the item drops. You were always checking for rares and uniques, then you would hurry to Identify it, and if it was good, YAY. If not, keep looking. The item system was awesome, because you were always looking for good items to either trade, use on one of your existing characters, OR, to use on a new idea for a character that you were thinking up. Which ties it back in to the skill/character creation system.

All in all, the character development was great, and killing enemies en masse was satisfying.

-edit- clarity -/edit-

[edited by - Neosmyle on November 5, 2002 7:15:33 PM]

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I keep going back and playing Robotron...that age old arcade game...

I think it''s because of the intensity...you can''t beat the game (no ending)...and it doesn''t take long to "see" all the various enemies it has to offer...and I could care less about getting "the top score"...the game is just intense from the get-go...you can''t even think when you play it...just raw animal insticts get you though wave after wave...it makes every other game seem tame in comparison.

A great stress reliever

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