Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Emotional Gameplay Occurences.

This topic is 6065 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

What emotions can we invoke via situations that occur in gameplay? It is relatively "easy" to try and create emotional situations via highly orchestrated set pieces and a pre-defined "canned" path through a game. But I believe that it is a more powerful tool to be able to create a wide variety of emotional situations via tactical situations which occur in the game world! (Ie. Via the gameplay itself with a small amount of atmospheric graphics / sound to add to the impact of what has just happened). Ie. Think about racing game, and the adrenaline rush of a near finish.. and the elation of eventually gaining the lead on the last corner. Now you might say that this isn''t the kind of feeling that can be integrated into the more adventure based games that (some) of the Gamedev.net regulars seem to prefer. But think about the other situations that could be used to create emotion... Nethack MINOR SPOILERS FOLLOW The other day in a Nethack session the game told me that a Garter Snake had slithered out of my backpack ... with a cry that sounded like "daddy". Thinking about the situation, I was at first worried as an unfriendly Garter snake could be deadly.. then I wondered if a spell had been cast on me to make one come from my backpack.. rereading the message I noticed the cry of "daddy" and realised that it was a baby snake that had hatched from an egg that I had picked up earlier in the game, but not eaten at the time!..this snake had imprinted itself on me (aah! cute!), I then realised that I could use my leash on this baby snake and it would become my pet and follow me around (cool! + succesful implementation of an idea)! END OF SPOLIER So what situations can be made which subtly invoke emotions (in even minor amounts)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That is an awsome thing about the snake... I think that emotions are very strong drawers to the game. If you can imlement in a game, varied emotional response in the player, then you will be on the right track. This is, however, only as long as the player is feeling emotions that connect to the game world, and not just frustrations at how crap your game is, or why it isn''t letting her do something.

Anyway... I am also an advocate for pets in games... because pets are another aspect that allows the player to waste time in an amusing way

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - The future of RPGs
Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And to think Nethack was one of the first ever games on a personal computer. Wow, that really IS a succesful use of an engine and an idea.

The reason I really like it is because it happens through no "important" action of the player whatsoever. You just left an egg in your backpack too long. These kinds of small "easter eggs" (pun intended) work really well in a complex game. It shows that the designers put as much effort into making the game as you are playing it.

A few things that could work in this way:
- Pets (as mentioned)
- Friends that follow you around or sometimes appear when you most need them.
- Children (The nethack example combines children with pets, really)



People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
Mad Keith the V.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That is a very interesting concept on easter eggs. I had considered such in the past and I had some similar occurances. The level of detail provided by the designer is only going to enhance the gameplay in general. It is always exciting to discover something new, and if you are walking around with a snake that obeys your commands then people are naturally going to want to know... I think it is about holding a certain type of knowledge as a power over otehrs.... Hehe.. superiority complex ... play to it, and it could pay you dividends

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - The future of RPGs
Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I believe there to be a wide variety of emotional gameplay choices that could be put into games! For instance in a zombie horror game, you could try to board yourself into the house to try and get a respite until dawn {okay maybe they are nocturnal zombies ), trying to stop the zombies breaking through the boards that you have nailed across the windows.. with only a few bullets left in your gun..

quote:
Original post by MadKeithV

The reason I really like it is because it happens through no "important" action of the player whatsoever. You just left an egg in your backpack too long. These kinds of small "easter eggs" (pun intended) work really well in a complex game

Mad Keith the V.


This is the kind of delayed consequence that I find quite powerful in games, when you do something that doesn''t seem that important and then a while later there is a consequence that you hadn''t thought of.. but maybe should have.

Although I think that this kind of consequence shouldn''t be too damaging to the player.. because then it would be unfair.. Ie. If the snake had killed my character when it dropped from the backpack. The consequences need to be reasonable in proportion to the actions that generated them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How come any emotional stuff has got to come from a text mode game ?

What about this in ADOM :

In the first village, among other kids, we find tiny girl.

*looks at tiny girl*
A small and cute girl, dressed in a once beautiful skirt now tattered and dirty. Her eyes shine with innocence and curiously peek into the world, always looking for new wonders.

*talks to tiny girl*
"Hast ya seen my little doggie?"
"''t disappeared near da dark hole on da pass..."
"Me fears it got lost."
"Would''cha gettit back to me?"
"Hurry! Mommy sayz dere a bad bad things in da cave!"

*After going through a dangerous dungeon*
*looks at doggie*
This small dog has shining white fur, a funny tongue constantly flapping around its nose and a small tail moving with erratic speed. It''s simply cute.

*talks to doggie*
The cute dog yelps: "*Woof*"

After brining the doggie back to the tiny girl
*talks to tiny girl*
"Me sayz thanks for getting back me puppy."
"You is true hero!"
"Take dis."
The tiny girl hands you a bit of candy.


The quest to get the puppy is very hard (you have to go in the dungeon very early in the game), likely to get you killed, and even if you survive, chances are the doggie is dead already. And if you get to the doggie, you still have to take him back up to the surface, take care of him, which aint easy, because you couldnt clear the levels in the first place (randomly generated monsters come faster than you can dispose of). And, you wont get any money, or artifact, (except for the candy, which btw, is the greates gift ) it wont affect the game in any important way that I''m aware. Yet I always love to go through it, which is hugely more than most of the other quests around...

If you fail to bring the puppy alive, and try to talk to the girl, the game asks you if you want to tell her. If you either tell her what happened, or give her the doggie :

The tiny girl begins to weep bitterly.
or
The tiny girl accepts the corpse of her beloved dog and starts to sob bitterly.


Oh, I''m so ashamed to admit it (this in itself is AMAZING for a game, especially one with NO graphics), once, I killed the doggie and went to the tiny girl. Just plain gamer what would happen if I did this curiosity. Well :

*bad Diodor BAD BAD*

The game asks you if you want to tell her about the doggie and again about your vile deed. If you say yes both times:

The tiny girl screams: "*YOU MONSTER!!!*" The tiny girl misses you.

*talks to tiny girl*
"Mom told me not to chat with strangers!" The tiny girl misses you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, Diodor, that is *so* cool. It is so *weird* that the whole industry is moving toward rotoscoped, full motion this & that with specular per-vertex sparkly crap, and something as simple as this can strike a chord. Even just hearing about it (and the snake example above) and not even playing it is cool.

I think this is what happens when the game successfully takes place in your mind (where the ultimate graphics and animation & such are).

Funny enough, playing Fallout 2, and basically becoming the acclaimed superhero of the wasteland ("Savior of the Damned" ) made me feel the same way. Though the choices are not as intricate and detailed, you get several choices of how to relate to people. Oddly enough, I got so into being the Chosen One that to even experiment with out of character choices started making me feel guilty (!). I found myself thinking, "No, that''s not cool. The Chosen One wouldn''t do that." Weird thoughts for something that''s just a game!

And this, too, was mostly handled with text.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Games seem adept at provoking


  • Fear - Mostly through concrete things, like combat. Rarely for the world beyond the player, such as fear of dire change, such as a nuclear meltdown or return of the Great Evil


  • Dread / Foreboding - Anticipating of future harm. Again, mostly concrete, though some horror games
    do this to great affect with atmosphere and level design


  • Satisfaction / Elation - Probably the most common emotion, which comes from completing a task


  • Disappointment - Common with the failure of a task.


  • Frustration - Also common with the failure of a task. Hard to get players to differientiate between frustration with the games and frustration with things within the game.


  • Greed / Bloodlust - Munchkin games do this alot. "If I can get the Sword of Killing, then I can..." Not in and of itself bad, but can get in the way of immersion if the player is supposed to be about something else (like heroism)


  • Vengefulness - Not as satisfying against AI, but definitely fulfilling if you''ve been beaten a few times or victory was hardwon. Better if personified through a story, or situations where the player is fully immersed, or multiplayer games where we get the strange satisfaction of overcoming another human being


  • Awe - Mostly through graphics and sound, and occassionally through some new technology (like the bot AI of soldiers in Half-Life). Personally, I''d like to see more of this come from the depth of the game world itself


  • Caring / Nurturing - Of all emotions, the older the player the harder this is. A game has to really immerse you I think for you to care about its fictional contents to this depth. Usually achieved by appealing to our sense of vulnerability, or mirroring something within ourselves and the the object to be cared for (to relate to)


  • Defensive Anger - For those very immersed in their game, this can be a powerful emotion. Use of force to harm others who would harm what you care for. This can move players to drastic action, and excite a great deal of energy (meaning it''s probably primal)


  • "Powerlust" - Little napoleon complex. God games, empire games, and the Sims seem to be good for this. An odd emotion that''s not quite like nurturing, as illustrated by those who gleefully drown their sims or sacrifice their virtual millions to enemy onslaughts in the name of war


  • Anger - Better directed the the contents of the game than the game itself. Tricky to do so, though, and I think best done when the player is fully and totally immersed in the game''s universe


  • Hate - Similar to anger. You know your players have an emotional connection with the game when they *hate* a character or place or situation.


  • Uncaring - All too often, the most common failure of games that haven''t made an emotional connection with us. Often this is because of failure of content because of repetition or lack of detail, but to be fair also occurs when players have been socialized away from caring (i.e., it''s too immature) or when the bond-building is interrupted and the process of establishing caring is too on-again / off-again (as when a player starts & stops, doesn''t play for long enough of a time, or fails & restores alot)




Things I haven''t seen too much of or would like to see more of...


  • Shame - Like Diodor''s dog example. Also, could be lack thereof if you''ve really gotten into the role of badguy


  • Fear For (rather than fear of) - Indicating that you *really* care!


  • Joy - I sense this mostly on a low level, and would love to see more of a sense of triumph in games


  • Adoration / Devotion - Oddly enough, something that authors feel free to inspire but gamers are supposed to be embarrassed about. It would be great to play a game that made you feel patriotic, for example, or one which inspired hero worship through excellent characterization




--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have always believed that emotions can be used for every type of game. After reading the two posts about their experiences i believe in the idea even more. Emotions get the player into the game more gets them more involved specially if its just a choice like the one about the little girl or and easter egg like the snake story.These things surprise the player and give them more reasons to continue playing. I just hope that more people realize this and implement these elements in their games.

- Goblineye Entertainment

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think I''ve deduced the link between the two described instances of emotional gameplay:
the NPCs are emotionally involved in the actions of the player!

In the first example, the baby snake says "daddy". That''s just one word, but one that carries an enormous emotional load. Due to a seemingly unimportant action of the player, he or she now has an emotional bond with the NPC.
The same goes for the little girl example. Bringing back her doggie creates a bond between the girl and the player, and it works even if you fail (though it will be a bond of bitterness then).

The solution would then be to add emotions/feelings towards NPCs (and of NPCs towards you) as a game mechanic. Some events and the persons that caused them will cause shifts in the NPC''s feelings towards you. That goes from racking up a huge tab in a shop, to killing someone''s spouse.

People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
Mad Keith the V.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites