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Karu-bg

Mechanics for Predictability & Control Principles

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So I was thinking in game feel & Mechanics at the logic step level... I end up remembering all those "Game & Watch" games, were mechanics were very "honest" to the player, by showing them the "inners" of their worlds, so the player could easily foresee/predict the game, giving him a sense of control.

 

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A game with this kind of mechanics, without being the "Game&Watch kind" would be Punch Out.

 

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But, as technology Improved, those Game Design ways were buried in the past...

 

So I'm currently thinking to employ this feel as depicted in those games. 

 

Do you guys know about modern games like this?? A "complex" game would be possible with those same principles, there is any living example of this??

 

any reference of this kind of mechanics at a subtle level?? 

Edited by Karu-bg

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At a subtle level, the use of Punch-Out style "tells" for enemy attacks is almost ubiquitous in action games, especially in boss fights.  And lots of twitch action games are perfect information games -- shmups come to mind as games where basically everything is laid out on the table for you, and your job is to watch, learn, plan hone your reactions.  Same with arcade-style mobile games like Super Hexagon, precision platformers, any game where the main mechanic is "Don't collide with bad thing"; if they hid information, it'd be unfair.  

 

Likewise with some kinds of stealth games.  The mechanics aren't a mystery -- stay out of vision cones, basically -- and guard patterns are learnable; your job is to watch, learn, plan.  And many puzzle games, of course.  Lemmings doesn't pull many surprises on you; you know what they're going to do.  And strategy games that directly descend from boardgames, or take boardgames as their inspiration, usually have pretty transparent systems.  

 

Anyway, for games with a more complex simulation underneath, I definitely agree.  Not that every game needs to have its innards laid out -- figuring out a mysterious black box is another kind of fun -- but it's a breath of fresh air sometimes when a game is honest about what's inside.  

 

One thing to look at would be the style of tactical combat games where there are few or no dice rolls: Michael Brough's roguelikes (like ZAGA-33), Hoplite, Ending, or Auro.  Once you get a hang of the rules, you pretty much know what's coming next; how you perform is mostly a function of how many turns in advance you want to think.

 

Neat idea to think about: "Brough's principle", that once you have a randomly generated world you don't necessarily need additional randomness.  The rest of the game could be deterministic and there could still be enough gameplay variety so long as gameplay elements interact in an interesting way with the generated world. There are a lot of genres to which we could apply Brough's Principle and the results would be pretty interesting.

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