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Leicester, United Kingdom
Studying BA (Hons) Game Art Design at De Montfort University. It continues to be challenging as much as rewarding. Primary outcomes include 2D and 3D projects and 2am coffees.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Elements of game design

So...gameplay. Well as the name might suggest, it defines the interacting aspects of a video game. This can be broken down into major themes such as environment, characters, interactions, missions and so on. Each of them should be at a certain standard in order for the game to be a critical success. Reading the gameplay tab on video game pages on Wikipedia gives a detailed overview of the game format and what exactly the player goes through, as well as explaining the game interface and interactions.
These categories are what deem a game ''fun and playable'', we look for subliminal aspects and key themes that draw us into it in the first place and encourage us to progress through it, even at times where we come to a standstill. This applies for games all any genre or era, even arcade classics such as Space Invaders or the mobile game Snake, you reach that point where you get to a certain level or have played it for so long, and you just cannot keep going.
The availability of Multiplayer encouraged this competitive behaviour and whoever was in the top 100 or had the highest score was important. Despite this not being really significant in real life, it still gives you that sense of pride and you feel motivated to beat yourself. Other games include a puzzle to them give the game a good ol' twist, it's shows there's more to it then slicing your way through your foes to find the light at the end of the tunnel.

For example Within Darksiders' areas there are generally puzzles and exploration is required to continue, usually setting off mechanics that have a time limit or having limited windows to traverse from A to B. I enjoy it also because of the whole Heaven vs. Hell theme and what have you.

I tell ya, the number of times I have had to refer to youtube tutorials in get from one area to another, its shameful, needless to say in my PS2 days whenver I asked for a game I usually asked for the guide as well, so I knew the location of every collectable and so on- but hey, that's just me being enthusiastic. On this note, I look foward to the summer release of Darksiders II Death Lives.

I think the quality of the gameplay is set by the ease of playing the game and also the duration of the game which in turn is set by the tasks/collectables built into the game design. There are key attributes which come together to set the overall game quality – the player’s involvement in the game, the amount of learning involved to progress in the game, the satisfaction that the game gives in terms of player achievement, the emotional connection with the game and also whether the game can be enjoyed as a group or by ones self.
As it has been hinted through previous blogs - what draws me to games is the hidden revelations or secret story or plot. The intentions of the various protagonists are also important to me as I feel more connected to them that way and I want to help them. An example would be in the case of Assassin’s Creed where I took great pleasure in having Ezio hunt down the Templar’s and slaughtering those supporting them - after watching Ezio’s family being executed.

Although I have not fully explored the range of games of this kind, I have become attached to games where you have a choice in what you do, how your actions can change the course of the game and how you can have the option to say different things when in conversation with NPCs,
I first experienced this in The Phantom Menace on PS1, the graphics of which to this day still make me sick as they literally had no faces! It was a pixelated blur for the whole figure. Still the game provided good fun for me at the time, it was either this or A Bugs Life for me!

Ok I am clearly rambling on having gotten myself speaking my mind, I will have much more to say on the matter when we get to the character chapter of Elements of game design- sure do look foward to that one.

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