• Jen Zenoni posted an update 8 years, 8 months ago

    What is a Game?
    There are four things that help make up a game: goals, rules, challenges and interaction (Game,Wikipedia, 2013). If you sit down and play cards, a video game or a board game. From the geico there is a clear goal for all in the players in the game. Get all of the cards, defeat the Collectors or get all of your pawns to the home base. Without goals players have no desire to complete the game.
    In addition to goals, there need to be a set of rules, either written down or verbal about how the game is played. Without the rules, players can quickly get confused and they get frustrated because they do not understand how to advance in the game. Take Mass Effect 1 for instance, they did a terrible job explaining their upgrade system with the armor and weapons. With no rules explaining how their weapon/armor upgrade system worked, players were left to figure it out on their own, which cost them their power shields and some of their health.
    Challenges are key to any game. If a game is too easy, we get bored. Likewise, if a game is too hard we want to quit. There needs to be a good balance for the players. Another key point to game challenges is the players choice. The Mass Effect and Bioshock series do a great job of implementing challenges and how the player’s choices affect the outcome. It makes the player more focused on what story they want to be a part of. If the player has no choice in what they can do when a challenge arises (renegade the entire bit, paragon, let people live/die etc.) the players do not feel like they are apart of the story that the game is telling. Last but not least to help make up a game: interaction. Whether it is talking to squad when you are walking around the Citadel or talking smack to a friend while playing Egyptian Rat Screw, interaction helps keep the player invested in what they are playing. Interaction also helps move the story along, if there was no interaction between Shepard and the Alliance (Mass Effect 1) the good guys would not have been able to go after Saren.

    According to Game Design Concepts a games are not real, referring to games as the “Magic Circle”, meaning its a barrier protecting the games fantasy elements from the cruel reality of everyday life (Magic Circle,Wikipedia,2013). Which makes perfect sense. Games are supposed to be a release from our everyday selves. In board games like Sorry, you are systematically trying to crush your opponents so you can get your guys home first. That kind of brutality is (hopefully) not an everyday occurrence.

    To sum it up, games needs four common concepts: goals, rules, challenges and interaction. Probably the most crucial aspect needed in games, is to be engrossed in the game, forgetting our everyday lives and embracing whatever story the game is telling us.

    Works Cited
    Magic Circle (Virtual Worlds)

    Game Design Concepts
    Level 1: Overview / What is a Game?