Cycle 3- Activity 1: Player Experience Goals

The studio’s initial idea for the player experience goals for this cycle were from games that focused on the camera side view and that revealed the entire map of the level rather than games that scroll sideward as the player completes the level. The games we focused on were mainly indie games such as N++ and Fancy Pants. With these games in mind the player experience goals the studio came up with were the following player experience goals:

  1. Players will feel a sense of competiveness and tension rather than relaxation.
  2. Players will face obstacles that are designed to get them questioning their path to the goal.
  3. Players will feel excited and tense navigating around obstacles using their reflexes and agility.
  4. Player will have to compete with one another to win, while still feeling a sense of comradery.

For this game cycle the studio had to consider a specific target audience as well as some big gaming concepts. For the target audience the studio had choose between four possible targets which were: Bob, Brittany, Sally and Sam. Each target audience has their own personality and desires that we had to consider when constructing the game. The target audience the studio has decided to go with is that of 12 years old boy, Sam. Sam generally enjoys games like Minecraft and Pokémon Go. The games Sam plays also rely heavily on Sam’s parent’s approval. Another consideration we had to take into account was the fact that Sam only plays for 30 mins a day so the games need to be short and quick and they should be easy to pick up and put down. The last point that the studio had to consider about Sam is that he likes to make his own games, although he can only use simple tools at the moment. With our target audience in mind we started with brainstorming some conceptual elements that Sam would enjoy engaging with. Some examples of ideas we considered were valour, heroism and survival. The ideas we ultimately went with were a sense of curiosity and exploration. We believed that Sam would enjoy games with these concepts as an underlying feature. This is because Sam enjoys games like Minecraft which allows the player to discover solutions to problems and fulfill their curiosity by exploring the world.

With these ideas in mind and taking into consideration the target audience, we came up with two game ideas that were also influenced by our example games. The studio contemplated two game ideas: one where a thief stole art while trying to not be caught and a lab rat inside a science experiment. The first game idea of the thief was that the player would play as thief inside a museum. We called the game “The Art Heist.” The player had to locate priceless art situated in different places within the level while dogging various traps designed to stop the player. After collecting all the artwork the player could then reach the exit in order to escape and reach the next level. The player also had the opportunity to collect coins for extra points and after collecting around 100 coins the player would gain a life. The second game idea was of a lab rat inside a science experiment in a laboratory. This game would be called “Cheese and Crackers.” The player would play as a mouse inside a hamster ball who collects cheese and then finds their way to the end of the experiment. While completing this objective the player has to avoid various traps such mouse traps, hazardous pools of chemicals, and patrolling enemy rats. To make the game kid friendly the traps are non-fatal, instead they will merely hinder the player by pushing him back. Along with the collecting of the cheese players can collect crackers that provide additional points. However, unlike the cheese, there is no need for the player to collect all the crackers. At the end of the game a score board appears displaying three crackers if the player collects all three crackers. If the player only collects two then only two crackers will appear. This will give Sam a goal to aim for aside from collecting the cheese and moving on from the next level. Sam will spend time collecting all the crackers on each level trying get the highest score. The full game would also include a multiplayer aspect so that the player can compete with friends. As a studio we decided that the game idea that would fit the criteria the most was the “Cheese and Crackers” game. This is because Sam would enjoy its fun and joyful design, with added excitement and tension, as well as being able to play with his friends. The game would also appeal to Sam’s parents because of the game’s lack of violent consequences and its upbeat, kid friendly appearance and mood. It would also provide a chance for the parents to play the game with their child.  For this game we have decided to combine some of player experience goals into one that would suit this game type and also our target audience target, Sam. This goal is:

Players will feel a sense of excitement and tension navigating around obstacles using their reflexes and agility

For this game we believe that the player will tap into all player experiences. These experiences are the player’s cognitive, physical and social attributes as well as their emotional and creative responses. To start, the player’s creative experience would be the player’s experimenting and associating patterns when it comes to finding paths to avoid enemies.  For the players emotional response the key experience that we focused on was to experience a sense of joy whilst playing. The player’s experience of social aspects would be with the games multiplayer aspect which will give the player a sense of competition with his friends as well as promoting communication with others when discussing the gameplay. The player’s cognitive abilities are utilized when the player experiences comprehending and analysing the tasks involved in successfully completing each level. The last experience is the player’s physical ability in the game in using hand eye coordination and reflexes. As stated in our player experience goals, we focused on the player’s agility and reflexes we also added how accurate the player will be and increase the speed at which the player could complete the level. We will invoke these experiences by using a number of factors. First with the look and feel of the game to make sure we were consistent with our kid friendly design. We also looked at the story of the player and why the player would want to do what we want them to do. Along with the look of the game we considered the games mechanics and the purpose of objects within the game level. However, the only way to see whether the game truly meets our goals is to test it. All of these aspects will help create a game that is exciting for not only Sam but anyone who would like to pick up the game and play.

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