Game Maker's Garage Forum

Game Maker's Garage => Trash Talk => Topic started by: Gan on April 21, 2015, 08:49:30 PM

Title: Basing game events on feelings
Post by: Gan on April 21, 2015, 08:49:30 PM
I had this idea, when I make a game(or try to) I try to make something cool and complex. Space and shooting, fancy physics. But I've never gotten past the engine.

So the idea is what if we based game events on feelings.

A few weeks ago I got lost in the woods while running. (True story) Miles from civilization and light had just gone with the sunset. My legs were getting torn up from bushes, my shoes were soaked with water and I was worried about wild animals. I only had my iPhone's backlight to see a few feet in front of me. At the point were I was most hopeless, I saw lights in the distance and met some moonlight 4-wheelers that were able to take me back to camp.

Initial Feeling: Hopeless and slightly scared
Final Feeling: Relief

My theory is that games we consider good have a very positive Initial to Final Feeling amount.
Games that are bad have no difference between Initial and Final Feeling or a negative difference.

I lagged in a game of League of Legends and it cost me the game.

Initial Feeling: In control, good, hopeful
Final Feeling: Out of control, bad, hopeless

In that situation I got fed up with playing.

Another situation is Minecraft. I started placing blocks, placed more blocks, monotony got to me and I stopped.

Initial Feeling: Neutral
Final Feeling: Neutral

There was no positive feeling gain so I stopped playing Minecraft.

So the idea is that we need to get the Initial Feeling as low as possible and the Final Feeling as high as possible.

My game event idea I want to try to create to test this theory:
Player starts a mission where he has to destroy incoming enemies. He is able to handle it fairly decently. Then it starts getting more and more difficult. It is almost more than he can bear. Then the enemies increase by 10 fold. We are pushing the player to the breaking point.
Then the player gets rescued.

Initial Feelings: Distressed, hopeless, frustrated
Final Feelings: Relieved, happy, smiling, successful

People will like it because of the massive difference between the two feelings.
There's many different feelings. Curiosity is a great initial feeling, a terrible final feeling. Satisfaction is a great final feeling.

Can you guys think of more feelings that would work for Initial and Final feeling states?
Title: Re: Basing game events on feelings
Post by: Connors on April 22, 2015, 01:52:48 AM
While this is a great storytelling technique, the player tends to feel better about things if they EARN the end result through completing a difficult task, that is, you should feel like you are working towards the goal of reaching the person who is there to rescue you instead of having the game give you the rescue when you're about to die.
I don't disagree with your theory, but I would like to add that the feeling of accomplishment is important, i.e. when you lagged out of your LoL game you didn't get to accomplish what you set out to do so you achieved no reward. In a game, if you do something difficult, you should be rewarded. You can also reward players for taking risks, for example, a powerup might be difficult to reach, and reaching it isn't required if you're trying to beat the game, but if you do reach it you are rewarded with some kind of bonus. So the risk/reward theory is very similar to this negative-to-positive feelings theory.
Title: Re: Basing game events on feelings
Post by: Gan on April 22, 2015, 05:08:58 PM
Nice parallel.

I think we're on to something.
Title: Re: Basing game events on feelings
Post by: WarHampster on April 28, 2015, 03:13:30 AM
This is why game design is so difficult. You want the player to experience a sense of progress and completion but there's always the possibility that the player will lose (as in your League example) or just wander around and get bored (Minecraft).

The Call of Duty solution is to hold your hand and keep things strictly linear, but that doesn't always go over well. Why not just watch a movie, right?

I think the ideal solution would be an artificial intelligence that acts like the dungeon master of a pen and paper RPG and changes things dynamically to create a certain experience.

I also think that if you want to have what amounts to a three-act narrative structure then you don't really want to be making a game.
Title: Re: Basing game events on feelings
Post by: Connors on April 29, 2015, 10:10:42 PM
I would argue that if your game has a story and the story follows popular narrative conventions then you can DEFINITELY have a three-act structure if you want. There are many story-driven games.

As for making progress, this is an idea I was thinking about today:
Players of your game will look at new things they haven't seen and ask themselves, "what is this thing"? And when they interact with these things, it's fun to find that this new thing has a function. If there are many things like this in your game, then when players see something new they won't just ask "what is this thing"? They will also have to ask "What does this thing do " ?

And it dawned upon me that in the world of Minecraft, everything you find has a name, and almost everything has potential to have a unique function. Thus, everything you look at has potential and you don't just explore the world, you interact with all the types of blocks (and creatures) and find out what they do. First, you discover new and interesting things. THEN, you discover how to USE those things in different ways! AND MINECRAFT IS SUPER ADDICTING. And there are people who are true Minecraft fanatics, but have become bored with Minecraft, so they install MODS and those MODS do nothing but add NEW TYPES OF BLOCKS AND CREATURES to discover new uses for. :L

TL;DR: Players get curious upon finding things in a videogame that they have not seen before. And upon interacting with these new things, it's fun to find that these things have a function. And thus, in a good game, you explore the game and ask not only what everything IS, but also what everything DOES. :D :D