Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Play the Game! ...Lose the Game? (DAMMIT!)

Right, there is way too much sugar in my tea so expect randomosity and gobble-de-gook! Also, my head is still pounding from a couple of close encounters with the floor so lets take things slowly, 'ey?... *coughs*

Straight in then. What is meant by gameplay? *fires up Google*

"Gameplay: Ambiguous term for the total effect of all active game elements. Refers to the holistic game experience and the ability of the game to command the attention of the player." -
...Say what now?

That's a pretty ambiguous definition if you ask me! I take it that gameplay is the experience that a game has on the player, mentally, physically and emotionally; and the way it allows him or her to interact with the game world.

For instance! (LFG: SFK!)
World of WarCraft's gameplay is notorious for its soul-draining effect on the player. Am I heading the right way with this?

Horror genre (Fear, Silent Hill etc.) games scare the player, messes with his or her head and gives them nightmares for weeks... as do fluffy pink bunny games, though for entirely different reasons I'm sure!
Er. Moving on!

So I went around a few of my friends and asked them what their favourite games were and why. After I got past the "-Game Name Here- because it's AWESOME!" I actually discovered that there were some recurring reasons for their love of seemingly totally different games. Almost everyone said they liked said game for the 'gameplay' though when pushed; few could elaborate. "...y'know? The controls... battle system? That sorta stuff!"

The Resultz!:
1st. World of WarCraft (Most likely due to my vast number of MSN contacts met through the soul-trap).
2nd. Assassin's Creed. (People like the avatar control it offers).
2nd. Final Fantasy(s) (Long, involving plots, character development etc.)
3rd Fallout. (Post-apocalyptic setting and the battle system)
4th. Legend of Zelda (Solving puzzles)
4th. Sonic the Hedgehog. (Retroooo, love of platformer games)
5th. The Jedi Knight series. (Lightsabers, 'nuff said - Thanks for the enlightening input, Jonny. T.T)


The leading lights in Game Design! The lights at the front. ...Game design has headlights? ^^; Surely this means the big-shots in the industry. EA? Squeenix...
Hmm. *looks back at the survey results*

- Blizzard Entertainment must be doing something right to have so many subscribers pumping money into their game.
- Ubisoft know how to make a game with engaging controls and an assassin that can scale walls and shank Medieval guardsmen.
- Squaresoft (now Square Enix) have always known how to make a game with an involving plot. Kingdom Hearts and the (Never) Final Fantasy being prime examples.
- Nintendo and Sega are just giants.. or at least were.
- Black Isles Studios (Fallout) and Lucas Arts (Jedi Knight), however, are pretty unknown to me.


Where does game design take place in the modern developer? Hmm, well that makes little sense in my semi-concussed state. Let's take developer to mean development company...

Where does game design take place in the modern development company? ...Well that'd be the design department surely? Lead Designer, Game Designer, Character Designer, Environment Designer... or am I reading this wrong?

On the other hand, if the modern developer is the Game Developer (as a person) then game design takes place in their imagination?
...No. That doesn't seem right either.

Rarely is the game design left to one single person. Usually it is split among the design team with each individual taking responsibility for a certain aspect of the overall design - characters, story, environment etc. (Yay, tangent!)


Imagine, if you will, the development team from "Barbie's Magical Adventures in Pretty Pink Land" set to work on "Death From Below: The Rising." (Typical zombie game, shoot them or get your brains gnawed.) What horrors would we face if the guy at the top decided they weren't going to adapt to suit the atmosphere of the game? Zombies dressed in pink? Bows in their hair? ...Ponies! Ugh, the very thought of such a game makes me nauseous. T.T

Of course, it works both ways. What would happen if the Death From Below team worked on a Pretty Pink game without changing their style... Not only would it be totally lacking in pinkness but you would face awkward questions come Christmas morning: "Mummy, why are there maggots falling out of the pony's ear?"

I fail at explaining. Can I write a story instead, pl0x? *puppy-dog eyes*


My favourite game... is a tough one. I like a broad range of genres and play styles. From World of WarCraft to Sonic the Hedgehog and Pokémon: Emerald to Unreal Tournament... Kingdom Hearts too.

When I play, I want the game to suit my mood. If I'm not in the right mood for a game then I'm not going to enjoy playing. If I'm ill and feeling sorry for myself then I am -not- going to sit and play Unreal just to watch myself get blown into flying giblets of bloody flesh. Likewise, if I'm in a competitive mood I'm not going to sit making a little blue hedgehog collect golden rings for hours on end...

I like games that engage me. I don't want top-notch graphics or senseless, never-ending violence. Just good gaming is all I ask. Give me a plot, something with a bit of involvement and I'm all set to play for hours.

And that’s enough rambles for today.

-The dougalBUG.

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