Saturday, 10 January 2009

Play the Game? L-No I won't fall for that again!

I covered this briefly in a task a few weeks ago but let's see if I can't delve deeper into the subject. It's been an awful long time since I actually had the chance to sit and play a game. The lack of a TV at my university place and the fact my laptop can barely run Minesweeper without crashing, both prove troublesome when trying to pursue the life of a gamer. Sad really.

The last game I played was probably my ten-hour Sims 2 marathon a few days ago and a couple of hours on Guitar Hero last week. Neither of which could be considered true games, I guess. Before that I played WoW probably some time in October. Each of these games has a different style of gameplay and all are fun to play if you are in the right mood/frame of mind.

Gameplay is generally described as the overall experience a game has on the player, as well as the different ways a player can interact with the game. It often used as a handy umbrella term to describe a wider range of uncategorisable things such as audio, visuals, moods, controls ..among other things.

Personally, I take gameplay to mean the way the game plays. This is most appropriate definition logically. ...and of course it's important - how could a playable game exist without gameplay?

I suppose you can lump certain games together that have similar gameplay mechanics. Mainly games from the same genre: FPSs, Football games... Simulation games. For these you could compile a list of rules for their gameplay. However, those rules wouldn't be relevant for different games.

The Sims 2 allows you to control almost every aspect of life from a third-person view. Basically you get to play God, making decisions on whether your subjects have a happy life or a miserable one. There is no set way to play the game - You could just spend hours building houses if you wished, and there is no way to win or lose (unless you count the death of a Sim as a loss).
Unreal Tournament, on the other hand, gives you first-person control over the character you play as. i.e. You ARE the character, directly responsible for their actions and whether he or she lives or dies (and how many kills he or she gets).

Can gameplay be designed into a game?
In a way I suppose it can. To make a successful sequel you will need to look at the gameplay of the previous game(s) and incorporate it into the new game. Also, if you want to make a new action game, then you could look at previous action games for ideas as to what makes a successful action game (and the things that make action games fail).

And I'm running out of things to say...

- The dougalBUG.

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