Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
November 20, 2019
arrowPress Releases







If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


 

Pacing, flow and education: this week in videogame blogging

by Critical Distance on 04/20/16 12:30:00 pm   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Zoya Street on how game designers can think about user experience.

Pacing

This week exemplifies that discussions about the interrelationship between interaction and narrative cannot simply be boiled down to the question of "ludonarrative dissonance." Here we have three pieces in one week that address interaction from the perspective of narrative pacing.

"By removing the safety net of unlimited saves and transforming the “grind” from a necessary evil into a ludological metaphor for the player’s uphill battle to the surface, Dragon Quarter puts the player in the same viscerally anxious emotional state as the characters."

Flow

At the moment we're witnessing a fascinating critical engagement with the oft-cited conceptualization of perfect user experience as balance between frustration and boredom.

"Csikszentmihalyi’s “flow” is often conceptualized as opposite ends of a spectrum; they are non-overlapping experiences due to the inverse relationship of the variables (“skill” and “challenge”) involved. But, I found that Shelter made anxiety and boredom set in simultaneously—I did not have the skills to intuit where I was supposed to go and what I was supposed to accomplish, and so anxiety was running fiercely in my blood. However, once I scaled my attention up from the diegetic level of the game, I found myself, strangely enough, bored at the exact same time, for the simple reason that I knew a higher level of skill would not have altered anything about my experience."

Education

Writers from various fields of expertise are taking a fresh look at not just educational games, but more broadly, the role of play in developing familiarity with a subject.

"[...]it doesn’t really feel like a game. It’s more like a destination, a technical tool, a cultural scene, or all three put together: a place where kids engineer complex machines, shoot videos of their escapades that they post on YouTube, make art and set up servers, online versions of the game where they can hang out with friends."

Critical Distance is community-supported. You can pitch in with Patreon or Paypal. Got suggestions about some pieces we should feature next week? Send them through Twitter or by email.


Related Jobs

Sucker Punch Productions
Sucker Punch Productions — Bellevue, Washington, United States
[11.19.19]

Encounter Designer
Wevr
Wevr — Venice, California, United States
[11.19.19]

Environment Artist
Sucker Punch Productions
Sucker Punch Productions — Bellevue, Washington, United States
[11.18.19]

QA Tester
Insomniac Games
Insomniac Games — Burbank, California, United States
[11.18.19]

Lead Level Designer





Loading Comments

loader image