By Vince Vader
I want to discuss in this post the importance of creating relevant experiences for players inside the video games. The idea of writing about this subject came from a brief discussion I had with a game designer friend.
Nowadays we have more complex tools to create amazing experiences in video game platforms like 3d graphics, complex soundtrack and interaction with motion devices (like Kinect). But if we think about famous video games from the past, it is possible to notice that game designers created amazing experiences with few resources, too.
Technology changed a lot of things in this area, but the essence of creating a good gaming experience is still the same: players want to have fun.
I always like to use classic games as examples, and I want to use Space Invaders (Tomohiro Nishikado, Taito, 1978) as a good case study in this subject. Space Invaders had limited resources in its creation but it’s a great game still today.
Space Invaders has all the things a game needs to give the player a great experience:
1) Simple and elegant interface. You just need to move left/right, shoot aliens in the sky and try to protect your ship in the limited energy fields;
2) The game has tension. As the invaders come closer, they get faster;
3) The game has no soundtrack, but it has a constant and scary sound (like a heartbeat) that gets faster as the invaders come closer.
As we can see, limited resources did not prevent the creation of a great > game.
As Nitsche wrote: “the narrative perspective emerges from the available interactive options, but also from the way the space is told to the player. The mediated plane works like a narrative filter between the rule-based plane and the play space” (2008, page 145).
So? What do you think about that?
NITSCHE, Michael. VIDEO GAME SPACES - image, play and structure in 3Dnworlds. Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2008