Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
other. If players knew for sure which character would win, there would be no
enjoyment in a battle, nor reason for one. However, the game uses die rolls,
which, in combination with their ability levels, are used to calculate success or
failure. The computer game does the same thing. This mechanism has flowed
through into almost all games to give an element
of chance in situations and to make the outcome unknown.
4.3.5 Mixing
Mixing actions involves the combining of objects or actions to produce an
outcome unachievable otherwise. In day-to-day life, people mix ingredients
to make food, paint pigments to make new colors, and multitask actions
to get jobs completed more quickly.
In computer games, actions can be combined to allow characters to perform
tasks they couldn't do with single actions, for example, jumping while running
to leap across a crevasse in the game world or combining multiple keystrokes
to perform special moves such as those available to characters in the fighting
game Super Smash Brothers .
Combining game objects to produce other game objects is also an example of
mixing. For example, in Doodle God , players begin with the four elements (fire,
wind, earth, and water) that they must combine in different combinations to
discover other objects such as coal, turtles, and plasma. In The Sims Medieval ,
the wizard character has the ability to mix herbs and minerals to make
potions.
4.3.6 Timing
Human society is run by time. Even before the advent of mechanical time-
keeping devices, the earth's revolution around the sun meant humans were
constantly on a time schedule.
The use of time in a computer game can be applied to as a game mechanic.
It could involve completing a task within an allotted time, timing an action,
or waiting for some event to occur. This mechanism is used to instigate
urgency in situations such as racing, whether it be against the clock or an
opponent or to generate anticipation when waiting for something to occur
or forcing patience upon a player who has to wait for the game environment
to change.
Time is a blatant obvious mechanism in racing games. It is used in Project
Gotham , for example, to determine how long it takes a player to get around a
track. This time is then converted into points. If the time is better than another
set time, it may unlock another track or racing car.
In EVE Online , time is used to add respect to the long process of training one's
character with new skills. In the only massively multiplayer role-playing game,
players may fly larger and faster ships only when they have trained for long
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