Game Development Reference
A fundamental difference between games and most other media is inter-
activity. Topics, films and television programmes, for example, are instances
where the reader or the viewer plays a very passive part in the unfolding of
the story or the imparting of information.While it is true that the reader will
turn the page or the viewer may replay a scene on the DVD, this is only an
interaction with the means of delivery and not an interaction with the world
or the characters contained within it. The advancement of the plot, the
revealing of the story and the development of the character are not reliant on
the interaction of the consumer. The experience the creator intended is
basically the same for everyone.
Games, on the other hand and by their very nature, are highly interactive
from the beginning of play. Not only does the gameplay experience depend
on the way the player interacts with the game, the progress through the game
relies on the skills of the player, which will vary based upon the type of game
played and the difficulty setting the player chooses.
The nature of a game's challenge to the player means that no game can be
all things to all players. The hardcore challenges in high-action games regu-
larly fail to appeal to those who prefer a more cerebral challenge or to those
whose reactions and dexterity prevent them from mastering the key or
button combinations required to develop the game's moves.The labelling of
games into types or genres is a hotly-debated topic, but one that enables the
potential player to judge whether they are likely to enjoy the gameplay
experience or not. Someone who is browsing the shelves of the local game
shop for something that will give a blood-filled, action-packed experience
wants to be able to find what he or she is looking for without ambiguity.
The writer, like the other members of a development team, must be aware
of the degree of interactivity and the style which will be employed in the game.
The game should, for the most part, meet the expectations of its target market.
This does not mean that games cannot introduce new developments into the
genre - in fact, the market almost demands that this happens - but the fun-
damental gameplay must remain faithful to the type of gameplay that defines
the genre. Over time, the genre may change as a result of regular, small changes
and many genres are very different now to what they were ten years ago.