Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
moving towards achieving them.Variations on this example could be that the
player is forced to sacrifice the sidekick in order to get the information, but will
attempt a rescue when it has been delivered. Or the player can plant a tracking
device on the vehicle in which the sidekick is being abducted. Or it could all
be a ruse and the sidekick being taken is part of a larger plan which ends in
the sidekick being revealed as the true antagonist.The possibilities are endless.
A few years ago the ideas behind game design and development were often
different from what they are now. At one time some designers thought that
the purpose of setting puzzles and other gameplay obstacles was to stump the
player. A kind of 'they'll never get past this' attitude existed as if the designer
was in a battle to defeat the player. Thankfully this approach to design has
pretty much died out and the idea of obstacles is to provide challenges, but
ones that can be overcome through the use of the gameplay features the player
has at her disposal. Gameplay is seen as a partnership between the developers
and the players to provide an enjoyable balance between conflict and reward
without the player becoming frustrated by a seemingly impossible barrier.
Story and character interaction are an important part of this blend and the
player must not become frustrated because they are unable to keep track of
the plot or interacting with certain characters makes no sense.When playing
a game in a different order confuses the plot or fails to produce the right
character responses because the triggers have not been tripped, then you
need to put in a lot of work to correct this oversight. Be aware of these
potential pitfalls or you run the risk of obstructing the player's progress and
taking away their motivation to play.
You should also ensure that the use of contradiction is not replacing true
character conflict. Having two characters simply arguing back and forth
serves no purpose other than to exasperate the player with a scene that is
going nowhere. Game players can be very impatient with anything that halts
or slows their playing of the game, so any scene - interactive or otherwise -
must create a feeling of interest for the player.
As is normal in other media, scenes should be constructed so that there is
a difference when it ends.The characters will have clear intentions when they
enter a scene, and what happens during the scene and how it ends is depen-
dent on the motivations of the characters and how they are able to use them
to their advantage during any conflict.
For a story that is entirely linear, the writer is able to take control of all
the scenes in the game. However, when the story is non-linear and the scenes
are interactive, the dialogue choices of the player or the order in which the
 
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