Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Design for Unique Familiarity; Respect Your Players But
Gently Guide Them
This section includes some final thoughts about getting started from Robert Thomas, Chief Creative Officer of
RjDj, a studio founded by Michael Breidenbruecker that developed the official immersive entertainment iOS
app for the movie Inception (which attracted millions of downloads) and the upcoming iOS augmented audio
game Dimensions.
Be Different and Be Familiar
Thomas says, “I believe that people are basically bored with the same old game forms. They will always con-
sume yet another physics-based puzzler, to a certain extent. But if you give them something exciting and differ-
ent to spark their imagination, it will make you stand out and give them exciting new experiences. On the other
hand, if it is too different, you will be faced with a product that is impossible to describe. This can be tricky, so
hitting a good balance between innovation/surprise and familiarity/understandability is key.”
“Fruit Ninja is a good example. It's different in that it takes full advantage of the unique capability of the
device touchscreen, but it's familiar in that it's an accuracy-based time trial with a bit of luck thrown in. There
is a familiar basis to the game which is easy to grasp but also is an exciting new twist.” See Figure 12-4 .
Respect Your Players, But Guide Them with Care
“I believe that trying to pull a fast one on your users backfires. People are so aware of anything that smells of
manipulation to achieve goals that are not oriented around benefit for the user. Align their benefit with yours,”
says Thomas. “Equally, it is important to guide them carefully to all the good fun stuff in your game. It always
surprises me how much guidance they will need to do things you consider to be obvious and how little guidance
it will take for deep gamers to find the things you thought nobody would ever find.”
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