Working on My Comics and lately working to develop my first 3D adventure game made me focus more on learning some storytelling techniques which i have never thought of, or better to say i have never paid direct attention to. These concerns came to my mind more in last couple of years while trying to design my game.
Doin some research on the subject I stumbled upon some names and some Interesting Books, reads.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – One of them is how to make a balance between Challenge, Skill, Anxiety and Boredom. These four elements are intricately related and must be carefully balanced to create an immersive and engaging experience for the audience (reader / Player). So, Let’s take aquick look at each element and how they relate to game design.
Challenge is an essential part of any adventure game. Without it, the game would be too easy, and players would quickly lose interest. The challenge must be balanced, however, to avoid frustrating players. A game that is too challenging may cause players to give up and quit playing. Conversely, a game that is too easy will not be engaging enough. Game designers must carefully balance the challenge of their game to provide players with a sense of accomplishment and reward.
Skill is another critical element in adventure game design. Players need to feel that their skills are improving as they progress through the game. A game that doesn’t allow players to develop their skills will become boring quickly. Game designers must provide players with a variety of challenges that require different skills to overcome. For example, puzzles require problem-solving skills, while combat requires quick reflexes and strategic thinking.
Anxiety can be a useful tool for game designers. Creating a sense of tension and anxiety in players can make the game more immersive and engaging. Players need to feel that there is something at stake in the game. Whether it’s the safety of their character or the fate of the game world, players should feel invested in the outcome of the game. A game which makes the player too Anxious is doomed to be uninstalled so anxiety must be balanced with other elements to avoid overwhelming players and causing them to quit playing.
Boredom is the enemy of any game designer. A game that is anxiety-Less or Boring is also doomed to lose players. Designing a game, we have to provide players with enough variety and challenge to keep them engaged. I think it does not need to be puzzles or Riddles, Sometime you can even count on Aesthetics. You can use both sight and sound to keep the players Attracted. Exactly like when you are telling a story or making a comic book and you use a combination of Layout design, dialogues, actions and drawings to keep your Audience engaged with your narrative. However, If i am not wrong,I think too much of a good thing can also cause problems. The Audience needs a break from challenging gameplay to avoid burnout. Luckily It is not easy to provide that much of a Goodness in one game but anyway balancing the storyline and game experience with moments of relaxation to keep players engaged is not an Easy task either.
What i wrote above is an articulation of some reading i have done recently. So if you are interested to read some good theoric book on the subject i would suggest Flow written by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and also another great book called The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses written by Jesse Schell.
Schell also talks about the matter of Choice, which is also one of my concerns in my current game design project and i will talk about it later on in my next posts (Hopefully).