Don't Dream It, Beat ItComplications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty Screenwriting, TV and Game Writing Blog


April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

January 2015

February 2015

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

June 2015

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017

January 2018

March 2018

April 2018

June 2018

July 2018

October 2018

November 2018

December 2018

January 2019

February 2019

November 2019

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

August 2020

September 2020

October 2020

December 2020

January 2021

February 2021

March 2021

May 2021

June 2021

November 2021

December 2021

January 2022

February 2022

August 2022

September 2022

November 2022


Saturday, November 23, 2013

At MIGS, I attended a superb talk by Ian Frazier (@tibermoon) of Bioware, on how next-gen consoles are going to affect game design. The core of the talk was how their capabilities (e.g. second screen, ability to share pictures and video) will magnify the 8 Drives to Play.

8 drives, you say? What are these eight drives? Ian crystallized them as follows:

1. Feel It (Escapist Immersion) –

Losing yourself in a fantasy world where everything is more compelling than it is here in your life. Contrast is all about escaping into a fantasy world:

AC4: Black Flag lets you be a pirate. Arrrr!

Another way to phrase this might be "Put Me In a Story." Games don't just tell (or show) a story. They put the player in a story which he lives through. So Far Cry 3 puts you in the story of an innocent California boy who becomes a badass. Spec Ops: The Line puts you in the story of Captain Walker's descent into madness. (I think I know why they call him Captain Walker. But I digress.)

 2. Learn It (System Mastery) –

Learning how the game's different rules interact with each other. Discovering the synergies. Figuring out how to build your character. Understanding what's important and what's not. You feel smart when you figure it all out.

Civilization is all about system mastery. Also, Starcraft. Also, chess.

3. Beat It (Skill Mastery) –

Win the game. Beat the boss. The harder the game is, the more powerful your triumph. Shadow of the Colossus.

4. See It All (Content) –

Exploring the environment. Climbing to the top of the mountain to get the view. Discovering the secret passages and the hidden rooms. Meeting every boss.

This is another drive that Contrast plays to. Also, Far Cry.

5. Help Your Friends (Cooperative Play) –

Playing as a team. An innate human drive since we were chasing mammoths around the mountains. Army of Two exists entirely because of this drive. Also, football, soccer, lacrosse, crew, etc.

6. Crush Your Enemies (Competitive Play) –

See them run before you. Hear the lamentation of their women.

Mortal Kombat. Also, boxing, tennis, ping-pong, poker, and fairground pie competitions.

7. Impress Everyone (Peacocking) –

I'm riding a feathered rhino! And you know how hard they are to get! Some WoW players live for this.

8. Build Something (Creation) –

This is the drive at the heart of Minecraft (though peacocking is there too, online). Also, Lego, Lincoln Logs and the Erector Set.

Hunter loves when an RPG gives him a house that he can decorate. He spends a lot of time putting stuff in his house and arranging them just so. Strange, because he has no interest in picking his clothes up off the floor in his actual room.

Different games play to these drives in different amounts. COD multiplayer is all about Coop Play and Crush Your Enemies, but not so much Build Something. Contrast is about Feel It and See It, but not about System Mastery -- its mechanics are quite simple.

I'm not sure exactly where the drive to feel like a hero lives in this list, though it's obviously key to many AAA games. ("Do you feel like a hero yet?" asks Spec Ops: The Line.) There is also the completionist drive -- gotta catch'em all -- that sends people across Renaissance Florence rooftops collecting feathers for the sake of, well, getting all the feathers.

Of course, there is also the drive to keep pressing the lever that gives you a hamster pellet -- the drive that keeps you playing a game long after it stops being fun, the drive that drives old ladies to sink their piggy banks into one-armed bandits in Vegas. Since Ian is a good guy, and not evil, he doesn't include it in his canonical list, though I'm sure he's aware of it. We all are. This article from Cracked is intended to be humorous, but it is dead on.

If you're designing a game, you should make sure you know which drives you're playing to. These are the goods you're delivering.

If you find this sort of thing interesting, you may also want to check out Jon Radoff's analysis of game player motivations, which builds on Bartle's division of players into explorers, killers, socializers and achievers.


Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.

This page is powered by Blogger.