To play games is to make decisions. From tiny implicit choices to grand and thoughtful reflections, the act of choosing a course and observing its outcome is a core loop that unifies games of all stripes. Yet though all games offer choices, only some succeed in making them meaningful. How does one make the decisions in a game satisfying and impactful? On Episode 33 of Vertical Slice we’re exploring this fascinating question, and learning what it means to design for consequential decision making.
- Derek is immersing himself in Horizon Zero Dawn this week, and has been thoroughly impressed by its story and aesthetics. Kotaku links to an excellent short film by VPRO Documentary that discusses the making of the game, and some interesting related issues of culture and technology. (Subtitles for the Dutch dialogue segments are available.)
- Jason VandenBerghe, former creative director at Ubisoft Montreal, has given a number of useful GDC talks on player personality and motivation, and his framework is an interesting starting point for thinking about player choice. Recent talks include: Applying the Five Domains of Play (GDC 2013) and Engines of Play: How Player Motivation Changes Over Time (GDC 2016).
Image credit: BioWare/EA International