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Monday, October 31, 2011

Psychology in Design Choices for Games Part 1

After talking half the night away with my dear friend Mats Söderholm, Game Design teacher from Sweden, we concluded a lot of very good points concerning the psychology in game design and in particular design choices. This series of blog posts will cover a couple of traps that designers very easily fall into. Have you fallen in any of these traps? I sure have.

What is the "darling" syndrome?

"This game is awesome, because I made it!"; "I can't see any reason why someone would not like this game.". These might be something a game developer could say/think about his/her game.

What I think is good doesn't have to be what other people think is good. People think different. Still, how much can we listen to the customers? Do they really know what they want? Do we really know what is best for them? How do we find the balance between our knowledge and their dreams?

My point here is that it is easy to fall in a trap where your or your players judgement might influence your design choices. Sometimes developers try to convert a classic isometrically perceived game into a first person shooter, because the statistics say that most people like FPS when it comes to action games. At the same time some developers might follow their own dream too much and create something like Spore. You all know how that story went down, no need for me to repeat it for you.

Tomorrow I will talk about "the Main Stream path", to get deeper into this topic.

Let's finish this post off with a game that has worked hard (experiencing both good/bad stuff) with finding the balance I mentioned above, EVE Online (the "I was there" trailer):

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