Trying to define the game
Define the game
Although we briefly discussed (and loosely defined) how to play a game in chapter 2, “the concept of games,” we played the game the way players experienced it. To continue, we have studied gameplay independent of the player’s experience. We study the core concept of a game that players don’t change. To do this, we need to define the game as player independence. Sid Meier once defined games as “a series of interesting choices.” This is a good starting point and a good basis for defining the game. We add this statement to our official definition of how to play the game:
The challenge of simulating one or more causal associations in the environment.
On the face of it, this seems a far cry from the original definition of Sid Meier (though it’s not very good). However, our statement is more accurate and rigorous. It is fair to say that Mr Meyer is unlikely to want his original definition to be used in any final comment – a statement intended to challenge and inspire further thought on the subject. If so, it does have the desired effect and is a good starting point for our definition.
In the original statement, the use of the word series meant a number of consecutive events. Although these events are related in chronological order, that doesn’t mean they can be related to each other. Lightning strikes, for example, tend to occur in rapid succession, but there is no evidence that the batting sequence is not accidental. Therefore, we need to clearly define that our game events are linked by causality. Note that we did not indicate whether any lines in multiple lines need to be linked to each other. In most cases, they are – for example, multiple relationships in adventure games – but this is not a specific requirement.
The latter half of the original definition USES the term “interesting selection”. While this is true, we think the definition is too broad. Choosing to visit a movie theater, deciding what to watch, and considering caramel popcorn or marinated popcorn are a series of interesting choices, not examples of games. So we replace it with “challenges in a simulated environment.” The reasons for further limiting the simulation environment should be self-evident: when we quit the game, we stop playing the game.
Why do we use challenges instead of choices? Again, we think the term is too broad to be particularly useful. For example, we can decide to try shooting an attack robot to avoid it, or to quit the game and play with something else. All three are available options, but the first two are only game decisions. Therefore, we chose to use the term “challenge” because it accurately describes the type of events a player experiences.
Another example of an option that doesn’t play directly in the game is the popularity of user-defined “skins” (such as “earthquakes” and “half-lives”) in the game. Players can choose any appearance, but it is a purely cosmetic options, usually does not affect the game, unless by hook or crook players use it, or deliberately choose to disguise very good skin – for example, in extreme cases, such as a mobile shooting box, or force them all to make it more clear skin, such as pure white).
Odysseus faced many challenges during his 20-year voyage, returning to his wife Penelope in Homer’s Odyssey. Gordon freeman (and his agent) faced many of the challenges he faced as he fled the half-life research lab. Tetris players face a challenge trying to score higher. Even the man tried to eat all the bombs in the maze while avoiding the evil spirits.
The challenge is not perfect, but it can be done. Another way to use the word challenge that we’ve discussed in the past is testing, but it’s considered too strict. Ideally, we want to use a word for both.
Pure challenge is a typical form of game challenge. They are not common in this form, but they form the basis for most (if not all) of the actual game challenges. Let’s first discuss possible forms of pure challenge and then discuss how to apply these forms to real game situations.
Challenges come in many forms and forms. Even in one type, a good game can present a range of challenges. The narrower the definition of a type is, the narrower the scope is, but usually not a problem. Gamers who buy types of games usually know what will happen. In fact, unless it does particularly well, they tend to reject new forms of challenge because the challenge is inappropriate.
An example of this is the addition of reflection-based fast street sequences to traditional adventure games, such as escape from monkey island (see figure 7.1). If handled properly, this can improve the gameplay and gain popularity from common actions. If mishandled, it can interrupt players’ suspicions and effectively disrupt the game.
Out of the monkey island.
A more detailed example of this phenomenon is the half-life valve (see figure 7.2), a very good game that has won many awards for its original and innovative games and stories. (I should also point out, however, that the storyline is not the best-selling novel or movie compared to other games of the same genre.) In most cases, half – time working is a pleasure. In the first two-thirds of the race, there’s nothing like being there and being Gordon freeman. You can imagine yourself huddled in a dark mesa research laboratory in the middle of a hallway desert to avoid two evil aliens, as blood and hostile government forces come in to clean up the mess and unnecessary attention. Then, when the story reaches its first high point, you will be catapulted into the alien’s domain at the Angle of the alien.