How challenge and play are fun!

Chapter three in Tracy Fullerton’s “Game Design Workshop” book, about game design theory, is the culmination of her knowledge about the seven formal elements of game design. The seven formal elements begin with players as the first. Fullerton states that players are the individuals who “accept the rules and conditions” of games and act within the “magic circle” of permitted actions (Fullterton, 55). I conducted a test on a prototype game this week and the incorporation of new age software was a deep dream most of them had. Products, like the Oculus Riff in figure one below, bring the player into a highly desired setting in which the players are able to experience the game environment in a deeper way through extreme realism and a heightened player involvement through real sensory. Joy Robinson, the EH 454 course administrator, is introducing our class to this dimension of game design. I want to run some of the aspects of how designers bring fun and accessibility to players by the alumni, students, board of directors, and the rest of our fellow bloggers.



Figure 1. Courtesy of  StuffNews.com

                Fullerton states that designers “will need some tools” to help identify the fun factor ourselves as game designers! Challenge is one example of how fun and emotional involvement is instilled in players through game design (Fullteron, 341).Fullerton states that reaching and exceeding goals is an important factor to consider when designing challenges for the players. Sub-goals can be created in order to invoke emotion form players in order to not crush their hopes with the failure of one main goal as a whole. Second, Fullerton describes how competing against opponents can draw in players by creating competitive atmosphere between players. Third, Fullerton states how stretching personal limits can bring players more fun in their player experiences. Fullterton’s fourth aspect of fun challenges for players is how exercising difficult skill can be the target experience gamers crave. This is evident in the game Halo 3, as seen in figure 2 below. In halo 3 players can have fun attempting to obtain “achievements” by exercising difficult combat skills inside and outside of the interactive fiction writing of the game.


Guerilla 10 
Score over 15,000 points in the Campaign meta-game on the first mission.   (27) 





Figure 2, Above. Courtesy of xboxacheivements.com

                Making interesting choices is the fifth aspect of challenges that makes the gaming experience fun for players. Making players weigh their options about items for purchase in the game, for example, gives them interesting mental challenges in which they can get lost in it (Fullterton, 342). Types of play are also identified as vital to game designer’s considerations when promoting player fun.

Play is defined by Fullerton as “freedom of movement within a more rigid structure of a game”(Fullerton, 102). Living out fantasies, social interactions, exploration with discovery, collection, stimulation, self-expression, construction and deconstruction are types of play in which Fullerton believes players can have more fun in game play. In this sense, players can custom pick what fantasy  ,story, etc that they want to experience through game play in order to have the most fun. Making relationships through social interactions in X-Box live party chat can bring players into a more fun experience. If designers don’t offer players the sufficient exploration and discovery they want, the players will likely not have a fun gaming experience.

Collecting, as an aspect of play, can function through the environment of the game or in the physical materials to play the games. Adding more variables to a game feature, such as armor in Halo 3, can appeal to many players as a fun opportunity to collect them as they explore the rest of the game. Play can be even more fun to players when self expression is made available by designers, such as character creation that reflects the players’ values and preferences (Fullteron, 345). Minecraft’s audience of happy players reflect the effect of how construction and deconstruction features of games can make games an all around more fun game, as stated by Fullerton in chapter three.






Works Cited

Cava, Marco Della. “Oculus Unveils Hardware, Social VR.” Stuff. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2016. <http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/gadgets/85145961/oculus-rift-unveils-new-hardware-and-social-virtual-reality>.

Fullerton, Tracy, Christopher Swain, and Steven Hoffman. Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games. Amsterdam: Elsevier Morgan Kaufmann, 2008. Print.

N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.xboxachievements.com/game/halo-3/achievements/>.