In my previous posts, I spoke about semiotics and making the game more intimate and today I had another Skype meeting with my games partner to discuss the narrative and go through the design room-by-room.
I discovered that the design of the game also affects the gameplay in a big way. For example, in one of the rooms, I made pre-mini-game was an office space. I had the idea that a lot should be going on and it should be an open office space with a kitchenette. However, I forgot that previous rooms (or levels) had a lot of stimuli and while I do want to overwhelm players to a degree, I also need to remember that there is a fine line between being overwhelmed and being annoyed, so in other words, I shouldn’t add too much difficulty or make the game to obnoxious because I don’t want players to either give up or not take away the right message.
This is related to Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s ‘flow’ which means that the player isn’t too overwhelmed or too bored during gameplay, see picture below.
Of course, that meant spending all day during and after the meeting changing things around or redesigning completely, but the rooms look a lot better and allows for a better intimate narrative game. I will also be using camera zooms to focus more on the protagonist and will demonstrate how we do this in future posts. This week is the final week of design work and we are possibly moving onto programming next week, so stay tuned!