The direction of my project is a bit up in the air at the moment as I’m confused as to whether my project should learn more towards a serious game, used as a way to teach people de-stressing techniques and to better deal with stress. Or as simply an entertainment game that is designed to create stress within people.
With this uncertainty looming over me, I looked into both serious and entertainment games, as planned. To reflect on what I thought the games were like in terms of enjoyment, game-play and how good they were at conveying a mood or teaching the users information. All to help me better understand what types of games are created within each genre and therefore giving me a better idea of what I would make if I was to choose one of the genres. Helping to give me more information to inform my final decision.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Team based game where one player can see a bomb and the other has a set of instructions to solve the puzzles on the bomb, in order to defuse it. However neither of the players can see the other ones screen and have to communicate with one and other in order to complete the game.
- fast paced
- Stressed from the word go
Below are a set of serious games I researched into. Non have a particular connection with stress, because I simply couldn’t find any games that revolved around that subject matter. So doing the next best thing I decided to find a range of serious games to reflect upon, as I it would still help me to identify what my game would be similar to if I choose my project to have a more serious purpose.
- A simulation to help teach students/ staff about the procedures that take place within accident and emergency
- Learning tool
- Slow paced
- Not clear what I had to do
- Don’t feel it has the same panicked feel like a real hospital would have – As there is no time pressure to make decisions and you don’t have to rush from one surgery to the next. I feel it is far too calm to truly simulate the feeling of being within a hospital. Which ultimately I feel would deceive people who use the tool, as they may feel that the environment is less stressful than what it actually is and so may not deal well once they come to the real thing.
- Though it is still a good way of branching the gap from classroom into practical work.
- Organisation that tries to promote games that have a serious message to them.
A lot of different ways games can be serious, I’m unsure how much is learnt from them and perhaps they are more of a game with a serious context, or underlining serious message – Perhaps they are more meaningful than education and that is what I’m after?
However I still think I want the entertainment aspect to be the main draw of the game, as I want to ensure the game is appealing and exciting. However if it has a meaningful message, which I think the game could do as it’s about stress then this is an added bonus, but I think
- Bored already!!
- Not fun and I’m not motivated to read or learn anything – I’m just guessing because there is too much text and franckly I don’t really care. It is clear this is more aimed at learning than fun and I think from this, it is helping me to determine I’d much rather have a fun entertaining game than a serious one.
- No incentive for me to get anything right or wrong. I don’t feel excited to play this game and I don’t want to play any longer.
- Not learnt anything, because there was no need to. I just guessed it all.
- Much more artsy just form the art style of the game
- Uses the blindness to influence the design and mechanics of the game – eg can’t see further than the character can touch, sounds can be scary and misleading, no clear direction – navigate blind – don’t know what is ahead. Successful and it made me think twice about how blind people must feel when walking around the world.
- However I found the game boring, there was no real change of pace as it was all very slow, which I found to be frustrating.
- Also I didn’t really know what I was trying to achieve in the game, apart from explore the world. I also got completely lost near the beginning of the game, so much so I gave up after 4 circuits of the same location.
- I wasn’t sure what the motivation of the game was and there felt like there was no goal, simply explore. I have to admit I didn’t like this as I wanted more of a clear direction whether this should have been through the UI or other features but definitely something else was needed.
- However I liked that there was no text telling me about how a blind girl feels, but uses the mechanics to inform the user, which I think was effective and allowed the user to learn and experience the situation themselves. It didn’t feel forced or patronising that info text can be like.
- Though it makes me realise that I feel I definitely need a more exciting and challenging experience for my users, to keep them interested to carry on the game.
I feel Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is more the type of game I want to make, because I find it allows more creative freedom within the design. As both Trauma Unit and Evolution lab seemed far too structured and contained a greater focus on text than interaction. But with Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, it was far more visual and interactive, with players having to actually solve a problem and not simply sit down and read, which I think games should be.
Also I worry that even though I want to produce a ‘fun’ serious game, which is fast paced and engaging, I’m not sure if that is possible. As all the serious games I watched or played were tedious and boring, and I wouldn’t have played more an a couple of minutes if I didn’t have to. Whereas Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes had an immediate responses from me making me freak out and laugh, and just simply enjoy the experience which I didn’t feel from the other games. I realise that isn’t the role of those games but they weren’t even engaging or made me excited to learn, they were just dull, and I don’t want to make that sort of game because I know no one would use it and so it wouldn’t be any benefit to anyone.
However, I still believe I need to do some more thinking and creating of possible game ideas before I make a final decision. As if I can’t think of any ideas that balance enjoyment and learning then I will know that a serious route is not for me, but until then I will carry on with the decision making process.
- Form games ideas which have a far greater serious game focus than they currently do and identify if these are ideas I would want to take forward.