“The studies have suggested that the phenomenology of enjoyment has eight major components. When people reflect on how it feels when their experience is most positive, they mention at least one, and often all, of the following: 1. We confront tasks we have a chance of completing; 2. We must be able to concentrate on what we are doing; 3. The task has clear goals; 4. The task provides immediate feedback; 5. One acts with deep, but effortless involvement, that removes from awareness the worries and frustrations of everyday life; 6. One exercises a sense of control over their actions; 7. Concern for the self disappears, yet, paradoxically the sense of self emerges stronger after the flow experience is over; and 8. The sense of duration of time is altered. The combination of all these elements causes a sense of deep enjoyment that is so rewarding people feel that expending a great deal of energy is worthwhile simply to be able to feel it.”—FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Harper and Row, 1990.
Tips for designing your first game!
- Start really small and really simple.
- Don’t worry if it’s good or not, just try something and try to see it through to the end! You’ll have more time and better experience after to make better games!
- Try old concepts and ideas and just fiddle around with them! No harm in trying something with old tropes and genres.
- Have fun with it!
- Don’t worry if your art/writing/programming/whatever isn’t up to par. It’s why we practice, so we get better at such things!
- Drink lots of fluids and make sure you eat breakfast. This is really important for indie developers.
- Again, have fun with it, that’s really the biggest piece of advice I can give. So just have at it, make some things, and enjoy it for what it’s worth, man!
Diversity in Design: Sly Cooper and Writing Characters with Disabilities
(there are some major spoilers here for the Sly Cooper series, so please be warned. Also, it’s been several years since I last played, so I’m taking most of the details from my memory and the Sly wiki)
There’s been a ton of focus on feminist and racial issues in gaming lately, so I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about a less-frequently mentioned group suffers from poor representation. Today, we’re going to be looking people with physical disabilities.
Physical disabilities among video game characters generally run a very narrow range, with the most common either being Genius Cripples (this is TVTropes’ term, not mine), owners of an fantastical Artificial Limb, wearers of an Eyepatch of Power, and Blind Weaponmasters. Typically, the latter two barely even count as disabilities, as characters that have impaired vision are often granted Daredevil-levels of sensory perception, and so are not really disabled at all. Likewise, artificial limbs are often more powerful than meat limbs, and any challenges from having inorganic body parts are rarely examined.
“Differently-abled” has never been more apt.
I’d like to focus on one of the rare times a disability is actually treated as such, with it’s challenges and limitations actually recognized and treated with dignity. To do this, we’re going to need to loosen our definition of “person” to make this work.
Don’t let the coke-bottle glasses fool you, cross him and he will mess you up.
This is Bentley from the Sly Cooper series of games. While Sly may be the hero on the box, its arguably Bentley’s journey thorugh the series that is actually more dynamic. Also, Bentley is the only example I can think of that gains his disability during the course of the series and yet remains as one of the main characters.