What makes a room easier to navigate, items easy to discover, paths easily discerned? Intricately crafted scenes, artistic renditions of the imagination to a tangibly-cognizant interact-able space are all important, but how is the player going to be interacting with the scene created?
I know I talked about it before, but Shovel Knight is probably one of the few games this year that I was hard-pressed to put down. Aside from being a fun Castlevania-Megaman style Platformer, attached is a great soundtrack, a style that references games of the past but is still able to carve out its own image and gameplay that is never “too easy” or “too hard” but consistently finds the middle ground to keep the player lingering in the “I know I can complete this” mentality.
Previous posts in the Series Teaching the Player
And a link to the part 1
Running for Speed
The Speed Running community is a fantastic example of people who take every opportunity to transition all games from a Reaction to Planned Gameplay. They approach every game with its predefined rules and regardless of how well a game teaches you a mechanic, the speed runners put in the time to perfect the most opportune route and routine in getting from the start to the end of the game. They epitomize the idea of “Reaction Gameplay + Time = Planned Gameplay” by learning all of the inadequacies of the player’s abilities and the gamespace’s rules and manipulating them to get a more optimized path for faster completion, and shaving frames, seconds or even minutes off of runtimes by understanding what can be done by the player and what will happen in the gamespace when the player performs the action.