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Transistor

Effectiveness and the Playstyle Curve

The world and everything that resides within it has its own pace. Some things start and stop with regularity, others just move in their own direction at their own speed till the end of time. And as you play a game, you develop your own pacing. You might want to take your time for every platform that you need to jump from or corner that you need to turn and take in the risks to make sure there aren’t any surprises that you’ll recklessly run into, or you might dive in Action Hank headfirst into every situation tumbling and reacting to anything that’s in your way because you haven’t been punished enough for that recklessness.

It’s up to the developers to teach you what the pacing of the world is and manipulate the player into adjusting their playstyle to match the pacing that is required to be successful in that world. There isn’t an exact speed that the player much hit, but there are limits between the cautiousness and haste that a player needs to be between to play effectively in the gameworld. Visually, this is considered the playstyle-curve to see the relationship between different playstyle how effective those playstyles can exist within the game.

The Playstyle Curve
The Playstyle Curve

When a playstyle fits within the boundaries that of the game’s pacing, then a player is less likely to feel like the game is too slow because they won’t be able to take their time to check every nook and cranny for the inevitable damage that they will take and they won’t feel that the game is too easy because they can’t just run through and have their way with the game without consequence.

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Picture Time: PAX Prime 2014 Day 2

 

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Dialogue Delivery p5: How, not what.

Obligatory Past Post Countdown:

Player Paced Dialogue Delivery [link]

Character Paced Non-verbal Dialogue Delivery [link]

Character Paced Verbose Dialogue Delivery [link]

Character Paced Short-Form Dialogue Delivery [link]

 

Stepping away from the focus on “what” is said, it’s still important to talk about the setting of the delivery. For all of the previous articles, we’ve only talked about dialogue and plot points delivered through extremely disruptive cutscenes. I don’t mean disruptive in the sense that it causes the player to drop the controller out of frustration, but disruptive in that it shifts your agency from playing to watching for a short while. The player stops “playing” the game and starts “watching” the game for a short or extended amount of time. This doesn’t necessarily cause a distraction for the player, but it does give an idea to the pacing of the game for the player. If the cutscenes feel long and troublesome, it can quickly demotivate the player from wanting to continue playing the game. So today, let’s focus on the two major pacing types used in gaming.

Continue reading “Dialogue Delivery p5: How, not what.”

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