5 Tricks from Professional Game Designers at GDC
1. Stress Emotional Connections at a Systemic LevelThe topic of Laralyn McWilliams' talk sounds difficult, but the concept is pretty straightforward: design your game's system around players' emotional needs. Many of us think of our game's system as mostly including the reward mechanics. The player presses this button, and this happens. They kill this boss and are rewarded with this weapon, etc. However, McWilliams argues that player's emotional needs can be viewed as a game system in itself. In fact, she argues, it is the most important one. That's because in the end, a game's success depends on satisfying a player's needs. McWilliams explained how she begins her design process by listing all of her players' emotional needs such as:
- attachment to another person
- to feel a sense of progress
- to feel they have control,
- a need to be social, etc.