[The following text is part of my upcoming master's thesis on the use of game mechanics in therapy games for children.]
FarmVille by Zynga is probably one of the best known Facebook games to date, both because of players that cannot seem to quit the game and their Facebook friends that are annoyed by the game's ceaseless stream of pleas for help, designed to suck in even more players. FarmVille 2 has several tightly interwoven game mechanics that manage to keep the player glued to the game. The most important among them are the tight feedback loops, where finishing one task has an immediate effect on the next task at hand; a constant stream of quests that provide temporary "winning" conditions in an otherwise endless game; the possibility of self-expression through decoration, even if severely limited and finally the integration of Facebook friends that "ask for help", cleverly exploiting social norms that result in players returning to the game again and again.
Over at The Astronauts, someone figured something out. Sometimes, games work even when you're not shooting things.
Listed below, there are five well known action-adventure games. Think about your favorite, most memorable moments from the single player part of each, then click on the + spoiler button and see if I have managed to guess any of these moments.
What do all these moments have in common?
They are game-free. They are gameplay-less.
That’s right. You heard me.
If we understand gameplay as something that a challenge is a crucial part of, then none of these moments features any gameplay. You just walk, or swim, or ride a horse, but that’s it. You cannot die. You don’t make choices that have any long term consequences. No skill is involved.
There is no gameplay.
In other words, certain things worth remembering from certain video games are not what these video games are all about.
What this guy now figures is that you have to remove gameplay from games to get those moments.
But I don't think so. It has nothing to do with gameplay. But a lot with pacing.
A lot of games just keep stomping on, throwing new enemies to battle at the player even before he finished the old ones off, in order to make the game "gripping". The makers fear that if there is just the slightest lull, the players will become bored and stop playing. But will they?
In most other narrative media it is well known that ceaseless screaming action is very tiring and impossible to watch.
[This might only make sense to me – these are very short notes on the presentation Janina held on using cloth simulation in 3ds Max].
The Plane that is supposed to be the cloth needs to get a Cloth modifier. In the modifier properties both the actual cloth as well as the objects the cloth is falling unto have to be added - the later one as a collider. Also, gravity is (unlike blender) not a standard part of the scene and has to be added as a force field. These forces need to be added to the simulation as well.
Before the simulation works, it has to be calculated - the interface should provide a button for that as well.
By creating vertice groups, these groups can be attached to other meshes in order to fix a cloth to a solid object.
Unity has a similar function that works with the Cloth component. In order to attach it to something, "Attached Colliders" can be defined.