An Oldie but a Goodie: Designing Games for the Wage Slave – GameDev.net

Approximate Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • Make every moment the player spends in your game time well spent.
  • Spend that time entertaining and rewarding the player for choosing your product.
  • Challenge without frustrating, and guide while still keeping the player in control.
  • Your world, your choice. If something isn’t fun, don’t put it in the game.
  • Keep the player in the game as often as possible.
  • But let him leave whenever he wants.
  • And remove any barriers that stop him from picking up where he left off..
  • Keep it simple, keep it accessible, and keep it fun.
  • Don’t demand a huge time commitment from the player or dictate the length of his sessions; let him take it at his own pace.
  • Don’t fix things that aren’t broken.
  • Test with a wide spectrum of players and non-players to find out what’s intuitive and well-received.

“”I can afford to buy any game I like; but I rarely have the opportunity to play them.”

This sentence embodies the sad reality that has hamstringed my gaming hobby since becoming an unwilling maze-dweller in the rat race of full-time employment. Four years ago, when not otherwise distracted by the mundanities of dodging college work or chores, I could (and did) devote countless hours to the challenges and pleasures of digital worlds. My funding was limited, but I took pride in completing every game, every cover disk demo that I purchased. I reveled in replayability, gloried in gameplay depth, marveled at multiplayer. Life was good.

“So why should I care, you nostalgic cretin?” I hear you ask. Why? Because my cubicle-dwelling cogs and I represent a substantial slice of potential software sales.

We balance on the knife’s edge between our glorious time-squandered youth, and the commitments of inevitable middle age. However, the needs of independence (and dependents) have forced us to adapt our playing style to meet our circumstances. Most gamers in this range still game whenever they can, but lack the time to maintain their previous commitment, especially when wives, children, and other such distractions enter the mix. If games can adapt to the needs of the working gamer, they can find a lucrative niche. If not, we will have no choice but to leave our childhood behind and surrender to mundane reality. And when we do, we will take our regular monthly salaries with us.

Here’s a few suggestions to better accommodate the time-deprived; many of these ideas could also create a more enjoyable gaming experience for all:”

tags:designing games wage slave game design

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