Skim & Watch: MDA & 8 Kinds of Fun

Don’t Starve is one of my favorite games. It is a survival game developed by the Canadian indie video game developer Klei Entertainment and was officially published in 2013. There are a few main mechanics of the game I love, and they create great dynamics with me and bring me a lot of Fun.

One important notable mechanic is that the player controls a character that has three stats: health, hunger, and sanity, all of which indicate the character’s state. Hunger value decreases over time, and when hunger value reaches 0, health starts to drop very quickly. When health reaches 0, the character dies, and all progress is lost. This mechanic forces the player to be very watchful of their hunger value and the hazardous environment so that these values will not drop, so they need to forage for food, find shelter, craft weapons, and et cetra. Personally, this mechanic creates my player dynamic where I plan early on where to settle, recognize which part of the world can be handled by myself at a certain point of the game, and devise a route to perform specific activities such as gathering resources. Such interaction with the game brings me a lot of fun where I feel challenged, and I gain a large amount of satisfaction from surviving more into the world.

Another mechanic I really like is how the world is a randomly generated open world with roguelike elements placed in. There are different biomes, in each of which there are different species of creatures, thus bringing different experiences of exploring each. A lot of necessary or beneficial resources reside in different biomes, which drives me to explore actively to make use of those resources as much as possible, and then I enjoy the game for the fun of discovery by exploring different parts of the world: either sailing to another island full of unknowns or going deep in the caves into the ruins for ancient technologies.

Additionally, the game allows cooperation with other fellow gamers, which also brings me the fun of fellowship. Overall it is a very well-made game, and I would recommend anyone who likes challenges and/or survival and crafting games.

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