MDA & 8 Kinds of Fun

A game that I love is Starcraft II. There are a wide variety of mechanics to factor in that make the game fun and interesting. The main type of fun generated is challenge. Challenge comes in the form of understanding which units to use in a given situation and commanding the units in a way that maximizes their value. One set of mechanics for example is in the Terran vs Zerg match up. In this matchup, Terran has access to a set of units called Marines. At their most basic level, Marines are a relatively low damage per second with low movement. Once they get their upgrades however, they gain access to an ability called stim pack. This will cause them to instantly lose 20% of their health but move faster and deal more damage. This creates interesting situations where players have to decide whether to sacrifice some life in the hopes that their damage and movement speed will allow those units to live with less life. Another very interesting mechanic is the ability for a unit called medivacs to lift and drop other ground units. Because they’re able to lift units and can fly, they can offset the disadvantage that certain units have when moving. Furthermore, if the player lifts the units when a projectile is coming at it, it’ll cancel any attack that’s coming at it. This makes it so advanced players can dodge damage from attacking units. Furthermore, this allows the Terran player to sneak around areas where the opponent has no vision and create a surprise attack. This allows the Terran player to create multiple situations that the opposing player has to respond to all at once.

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