Before taking this class, I had a lot of experience with games and play. I played many video games throughout my childhood (mostly DS and Wii games), as well as many board games with my family. As I would play, I only ever focused on how playing the game made me feel and how much fun it prompted me to have. If I liked it enough, I would play it again. If I did not like it enough, I would play something else. I never gave much thought to how the games were designed, or what changes could have been made to make me enjoy them more. Taking this class has changed that. Now when I play, it will be impossible to ignore the choices that went into the creation of each game.
The eight types of fun is the class concept that has stuck with me the most. In all of my critical plays and any game I have played since, I have instinctively identified which type of fun the game was aiming to inspire in the player. In both of my group projects in this course, we immediately identified the types of fun that we were attempting to inspire, and used them as guiding principles in all of our design choices. In P1 we worked to balance narrative fun with fellowship, and in P2 we worked to combine fun in the form of discovery with challenge and narrative.
I encountered several challenges during my work in this class. One memorable challenge was during P1 where my team struggled to define what our game would be. We initially wanted to focus primarily on the narrative aspect of our game, but ultimately realized that we would need to transition toward more of a fellowship-oriented social deduction-style game. Deciding to radically alter our game was a difficult decision, but it was a necessary one that changed our game for the better. I learned that difficult decisions need to be made for the sake of the overall product.
I feel that I grew from this experience in P1, and brought a different perspective to P2. My team brought small bits and pieces to the table, and we combined all of our parts in to one large puzzle and gameplay experience, then worked together to refine it. It was incredibly rewarding to see our project grow into its final form. I also feel like I managed to fit a narrative into P2 much more effectively than I did in P1.
In the future, I would like to further examine how to combine elements of narrative and gameplay, and attempt to combine narrative fun with other types of fun. I would also like to experiment more with multiplayer games. While our P2 is meant to be played by multiple people, none of the puzzles actually require 2 people to complete. I would like to experiment with designing a puzzle that explicitly requires teamwork.
This class has forever changed the way that I view games, and I look forward to playing now more than I ever have.