In researching a new game preview of Civilization V for Square-Go magazine, which I am lucky enough to be a writer for (here’s my first published review) thanks to my research partner Rachel Shadoan, I found the most enlightening article. Its on kotaku.com, which is a leading gaming news and reviews site (http://kotaku.com/5492078/civilization-creator-explains-why-everything-game-devs-know-is-wrong). The title of the article really says it all, “Civiliztion Creator Explains Why Everything Game Devs is Wrong.”
Here is a great exerpt that really shines with exciting game design ethnographic gold:
Gameplay, he says is a psychological experience. It’s all in our heads. And it makes us egomaniacs. If you play Meier’s Civilization series, in which you’re a god-king tasked with building a society that stand the test of time, you’re an egomaniac.
As a designer, Meier says that game developers need to listen to the player, “what they’re really saying.” It’s our jobs, he says, to understand what causes negative emotions in gamers and strengthen what inspires positive emotions.
What is the point of all this? Meier says that developers are trying to create “the epic journey.” How do we use psychology to make the journey more epic, he wonders. One, interesting decisions, a term that Meier says that are the type that encourage players to envision the future, to contemplate what alternate paths they can take. Learning and progress is fundamental to that journey, that players must feel that they’re evolving
In “the epic journey,” players should be drawn into the “one more turn”