A designer’s job often involves making sure players are experiencing the game in the most fun or interesting way. In this video, I look at examples of games that have tried to achieve this – sometimes with success, and sometimes with controversy.

Note: Those World of Warcraft numbers are completely made up, for illustrative purposes.

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Sources

Sid Meier: The Psychology of Game Design | GDC Vault
https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1012186/The-Psychology-of-Game-Design

Firaxis’ Jake Solomon On What Went Right And Wrong With XCOM 2| Rock Paper Shotgun
https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2016/02/25/making-of-xcom-2/

Water Finds a Crack | Designer Notes
https://www.designer-notes.com/?p=369

Spelunky by Derek Yu | Boss Fight Books
https://bossfightbooks.com/products/spelunky-by-derek-yu

Disable Timers | XCOM 2 Steam Workshop
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=616964599

Rest | WOWWiki
http://wowwiki.wikia.com/wiki/Rest

Designer Notes 15: Nels Anderson | Idle Thumbs
https://www.idlethumbs.net/designernotes/episodes/nels-anderson

Further Reading / Viewing

Bloodborne Is Genius, And Here’s Why | hbomberguy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AC3OuLU5XCw

Nioh – Commanding Attention | Turbo Button
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXea0FNvk3c

New Doom’s deceptively simple design | Gamasutra
https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/295254/Make_me_think_make_me_move_New_Dooms_deceptively_simple_design.php

How Hyper Light Drifter’s Ammo Recharges Its Combat | Rock Paper Shotgun
https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2016/07/29/how-hyper-light-drifters-ammo-recharges-its-combat/

Games shown in this episode (in order of appearance)

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games, 2012)
Final Fantasy XV (Square Enix, 2016)
Dead Rising 2 (Capcom Vancouver, 2010)
Civilization IV (Firaxis Games, 2005)
Nioh (Team Ninja, 2017)
XCOM 2 (Firaxis, 2016)
Spelunky (Derek Yu, 2012)
World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment, 2004)
Sunset Overdrive (Insomniac Games, 2014)
New Super Mario Bros. U (Nintendo, 2012)
Sonic Mania (Sega, 2017)
Vanquish (PlatinumGames, 2010)
DOOM (id Software, 2016)
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (Infinity Ward, 2016)
Bloodborne (From Software, 2015)
Burnout Revenge (Criterion Games, 2005)
Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine, 2016)
Sonic Generations (Sonic Team, 2011)
Bayonetta 2 (PlatinumGames, 2014)
Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening (Capcom, 2005)
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (Neversoft, 2001)
Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Ubisoft Toronto, 2013)
Wolfenstein: The New Order (MachineGames, 2014)
Project Gotham Racing 4 (Bizarre Creations, 2007)
Bulletstorm (People Can Fly, 2011)
Sleeping Dogs (United Front Games, 2012)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Naughty Dog, 2009)
The Last of Us (Naughty Dog, 2013)
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (Naughty Dog, 2017)
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (Naughty Dog, 2011)
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Rocksteady Studios, 2009)
Hitman (iO Interactive, 2016)
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Kojima Productions, 2015)
Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment, 2012)
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Ninja Theory, 2017)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo, 2017)
Dead Rising (Capcom, 2006)

Music used in this episode

https://soundcloud.com/arsy1
Arcee on Soundcloud

Additional credits

Hellblade Development Diary 11: First Playable | Ninja Theory
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpf7ygDaCzM

World of Warcraft | YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/user/WorldofWarcraft