Well it comes down to dopamine on one level and fullfillment if possible. If our users can experience something pleasurable first, then we have a successful product. REGARDLESS of immediate monetary profits.
Some of us will try to dig deeper by adding more meaning to the pleasure. This my friends, gets our product to the fulfillment stage.
For example, the final boss fight, leads to the story coming to a beautiful/meaningful moment, that puts things in perspective about the game and life (Hideo Kojima in his Metal Gear Solid series, really nails this!)
We’re adding new gameplay elements and the concept of “death” in RunawayJRider to bring meaning and depth into the game.
After user feedback and telemetry, the investment level was not enough. One way to increase that, is by introducing the concept of “loss”/”death”. When things are finite, we prize them more.
So players can die… what does that mean?
On one side, the game is more forgiving. Before this update, a collision with a moving obstacle, would cause instantaneous death or full-stop. Now it removes one “heart” from the player (aka: health), it explodes and lets the player continue driving.
The main reason for the concept of death was for our main starred feature!!!! Queue the attack helicopter…..
It can be avoided by using “turbo” speed ups in order to outrun it. It balances with player’s skill level… again entertains and not nags.
It can shoot missiles in order to spice the player’s experience!
and another one……
We are still being very careful with maintaining the gameplay balance. With the recent introduction of “death” and health, it’ll be interesting to see how that impacts (positive hopefully) players’ investment in the game! There are other tweaks that were done under the hood, but I’ll talk more about that, in due time (hopefully backed by data).
I’ve been playing around with Machine Learning research and should have some updates in an upcoming post!