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Player driven design
Player driven design puts the player first. Interactions and the virtual environment are build around the player to create the smoothest experience possible.
- What can/should the player do in this situation?
- What possible goal are available for the player and how the environment supports those goals?
- How should the entities react to the player and player actions?
- How should we make sure the player understands the situation/environment as intuitively as possible?
- Old arcade classics: Space Invaders, Pac-man, Tetris
- Most side scrolling games, old and new: Mario, Gradius, Braid
- Open world sandbox games: GTA, Far Cry
- Interactive fiction that follows a single character
Player driven design is a very popular design drive for digital games. After all every game has a player who wants to achieve some goals as effectively as possible, so it makes sense.
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User driven design
User driven design is similar to player driven design. Here the human user is the main focus rather than the player avatar.
- How to maintain/improve the user’s quality of life?
- How to give the user worthwhile interactions and pursuits without a massive time commitment?
- How to minimize the amount of work the user needs to do to get into the experience?
When designing user interfaces and tutorials this is the obvious way to go.