Player & User driven design

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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.

Useful questions:

  • 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?

Examples include:

  • 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.

Useful questions:

  • 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.

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