How can video games be fun and immerse players in fantastic worlds where anything seems possible? How can they be so engaging to have become the main entertainment product for children and adults alike? In On the Way to Fun, the author proposes a possible answer to these questions by going back to the roots of gaming and showing how early games, as well as modern indie productions, captivated generations of players even without the need for fancy graphics and effects but by relying on basic emotions and instincts instead. This book will be most beneficial to aspiring and beginning game designers and to anyone who wants a better understanding of human nature and how it relates to the design process of immersive video game experiences.
Table of Contents
Introduction: What Makes a Game Fun?
Emotions and Games: The 6-11 Framework
What Are Basic Emotions and Instincts?
Introducing the 6-11 Framework
Contextualizing the 6-11 Framework
Emotional Analysis of a Gameplay Session
Making Fun Games the Emotional Way
Case Studies: Retro Games
Why Retro Games?
• Computer Space Vs. Space Invaders
• Rescue at Rigel
• Haunted House
• Robotron 2084
• Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Cloudy Mountain
• 3-D Monster Maze
• E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
• Seven Cities of Gold
• Spy vs. Spy
• Little Computer People
• Captain Blood
Case Studies: Indie Games
Why Indie Games?
• I Wish I Were the Moon
• Castle Crashers
• Plants vs. Zombies
• World of Goo & Crayon Physics Deluxe
In the End
On the Way to Fun outlines a fine framework linking human emotions and instincts to successful game design, blending a theoretical framework with keys to analyzing game play. The framework is then applied to both successful and unsuccessful games to make for a fine survey for any who want to properly design and develop ideas to maximum benefit.
—Midwest Book Review, January 2011
I love the '6-11 Framework'. It's a brilliant analysis. Wish I'd thought of it. Emotion is essential to establishing a deep connection with games. So many games lack it, and this book shows the way. The analyses of retro and indie games, and how they invoke emotion through instincts, are insightful and well thought out.
—Tom Sloper, March 2010
Looking at early games and how they created fun without many resources, and how some modern games can miss it, Roberto Dillon provides a thoughtful and solid analysis. On the Way to Fun is a choice pick for any would-be game designer.
—Carl Logan, The Midwest Book Review, June 2010
Through diagrams, screenshots, and dissections of each evaluated game, the author builds an admirable case for what amounts to a viable, tangible toolset for game designers to use in their never-ending pursuit of successfully injecting fun into their games. Such power is concentrated in this short, concise, and ultimately refreshing handbook ... Highly recommended.
—CHOICE Magazine, November 2010 Vol. 48 No. 03