This Friday night (July 27th, 2012) I will be giving a talk on What is Fun? at the Technology Cooperative (RSVP).
As game designers we spend a great deal of effort laying out levels, creating a consistent art style, and telling a story. As game developers we focus on smooth gameplay, intuitive controls, and building tools. We rely on play testing to tell us if the game is fun or not. While play testing is essential, wouldn’t it be easier if we could design and develop fun?
Before we can create fun, we must understand what fun is. What are the emotions experienced when the player has fun? Why is something frustrating to one person fun to someone else? Most importantly, can we as game designers and developers create fun on command?
This talk will look into the reasons we play games, and how we experience fun. We will break down the components to fun and see how to use them in our game designs. Finally, we will look at how players express fun, common complaints in games, and ways to address them.