Monday, April 18, 2005

Challenges in nongame design

When describing my MA project (or most products that I would qualify as a 'nongame'), the general reaction is to ask if I am designing a product for the female market.

It makes sense: after all, a large portion of nongamers is constituted by female players. So I decided to read Gender Inclusive Game Design - Expanding the Market, and see if there any ideas or concepts that I could apply or should be aware of.

In the first chapter of the book, Sheri Graner Ray tells the reader that female players don't like to see "the computer as a 'foe'" - in the sense that they don't want, opposed to male players, to have to master several complicated control schemes in order to enjoy the game. Later, she also says that games for that audience shouldn't be so challenging / difficult. Overall, is the notion of 'beating the game' that would have to change or disappear.

The biggest challenge, I guess, is to design an interface that is even 'easier' than the game. Of course, that is true (and one of the most estabilished rules) to general game design. However, the challenge inside the game is usually enough to make the player master the interface or cope with it. In nongames, that might not happen. In fact, I came across a similar problem while playing Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 (which I will describe better later, when the review is done).

No comments:

Copyright, Chico Queiroz