Keep ‘em Motivated
Gamers can generally associate with the feeling of being “hooked” by a game. There’s a moment, playing a game that really gets you, where you can’t quit playing. It’s a designer’s dream to create a game that gets players hungry to play more. This is a subjective experience too; each person in the Cadenza office at present would likely name a different game as the one to have hooked them most recently.
So what is it about our favorite games that gets us motivated keep playing?
Motivation in video games tends to be focused around achievement, exploration, socialization or competition. These archetypes are from theBartle Test of Gamer Psychology, a well-known study of online player behavior. These motivating factors mix, creating nuanced profiles of what motivates players beyond a single archetype. A professional Starcraft player might be motivated primarily by achievement and competition, while a casual player of the very same game might be motivated by exploration and achievement. The question for the designer, then, is how to create a game that can satisfy the wide range of gamer motivations.
Retrovirus attacks all four motivating factors through its various modes. The campaign encourages exploration and achievement, as players are given challenges to find hidden pickups and wander through an environment that should feel unique to their experiences. Add to the campaign the ability to play cooperatively, and the campaign can even add a layer of socialization. Retrovirus’ challenge mode appeals more directly to achievers and competitors, giving players a game mode which gives milestones to shoot for and a scoreline to compare to friends. Competitive multiplayer, then, appeals to competition, socialization and achievement all at once, to varying degrees depending on the player.
This coverage does not ensure that every player will find something that scratches their itch in Retrovirus, only that we as a dev team have considered a variety of ways that players might want to experience a six-axis shooter. In the end, players will judge the experience subjectively, and determine for themselves whether their motivation was sufficient to play through the game and declare themselves fans of Retrovirus.