Monday 14 January, 2008
I still liked the game for its stress on puzzle solving abilities, as well as reflexes and hand-eye coordination. However, there were times when I would get stuck in a room and could not get out. After about five minutes of turning in circles and listening to the same music repeatedly, I finally just restarted the game. Even with my moments of difficulty, I did become so involved with the game, moving through the different rooms looking for rewards, that I did not realize how long I had been playing. I spent at least twice as much time playing in this session than was required. I understand now how people can become addicted. The game has a way of sucking you into its own world to the point where you almost do not notice anything else.
As people began to pass through the room though, I felt a little disconnected staring at a TV screen. In my last session playing, I did not feel as separated probably because my roommate was involved with her own work and there was no one else in the room. However, this time I felt a need to defend my game playing, as though other people would think poorly of me for playing a video game in the middle of the day. At one point, I said to a housemate “I’m not addicted to video games. I’m just playing this for a class.” We talked about the class for a bit, and then I returned to the game.
The reward structure and conflicts in this game are closely linked. Rewards involve gems, weapons, and other useful objects. Gems can also be cashed in at the store for other weapons or renewed health. Objects that are more valuable are earned upon the completion of difficult tasks, whereas simple tasks are rewarded with less valuable items. Figuring out a path through corridors without being crushed by a giant bolder leads to the retrieval of a sword. The player earns a special token as proof of success after defeating a very dangerous spider twice the character’s size. Throwing a rock or chopping grass earns you a single gem.
Conflicts are created by the desire to obtain rewards. Players confront creatures in the game endangering their own lives because once the creature has been conquered the player is rewarded. Even without the added reward, there would still be conflict because the creatures are continuously trying to kill the player. Challenges are also present in the absent of dangerous creatures. Upon entering certain rooms, iron bars drop and the play must figure a way out if they wish to continue playing.
The only problem I have been able to discover with my limited experience of this game is that the conflicts and rewards can become so distracting that I loose sight of the overall goal of the game.
(Nicolas Kent - Grader)
Saturday 19 January, 2008 by Jade
Is being distracted from the overall goal of the game a problem? If the conflict and reward systems are interesting enough to maintain an engaging gameplay experience, does it matter that you're distracted from your goal?
If you were designing a section of this game, what sort of puzzles would you build? How would you make them? What sorts of tools would Link use to solve them?
And whats wrong with playing a game in the middle of the day? It's probably healthier than 4 in the morning.