We’ve all seen them- certain themes, ideas, promises that pull players in and won’t let go. Guillermo del Toro, Miyazaki, Neil Gaimon, Monte Cook all create worlds that are familiar but fresh, enticing you into staying to see what’s over the next hill or around the next corner.
I’m interested in what we can do to build this feeling around design in games. What are the lenses and best practices we can use to incorporate deep resonance into our gameplay itself?
It’s worth noting that repetition decreases this feeling. The first MMOs were some of the most seductive, and over time as the formula has been repeated, I believe they have lost some of that magic.
Off-the-cuff examples that deliver in the promise AND the execution:
- Minecraft – a world where I can do anything I want?
- Untitled Goose Game – just hearing about the gameplay makes you intrigued.
- Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Bendy and the Ink Machine – horror of different kinds triggers this feeling for many people
- Magic: The Gathering – the recent Throne of Eldraine mechanics and themeing does this for me