Creating a game requires patience and resilience. First you need a vision and a platform in which to achieve that vision, and then the drive and ability to carry out your goal. Most of the time the first try making a game doesn’t live up to expectations. I have learned to try new things and to not get frustrated when things don’t turn out the way I imagined.
I found Ian Schreiber’s Fundamentals of Game Design to be extremely helpful in learning about games and gaming because there was so much information in one place that was easily accessible. Having it be a course is a great idea for anyone who is more serious about learning how to make games. I used Sploder to construct my game because it matched my vision the most. I wanted something where there was a player running and trying to get through the obstacles of a level and then leveling up, like Mario Bros. I didn’t want a story game, like many of the options provided. Sploder was the easiest to access and use in my opinion.
One of the greatest takeaways I got from researching gaming was how psychology and gaming fit together. Flow is a psychological concept where a person is engaged in an activity that perfectly balances that person’s skills and the difficulty of a task. If something is too easy, it becomes boring and the person loses interest. If it is too hard, the person sees no reason to continue to try and succeed if all efforts are futile. Some examples of flow include participating in sports, having an engaged conversation, making art, and yes, gaming. Some “side-effects” of flow include losing track of time, loss of awareness of physical needs (i.e. hunger, pain), self confidence boosts, and increased happiness. Gaming can induce a flow state and therefore make a person happier in theory. The way games integrate flow into their designs is by implementing levels. Levels to a game give a reward by leveling up, they teach the player strategies, and they get increasingly more difficult. Levels cater to flow perfectly. It builds skill and gets harder at the same time, so the player doesn’t get bored and will continue in flow. Gaming communities also contribute a lot to the social impact of gaming in a positive way, and games can build decision making skills as well. Gaming can have a really positive impact that I had never considered before this project.