When choosing what sort of game to make, it is vital to consider that it meets the requirements of the target audience. This studio has chosen to use the persona of Sam, a twelve year old boy who is interested in Minecraft, Mario Kart and Pokemon Go, as the selected target audience of our next game.
Player experience goals are heavily influenced by the target audience and what sort of experiences they are interested in. We have narrowed down the three initial player experience goals to be problem solving, coordination and determination, each coming from the branches of creative, physical and emotional, respectively.
When looking at the big ideas associated with this target audience, we discussed two different approaches. The first being to look at the sort of issues that a tween boy would deal with on a day to day basis. We narrowed it down to friendship being the largest real big concept that this target audience would regularly be involved in. To add a fantasy element to the game, we’ve taken a spin on the monster under the bed story that has been used for generations to scare children and twisted it around. The player discovers the monster living under their bed and makes friends with him, realising that not all monsters fit into the stereotypical story. After they become friends, the player must then help the monster to find his way home and to protect him from harm.
The second approach that we took in deciding on a big idea was to use a concept that is not as ‘day to day’, however is something that young boys look up to. We chose valour to fill this role, as fits the stereotypical knight saving the princess from the dragon that has been used throughout the years. While it is a tried and true method, it requires a bit of adjusting in order to make it an interesting, original game concept. In this case, the knight, in literal shining armour, is shipwrecked on a tropical island, where he must defeat the dragon and save the princess while in an unfamiliar environment. His heavy armour causes him to sweat constantly, forcing him to constantly keep up his water intake. Reaching the dragon can only be done with the help of the villagers, as there are many obstacles and quests that must be completed before the player can advance. Valour is embedded in the typical knight in shining armour and provides a hero for young males to look up to.
The final player experience goal that has been narrowed down to problem solving. The target audience quite enjoys games like Minecraft and Mario Kart, both of which employ high amount of creative problem solving from their players. Both of them specifically use items to help players get past barriers and complete objectives.
As mentioned earlier, the player experience goal ideas come from physical and emotional, with the final player experience goal, problem solving, stemming from creative. When used in the context of these game ideas, problem solving also comes from cognitive, as it many of the tasks that the player will face will require cognitive thinking. An example of this is that the player may come up against a wall that he must get past, usually using a mixture of items that he receives as rewards or drops. The player must use problem solving to figure out the solution, mixing creative and cognitive thinking.
Knight. Assassin’s Creed Wiki. Retrieved 31 May 2017, from http://assassinscreed.wikia.com/wiki/Knight
Monsters Under the Bed. Pinterest. Retrieved 31 May 2017, from https://au.pinterest.com/pin/46584177373171638/