When designing a game, it is important to think of the gameplay in how the target audience will experience it from moment to moment. Even minor choices should be considered in regards to the target audience and how they would react to certain situations. This is why player stories are important, as they allow the designer to consider gameplay on both a micro and a macro level, and to consider what may seem like very small choices, but can make a huge difference in how they appeal to an audience, and how enjoyable the game is for the player at any given moment.
A game concept allows the designer to explore the overarching mechanics and story of the game, before considering the more minute aspects of the moment to moment gameplay.
Tropical Knight will inspire valour in the player as they play as a little knight who arrives on a tropical island by accident. They will utilise wits and problem-solving skills to defeat the dragon and save the island. They will collect items, discover secrets, and trade with villagers to find the right items and traps to overcome enemies and puzzles. It is possible for the player to make the game harder for themself by using items and traps in inappropriate situations, so they must be cautious when attempting to solve puzzles. As the knight wears armour, the player must also be sure to keep the knight hydrates, lest progress be lost as the knight passes out in the heat.
1. As a <player>, I will use <traps> to <defeat enemies> to <protect the village>.
2. As a <player>, I will use my <coordination> to <avoid environmental obstacles> to <progress through the level>.
3. As a <player>, I will <complete quests for NPCs> to <gain specific items> to <defeat the dragon>.
4. As a <player>, I will <thoroughly search the island> to <find hidden treasure> to <trade with NPCs>.
5. As an <enemy>, I will use my <combat skills> to <engage the player> so that they <do not reach the dragon>.
6. As a <friendly NPC>, I will use <my inventory> to <trade items with the player> so that they can <defeat the dragon>.
7. As a <player>, I will use <water> to <stay hydrated> to <reach the dragon>.
8. As a <player>, I will use my <jumping ability> to <avoid enemies> to <defeat the dragon>.
9. As a <dragon>, I will use my <flame breath> to <terrorise villagers> to <take over the island>.
10. As a <player>, I will use my <problem-solving skills> to <defeat the dragon> to <save the island>.
It can be noticed that player stories 1 and 8 are similar. This is because, based on Sam’s enjoyment of Minecraft and Pokemon Go, we inferred that he enjoyed games which featured player choice, so the player can decide how to handle things such as enemies in our game.
Relation to Target Audience
Player Story 10
Sam enjoys Minecraft, which taps into elements of problem-solving and allows the player to choose their own path, rather than following a strict storyline. Player story 10 involves these skills and this choice in a way that a game with a rigid ‘kill the dragon with your overpowered weapon’ does not, as it requires the player to think outside the box and utilise items they collect throughout the game in order to find their own way of defeating the dragon.
This can tap into emotional motivations in regards to the PX goal of determination, which it is believed Sam enjoys based on his enjoyment of Minecraft, Pokemon Go, and Mario Kart.
Player Story 7
Based on Sam’s enjoyment of Minecraft and Pokemon Go, it can be guessed that he enjoys games with some sort of survival element. Thus, player story 7 involves this skill in that the player must collect water throughout the game, lest they become dehydrated and lose the progress that they have made.
This can, similarly to that motivations in player story 10, tap into emotional motivations in regards to the PX goal of determination, which it is believed Sam enjoys based on his specified taste in games.
Player Story 4
Pokemon Go utilises a collection mechanic in order to keep players determined and invested in the game. As Sam enjoys this game, player story 4 utilises this idea in the collection of treasure throughout the island.
This can tap into creative and emotional motivations in regards to the PX goals of problem-solving and determination, which it is believed Sam enjoys based on his favourite games.