Pacing is something we all understand very intuitively, it's the rhythm by which we snap our fingers and tap our feet to the beat, jostling in our seats. It goes deeper though, and today I want to ponderously explore what that is and what it means. I'm going to approach this with an emphasis on interaction design, taking feedback loops and whatnot into consideration.
The first element of analysis is to consider rhythm. With rhythm, you expect the recurrence of a pattern in consistent intervals. So in other words, pacing is defined by "what you expect to come next".
In concrete terms, let's consider a typical puzzle game flow. You begin a level and are introduced a new mechanic. The puzzle with this mechanic is simple and flexible. The level is short. In the next level, the difficulty ramps up a bit, continuing until the pattern repeats and another mechanic is introduced. A sense of pace and flow is created by the repetition of the pattern by which new mechanics are introduced to the player. What if the third mechanic was introduced without any easing in of difficulty, and the player simply couldn't solve the puzzle?
Monday, May 28, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
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Also, my box art commission was completed last friday, I might post it later on. Yay.
So am I a game designer or a graphic designer? The correct answer is "neither"! Why limit myself to a single designation? Muahaha!