Lens #17: The Lens of the Toy

The lens #17, the lens of the toy from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses written by Jesse Schell. If you buy books through the links in this article I will get a small commission for that.

This lens is about my little character which can pick up weapons, ammo, and other stuff, which can walk, jump and shoot.

I have to answer the following questions

  • If the game had not goal, would it be fun at all? If not, how can I change that?
  • When people see my game, do they want to start interacting with it, even before they know what to do? If not, how can I change that?

It’s fun for me to walk around and shoot enemies. It is simple enough to “get it” and interact with it. Due to the COVID-19, there are no gameshows where I could test if people would like to interact with my game. But the bar should be pretty low to give it a try. But the game world is not interactive enough to just enjoy walking around and explore the levels without any goal.

The game world needs more things we can interact with. Like flying paper in an office space or dust and little debris when walking around. Also shooting should have more impact on the game world.

The outcome of this chapter will lead to a couple more topics for Lens #16: The Lens of Risk Mitigation as I have to try them out quickly which means more prototyping. Prototyping is a fun thing to do actually and with ESC (see also my articles about ESC) it is a piece of cake.

A selection of ideas

  • Destructible stuff
  • Attacking dash
  • Water which includes swimming and diving
  • Whirling paper when rushing through an office space
  • Whirling dust and debris along the way when we shoot
  • A sleeping animation if just standing around

I get a small commissions for purchases made through the following links, I only have books in this section which I bought myself and which I love. No bullshit.

Christian Liesch

Software Developer

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