Reflection week 1 – Player Experience Goals and Example SHMUP Games

Student Name: Jack Hendy

Student Number: n9066845

I wasn’t really excited to be designing a SHMUP game as it was a genre that I did not enjoy playing much as a kid. However, after meeting my group and discussing the activity, instead of thinking of the things that I don’t like in SHMUP games, I thought more about what I would like to see in our game. My input on the player experience goals were based off my own experiences with these types of games.

During the activity of breaking down SHMUP examples I found Solace to be the most interesting as its less of a goal centred game and more of an experience. The abstract visuals were interesting and unique. I liked the fact that it strayed from the norm of design for Shoot em up games. This also influenced my ideas for the player experience goal of our game. I thought a unique setting or unique mechanics would be most interesting to play and design.



Week 1 – Player Experience

Cycle 1 (SHMUP)

Student Name: Jack Hendy

Student Number: n9066845

This week our discussion of Shoot em up genre of games centred around our individual opinions on the shoot em up genre. We discussed what we enjoyed and what we didn’t in terms of mechanics of common shoot em up style games. The Player Experience goals that we produced reflected what we liked or would like to see in this genre of game and we hope to create one that fulfils our goals.

A few Key points we identified includes:

  • Interesting moment to moment gameplay that presents the player with an ever changing game state, imploring them to react to multiple goals or threats at once and plan or change their course accordingly. The main idea being to divert from the norm of presenting the player with repetitive scenarios.
  • An abstract or minimalist approach to theme and graphics combined with a calm, tactical mechanic that gives the player the ability to enjoy the world around them, devoid of the constant fear of failure. The clean visuals and non-aggressive gameplay should allow the player to take their time and hopefully enjoy the experience.
  • A mechanically  in-depth experience that satisfies the player, through trial and error, by finding the right combination of moves or abilities for completing the goal. Possibly an element of cooperative play to add complexity or to increase player investment in the goal. The players will find joy in teaming up to conquer the depth of the experience together.

We decided to take a part of each Experience that we hope to bring the player and combine them into our goal for the next 4 weeks.

The player or players will be presented with ever changing goals or challenges without the pitfall of failure that allows them to explore the depth of the mechanics and world that they have been drawn into.

We believe this goal draws on the following aspects of the Player Experience:

  • Imploring the players to be creative through a combination of abstract themes and in-depth mechanics in an environment that does not punish experimentation
  • Giving the players the ability to cooperate and coordinate their skills creates a social dynamic to embellish the experience
  • Hones the players cognitive skills by use of abstract themes to allow the player to focus on important patterns

We hope to incorporate what we think are the most important aspects of “what make this genre fun?” into a game that we all would enjoy playing. This means moving the skills away from the fast paced, reflex based aspects of most Shoot em up games and towards increasingly cognitive tasks, grinding the more “grey” gears. However, we do understand that making a game for us means that the game might not appeal to others in the same way it appeals to us. Given this we will work towards fine tuning our idea through play testing and by gauging our audiences player experience.