An amendment to my last post and my Three Modes of Play

I just played Red-White-Toggle ‘properly’ (i.e. without testing it, without trying to analyse it etc) and I had a rollicking good time with a high score of 58. I also saw some cool 3D effects with the way the squares sometimes fitted together, so yeah I’m glad I urged people to give it a go rather than being too down on it.

I still think it would get old quite fast, and that it is not worth building upon. It certainly does not have the potential to be one of these nostalgia inducing games that I’ve previously blogged about, but it is a good lesson about how playing as a designer, as a critic, and as a player are all different and one certainly shouldn’t neglect the most important of the three.

That was going to be the entirety of this post, but I feel I owe it to you to give a bit more detail of the three modes.

Play as Player: Playing to have fun, kill time, and any other experience the game provokes out of you. An entirely individualistic affair,  anything learnt here is only as representative as you are representative. A lot of NES and SNES games got their difficulty from professionals with unparalleled knowledge of their games playing as players and boosting up the difficulty till they themselves had a challenge.

Play as Designer: Playing to find bugs, to find improvements and to find issues. It is quite a practical stuck-on-the-ground affair that involves making practical tweaks to hope the game works better. Its important to remember that a series of tweaks can leave one with an entirely different game than one started with.

Play as Critic: The designer is more practical, yet more holistic than the critic who possesses a philosophy and focuses on the particular details that make up that philosophy. Playing as a player and playing as a designer draw on taste, which one gets whether they like it or not. The critic works on a philosophy that is semi-consciously produced whether or not it is verbalised.

Much of this blog is written as a critic; the last post included. However, the suggestion of adding risk-and-reward was about fitting to my tastes, it was playing as a designer. If I thought about increasing the speed or moving the location of the second square those could all have been playing as a designer; my philosophy is mute on those. The first paragraph of this post was thinking as a player.

I’ll demonstrate the use of my three categories as a Christmas present on the subject of Tetris. I hope you’ll read it.


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