The Shared Expectations

This was inspired by my making my newest demo and also watching this video by on game design by one of the Vlambeer guys. It is also going to be far more specific than the name suggest based on the idea that focusing on the specific can provide illumination on the general.

When attacking an enemy how effective are you being? A health bar could help, perhaps. Maybe spreading blood splatter when a hit is done. There are numerous things that one can do to say ‘this enemy is getting weaker’. However, in a Pirate Versus Several Ninjas your bullets aren’t doing any damage to the ninjas. When your strike against them is being effective, you’ll know about it, however you can’t deduce from the lack of indications of the effectiveness of your bullets that your bullets aren’t effective.

That’s because I have no reputation. Nobody looks at JohansenIndustries and says to themselves ‘this is someone we can trust to have implemented good player feedback’. This means that the current possibilities are different – I expect smaller – for me with no reputation than studios that have one. To focus on the opriginal point, if people don’t expect well-implement player feedback when injuring an enemy then a lack of indications of injury isn’t evidence of a lack of injury.

Trying to get into a superior area of Shared Expectations can be seen as a reason for going into those trends, or reasons for trying to get ‘high-quality’ graphics and other assets. For example, making it clear that you are willing to put a lot of effort into music can make people more inclined to think you’ll put more effort into more important things such as player feedback.

What’s that? That’s signalling!


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