Motion Game Design: Cheap tricks and easy ways out

The following is a refactored translation of the talk I gave at the EVA10 Expo in Buenos Aires, on 11/12/10. It does not mirror exactly what I said during the talk, but it should give you a general idea. I’ve divided it into three parts: Player limits and systemic constraints, Cheap tricks and easy ways out (this post) and Best practices.

I’ve detailed in my previous post all the most evident pitfalls and traps a designer must work around when designing motion mechanics to make them more accessible, fun and engaging. Now I’d like to illustrate by listing some of the most common default solutions (read: bad) solutions that have been used far and wide by most developers (including me, I admit) when time, skill or budget were lacking.

Hopefully you’ll be now able to identify them and at least understand some possible reasons that led the designers in adopting it.

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Motion Game Design: Player limits and systemic constraints

The following is a refactored translation of the talk I gave at the EVA10 Expo in Buenos Aires, on 11/12/10. It does not mirror exactly what I said during the talk, but it should give you a general idea. I’ve divided it into three parts: Player limits and systemic constraints (this post), Cheap tricks and easy ways out and Best practices.

The designer tasked with creating a game experience using some flavor of motion control is always fighting a pitched battle against two cunning and deceitful enemies: the tech he’s using, and the player he’s designing for. Both will lay traps for him that might prove dangerous if he designs naively.

Having had some catastrophic encounters with those foes myself, I now attempt to pass on the knowledge I’ve taken from those experiences, hoping you will be able to avoid easy mistakes when designing for motion capture systems. Continue reading