This morning I came across this article over at Gamasutra, which talks about failure friendly gameplay. In the small bit of actual gaming that I have done, I can totally relate to it. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours on a game, only to fail at a given task and have to redo the entire thing. Equally as frustrating is having to repeat the same twenty seconds of gameplay a bazillion times because you keep failing and get set back each time you fail. Game designers – take note. I especially like this quote:
By minimizing punishment, games can evoke all of the good aspects of challenge — the feeling of accomplishment, the sympathy with the player character, and the pacing challenges provide — without making the player feel inadequate or wasting the player’s time.
This requires three things: challenges must be legitimate, recovery must be quick, and creativity must be encouraged.
Now that is the real challenge of game design!