When Difficult Is Fun – Challenging vs. Punishing Games

“As a designer you’re not trying to defeat your player. You want them to overcome the challenge you’re setting before.
Your goal is a designer is to get your player so invested, engaged that they want to beat this game. Even though it’s difficult. You don’t want to simply set something before then that causes them to walk away because they had a challenge which is too tough too early. That is punishing”.
Tips: As a designer when player fails you want them to always feel as though they could have done better. You want them to have that ‘aha moment’ realise some small thing they could do differently and be hungry to try again. If instead they feel like the game made them fail then you have failed as a designer. If your rule are consistent. If the player isn’t presented with choices they can work with or a game that’s usable enough or if you demand that the player wait three minutes of content they already mastered just get to another chance at the thing they failed that you have created a game. which is punishing not difficult and punishing game will never succeed.

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