For some, it is about winning, yet for others, it is the zeal to learn the process and ponder over the experience and mistakes and the takeaways from it. Regardless of whichever group you belong to, this article discusses the aspect of designing a perfect game and all the checklists that it must contain to captivate the players to keep playing.
Have you ever been so engrossed in a game that you couldn’t stop playing? Or ever played a game that was so tedious that you couldn’t even complete it? Now consider how these games differed from one another. Because scoring is typically a big influence on in-game performance and player interest, they likely have radically different scoring mechanisms as well as win states. Designing games and especially successful learning games requires proper game scoring systems.
What is a Win State?
Before moving on, first, we need to understand what a win state is.
“A situation or state in a game or level that indicates that a specified task or objective has been completed successfully.”
When it comes to developing win-or-fail states for your game, think about what someone who has no understanding of what they are doing would do.
Allow people to play the game without directing them. Just watch what they’re doing and don’t tell them where they are going wrong. Make the appropriate adjustments and see if they do what you want them to do this time or if they are going off course less.
Win States and Engagement
To keep the players hooked on playing a game, a competent game designer should present them with ongoing challenges, each of which leads to another challenge. In addition, A strong backstory may make competition much more exciting. In various Internet forums and game-magazine sections discussing video and board games, a solid plot or storyline is considered essential to a good game. Surprisingly, a magical environment inspires participants to win games. And real-life scenarios can be recreated or imitated in games.
Players are immersed in a world comparable to that which they will discover outside the screen of their computer, and replicating real-world circumstances. These simulators allow users to engage with a different environment while also allowing them to practise the skills and ideas learned throughout the game. Examples could include engineers trying to build a dam or bridge, or surgeons simulating different options prior to actual surgeries.
In a typical example of scenario-based games, people are stranded on an island and the goal of the game is for the player to lead acrew as they construct a hot-air balloon to escape the island and return home safely. To do so, they must understand all of the characteristics of a successful leader and team manager, such as encouraging and praising their co-workers, resolving disagreements, allocating responsibilities, and coaching.
Scoring Systems as Rewards
Scoring systems are significant in-game mechanics because they allow players to be rewarded with points for completing a task in the game. Game players’ sentiments regarding the complex scoring systems used can vary considerably, and their attitudes toward these systems can significantly impact how satisfied they are with the game as a whole.
As scoring techniques become more diverse, it becomes more difficult to pinpoint the exact features of scoring that have the most significant influence on player engagement. Game designers are obliged to integrate scoring based on personal experience because it is difficult to categorize scoring systems. Some key principles guide the design of a scoring system for a learning game:
- Keep scoring simple: Complicated scoring may force players to review the rules repeatedly, or worse, may confuse and discourage them. Players are not learning if they don’t comprehend the game or cease playing.
- Link scoring to learning outcomes: The goal of a learning game is to teach rather than to amuse. The scoring algorithms aren’t well-designed if expert gameplay allows players to win without learning. Similarly, success should not be overly reliant on luck. Players must succeed, advance, or otherwise, prosper in the game.
- Make scoring transparent: If the rules aren’t appropriately described in an introductory tutorial, rule book, or explanation screen, players will become confused or frustrated and leave the game.
- Include some variety: Games in which everyone gets the same score can get monotonous. Instead, provide additional points for answering more difficult questions or hitting targets in say shooting games that require more precision, finishing levels faster, or submitting accurate answers with fewer attempts. Multiple players can learn this, but they won’t all get the same score.
- Don’t put too much emphasis on winning: Losing might demotivate players. You face the danger of demotivating anyone who loses if you build a competitive game. You may avoid this issue by focusing on learning rather than winning. Better create a cooperative game rather than a competitive one. Because players work together to achieve a common goal, cooperative games do not have victors and losers.
Examples of ‘Scoring’
You’ll also want game scoring systems. A well-designed and entertaining game will employ them to allow players to score in a few different ways.
- Earning points: in-game cash, bonus points
- Levelling up: entails achieving new game levels, increasing the degree of difficulty, and earning avatar abilities.
- Acquiring recognition: badges, awards, and titles
- Adding new content: new quests, new questions, and new learning objectives
Competition vs Cooperation
Cooperative games provide a fresh perspective on gaming. In traditional competitive games, only one player can win and the others lose. Different structures apply to cooperative games. Players do not compete against one another in cooperative games. Instead, they share a similar purpose, and they all win or lose together. Many learners spend many hours each week playing video games with their fellows. Peer connections and relationships may be influenced by how they play games.
Competitive and cooperative play have different consequences on aggressiveness, prosocial behaviour, empathy, and trust, according to research.
Playing a competitive game can have negative impacts on relationship quality. Furthermore, the manner of play affects the participants’ conduct during the game, with the cooperative condition exhibiting more positive, and less negative, and hierarchical behaviour. Cooperative games are also inclusive since no one is left out. To be a valuable member of the team, you don’t have to be the brightest, best-looking, most aggressive, most popular, most athletic, most talkative, or luckiest player. It is in everyone’s best interests if each player feels valued and gives their utmost. This can help promote group cohesion when members come from different backgrounds or have different social statuses.
In short, game designers need to consider many aspects to develop a game that hooks the players and encourages them to continue playing. They need to come up with a solid story and score system and consider both the complex interplay between the urge to compete and win, and the potential benefits of more collaborative modes of play.