Blog Post 4 - Game Lab 2

February 26, 2020

Game Lab Partner: Jessica

Games Played

1. this is the only level

This is the game that I watched my partner play. I watched Jessica play this game as I waited for it to load on my own system because SJSU's wifi was not cooperating with me today. I quickly noticed that Jessica and I have a very different approach to games. 


Jessica's movements were big and the tiny elephant in the game crossed the canvas of the game rapidly over and over again as the elephant continued to get regenerated after each subsequent elephant death as Jessica figured out how to control it. Jessica played this game with very little fear of elephant death and while she racked up a high number of deaths in the game, she also was able to figure out the various controls of each level quicker than I did. She realized that the mouse can also control the elephant- something that I did not pick up on as quickly. By the time we exhausted this game, Jessica had about 73 elephant deaths and I had 21.

I like how this game has the same map over and over again but each level's difficulty increases due to the fact that the controls change each time and the player has to rediscover how to win each level. Because the way we control the elephant constantly changes, the elephant becomes a dynamic player in the game and I found myself growing attached to the little guy. 


2. jurassic heart

The dating simulation that we chose to play was Jurassic Heart. Personally, I didn't really enjoy this game because simulation games always feel more like an interactive story where I just choose the path of the next chapter, and if I choose poorly then the story just abruptly ends and I have to start all over from the beginning. 


Despite the fact that I don't really like how these simulation games play, I enjoyed the artwork of this game and I liked how dynamic the T-Rex was in the game. While the story itself was relatively simple and the player isn't prompted to do much in this game, the expressions that the artist gave the T-Rex and the animations that accompany it make the game more interesting. This game really tapped into the sensation aesthetic from the MDA framework for me.

3. tetromino slide

As a fan of Tetris, this game quickly caught my attention. Although Tetris is an easy game to play with 4 simple actions, I always find myself going back to this game because it is satisfying to make complete lines in the game and see them get cleared away. I've been playing Tetris for so long that I am very familiar with the controls of the game and using the up button to drop.

Because of my familiarity and love for Tetris, this game threw me for a loop when the up button rotated the tetrominos instead of dropping them, and the tetrominos would slide across the screen when I tried to plan placement for the incoming piece. Due to the changed controls and different behaviors from the tetrominos, I found myself getting frustrated that I couldn't clear a line quickly - the way I would if I were playing the Tetris I am used to. This game really challenged me as a player because I found myself pressing wrong keys, completing actions that I did not intend to, and I still wanted to keep playing just to win.


4. canabalt

Cannabalt was the most visually appealing game for me. While the game is completely grayscale, the rapid scrolling of the screen and the running motion of the character were very intriguing and I found that I needed to remind myself to blink. The fast-pace of this game made me want to keep returning for more, to play another round, because it felt so quick that I didn't realize how much time was passing. I was surprised that a game as simple as Cannabalt could capture my attention like this and fully immerse me in this world of rooftops.

5. don't shit your pants

I really liked this game because it felt very casual and low-stakes. Although the game itself is very rushed because you are trying to prevent the character from shitting his pants, at the same time the game feels as though it is encouraging the player to fail with its list of awards. The awards were very funny and it tapped into my emotional appeal towards this game because the character reminded me of some of my friends oddly enough. 

I also found the communication with the game very interesting. I liked that we could type to it as if we were having a conversation, and it made the game feel more lively.


6. QWOP (and Tetromino Slide)

Out of all 6 games, I spent the most time playing this one. The simple keyboard controls made me foolishly think that this game would be an easy one and it would be similar to Flappy Bird where the user just plays for long rounds, attempting to beat their own score. I was correct that the player would continually try to beat their own score, but I did not expect how quickly rounds would end and restart. 

Although I am not a very competitive person by nature, I was really drawn to this game because I wanted to prove to myself that I could make the character run. After playing the game for about 20 minutes, the furthest I was able to get the character to go was 3 meters, and even as I type this now several hours later I have a desire to play the game again to try to reach a longer distance. QWOP surprised me because it made a non-competitive person highly competitive. 

Both QWOP and Tetromino Slide were able to tap into my competitive side by challenging me as a player. The games made me foolishly believe that they would be easy due to their easy controls and I found myself getting sucked into the games because I wanted to beat my own accomplishments. Something that I learned from playing both QWOP and Tetromino Slide is that I may not be competitive, but I am constantly striving to improve myself and people and games keep my interest best when I am challenged by them.