Pace, Pace, Pace…

I’ve been playing some flash games here and there, and from my perspective a game’s “pace” seems to be one of those things that can be very tricky to fine-tune. A little too slow, and the player’s bored; a little too fast, and the player’s overwhelmed. How do you determine the right pace? Here are my thoughts:

  • The less the player has to keep track of, the faster the pace should be.  This of course depends on how difficult a particular game mechanic can be to master or handle too, but if a player only has to handle one or two things, you won’t keep them engaged if the pace is too slow because they can keep up too easily. Challenge them a little to keep the pace.
  • Mood is important to consider. Take a zombie survival, for instance. A slower pace might be more effective to build suspense and fear as zombies slowly surround your position and corner you, while a faster pace creates a sense of panic and chaos as relentess hordes constantly surge at you without stop. What kind of environment do you want?
  • What do the game mechanics favor? Do you have seamless controls or does the player have to make more pronounced movements from spot to spot? Design your game and pace to cooperate with your player’s abilities.

There’s my piece on the matter, for now at least. 🙂

Posted in Design

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