All computer games are and have been designed around the same central elements throughout time: the player and the gameplay experience. Although the hardware and software elements constantly change, the psychology behind the player needs and experiences remains constant and given the fact that all computer games try to offer the best gameplay experience, they all tend to require the player to respond by default in some way that the game can somehow seem natural.
Even when we were young and addicted to games or at least knew someone who was addicted, we all knew that games were designed according to a set of rules that acted by a certain probability. Probability in games is a system of time, work and reward. These can be combined in an infinite number of ways to induce players the desired reactions at some point or even throughout the game.
The first step in the process of manipulating the gameplay is to create a clear concept of reward; we all know that players behave like the virtual objects and items are real. Even NPCs are sometimes regarded as real. For example, to get a certain item, the player must accomplish certain tasks and conditions that usually involve some thinking and weighting the options thus making the player perceive the finesse underneath the design. He invests time, effort and skill to get that certain promised item and whatever the value of the object is, whether it’s made of real diamonds or just binary code, the player will still try his best to obtain it; after all, even diamonds have value only because we all agree upon the fact that they are valuable.
This is the best way to enhance and extend a storyline and the game itself because the main storyline is not always centered on gathering objects but rather making certain contacts, going somewhere and so on; this is possible only because the player perceives these items as valuable and this is a property that game developers exploit with full strength. These extensions are primarily based on the primordial instinct to collect and gather. For example, during a role playing game several chests are present but in order to be able to open one you need a key. The game designer promises such a reward that the player is immediately eager to spend several hours and deviate from the main quest to obtain that key.
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