Using Existing Gameplay Mechanics – A Reflection

For an upcoming assignment I have been tasked with creating a new game. Due to the limited timespan I have to complete this task, I’ve been considering using already established game mechanics. In particular I have been looking at hidden object games as inspiration. However, I worry that this will make my game come across as unoriginal.

There are a myriad of hidden object games out there, particularly in the casual gaming market. As the name suggests, these games are often not as challenging as games designed for PC and consoles. Should I choose to use hidden object mechanics in my game, I want to make sure they don’t bring with them some of the drawbacks of casual games. To do this, I’m considering adding a harsher losing system. For example, if the player selects the wrong object a certain amount of times the game will be over and they will have to restart. Another way to make it more challenging and unique is instead of providing a visually identical icon of what they player is looking for give a vague description of what the player is looking for. Going a step further, these descriptions would be part of dialogue cutscenes and game objects. This would add another level of difficulty because not only does the player not have a perfect image of what they are looking for, but they also must remember past information.

For better or for worse, it is part of human nature to make judgements about things. This is most certainly the case when it comes to games. FPS players are characterized as violence desiring young white men and mobile gamers are envisioned to be bored housewives. It should (hopefully) not come as a surprise that these, as well as other stereotypes, can be revealed to be false should people take the time to dig a little deeper. Although it is not explicitly part of the assignment, I hope that by making hidden object game mechanics more difficult I can challenge players perceptions of the type of people who play those of games.

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