Mark Brown presents a pared down version of Jan Willen Nijman’s talk on game feel (see Vlambeer Scale here). Like in Vlambeer’s talk, Mark’s definition of game feel is remarkably close to a “I know art when I see it” level of scrutiny. But like Vlambeer’s talk, examples provide a much needed base to take game feel from an overly abstract buzz word to a methodology we can apply when making games.
Marcus Says: The two games Mark contrasts at the beginning of the video to show the difference between games with bad and good game feel, scored a 12 and 17 respectively on our Vlambeer Scale. The details listed in the video (screen shake, hit pause, ect.) are all visual details that can be assessed fairly well from a video or an animated gif. The “eye test” seems like a good way to get an initial feel for a game. Without visuals, writing about how a game feels (reviews, previews, ect.) often fails to communicate what a simple picture can. Assuming watching a video is the next best thing to playing when analyzing game feel, I wonder how effective the Vlambeer Scale is?
Richard Says: Great quote: “I’m not sure that ‘be Shigeru Miyamoto’ is particularly useful advice.” In general, I don’t think game design or the sub-category game feel is “elusive,” “ mostly abstract,” or a “largely invisible” art. Hearing Mark Brown say this (47s) reminds me of a forum comment stating that you can’t “see mind games.” If you can’t see mind games, then how do players fall for them when staring at a game screen? Games are complicated and appeal to a lot of different disciplines. Breaking games down, paying careful attention, and taking good notes demystifies a lot of aspects of game design. Also, game feel is rooted in a lot of long standing techniques on animation and sound, so there’s a wealth of knowledge there. Even when a games get game feel right, as Mark claims Super Meat Boy does, players can still have very different play experiences. It took me a bit to get used to the super loose, floaty, crazy acceleration of Meat Boy’s movement. Game feel is an art, not a science.