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Useless Interactions for Useful
Responses
Mattia Traverso
ROME 18-19 MARCH 2016
About Me
I am usually tired
About Me
One and One Story – 2011
About Me
One and One Story – 2011
About Me
Fru – 2013
About Me
? - ?
Let’s write a story
Let’s write a story
Let’s write a story
Games have a problem
Games have a problem
Games have a problem
Games have a problem
Flowers?
Cutscene?
Cutscene?
Games have a problem
Games have a problem
Games have a problem
Give Flower
???
Games have a problem
Games have a problem
Games have a problem
Games have a problem
“I ran there.
And then I jumped there.
Then I ran there.
Then… I ran some more.”
Games don’t actually have a problem
Games don’t actually have a problem
Games don’t actually have a problem
Games don’t actually have a problem
Games don’t actually have a problem
Well…
Bad Game Design
Loose
Game
Mechanic
=
Bad
Game
Design
Bad Game Design
Loose
Game
Mechanic
=
Bad
Game
Design
?
Case Study 1
Case Study 1
Case Study 1
Case Study 1
Case Study 1
Case Study 1
Case Study 1
This is a USELESS interaction.
Case Study 1
Case Study 1
This is a USELESS interaction.
Yet it sets the TONE of the game.
Case Study 1
This is a game where a button HUGS.
Case Study 2
Case Study 2
Case Study 2
Case Study 2
This is a USELESS interaction.
Yet it tells us something about the
CHARACTER of the game.
Case Study 3
Case Study 3
Case Study 3
Case Study 3
SPOILERS AHEAD
CLOSE YOUR EYES.
Case Study 3
You go by THREE FLOORS of an
infected hospital.
Case Study 3
You go by THREE FLOORS of an
infected hospital.
You check EVERY SINGLE PERSON for
the infection. If they are ...
Case Study 3
You go by THREE FLOORS of an
infected hospital.
You check EVERY SINGLE PERSON for
the infection. If they are ...
Case Study 3
Why give me these DAMN goggles in the first place?
Case Study 3
This is a USELESS interaction.
Yet it instills
DESPERATION in the player.
MOAR
MOAR
MOAR
Let’s try this out.
Let’s try this out.
Let’s try this out.
Let’s try this out.
What USELESS interaction can we add…
To make the experience more
POWERFUL?
Let’s try this out.
Let’s try this out.
This is a USELESS interaction.
Even counterproductive.
Yet it instills
AGITATION in the player.
Let’s try this out.
Let’s try this out.
This is a USELESS interaction.
Even more USELESS than all of the previous ones.
Yet it makes the playe...
Takeaway
Takeaway
USELESS interactions aren’t always
USELESS…
But they need to be
MEANINGFUL.
Useless.
Useless.
Thanks!
ROME 18-19 MARCH 2016
@MattiaNotFound
contact@mattiatraverso.com
All pictures belong
to their respective authors
Useless interactions for useful responses: engaging players emotionally with bad game design
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Useless interactions for useful responses: engaging players emotionally with bad game design

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"Useless interactions for useful responses: engaging players emotionally with bad game design" by Mattia Traverso.
When we press A on the SNES controller, we know that Mario is going to jump. If we hold down the directional keys, we expect him to move. Those are "rules", or "mechanics", which are defined by the game designer to create a system which generates the "fun". All mechanics in the game are tightly tied together, so that each use of "Jump" or "Move" will have an effect on every other component of the game. For instance, it would make no sense to have a "press Z to eat a sandwich" mechanic, as it would have no effect on the game system and practically be useless. Or would it?

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Useless interactions for useful responses: engaging players emotionally with bad game design

  1. 1. Useless Interactions for Useful Responses Mattia Traverso ROME 18-19 MARCH 2016
  2. 2. About Me I am usually tired
  3. 3. About Me One and One Story – 2011
  4. 4. About Me One and One Story – 2011
  5. 5. About Me Fru – 2013
  6. 6. About Me ? - ?
  7. 7. Let’s write a story
  8. 8. Let’s write a story
  9. 9. Let’s write a story
  10. 10. Games have a problem
  11. 11. Games have a problem
  12. 12. Games have a problem
  13. 13. Games have a problem
  14. 14. Flowers?
  15. 15. Cutscene?
  16. 16. Cutscene?
  17. 17. Games have a problem
  18. 18. Games have a problem
  19. 19. Games have a problem Give Flower ???
  20. 20. Games have a problem
  21. 21. Games have a problem
  22. 22. Games have a problem
  23. 23. Games have a problem “I ran there. And then I jumped there. Then I ran there. Then… I ran some more.”
  24. 24. Games don’t actually have a problem
  25. 25. Games don’t actually have a problem
  26. 26. Games don’t actually have a problem
  27. 27. Games don’t actually have a problem
  28. 28. Games don’t actually have a problem
  29. 29. Well…
  30. 30. Bad Game Design Loose Game Mechanic = Bad Game Design
  31. 31. Bad Game Design Loose Game Mechanic = Bad Game Design ?
  32. 32. Case Study 1
  33. 33. Case Study 1
  34. 34. Case Study 1
  35. 35. Case Study 1
  36. 36. Case Study 1
  37. 37. Case Study 1
  38. 38. Case Study 1 This is a USELESS interaction.
  39. 39. Case Study 1
  40. 40. Case Study 1 This is a USELESS interaction. Yet it sets the TONE of the game.
  41. 41. Case Study 1 This is a game where a button HUGS.
  42. 42. Case Study 2
  43. 43. Case Study 2
  44. 44. Case Study 2
  45. 45. Case Study 2 This is a USELESS interaction. Yet it tells us something about the CHARACTER of the game.
  46. 46. Case Study 3
  47. 47. Case Study 3
  48. 48. Case Study 3
  49. 49. Case Study 3 SPOILERS AHEAD CLOSE YOUR EYES.
  50. 50. Case Study 3 You go by THREE FLOORS of an infected hospital.
  51. 51. Case Study 3 You go by THREE FLOORS of an infected hospital. You check EVERY SINGLE PERSON for the infection. If they are infected, you have to kill them.
  52. 52. Case Study 3 You go by THREE FLOORS of an infected hospital. You check EVERY SINGLE PERSON for the infection. If they are infected, you have to kill them. They are all infected.
  53. 53. Case Study 3 Why give me these DAMN goggles in the first place?
  54. 54. Case Study 3 This is a USELESS interaction. Yet it instills DESPERATION in the player.
  55. 55. MOAR
  56. 56. MOAR
  57. 57. MOAR
  58. 58. Let’s try this out.
  59. 59. Let’s try this out.
  60. 60. Let’s try this out.
  61. 61. Let’s try this out. What USELESS interaction can we add… To make the experience more POWERFUL?
  62. 62. Let’s try this out.
  63. 63. Let’s try this out. This is a USELESS interaction. Even counterproductive. Yet it instills AGITATION in the player.
  64. 64. Let’s try this out.
  65. 65. Let’s try this out. This is a USELESS interaction. Even more USELESS than all of the previous ones. Yet it makes the player feel POWERLESS.
  66. 66. Takeaway
  67. 67. Takeaway USELESS interactions aren’t always USELESS… But they need to be MEANINGFUL.
  68. 68. Useless.
  69. 69. Useless.
  70. 70. Thanks! ROME 18-19 MARCH 2016 @MattiaNotFound contact@mattiatraverso.com All pictures belong to their respective authors

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