Saturday, February 26, 2011

Getting Hooked

I'm always playing it. While I watch TV, I'm playing it. When I'm eating, I'm playing it. When I'm thinking, I'm playing it.

And here's the thing. I don't even like it that much. It just... it's just a part of me. Like fidgeting, or sucking your thumb, or picking your nose (gross! I wish I didn't have to always come up with a third example for things). It's a compulsion. Maybe a crutch. It's like an itch that I always have to be scratching.

How did this happen?

First, let me tell you what game I'm talking about. It's Crazy Cabbie.
This is the culprit.

It all started with Facebook. I found the game there, with online high scores and everything. I tried to get the higher score than my friends; but who the hell cares about those scores anyway? I eventually stopped playing it on Facebook and forgot it ever existed.

Recently I discovered Netflix. Now I spend all day, every day watching TV shows (don't worry guys, I'll give you all the details later.) And growing up in the 21st century, I need to be multitasking. Do you really think I can just sit still and watch a TV show? Ha. That's hilarious.

So I play this game all the time. I just took a break from writing to play it.

Here's why I'm addicted:

The countdown timer thing. This is the main culprit. It's the only game that I personally play that has this. I like to view games on how they punish and reinforce me (clearly there are tons of other things that are involved in game addiction. But this is my favorite to look at.)

• Switching in to the wrong lane
• Jumping too early
• Jumping too late
• Not jumping when you need to
• Most important of all (obviously) is having the time run out. That's the main source of punishment

• Any successful jump
• Successfully switching lanes
• Making it past the flag on time
• Okay here's the best possible thing that can happen in this game. Time is running out fast. You'd be lucky to get even get close to the finishing flag. But you keep getting closer. All of a sudden, the flag appears. You're so close, but, time is running out! 5...4...3...2...1... Oh my god! Photo finish! You barely made it! You saw that you had like a few milliseconds left! But you did it! Yeah! Okay, no time to celebrate, the next level starts instantaneously.

So in conclusion. These photo finishes are mostly why I love this game. I also love the constant movement, and the rhythmic jumping involved (it's kind of like a rhythm game, in the way that it's scrolling and you have to move from lane to lane).

This was a lot of fun to do, breaking down a game I'm addicted to. I'll have to do this more often. I recommend that you do this for your favorite games. It's possible that it will make the game seem less fluffy and awesome, but it will give you a more realistic view of the game and once you break it down to its core, you will become a better developer because of it.

Alright, thanks for reading!

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