The Player Experience - Discussion

What’s your understanding of what the Player Experience means? Is it clear to you?

To me the Player Experience is what the player will feel throughout the game. What are we aiming for the play to experience. Is it going to be attacking monsters or is it taking care of a farm. How can we make that happen? Does the art match what experience we are trying to portray? Does the sound feel clam or intense? Does the story bring you in or do you feel like the gaming has no heart?

So much goes into the player experience but if you don’t give the player an experience worth investing hours… well then you don’t have a game worth playing. The experience is what brings players back! It’s what they will remember years from.

My best gaming experience is getting my first win on fortnite. I was in complete awe. It was like I won a million bucks. Also the feeling of dropping into a large playground from the battlepass felt real. It felt like I was in a huge event. It was an amazing experience!

That is my understanding of Player Experience. I think you did a great job at explaining it. It was clear to me.


Awesome, thanks for your thoughts!


I agree very much with your thoughts here, Kevin. Some of my most intense gameplay moments were tied in with an amazing soundtrack paired with a story that made me feel like I was making a difference.

Another element of Player Experience for me is control scheme and camera/level layout. I’ve quit games I otherwise loved the story, music, and art for, because moving the character through the game was painfully frustrating. And some moving camera setups make me motion sick. I don’t think I’ve ever stopped playing a game just because it was ugly or I had to mute the sound.

That said: Frustration can be an important part of game design, but it needs to be a deliberate element. Challenging the player to learn a pattern or solve a puzzle, so they can feel the jubilation of Ï did it!" is classic. Like Rick said, sometimes a gamer wants to experience an unpleasant emotion in a controlled environment. I’ve never been one for horror games, but I still remember after 20 years what it felt like not to be able to save Aeris.


I agree with you. A player experience all comes down to how are we making the player feel.

For instance when I play a game like Detroit Become Human I feel immersed in the story. The control are so fluid and comfortable that I feel like I am in the game.

I believe when you make a player completely immersed and you keep the player there is the true art of the player experience. The experience the player gets even after hours and hours of playing is a truly tough to maintain but if it provides a constant powerful experience then a player will always be drawn to the game.


The story most of all, but also the music, art, acting.

For me player experience is immersion, that feeling where when you finally look up from the screen its 3AM in the morning! I want to feel connected to the world that I am experiencing. So the story, the world, the music and audio all must play there part in sucking me in to this new world.

I think indeed Player Experience is about immersion into the game. If you can feel it, you want to play it. For my game, that will take forever if I can even finish it, I’ve created a title called “Dragon’s Spirit”, my player experience is:

As the player you have had some hard times behind you, you are going on adventures and gaining self-confidence as you go. You gain “spirit” for every quest you complete. There’s also a lot of humor in the game, think Magicka for example.

I bet I could find a way to write this shorter, but couldn’t come up with that yet.

Ah, I thought this discussion was to share what we wrote down for the player experience of our specific game. Maybe that’s a different thread.

What I understand from the Player Experience is the fundamental experience that the player should have by playing the game, whether that’s a specific emotion, or the experience of being a specific (type of) person or thing, or a combination of the two.

My Player Experience is how the Player is meant to feel like a traveler trying to find the legendary dragon blade and to piece together the story of Estonia(The name of the land).

This is a great lecture. I expect I’ll return to this many times as I develop my own products.

real talk: a big part of ‘fun’ or engaging the player is about addiction. Get that skinner-box going, baby.

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For me, the player experience is something that can only be described after it has been experienced.
In general, the more fun something is, the more time the player will take before noticing it himself (or herself). There are obviously various factors that hinder the fun factor from real life like tiredness, work, family, hunger, emergencies, etc.

This is, for me, an actual good way of determining how fun my project is or not as if, even in its rough state (like a pre-Alpha), I got enough fun to waste 30-40 minutes trying it out (even if it gives me nothing), I know I got a good egg in my hands. If I play 5-10 minutes, have fun, but feel like there’s something amiss or that could be “more”, I know I got work to do, but the egg can still be salvaged. If I play 5 minutes and watch the clock and feel like I wouldn’t even want to get paid to play this, I know I should move on or do a lot more researches.

As for how to make or determine a good experience, I actually did a bit of research on certain key elements that are strangely not as well documents or even noticed in the world of game design.

What makes a game?
Is it the gameplay?
Is it the quality of its assets?
Is it the contextual content or story?
Partially on a 2nd level, but no.

The first level of how an experience in a game is set by this rule:
What makes a game fun is ultimately determined by how you loose at that game.

By determining how you loose, you also determine how you win and how you win determines how the player can feel the rush of adrenaline, but to win, you got to be able to loose. Being able to win at a game is how you differentiate the experience between a video game and a book or a TV show or an app used as a tool.

Why can’t a game be determined by how you win if the experience is always better with winning than loosing? The answer is strangely simple: In most games, you may find 100’s of ways to win, but usually only 1 or 2 to loose. (Sometimes, you loose by loosing all your HP, but you might also have parts of the game where you instantly loose by falling into a trap/hole.)

In a game like Sim City, you can’t really win because even if you reach the most “end” of a city’s development, with billions of $ and no pollution, etc. the game keeps going on. You got to set your own “win” scenario. And still, loosing is clear: If you got no $ and got to spend $ to gain more $, you loose. (You might think about how something like loosing half your population due to X, Y or Z as being another way of loosing, but that’s not the case as the only thing that makes it a lost is that you loose half of your city’s revenues and ultimately can recover the lost financially. All ways of loosing in Sim City comes back to its economy.)

In a game like the Souls Series from FromSoftware (Dark Souls, Demons Souls, Bloodborn, etc.), you loose by loosing all your HP and returning to the last spawn point. Ironically, you might think that you loose by dying, but again that’s wrong. In the Souls’ series, you loose by stopping playing because you can’t advance further than a point. Death, in that game, is only another tool to push you toward loosing and the fun part of the game is, again, how you can win over the odds placed against you and while dying can make you feel bad, it only raise the fun part whenever you win.

On the reverse, I can give a really good example of how a game experience can be utterly bad due to how the player loose: Neverdead on the PS3. The controls in that game is fun and the audio is average, but not bad. You got to play as a cool immortal dude that can’t die. It’s basically the premise of Devil May Cry + Wolverine, but on easy mode with lots of cool stuff and flavor. What could go wrong? Well, you loose that game by either letting a character die as you escort said character or you die by being blown into pieces and having your head eaten by certain creature (which supposedly would means you head would keep getting digested and regenerated in that belly.)

It’s basically the worse part of the Resident Evil 4, where you got to escort Ashley (the president’s daughter) remotely, mixed with some platform games where controls (as only an head) was bad and you would die in a single hit by getting your head instantly eaten with barely any ways of saving yourself.

So, if you want to set the best player experience in you game, determine how to make your game fun based on how the player loose. Exploiting the “loose” factor of the game to make the game fun is known under a certain name: the challenge.


Very thought out player experience, love it!

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