When Work Feels Like Play

When Work Feels Like Play

All play and no work can make games a dull experience.

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People know that they can get better at something if they work at it, so they want to see this same dynamic in games. The problem is trying to make the effort not seem like work by integrating it with the rest of the experience. For example, musicians know they have to practice to get better, but they experiment with different styles and songs to add variety to the grind. RPGs were brought up a lot in the article, and the best ones I've played have you practice the skills of "go to X, kill Y" in many different ways, with varied missions that reduce the feel of tedium.

For those who still enjoy work in games, it pays to be picky. Fans of the tedium only like their particular brand of tedium, and find themselves frustrated with other games that step outside those bounds.

This is a good observation, for one example you have people who do lots of grinding in WoW and then criticize people playing Farmville. Yes, there's lots more in WoW than the grind, but the grindy parts are very similar to what people do in Farmville.

The real difference is that one is labelled as "hardcore" and the other as "casual".

I'd add to the paragraph about being able to see the XP bar progress in RPG's and comment that I enjoy the fact that RPG developers continue to explore this whole idea of visual character development. It took me a while to get used to the Sphere Grid in Final Fantasy X, but now it's my favorite system simply because I can zoom out and see just how far my characters have come.

The other thing I find that makes grinding more fun is when you can work on multiple things at once by grinding. I'm currently playing Tales of Graces f, and it does a great job of making grinding less tedious with constant rewards. Between unlocking titles, leveling up skills, farming for soul orbs, and tempering equipment, I barely even notice as my characters earn EXP and level up.

Came for the Harvest Moon

Stayed for the...

...didn't have anything else to do... actually.

This article has painfully reminded me that I need a new Harvest Moon title.

I also came for the Harvest Moon

Azure-Supernova:
This article has painfully reminded me that I need a new Harvest Moon title.

I've heard Rune Factory was like Harvest Moon, but with combat. I tried to play Harvest Moon Magical Melody, but it was so cute I was getting diabetes so I actually had to get rid of it.

A good example of grinding improving the player's skill while leveling at the same time is Legend of Dragoon. All but one (technically two) of the characters have different techniques of attacks that they can level up until getting the ultimate one. The way they level up is by pressing x in the correct time and number of times aligned with visual cues on the screen. So it's like a hack 'n slash mini game that gets stronger when you correctly complete it. It's fun immediately and holds interest, it has a leveling system reward for your efforts, and has several different levels of techniques to learn and perfect before receiving the highest one.

I'm working as a dishwasher at a restaurant right now and I noticed it's kind of like playing a real-time-strategy game. With each task having its own research/build time and proper scheduling of each task being what makes me either quick or slow. We even have resources like produce and cleaning chemicals we need to replace or obtain. Me completing my game every shift is a matter of how quickly I complete all the tasks and get out of there. My grinding reward will be a raise. I'm actually thinking of making a game based relatively on restaurants.

Draconalis:
Came for the Harvest Moon

Stayed for the...

...didn't have anything else to do... actually.

The awkward moment when someone does the exact same thing as you.

Also, wtf is with this capcha... subliminal messaging is obvious?

"Vanguard can help me save"

Vanguard 2012

The picture made me want to get one of the new 3DS Harvest Moon games now.....

Please don't tell me you referred to that terrible game in a positive light. This world cried when Zynga introduced Farmville to the world. The world's tears were due to pity. Pity for us.

considering that lots of games require parts from looting to create gear, i think it's still stealing, except that you're just going to have to steal more from everybody

edit: the new harvest moon 3ds game looks pretty sweet except for the terrible cowprint on the girl outfit

SugarSkulls:
I also came for the Harvest Moon

Azure-Supernova:
This article has painfully reminded me that I need a new Harvest Moon title.

I've heard Rune Factory was like Harvest Moon, but with combat. I tried to play Harvest Moon Magical Melody, but it was so cute I was getting diabetes so I actually had to get rid of it.

Rune Factory is very much like Harvest Moon, with Zelda-like adventuring/dungeon crawling added. They even include the farming aspects into the dungeoneering, such as "grow 4 radishes here to open the door." I will never forget the day I both collected enough ingredients to craft both risotto AND a pair of blades infused with fire and ice magic. I was even slightly more excited about the risotto, I think.

I'd particularly recommend Rune Factory 3 to anyone wanting to check it out. Beyond generally very well balanced gameplay and a good storyline, you get to play a weresheep, which should be enough to sell it on its own merits. :D

I'm in a weird universe where by day I'm playing Harvest Moon by day (commuting to work) and Fallout: New Vegas by night (playing at home). Idyllic farm fantasy, then shooting people's heads off with mini nukes. Both I have tremendous fun with, just in very different ways. As the article notes, well done labor-simulation can actually enrich a gaming experience. I'd love to see some of that built into a stronghold-building themed RPG, for example.

DeathQuaker:

I'm in a weird universe where by day I'm playing Harvest Moon by day (commuting to work) and Fallout: New Vegas by night (playing at home). Idyllic farm fantasy, then shooting people's heads off with mini nukes. Both I have tremendous fun with, just in very different ways. As the article notes, well done labor-simulation can actually enrich a gaming experience. I'd love to see some of that built into a stronghold-building themed RPG, for example.

Challenge Accepted. What do you want me to call it?

 

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