Rewarding vs. Frustrating Interaction

This is a study on two relatively simple games – one that I found I could play forever, and another I found rather frustrating – and why I feel that way about them.

Overwatch is a competitive first-person shooter for the PS4 by Blizzard. To play, one uses the Dualshock 4’s buttons, shoulder triggers, and joysticks to mow down other players in an attempt to complete the assigned mission. The effects are different for each character, but the basic firing, movement, and special attack commands are generally universal.

Typically, the simple actions give the simple rewards – if the player moves and shoots, they can kill other characters. If they do so well enough, they can earn medals and experience points to increase rankings.
While this can work, using each character’s unique attacks in a complex manner alongside basic shots often works even better – playing strategically can earn the player extra experience points, particularly if they’re voted a most valuable player.
Gaining large amounts of experience allows for the player to begin customization of the characters, giving them motivation to use both the basic and advanced controllers with more skill.


Deemo, on the other hand, is a mobile rhythm game by Rayark Games. To play, one uses the touch screen, typically with the thumbs or index fingers. The player either taps the notes, when they are black, or slides along them in a chain, when they are yellow. As the game is based on tap accuracy in both location and timing, there is almost-instant feedback upon a screen touch.

However, as the only way to know one’s accuracy is to look at the color of the note when one taps it (which draws eyes away from the incoming notes), it’s very difficult to learn where one tends to make mistakes, and even if the player figures out what they’re doing wrong, the game doesn’t allow for practicing sections of a song without playing the whole thing again and again.
Aside from this, the song select screens are not very sensitive – unlike what the layout would have one think, it’s almost impossible to scroll past more than one song at a time, which gives it kind of a ‘sticky’ feel.




About barberne

an animation student at alfred state from rochester
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