6
\$\begingroup\$

I'm designing a part in my game where the player must notice that his character feels bored about a certain mundane task he is doing, without being boring for the player.

By observing the game mechanic, the player should understand that his character is bored or fatigued. To keep the player interested in playing though, the mechanic has to gamify that mundane process into something interesting or challenging.

How could this be done?

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Please read the answers already posted before posting yours. Repeated content generates boredom. \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt Mar 15 at 12:24
7
\$\begingroup\$

Just a whistle and blow bubble animation would do well.

Because people don't wear wrist watches anymore, you could have the player take out a phone device and start flipping through that.

The classic Sonic waiting animations are good too.

enter image description here enter image description here

Though this isn't a game mechanic, it's just a visual animation.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This is called an Idle Animation. Tons of platform games had it in the 90s, and they were fantastic. ((The Sonic CD one would even have Sonic, after a few minutes of being bored, jump off the level, and would cost the player a life...I would not recommend doing this)) \$\endgroup\$ – Zibbobz Apr 15 '16 at 15:10
3
\$\begingroup\$

If you're wanting the design to be central to the game, or at least to the section of the game in which the boredom occurs, you could desaturate the screen.

Since you're wanting to express boredom in a visual/mechanical medium, yet wanting to avoid mechanical boredom, the logical conclusion is to implement visual boredom. Remove a large amount of color saturation while the character is bored, so the mechanics can remain fun while still showing the negative effect on the character. Conversely, when the character starts having more fun, the saturation can be brought back, maybe even enhanced beyond the normal for the game to express the relief/distraction.

Audio could be similarly used, but would be much more subtle and likely to be missed entirely unless the sound of the game is fundamental to the emotional feel throughout the game.

\$\endgroup\$
0
\$\begingroup\$

They can get distracted and disobey and you'll have to make them work by making them concentrate(mashing a button?). Not sure if this is fun, though.

\$\endgroup\$
0
\$\begingroup\$

I suppose a lot depends on how you want that boredom to affect the player character. Are they just zoning out at a basic work task, like folding laundry or assembling packets? Maybe the gameplay becomes simpler and simpler, starting with multiple inputs to do the first few iterations, then maybe just one click or press per iteration, to maybe even just hold button to continuously complete the task. This makes the gameplay becoming less interesting a metaphor for the lowered interest of the character.

If you want to emphasize how the boredom makes their will to continue working on the task suffer, then perhaps have the character start to look away, sigh audibly, or change the ui text that refers to the text to editorialize its plainness. For example going from "wash plate" to "clean the stupid plate" or "waste more of my life". Or each time the character looks away you have to manually "refocus" the character to get them to continue the task.

\$\endgroup\$
0
\$\begingroup\$

I have never tried this before. But maybe you could have your characters head and the camera turn off to the side every now and then. Like when you are handing in a quest or something have the sound go fuzzy and the camera turn off requiring the player to shake the camera a bit to get the character back on task.

\$\endgroup\$
0
\$\begingroup\$
  • Have the character react with a slight (random but increasing, within limits, short but noticeable) delay.
  • Have the character occasionally turn it's back to the object he should process.
  • Have jump on one leg instead of walking.
  • Occasionally measure wind direction with wet finger?
  • After T of inactivity, let feet innaturally, slowly sink 10 cm into the ground. Corrects upon any action. Or... oh well, maybe make it a constant state?
  • During inactivity, let the character slowly elevate innaturally (balance erratically against physics laws). Or sway.
  • Re-sale characters head a little. Goes towards flat. Any user action suddenly corrects.

I guess i'm proposing to do unexpected, slightly erratic, innatural, comical if possible, small adjustments that are minor enough to just about give a hunch, fetch the users curiosity for "what next"?. Like the big artsts say: Give a small seed and let the audience imagine the rest themselves. Or, well - extensive exaggeration might produce some laughs too :-).

\$\endgroup\$
0
\$\begingroup\$

Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea

In Atelier Shallie, a mechanic is implemented to keep the player connected to the plot of the game in a relatively open sandbox though the "Life task system". The player may lead the player character (PC) to do whatever they like, but if the PC is preoccupied with a certain central task or problem, then the performance of the PC on unrelated tasks is lessened. As you can see here: https://www.siliconera.com/2014/04/14/atelier-shallie-changes-world-depending-play/ there are on-screen pop ups that give regular reminders of what the PC would like to do, and there is a special screen to see what tasks they would like to focus on.

You can implement a similar mechanic that keeps track of the PC's boredom, and lessens their performance if they are chronically bored. Show some on screen popups that gently guide the player towards the what the PC considers as "fun" and reward the player for doing these things by improving the character's performance. Like that you still give the player freedom to do what they want, but push them gently towards doing what the PC wants, and, indirectly through the PC, to doing what you want them to do.

\$\endgroup\$

protected by Vaillancourt Mar 15 at 12:16

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.