I’m alone A dark room in front of my screen. Game load up. Purple, red, orange and pink stains wash over me, calling me inside. Start the game. Yes. Take me to my friends, whom I’ve been missing all day in front of the gray and blue of my work terminal. They greeted me with smiles, waves, hugs.
I pause the game. Tell my kid that I love them. Text a friend. Tell him I miss him. I hope he’s fine. I love him. I get back into the game and play for hours on end interacting with each other. Even the courage to head to Reddit, see strangers ’boats, setups, cities, stockpiles of assets, their new hats. I comment. I vote. I am a great community partner and participant.
Casual management games are more than just fun, more than escape. They can be lifeboats in difficult times like epidemics, such as hundreds of days of protests, revolts, divisions, death after death, uncovered trauma that is going to be repeated year after year. In the mechanics of the game, they give us respite from harshness, from war. They allow us to wrap our hands around the imaginary image of our friends, whom we have left all our lives, whom we have let go of all our lives, and whom we miss, long for, and desire. Hold on a second.
It’s time to set up friendly reminders for everything to eat, drink, sleep, and just give a treat. Writer and fan of casual management games, Nia Simon McLeod thinks these games just need to find its place on earth. “Comfortable management games make me feel at peace. All the worries I’ve felt throughout the day have been washed away.” Collecting ammunition, cultivating or talking to my neighbors. “
“Mechanics have meaning, value, and tone,” said Whitney “Strikes” Beltron, narrative director of Hidden Path Entertainment. In addition to being the director of Hidden Path’s upcoming Danziones and Dragon-inspired games, Streaks often highlights what it takes to create a game that connects the player, brings a feeling that extends beyond the game and touches the player so deeply that the game and playthrough end. Stays with them even later. “What does the player want to feel at the end of the game? What should be permanent? Which way do I want to transfer them or perhaps change from experience? I’ve tried a lot to make it clear what it’s going to be like, turning it into a vision. It is important to understand the gameplay mechanics from moment to moment. Ideally there is an integrated force where mechanics and details extend to each other.
Enlargement That key element allows a game to be more to the player than an easy escape. This is what allows games to take over a player’s head, gradually changing them and how they view the world and themselves. McLeod has a similar feeling: “Small things, like a rare fishing trip or a neighbor’s job, give me a lot of joy. When I play, I am reminded that I should do the same thing all my life: Celebrate every win.
For me, that game made me feel all the way into the past year and was the present Spiritfair From Lotus Games. Sent as a casual management game about death, I went in preparation to ruin my heart and emotions. What I didn’t expect was how I saw the world, how conversations with my friends and family changed and reflected myself. I was able to talk to Nicholas Gurin, the game’s creative director, and Joe Gauthier, the art director. Individually and together, we discussed comfortable management games, how they are designed and their impact on the player.