Activity 1: Player Experience Goals

Player Experience Goals for a Shoot Em’ Up Game

While brainstorming potential player experience goal we focused on three initial ideas for our studio’s shoot em’ up game. The main idea we wanted to focus on was to creating a therapeutic emotional experience for the player. This was because most shoot em up’s base their gameplay around intense violence and action we thought it would be an interesting challenge to create shoot em up’s more similar to that of Solace (2010): a chill, neon, flow like SHMUP game.  Our shoot em’ up’s will attempt to not focus on trying to kill as many enemies in a quick time. Instead we wanted to create a game where players could explore different locations that reflect many different emotions through the visuals and music.

The second idea was for us to create a open-ended experience that allows for experimentation. The problem with most shoot em’ ups is that the player is either locked into a small area and forced to shoot enemies coming at them or forced to continuously move and shoot/avoid enemies. With our games we wanted to allow the player to move into various areas and shoot enemies to experience the game in various different ways and not to be locked into a forced area.

The third idea was for us to create a world based off Celtic mythology. When coming up with our game we decided to focus on what setting we would base the game around. We decided to focus on Celtic mythology, after being inspired by the Disney movie Brave (2012). This meant our game was going to be situated in dark forests, with our game using the Celtic mythological creature of Will o’ the Wisps as the main character. Additionally, we wanted the game to feature totemic relics situated in the game environment.

The final player experience goal we decided would be the overall focus for our shoot em’ up games was this therapeutic experience theme. The reason we chose this player experience goal was because we wanted to break the norm and create a shoot em’ up to contrast the saturated shoot em up style of being the best dodger or fastest shooter by designing it to be a visual and audio experience that would be therapeutic for the player.

The main type of player experience we are trying to tap into is emotional. This will be represented through the style of gameplay. As mentioned previously we want to focus on drawing out emotions through a therapeutic style game. 

A secondary player experience aspect we wanted to focus on for our shoot em’ up was physical. Mainly focusing on accuracy, agility and speed. These three aspects were chosen as they are important skills players need for most traditional shoot em’ ups and we believe that there is no need changing that for our game. This experience will further help incorporate the idea of making the game an open-ended experience, which allows the player to complete in any way they want.

The other secondary player experience aspect we are focusing on is creative. This will be utilised with construction of the visuals in the game, to help draw out the emotion with the player. This experience will be represented with the Celtic mythology setting and especially help withdraw the emotion of the player through using the nature based environment of the game.


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