All game developers want to design and create games that are fun to play, but the vast majority of games find their path to being fun by inviting the player to overcome some kind of challenge.
Whether it is to find the red key to get through the red door or to shoot everything on screen as fast as possible, most players expect that fun games to play are those that clearly lay down a challenge and provide the player with the appropriate tools to beat that challenge and progress with the game.
And so this idea of ‘challenge’ has come to dominate the development process where designers are tasked with creating levels and enemies that provide an ever increasing threat to the player-character so that the gamer may rise to the challenge of defeating those threats and have fun while also feeling a sense of mastery and progression.
But over the years this obsession with designing for the challenge has caused a lot of game developers to lose sight of the fact that their primary responsibility to the player is to create fun games to play, not exclusively challenging games to play.
And if you think about all the ways that it is possible for humans to have fun, there are so many more options available to game developers than just simulated threat.
We have fun through creative expression, through social interaction and through playful experimentation. A fun game can be built on ideas like these just as easily as it can on defeating an enemy or solving a puzzle.
The ever-expanding team at FuturLab has spent the last 16 years searching for new and original ways to design fun, interactive experiences for our players. The development process that we have adopted for PowerWash Simulator has reminded us that it is possible for players to have fun and game at the same time without being under a near constant pressure to survive or to win. PowerWash Simulator has been designed to be a stress-free, relaxing and satisfying game, one of those fun games to play that make players feel like they aren’t being tested or judged – just allowed to be themselves in an environment that needs a bit of tender love and care… delivered at 2,800 pounds per square inch.
If you’re interested to know more about the way that the FuturLab team approaches the concepting and development of its games, take a look at this Christmas tree – it all makes perfect sense when you really think about it.