Liked Tetris? Read this…

…about the man who created Tetris, at Businessweek’s innovation portal: here

I found the bit on gamer motivation quite interesting:

Players don’t like a game’s appearance to change drastically in the midst of play. They also can’t remember more than seven game elements at a time, which is why a typical first-person shooter offers the choice of seven weapons.

“As strange as it may sound, most of my work focuses on motivation,” says Pajitnov, who got sucked into game development by coming up with games for psychologists.

Hexic HD is the game he’s created for the Xbox 360 in which players rotate clusters of colorful, hexagonal tiles to create same-color groupings.

Interesting. What I like most about Tetris is its simplicity. There’s a management lesson in the following quote on motication in Hexic:

Hexic, for instance, rewards players for good moves rather than punishing them for mistakes. This sort of positive motivation is powerful. And Pajitnov’s understanding of human psychology might, in fact, explain why 15% of the games he designs get published, while the average for designers is 5%.

Of course, this form of motivation might not actually work in India. Here, switch to an incentive mode of payment is seen as a paycut and an increase in pressure to perform, rather than a reward.

On games: I’m more of a strategist at heart. My favourite games include Warcraft, Starcraft, Railroad Tycoon and the like. Even with sports, I prefer the 15 year management career that Fifa 2005 had to offer.

Another thought (added 27th Nov)

Games essentially created make-believe worlds, simulations if you please, without the dangers of the real world. Many gaves have, however, evolved slowly and with some degree of focus, towards becoming lifelike. The mental impact of the games, in many cases, including that of Half Life, was not too dissimilar from being in a similar situation, though the comfort of the knowlegde that they could always save and restart, and possessed the physical ability and stamina for several movements remained. Quick Save has always been a loophole. I don’t belive that .

While I’m not familiar with a majority of the games in this world, from whatever I know, EA Sports took a major risk with Fifa 2005 by not allowing people to save during games. A first step? Possibly. I still remember the fist Prince of Persia that I played on my first pc (10mb HDD/1mb RAM/Dos 6.22/CGA monitor), wherein I had to begin each level again if the prince got killed. I wonder what removing quicksave will do to the First Person Shooting people, though. More obsessed with completing each level, I guess.

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  1. Interesting read. Tetris has been the best arcade game ever created, and even after so many years I can keep on playing it. I used to dream about moving/fitting those falling objects!

  2. Hey, I did that too! Whether it’s about placing falling objects, designing and playing custom scenarios for Warcraft II, sourcing in Railroad Tycoon II. Now it’s about buying the best football players; I’ve already taken a second division team (Northhampton) to EPL and UEFA victory. *grin*

    I found the parts about the psychology of gaming most interesting.

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