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VR Game Design & Development Class

Homework 2: Aesthetics Of Play

Due 27 January 2020

  1. Watch the video by Extra Credits ‘Aesthetics of Play – Redefining Genres in Gaming’ (linked below).
  2. Think of a game you enjoy (it can’t be one of the ones referenced in the video or from last class).
  3. List the core play aesthetics of that game and describe why the game delivers on each of those aesthetics.
    1. Descriptions cannot just be “because it uses X,” explain yourself fully.
    2. The game you pick must include 2 or more core play aesthetics.

Superstar Submissions:

The main aesthetics of the game “Snipperclips” on the Nintendo Switch is Fellowship and Sense Pleasure. The game requires you to cooperate with a friend or AI, and you must work together in order to form the right shape, or achieve the goal. It plays on a sense of togetherness with a friend, since you have to discuss with that friend while you are playing the game because it is a puzzle game. It also plays on Sense Pleasure, because the graphics of the game are unique in that they are shaped like paper and are cute and have faces on them. The cute expressions on the characters keep you coming back to replay the game because it’s fun making the characters make different faces.

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild’s core game aesthetics are fantasy, discovery, and narrative. Link is a brave knight trying to rescue Princess Zelda from the great threat known as Calamity Gannon in order to save Hyrule from destruction. That definitely isn’t something that happens in our everyday lives. And with all the amazing races and environments to explore, it makes it feel that much more immersive. That leads to the discovery. I can’t even begin to list the enormous amount of freedom and experimentation in this game. For example, using the boulder damaging mechanic and mixing it with the time freezing mechanic, I was able to launch a boulder at monsters in order to clear a path. And the exploration mechanics also tie into the narrative. Discovering new villages, items, and NPCs help show you a bigger picture of the situation that you are in. You can see how the people of Hyrule feel about the dark presence, and how it now affects their everyday lives. Traveling also allows you to discover secret cutscenes that explain the events that lead to the Calamity Gannon awakening. I felt emotionally invested into this world and story, and it drove me to keep on playing and see what else I could discover in this massive map full of magic and adventure.