Group Bonding Challenges in Squad-Based First-Person Shooters

Some squad-based first-person shooters move so fast that there may be no moments to hear a line from or give a line to an NPC, outside of urgent battle chatter. In games like these, it's hard, if not impossible, to get a sense of the NPCs who fight alongside you.

Therefore, in such games, creating Group Bonding is a much greater challenge. Of course, you can use techniques like Elements of Shared Appearance and Shared Ordeals. Otherwise, though, you may need to slow down the game here and there in order to increase Group Bonding. This might be considered a tradeoff, and no formula will work for every game.

I've seen designers take three different approaches to bringing emotion into squad-based first-person shooters:

  1. Some feel that all that matters are fast-paced, non-stop, running battles. Variety in such games derives from changing the locations and the objectives of different levels and missions.

  2. Some designers feel that emotion belongs in the game, but nothing should be added that will slow down the action. These designers feel that the way to bring emotional variety into the levels is (besides changing locations and mission objectives) to have each mission have a distinct beginning, middle, and end (which aren't predictable or clichè), and also include highs and lows, as well as unforeseen twists.

  3. The third group of designers believes that the pacing should be slowed down here and there to allow for various additional Emotioneering techniques to be utilized, above and beyond plot twists, highs and lows, and possibly Emotionally Complex Moments and Situations (see Chapter 2.15).

It would be foolhardy to try and say that one of these approaches would work for all squad-based first person shooters. However, I'd guess that, if your intuitional radar is on line or your psychic powers have had a recent power-up, you can probably deduce that I favor approaches (2) or (3), depending on the game, or perhaps some mixture of the two.

Creating Emotion in Games. The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
ISBN: 1592730078
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 394

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