Avoid the Feeling of Repetitive Gameplay…Sometimes
As mentioned in the last chapter, repetitive gameplay isn't necessarily a bad thing. It can allow a player to either continue practicing a skill or enjoy using a skill he or she has mastered. And, of course, some games rely on repetitive gameplay, such as race-track games not to mention Tetris or chess.
And even in games where it's desired to minimize repetitive gameplay, quite often the gameplay needs to be repetitive. After all, the publisher doesn't have endless money to fund a hundred kinds of gameplay, nor an endless amount of assets. Also, there are only so many mechanics a player wants to master during the game.
In games with stories, I've seen boredom set in when the gameplay gets too repetitive. In an earlier chapter I mentioned that many players never made it to the end of Ico, despite its many breakthroughs in terms of bringing emotion into a game. The principal reason some players quit was that they felt the gameplay was too repetitive.
There's no unexpected revelation in saying that boredom needs to be eliminated from gameplay. Boredom can be skirted by:
These are obvious and just about all games do them. There are other ways, though, to stave off boredom. Here are a few of them.