Dev Diary - Project 2: Player Experience

Player experience is a thing that we need to constantly be thinking about with our scenarios. A quick rundown of our scenario is:

Your crew crash land on an alien planet. The locals are quite primitive and on edge about their new, out of this world neighbours. You need to gain their trust, while at the same time trying not to freak them out, or worse.

Start Crisis: One of the aliens is coming to search the ship. Hide the weapons so that they don't think you're hostile.

A Crisis': One of the aliens came on your ship at night and killed themselves on a piece of machinery. Dispose of their body parts and fix the machine.

B Crisis': The mining laser turned on after the crash and is making the locals sick. Turn off the laser and fix the ship.

C Crisis': The leader of the aliens has come to request a statue be made for him. Quickly scrap together a statue.

End Crisis: Your ship malfunctions and is about to blow. Cobble together a contraption to launch the core into space, so that you and the natives don't all die.

The experience we're going for is to "keep the players on edge". Pretty much the players need to feel that they are at risk of being seen as enemies and then being killed. This is done through times crisis'. All the 3 story threads have at least 1 timed crisis, drilling in home this experience. The timer though is quite large, giving the players enough time to think about their actions, yet still having that thought of taking too long be in the back of their minds.

Hiding a dead body, hurrying to fix an out of control laser, rushing together a statue and getting rid of a bomb are all things that will make people panic and rush to complete. The players are fighting against the alien's suspicion of them, constantly trying to make things right and appeal to their new "friends". It's not complete though. The experience is something that we still need to further integrate into the scenario, so that the players can feel it, rather than be told it.