Today I rewatched the Game Maker's Toolkit video on Celeste: Why Does Celeste Feel So Good to Play? I recommend watching the entire video (and all of GMT's other content), but there's this...
Today I rewatched the Game Maker's Toolkit video on Celeste:
I recommend watching the entire video (and all of GMT's other content), but there's this fascinating point in the video, around the eleven-minute mark, when one of the developers of Celeste says "It's like working on the player's intent rather than making it a precise simulation".
What the developer is talking about in this quote are a few hidden features of Celeste that make the game more forgiving. For instance:
- The player can jump even a few frames after they have left a platform
- Dashing into a corner will gently curve the player around the corner rather than bringing them to a hard stop
- If the player tries to jump just a few frames before hitting the ground, the game will recognize their intent and perform the jump automatically once the player hits the ground
That last point is the most blatant example of what I am talking about. The game "realizes" what the player is trying to do, and allows them to do it, rather than punishing them for being off by a few frames/milliseconds. In this way, Celeste works on the player's intent, rather than sticking to the hard rules of its simulation.
I think that's a really fascinating and powerful idea, but I would also be very surprised if it were actually something new and unique.
So I wanted to ask, are there any other games that work on the player's intent? How exactly do they do it? Do they make the experience more forgiving like Celeste does, or are there any games that recognize the player's intent, but somehow make the game more difficult as a result?
Finally, just because I am curious, in what ways, both in and out of gameplay (such as interface design) could "working on the player's intent" be used to improve game and software experiences?