Gamasutra have an article up discussing ‘game feel’. It’s one of the the aspects of gaming that we writer types have the most trouble in describing comprehensibly. The intro to Steve Swink’s article captures some of the reason for that difficulty, and the nebulousness of the concept:
Proxied embodiment. Game feel. However you describe it, it’s hard to deny that the sensation of controlling a digital object is one of the most powerful — and overlooked — phenomena ever to emerge from the intersection of people and computers.
There are lots reasons for this, but the main one is that game feel is slippery. It’s mostly subconscious, a combination of sights, sounds, and instant response to action. It’s one of those ‘know it when you feel it’ kinds of things. If it’s off by just a little bit, a game’s goose is cooked. If it’s “responsive”, “tight”, and “deep”, it can be magical.
The article goes on to look at various elements of what makes feel good in certain games, and not others. It’s a developer-focused article, giving some idea about how developers might create a ‘garden’ testbed for getting feel right in their game. More on this subject after the hop.
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