Talking in an in-depth interview
published on Gamasutra today, Habbo Hotel
lead designer Sulka Haro has been discussing the communication problems inherent in making games, calling for better definitions of gameplay-related terminology.
As part of a discussion on the subject of 'game grammar' brought up by Raph Koster
at the Austin GDC event last month, Sulake Corporation's Haro suggested:
"I do subscribe to the idea of actually having a many dialects for communicating between people. That's kind of defined in the sense that they can actually communicate the idea. Especially if you have a problem in the design -- you can point to the exact point in the design that you think is flawed and causes the game to be not fun."
Haro continued, referencing some of the other lectures he attended at Austin GDC:
"As I was saying earlier, there was this long talk [at AGDC] on four different projects where people say that a game is not fun, but they actually can't say what's causing the game to be not fun. It could be the tiniest little detail, for example the user not getting adequate feedback for his actions. That might be immediately obvious and a designer could actually communicate that."
Finally, discussing the lack of definitional words and paradigms around the issue of creating a playable game, Haro suggested:
"But especially if you're talking with someone who is not a designer -- it's real hard for these people to analyze these designs and be able to communicate exactly what their meaning would be, in the issues that they're trying to bring up. At least, if the grammar can be made simple enough so that even the non-designers could actually use it, it would be really beneficial for the industry, and I guess even for people outside the industry."
The full interview with Haro
regarding succesful online world/play space Habbo Hotel
is now available on Gamasutra, including comments on the very nature of play and what defines a game, and Sulake's successes with implementing the Scrum production method.