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Gamasutra Member Blogs: From Attracting A Casual Audience To The Definition Of A Game

In highlights from Gamasutra's Member Blogs, our bloggers write about diverse topics, including the critical elements of a casual game, play styles, and the definition of a game.
In highlights from Gamasutra's Member Blogs, our bloggers write about diverse topics, including the critical elements of a casual game, play styles, and the definition of a game. Member Blogs can be maintained by any registered Gamasutra user, while invitation-only Expert Blogs -- also highlighted weekly -- are written by selected development professionals. We hope that our blog sections can provide useful and interesting viewpoints on our industry. For more information, check out the official posting guidelines. Here are the top member blogs for the week: This Week's Standout Member Blogs - Some Thoughts About Casual Game Design (Abel Bascunana) Abel Bascunana argues that casual players need constant encouragement and reward when they play games, and provides several tips to help casual game developers provide the proper amount of incentives and rewards for the easily-distracted casual audience. - Not Enough Oomph: Dragon Quest 9 Analysis (Josh Bycer) The Dragon Quest series is one of the most revered names in the JRPG stable; its formula is arguably the root of all traditional games in the genre. Josh Bycer examines this formula, however, and asserts that Dragon Quest IX’s traditional nature also becomes the game’s most fundamental flaw. - Play Style DOES Matter (Bart Stewart) Most games offer a set of goals that players can only accomplish if they fulfill one specific requirement; players rarely get the opportunity to stray from the play style the game expects them to follow. Bart Stewart, frustrated by this limitation, encourages developers to implement more player freedom in their games. - How To Solve A Problem Like Machinarium (Glenn White) Machinarium, along with several other recent adventure game titles, includes a hint system to prevent players from becoming frustrated. What makes this game different, however, is that it includes a mini-game that players must complete before looking at hints, encouraging players to experiment and explore rather than rely on in-game instructions. - Game: The Definition (Anatolie Gavriliuc) Hoping to identify what makes a game, Anatolie Gavriliuc examines the definition of a game and asserts that learning may be a critical reason why we play them in the first place.

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