The Psychology Behind Game Development

Games are being played for a long time now and a lot of research is also being happening simultaneously to understand the behaviour of gamers. Scientists are trying to understand what makes video games appealing and what are the factors that motivate people to continue playing for a long time. Several studies are being conducted to understand how game developers can advance their strategies and game structures in terms of attracting new players and piquing the interest of existing gamers. There have to be more to what makes games attractive and addictive, and Video game outsourcing companies like RubixQ are working relentlessly to find out the factors. 

Psychology plays an important role in designing anything that interacts with people. It helps the developers to understand what gamers like and why. The focus on the mental state of gamers will explain the enjoyment of games. According to Richard Ryan and Edward Deci’s Self Determination Theory, humans are always driven by innate emotions like competence, challenges, sense of accomplishment, relatability, autonomy, etc. When their needs are fulfilled by a game, it makes the experience attractive and addictive to players. It gives a purpose to the gamer, provides enjoyment and relaxation caused by the gaming. 

The social element in gaming is another aspect that contributes to the psychology of gamers. Video game developers are tapping into this with multiplayer and online games. According to game designer John Radoff, there are a set of 42 things that can make people interested in games. For example, Relaxing, Competition, Organizing Groups of People, Improving Society, and Triumph Over Conflict are a few. According to Dr. Steven Reiss, a Psychology and Psychiatry professor, there are 16 different human motivators and their object of desire. Power, curiosity, honor, independence, status, vengeance, and family are a few of them. Considering all these factors, video game developers are designing games that can allow people to associate themselves. 

According to the Dr. Richard Bartle, a British game reasearcher, there are 4 types of video game players.

  1. Achievers: These type of gamers are always looking to experience challenges and tackle that challenge successfully. That urge and ability to win keeps them engaged in the game for a longer period of time. Video Game Developers should leverage that competitiveness, integrate more challenges and increase the difficulty levels upon the progression of the game. 
  2. Explorers: Curiosity is what defines these kind of gamers. They are process-oriented in terms of progressing in the game. Their learning curve is steep as they want to discover every aspect and secret throughout their journey. Developers should always keep this curiosity in mind and make the game more layered. The deeper the game, the more engaged they get.
  3. Socializers: While Achievers and Explorers play to fulfil their passion, Socializers look to interact with other gamers to progress forward in their game. They collaborate, congratulate and share their opinions with other players. Developers should integrate seamless communication features and allow them to engage throughout the game. 
  4. Killers: These type of players are disruptive in every sense. The only thing they would do is to try everything to get ahead of their competitors and win at any cost. They would find all the hacks and cheat codes in the game, and takes pleasure in beating every opponent. Developers can leverage this attribute and fulfil their hunger to win by giving them a sense of accomplishment with every success. 

Game user experience is highly controllable on contrary to what people might think. It also is a discipline of science and psychology with formalized processes. When game developers follow these processes, they can improve the critical reception and experience of their games. Video game developers can identify the personality types of their target audience and create experiences crafted keeping them in mind. It allows them to leverage the unparalleled advantage to design appealing, engaging and addictive games.