Sometimes there is a certain synergy that exists between two seemingly unrelated activities. Things like walking and thinking, flying in an airplane and sleeping, or singing and dancing. They are all viable activities on their own, but something about doing them together creates a unique energy.
I think many game mechanics explore and exploit activities in that way. Running and jumping… pointing and shooting… things like that. Many of them are much more abstract than that though, and harder to define.
In the game Braid, it’s time manipulation and spatial traversal. Something feels completely right about the way those two elements interact, and doing them simultaneously.
In the Pokemon series, it’s exploration and capturing/fighting pokemon. I’d argue that this isn’t actually quite as synergetic as some other games.
As I’m writing this, I’m realizing how extremely difficult it is to break games down into their specific interacting game mechanics. I think I’ll write more about this in the future.
[ Today I Was Playing: Dishonored: Definitive Edition ]
November 7, 2016