The Psychology Behind Game Design Motivators

This week on the cast, Jamie Madigan from Psychology of Games returned to talk about what he’s been up to, and then a discussion on how to motivate someone to play through a title through game design or mechanics.

game design


We started off talking about games we’ve been playing and Jamie brought up how he was getting into Fallout 4 and the differences from previous entries in the series. This led into talking about the paying mod debate and what Jamie thought about it. We also talked about the perception of microtransactions and what that meant for Payday 2’s big monetization situation from about a month ago.

Talking about ¬†consumer expectations, I talked about Killing Floor 2 and what’s been going on in early access. One thing, we had this discussion about 3 weeks ago before the announcement of their own in-game economy system and the recent gunslinger patch.

For our final topic, we talked specifically about ways video games are designed to motivate us to keep playing; either through intrinsic value like content and storytelling, or extrinsic with achievements, prestige systems etc. Talking about motivation, we examined the differences between short and long-term motivators and how it’s better to have constant short-term means to motivate the player, rather than something coming after an hour + of play. We also had a discussion on the Self Determination Theory and how it applies to my own play style.¬†We also briefly touched on the allure of the clicker genre and why it has managed to ensnare so many people.