Aspects of Play: Frustration

As part of the module, the task was to look into the various types of games within the 3 specific bands of play. The band this game I shall be discussing ‘Frustration’ belongs to is Board Games.

When playing Frustration, I found that it belonged to the following categories of play in relation to Roger Caillois’ theory of play; Agon and Alea

In terms of Mimicry doesn’t necessarily have their actions mimicked by anything within the game, but the player does control a coloured set of counters that they have to transport around the game board in a turn-based scenario, of which the first player to get all of their counters to the end, wins the game. Agon is a functioning element within this game as the game requires at least two people to play with the preference set at four players because the game board is specifically designed for four people, the competitive aspect comes from wanting to be the first person on the board to win. Illinx doesn’t formulate within the game because a board game doesn’t have the necessitated need to disorientate the player for any specific effect. Alea comes from the dice roller in the middle of the board that offers a more fairer and easier solution to dice rolling in the sense that it is used by a simple press of it, the chance factor is the dice itself and the number it lands on to determine the amount spaces a player can move.

In terms of the elements in this game that I liked, I really liked the board design and how it can be fairly dynamic for when there is less then an optimal amount of people to play the game, because of the fact that each individuals distance around the board is equal to every other players distance, so there’s no difference for the lack of an extra player or two.

State of Flow, was it achieved?

No. Being a turn-based game, I didn’t see the challenge in it, seeing as the navigational element of the game was dictated solely on chance and I had no influence over.

If I were designing a game similar to this, I would implement either board-pickups or something that gives the player either a positive or a negative in terms of navigation to shift the balance of gameplay away from it being nothing more then a ‘click the dice button and move your counter’ simulator.


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