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 ‘Max Dirt Bike 2’ belongs to is Internet Based.
When playing Max Dirt Bike, I found that it belonged to the following categories of play in relation to Roger Caillois’ theory of play; Mimicry
In terms of Mimicry, it comes in the form of the player being able to operate the dirt bike that is suggested in the title, this dirt bike is thus capable of traversing various obstacles on the map and is a way for the player to get from A to B. Agon isn’t present within this game as it is primarily a single-player game, thus no competitive aspect is promoted besides the ‘bragging rights’ factor that isn’t intrinsically linked with the game. Being a side-scrolling pseudo platformer, Illinx isn’t present within the game rarely has moments that would disorient the player. The game is enforced from a player only perspective, there are no random events occurring within it and thus Alea doesn’t have a presence within this game.
In terms of the elements in this game that I liked, I really liked the trial and error aspect of the game, were you wouldn’t be able to climb a specific trivial section of the game for a certain period of time until you worked at it.
State of Flow, was it achieved?
No. I found that the lack of a motivating factor or urgency for me to get to the end of the level caused me to be very lax when it came to approaching the game and when navigating the level the trial and error element of the game kept me from sustaining brief instances of near-flow, were the challenge would be great enough for my skill-level but wouldn’t be sustained for long enough to be determined as flow.
If I were designing a game similar to this, I would add upgrades to the dirt bike to allow for differentiation in the gameplay. For instance an upgrade could allow you to climb specific sections of the game better then before, but would render your dirt bike slower to navigate the entirety of the level and thus even out the end result.