See Mark Brown's brilliant video on protecting the player from themselves https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L8vAGGitr8 Game designers recognize that they can't just design a game and expect the player to enjoy it. If you play Xcom in a risk-averse way, then you won't have as much fun as if you lean into risk and play aggressively. However, the rules of the game and its feedback systems shape the most likely playstyles.
- See: Progress monitoring and feedback systems
- See MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research
The game doesn't create the experience on its own. The way that people play the game shapes their experience, so the game shapes itself to shape the player's behavior.
Experiences don't just "happen" to the user. The user's behavior within the context of an app shapes their experience of the app. The app shapes the user's choice architecture and the situational cues the user receives to shape their behavior. When I'm designing for User Involvement, this is one of the main things that I'm thinking about. I design for successful goal achievement and playstyles that are appropriate for the user.
The Lens of Intended Experience:
- What would be the best behaviors to do so the user has their desired experience?
- What behaviors are implicitly facilitated through the app's design?
- See: Goal Resonance
- How could we design the app to increase the likelihood of the user behaving in a self-beneficial way?