Thursday, November 1, 2012

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How to make a great game sequel - analysis of Extreme Road Trip 2


Sometimes you have an arcade game, that has a really good gameplay. It's simple, addictive, people love it. Take the Extreme Road Trip game as an example. You could think that it's hard to beat that. I thought so too, but then I saw the Extreme Road Trip 2.




Sequels are hard. People compare it to the previous version. Is it possible not to screw up?

New game mechanics

Extreme Road Trip 2 is an example of a great sequel. The whole gameplay hasn't changed much. BUT, it's surrounded by a whole lot of new game mechanics that make it even more engaging and entertaining. How do they influence the fun in the game? What do they provide? They did not focus on changing gameplay which was great, but added some additional mechanics used often in gamification engines.

Analysis

Let's look at them in detail:

  • Achievements
  • They work well for the explorer-players.
  • Upgrades
  • buy better equipment and faster cars in order to make better scores. It`s a cycle that make you more engaged
  • missions and achievements
  • example: make 6 flips in one game for additional bonus
  • they're usually easy to accomplish so they provide an alternative goal (additionally to beating the new record, of course!)
  • Rivalry
  • just like in rally games, you can see shadows of your friends cars
  • beating your friends scores is more valuable to you
  • More rankings - speed and distance
  • you have more clear goals to achieve, more scores to beat
  • experience levels
  • another drive to just play another game session - with every level you get free coins and upgrades
  • Lottery
  • After every achievement or experience level you can win something
  • It`s very giving and fun (you get prizes for rubbing boxes)
  • Coins. 
  • In-game currency for buying new shiny stuff to your car
  • Either you play a lot to gain coins or spend real money to buy it :)
  • power-ups
  • simple, 
  • not so many of them at the start
  • influence gameplay



Summary

Most of these new mechanics are not affecting the really good gameplay from first part - they are just additional motivators for you to play and engage. What's more important, all of these mechanics are used in gamification.

Conclusion?

If you have a really good gameplay, adding some gamification mechanics can boost the engagement and playability of the game.

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