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Players Making Decisions: Game Design Essentials and the Art of Understanding Your Players by Zack Hiwiller

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9. Flow and the Fundamental Game Design Directive

Boredom is the conviction that you can’t change ... the shriek of unused capacities.

—SAUL BELLOW

Shadow of the Colossus is one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time. In it, you play as a young man who must single-handedly take down massive ancient colossi. The battles are multistaged and intense, which leads you to a real sense of accomplishment and conquest at the end. After each fight, you must travel by horse through a largely barren and unpopulated landscape in search of the next colossus. Why did the designers choose to have these quiet, peaceful rides in between heart-pounding boss fights? The answer requires you to understand how you stay engaged in games. This answer also ...

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