Vignettes- The Perfect Practice Tools
I've been thinking about how to use the MDA framework to design my games. This approach is a great way to focus attention on the most crucial aspect of designing games- the player. Players are more interested in the aesthetics of the game and thus, it makes more sense to focus attention on these aesthetics. While I believe that sometimes games should be played purely for the fun mechanics they have, of late, I've started realizing that being human is about telling the human story. This is why aesthetics play such a crucial role.
Within these aesthetics, a great way to get started is by making vignettes. I came across Nina Freeman's work and was impressed by her games. Vignette games are focussed on a singular idea or emotion, allowing the player to explore it in all its forms. This isn't just great for the players, it's also a great exercise for designers as it helps improve aesthetics understanding.
The other reason why game designers should focus on Vignettes is that they are relatively easier to finish. After attempting to create perfect games, I've realized it's better to have finished products than unfinished dreams. Making vignettes are generally easier and take less time than a full fledged game.
These are reasons I'm going to focus on Vignettes- just a sprinkle of them every few months (as soon as I'm done with the perfect game!)