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September 17, 2019, 09:48:37 PM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperDesignDoes people like frustration in games?
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Author Topic: Does people like frustration in games?  (Read 2094 times)
beetleking22
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« on: July 06, 2018, 02:14:12 AM »

Many great games have very hard and frustrating moments. When I read some people comments about them. They are swearing and angry but some of these people still love the game in the end. Is the frustration that makes people love these games? Or is it opposite? Or both?
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v790
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2018, 02:16:08 AM »

Could it be the sense of accomplishment they have when beating a frustrating moment?
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beetleking22
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2018, 02:24:32 AM »

Could it be the sense of accomplishment they have when beating a frustrating moment?

Do people enjoy the frustration moment even when they get sense of accomplishment? Is the frustration sign of bad design?
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v790
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2018, 02:32:43 AM »

Could it be the sense of accomplishment they have when beating a frustrating moment?

Do people enjoy the frustration moment even when they get sense of accomplishment? Is the frustration sign of bad design?

It could be. Actually, it also depends on the player. While some player could get frustrated easily, others may not.
Of course, if 99% of the players does, it could be bad design.

Take a look at this:
https://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/166972/cognitive_flow_the_psychology_of_.php

Hope it's useful
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beetleking22
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2018, 02:38:40 AM »

Could it be the sense of accomplishment they have when beating a frustrating moment?

Do people enjoy the frustration moment even when they get sense of accomplishment? Is the frustration sign of bad design?

It could be. Actually, it also depends on the player. While some player could get frustrated easily, others may not.
Of course, if 99% of the players does, it could be bad design.

Take a look at this:
https://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/166972/cognitive_flow_the_psychology_of_.php

Hope it's useful

Thank your for the link. Im just trying to achieve great balance between being too easy, normal or being too hard.
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Daid
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2018, 06:40:25 AM »

Frustrated because the game is too difficult: Some people enjoy this.
Frustrated because the game is unfair: No.


So, some people enjoy bullet hell games, even if they can be frustrating. But nobody enjoys a jump button that doesn't always respond.
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-Ross
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2018, 06:59:08 AM »

I'd say that frustration is a real no-no. "Challenge", yes, but "Frustration", no. I would define the difference as: in a situation where you (the player) "failed" (died, got a low score, etc.)

 • Challenge - You failed because you suck. - You made a mistake. Next time will try not to make the same mistake.
 • Frustration - You failed because the game sucks. - It wasn't your fault. You made no mistakes and failed anyway.

Those parts in linear, AAA games where the narrator says "Quick, find a way out before the building explodes!", and you spend an hour trying to find where you're supposed to go before you give up and go look at a walkthrough, that's frustration. The designers thought it was obvious, but it wasn't.

You can get frustration when the challenge is too high, but I think this only happens when your difficulty curve is bad. If you have big difficulty spikes, or the curve is just too steep, then people will get frustrated. If you had done a better job leading up to the challenge, then there would be no problem.
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2018, 07:37:55 PM »

Really hard to build something complex without it being a pain in the ass. Its all about Pacing, slowly leading the player while giving them ways to figure the key path(s). Pure mastery, dependant on how much you know you're game. Some have made A.I mind numbling cheesy & believe its good. No, its terrible & results in putting your game on the back burner for awhile.

Guess it all comes down to knowing the dynamics of the elements of your gameplay, finding that good feedback loop & getting the best out it, work your way from there.
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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2018, 08:25:06 AM »

Frustrating and challenging are two different things. Look at games like Super Meat Boy and Dark Souls. They are challenging, difficult games, but you learn from every death and when you die, you can look back and figure out why you died. If you game has bad controls, bad level design, unfair enemies, or things that make the game intentionally frustrating, then people will throw their controller at the TV and never play your game again. Or they will see negative reviews from people calling out those flaws and know not to buy it.

Make a game that is solid enough that people feel like they are improving and learning from their mistakes. Don't make a game designed to make someone angry and feel like their death was not their fault.
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GeorgeJanko1
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2018, 02:21:24 AM »

I love that moments; thats why I'm playing. I want to understand and explore the new stuff in each game; frustration is the only way I grow as a gamer
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Orymus
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2018, 07:09:37 AM »

Neuroticism is one of the Big 5. Like all others in the Big 5, it manifests differently in each individual, so some people are frustation-adverse while others crave it. However, in those that are close to the center (indifferent) frustration can also be harnessed to foster Mastery-Achievement (another of the big 5) by giving them a sense of having 'worked for it'. So, statistically speaking, and assuming an event distribution of players across the spectrum, you are more likely to get positive response from increased difficulty or frustration in a game as about 50% will already appreciate the increase in difficulty, while anyone not directly affected by it negatively will have a 50% chance to respond positively for indirect reasons (another of their trait, bound to their perception).

For mid to hard core gamers, this may feel obvious, but for softcore, casual and low neuroticism individuals, the above may make no sense whatsoever. At the end of the day, if your game is solely geared at the latter individuals, may be best to make it an easy journey, but if you know you're already targeting achievers, or people with a better tolerance to frustration, go for it, crank up that one more notch.
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GD_Entertainment
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2018, 10:57:17 AM »

As long as its passable in few tries, I personally don't mind a little struggle.
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« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2018, 07:43:33 PM »

Many great games have very hard and frustrating moments. When I read some people comments about them. They are swearing and angry but some of these people still love the game in the end. Is the frustration that makes people love these games? Or is it opposite? Or both?

The most memorable dungeon in Ocarina of Time will always be the water temple. The boss was pretty weak. I don't know what item you earned there. All I rememeber was frustration and doing the same things over and over.

In Turok, it was jumping on pillars and falling to your doom for one mistake.

In Goldeneye, it was the mission in the control room where you had to protect Nataliya while she hacked the satellite.

Those are the moments you will never forget.

In my philosophy, your relationship with the game begins the first time it physically or emotionally upsets you. Usually the first time you get killed. From there on, it's not just you playing, it's you and the game trying to play each other. If that makes sense.
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ryanjamesscores
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2018, 05:04:21 AM »

Two words... Crash, and Bandicoot. This topic just makes me contemplate the time I tried to bite my controller in half after spending nearly 50 lives crossing a bridge.  Lips Sealed
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Silbereisen
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2018, 10:51:31 AM »

if a game frustrates me, that means i'm emotionally and/or intellectually invested in the game. i figure any game that makes me care about it enough to make me experience frustration must be doing something right.
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Max Rudek
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« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2018, 10:48:32 PM »

Two words... Crash, and Bandicoot
Oh good old times, my first game on PSOne.. but to the topic.

There are many games that frustrate (imho) but they always have a promise of the real, totally worth it award. But as above, two types of frustration: game sucks vs you suck. You can be frustrated while you suck but it's in my case almost always frustration on myself not the game, and it's good because I want to improve and play better.. But when the game obviously sucks..  Mock Anger
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2018, 11:20:16 AM »

if a game frustrates me, that means i'm emotionally and/or intellectually invested in the game. i figure any game that makes me care about it enough to make me experience frustration must be doing something right.

That't not a bad point. I wrote about this topic somewhere (I have blog posts spread around more than one site) but never thought of it this way.

But assuming no dev wants people to rage quit on their games, the challenge is that no two players are equal. Traditional game design techniques (read: no fancy AI regulating difficulty) will have a fixed difficulty, so inevitably some players will get bored while others will rage quit out of frustration. Finding that sweet spot that maximizes the number of properly engaged players is hard.

Personally I don't like too much frustration. I prefer an easy game that I can beat without dying but makes me sweat for it than one that makes me repeat entire sections dozens of times. Needless to say I could never get into any Souls game.

Maybe it's the repetition that bores me, not failure. Hmm That's an interesting thought   Blink
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Silbereisen
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« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2018, 05:59:27 PM »

if a game frustrates me, that means i'm emotionally and/or intellectually invested in the game. i figure any game that makes me care about it enough to make me experience frustration must be doing something right.

That't not a bad point. I wrote about this topic somewhere (I have blog posts spread around more than one site) but never thought of it this way.

i mean, the caveat i guess is that it's subjective and is only a valid point for how i engage with games. there are people who e.g. force themselves to finish games and it obviously wouldn't apply to them.

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But assuming no dev wants people to rage quit on their games, the challenge is that no two players are equal. Traditional game design techniques (read: no fancy AI regulating difficulty) will have a fixed difficulty, so inevitably some players will get bored while others will rage quit out of frustration. Finding that sweet spot that maximizes the number of properly engaged players is hard.

the simple answer is to know your audience. also i don't think you really need fancy AI to appeal to a wide range of people. difficulty levels are one (inelegant and flawed) way to do it, but you can also design your game to accomodate multiple playstyles. mario games are very good at this for example (low barrier to entry, but high "skill ceiling" for speedrunning and such).
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ARF Initiative
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« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2018, 03:16:05 AM »

In my opinion, it's not about frustration. It's challenging instead. If the player finds a really big challenge, it increases the gameplay. However, if the challenge is almost impossible to solve, player just quit it.
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Tereize
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« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2018, 06:36:03 AM »

Personally, I think the word you're looking for is challenging.

If frustration, then the gamer will most likely quit the game.

Example, the gamer feels frustrated with the UI which was poorly designed. Or is frustrated with the loading speed.

Whereas for challenging, the gamer feels that the game mechanics is really challenging.

I think we can tell which scenario would make the gamer continue investing time on the game. Hope that helps.
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