In a recent episode of Waypoint Radio, the crew answered a listener question about the difficulty of trying to write about how a game feels. And the crew expressed a similar sentiment. There is a wide range of vocabulary to describe images, narratives, or even sound design. But describing how a game feels is often boiled down to “good” or “bad”.
That’s because describing the way a game feels is profoundly hard. To describe how a game feels, you have to be able to describe a feeling that does not actually have a presence. You have to be able to take that abstract feeling and put it into words, ideally in such a way that it can give people an idea of what you’re feeling. That’s an incredibly obtuse and confusing thing to navigate.
So this is a thread about that. Let’s practice writing about how games feel.
What do we mean by how a game feels? “Game feel” is a term used to describe the tactile sensation of playing a game. When we interact with the game, by pressing buttons or keys, for example, the game reacts. How the game reacts to our inputs, the sounds, visuals, and values the game gives us in response to our inputs is how the game feels.
The goal of this workshop is to:
- Better understand how we feel games.
- Improve our personal ability to express how games feel.
- Improve our ability to understand how others express how games feel.
- Develop our own personal techniques that help us express how games feel.
How to participate:
- Pick a game. Any game.
- In as many words as you’d like, describe the sensation of playing that game. This can be in any style you like!
- Avoid using words like “good” or “bad”. Try to describe the feeling precisely.
- Provide positive feedback to others participating.
Also, feel free to:
- Ask for advice or constructive criticism.
- Write multiple entries if you so desire.
- Share thoughts, observations, or questions about writing about game feel, both theoretically and practically.