The problem with screenshots of Superhot is that they don’t really do the mechanic justice…and it’s a hell of a mechanic: time only moves when you do. Strictly speaking this isn’t entirely accurate – time just moves extremely slowly when you are not moving. When you are moving, rotating or performing an action time speeds up. Move a tiny bit and time will progress a tiny amount. Throw a snooker ball and time will move forwards until you are finished with the action.
It’s a great idea. You can see why it got so much Kickstarter attention and although I thoroughly enjoyed the game there’s this strange nagging feeling that this mechanic was ever so *slightly* squandered in service of some less fantastic ideas. To be clear I strongly recommend this game. It is great. The purpose of this post is mostly to discuss whether it could have been something more.
Extrinsic motivation happens when we are motivated to perform an action in order to earn a reward. Intrinsic motivation is when the action itself is rewarding. There’s been some interesting research done on these two types of motivations. In The relationship between pay and job satisfaction Timothy Judge et al draw the conclusion that high pay does not lead to high job satisfaction. Much more significant results are obtained from the intrinsic rewards of actually doing the job.
I assume that the same general point is true for games. The act of doing is more important than the reward for doing. But how does this apply to games? What does an intrinsic and an extrinsic reward look like? And where do we strike the balance?
Let me start by saying if you haven’t played Super Time Force, you should (immediately) because it is excellent. I have played it A LOT and it is one of my gaming highlights of the last few years (up there with Arkham City, The Last Of Us and Trials Evolution). But I want to discuss something of a problem in it – something I have seen in no other game.
So it’s time to take the Xmas tree down. Instead of doing that I am going to talk about some of my gaming highlights of 2012. As always there are notable omissions. I have been told I must play Far Cry 3, Hotline Miami, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, CSR Racing, Tribes: Ascend, Spelunky and The Walking Dead but I haven’t got round to them yet – I was too busy 100%ing Arkham City.
So here are my highlights of 2012 (in no particular order):
- XCom: Enemy Unknown
- Rayman Origins
- Trials Evolution
- Sound Shapes
- Spec Ops: The Line
- Batman : Arkham City Armored Edition