History Analysis / PlayerPunch

18th Oct '13 1:44:52 AM Koveras
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To throw a good (read: effective) PlayerPunch, you must write an event that has three key properties:

* '''Suddenness'''. The punch must catch the player off-guard. It should be {{foreshadow|ing}}ed, but only minimally, so it does not [[ShockingSwerve come completely out of the blue]]; otherwise, it should come after the player is led to [[TakeAMomentToCatchYourDeath believe that the danger has passed]]. The illusion of safety should be [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration reinforced by gameplay mechanics]] that fool the player into assuming that nothing bad will happen to them in-story because that would unbalance the gameplay. [[TraumaCongaLine Multiple punches in a row]] should be avoided, as they tend to [[DarknessInducedAudienceApathy desensitize more than to hurt]].
* '''Cruelty'''. The punch must exploit an already existing [[VideoGameCaringPotential emotional connection between the player and the game]]. It is impossible to punch a player who is not emotionally invested in the game--or more precisely, [[EightDeadlyWords in its characters]]. Said investment can be either empathy with the PlayerCharacter or affection for a NonPlayerCharacter, particularly, a NonPlayerCompanion. Of the two, the former is more difficult to build up, as the protagonist must feel like a living and hurting individual (i.e. be the opposite of {{featureless|Protagonist}}), yet allow players with a wide range of personalities to see themselves in him or her.
* '''Unfairness'''. The punch must be unjust, unprovoked, and unsportsmanlike. The way that it is delivered must [[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty feel like cheating]], yet whoever did it must [[KarmaHoudini get away with it]] (at least, initially). The event must violate the victim's trust and integrity, since letting him or her keep any kind of dignity (or even glory) in it softens the blow. Meanwhile, out-of-universe, the player must feel like they've jumped through all the hoops and [[EarnYourHappyEnding deserve a good outcome]]--[[ShaggyDogStory only to be denied one in the last moment]].

Note that nowhere above is it stated that a PlayerPunch must involve any DeathTropes. A PlotlineDeath is the ultimate nastiness that can be inflicted upon a video game character, but it is by far not the only way to traumatize the player. Any kind of lasting (!) physical or physological damage should do the trick, especially if it is tailored to the victim's fears and motivations and [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration integrated into the gameplay]]. Speaking of death, however, one example of how dignity and glory don't mix with PlayerPunch would be a DyingMomentOfAwesome.

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To throw a good (read: effective) painful) PlayerPunch, you must write an event that has with three key properties:

* '''Suddenness'''. The punch must catch the player off-guard. It should be {{foreshadow|ing}}ed, but only minimally, so it does not come [[ShockingSwerve come completely out of the blue]]; otherwise, it should can also come after the player is led to [[TakeAMomentToCatchYourDeath believe that the danger has already passed]]. The illusion of safety should be [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration reinforced by gameplay mechanics]] that fool mechanics]], fooling the player into assuming to assume that nothing bad will happen to them in-story in the story because that would unbalance the gameplay. [[TraumaCongaLine Multiple punches in a row]] should be avoided, as they tend to [[DarknessInducedAudienceApathy desensitize more than to hurt]].
* '''Cruelty'''. The punch must exploit an already existing [[VideoGameCaringPotential emotional connection between the player and the game]]. It is impossible to punch a player who is not emotionally invested in the game--or more precisely, game, and specifically, [[EightDeadlyWords in its characters]]. Said investment can be either empathy with the PlayerCharacter or affection for a NonPlayerCharacter, particularly, a NonPlayerCompanion. Of the two, the former is more difficult to build up, as the elicit, because such protagonist must feel like a living and hurting individual (i.e. be the opposite of {{featureless|Protagonist}}), yet allow players with a wide range of personalities players to see themselves in him or her.
* '''Unfairness'''. The punch must be unjust, unprovoked, and unsportsmanlike. The way that it is delivered must [[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty feel like cheating]], yet whoever did it the in-story puncher must [[KarmaHoudini get away with it]] (at least, initially). The event punch must violate the victim's trust and and/or integrity, since letting him or her keep any kind of dignity (or even find glory) in it softens cushions the blow. Meanwhile, out-of-universe, the player must feel like they've jumped through all the hoops and [[EarnYourHappyEnding deserve a good outcome]]--[[ShaggyDogStory only to be denied one in the last moment]].

Note that nowhere above is it stated that a PlayerPunch must involve any DeathTropes. A PlotlineDeath is the ultimate nastiness that can be inflicted upon a video game character, but it is by far not the only way to traumatize the player. Any kind of lasting (!) physical or physological psychological damage should do the trick, especially if it is tailored to the victim's fears and motivations and [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration integrated into the gameplay]].has gameplay consequences]]. Speaking of death, however, one example of how dignity and glory don't mix with PlayerPunch would be a DyingMomentOfAwesome.
17th Oct '13 9:19:47 AM Koveras
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Added DiffLines:

!!Ingriedients of a good PlayerPunch
To throw a good (read: effective) PlayerPunch, you must write an event that has three key properties:

* '''Suddenness'''. The punch must catch the player off-guard. It should be {{foreshadow|ing}}ed, but only minimally, so it does not [[ShockingSwerve come completely out of the blue]]; otherwise, it should come after the player is led to [[TakeAMomentToCatchYourDeath believe that the danger has passed]]. The illusion of safety should be [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration reinforced by gameplay mechanics]] that fool the player into assuming that nothing bad will happen to them in-story because that would unbalance the gameplay. [[TraumaCongaLine Multiple punches in a row]] should be avoided, as they tend to [[DarknessInducedAudienceApathy desensitize more than to hurt]].
* '''Cruelty'''. The punch must exploit an already existing [[VideoGameCaringPotential emotional connection between the player and the game]]. It is impossible to punch a player who is not emotionally invested in the game--or more precisely, [[EightDeadlyWords in its characters]]. Said investment can be either empathy with the PlayerCharacter or affection for a NonPlayerCharacter, particularly, a NonPlayerCompanion. Of the two, the former is more difficult to build up, as the protagonist must feel like a living and hurting individual (i.e. be the opposite of {{featureless|Protagonist}}), yet allow players with a wide range of personalities to see themselves in him or her.
* '''Unfairness'''. The punch must be unjust, unprovoked, and unsportsmanlike. The way that it is delivered must [[TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty feel like cheating]], yet whoever did it must [[KarmaHoudini get away with it]] (at least, initially). The event must violate the victim's trust and integrity, since letting him or her keep any kind of dignity (or even glory) in it softens the blow. Meanwhile, out-of-universe, the player must feel like they've jumped through all the hoops and [[EarnYourHappyEnding deserve a good outcome]]--[[ShaggyDogStory only to be denied one in the last moment]].

Note that nowhere above is it stated that a PlayerPunch must involve any DeathTropes. A PlotlineDeath is the ultimate nastiness that can be inflicted upon a video game character, but it is by far not the only way to traumatize the player. Any kind of lasting (!) physical or physological damage should do the trick, especially if it is tailored to the victim's fears and motivations and [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration integrated into the gameplay]]. Speaking of death, however, one example of how dignity and glory don't mix with PlayerPunch would be a DyingMomentOfAwesome.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Analysis.PlayerPunch