E4. Build Self-Efficacy through Demonstration & Practice
“After seeing how mechanics are demonstrated and having the chance to fully practice them, I feel confident in my ability to master the game.”
Whenever a new game mechanic is introduced, it is first demonstrated to the player, who is then given a chance to practice using the mechanic in a safe environment where failure does not carry negative consequences. This learning process enables players to fully understand new mechanics before they move on to parts of the game where this understanding is assumed or required – which, in turn, builds the player’s confidence in their ability to play and eventually master the game.
The progression of seeing a mechanic demonstrated (mainly through visuals), then having the chance to practice it, allows for players to fully understand and master a mechanic. When players feel confident in their abilities to progress, they are more likely to continue playing the game.
- Batman Arkham VR: After practicing using his different weapons, the player says, “Guys, I feel ready to go out into Gotham and fight crime. Let’s go.”
- Edge of Nowhere: A large enemy is using a light to look around, and the player wonders to himself what happens if he is seen. Small enemies are also wandering around. When one of the small enemies passes into the large enemy’s sight, the large enemy kills it. The player then understands without having to die himself. “So that’s what happens to you,” he says. He learns first by demonstration, then practices avoiding the large enemy.
- John Wick Chronicles: Once the player fires his gun, he says, “Oh nice! Nice! Let’s do this! I wanna kill everyone!” and is excited to start playing the game.