What creates juiciness? How is it distinct from different aspects of design? How does it relate and differ from rewards?
Juiciness is created as different amounts of feedback that a person can receive from interacting with a game, and is often relative; everyone will not necessarily interpret feedback in the same way, and people will not receive the same level of satisfaction from an interaction. Therefore, how juicy a game is seen as is interpreted by each individual who plays the game. In relation to rewards given by a game, the reward is usually accompanied by a sound or a visual element (such as text or character animation) that adds a juiciness to receiving it, creating more satisfaction for earning the reward. However, juiciness can occur in the absence of a reward and often does so. If we interpret juiciness as feedback, then most interactions in a game have the potential to be juicy (for example: even opening the menu screen of a game will often give imagery and sound). For the most part, a player should not have to do much, if anything, to receive some level of feedback from a game.
How can we define juiciness?
For the purpose of this discussion, I will refer to juiciness as follows.
Juiciness: the amount of feedback (sound, visuals, etc.) and satisfaction that an interaction within a game can provide.
Game Comparison: Random Heroes and Super Time Force. How are they similar? How has each game provided juiciness?
These two games are similar in that their assets are both designed in a pixellated style as well as the player being characters with weapons that can be switched out. Both games are also 2 dimensional and use side-scrolling when moving through a level. Also, both games have a soundtrack constantly playing in the background that make the player feel energized and ready for action.
For Random Heroes, one aspect of juiciness comes from the collection system. In the environment, there is some platforming required to collect some coins scattered about which, when collected, is accompanied by a chime sound and is added to the player’s current collection (which is constantly displayed). Satisfaction from collecting the coins comes from being able to buy different pieces of equipment and different characters to play as while the player advances through the game. Another aspect of juiciness comes from the visuals and sounds of using a gun in the game. You are aware when you have shot with an image of the bullet being fired at the target and a sound to accompany it. The player feels a small measure of satisfaction when an enemy is killed, vanished from the player’s sight, and a different sound is used to indicate the enemy’s death.
Super Time Force goes a little further in terms of weapon visuals and sounds in that every movement and interaction with them produces some sort of visual and sound effect (so much so that it is almost overwhelming if the player causes a lot of interactions to occur at the same time). There is also more in the environment to interact with, creating more feedback for the player to experience. The death mechanic of being able to essentially rewind gameplay and play it over with a new strategy allows for a greater possibility for satisfaction as the player feels more powerful for being able to determine how the tide of a battle may go. There is also an aspect of collecting in this game with being able to ascertain new characters to play by ‘saving them’ in game.
What are some other examples of juicy games?
You could argue that a game like Minecraft is a juicy game. Sounds accompany every action, and the player can manipulate the environment from different forms of construction and deconstruction. Also, the challenge rating of the game changes between day and night (or when the player is underground in a cave or dungeon), and players can even control how much of a challenge they want to experience while playing. There is also an automatic difficulty rating in finding certain materials in the environment compared to others (as an example, coal is relatively easy to come across while diamond is much more rare).
Another game would be Farm Heroes Saga on Facebook. Moving different objects in the game will always be accompanied by a sound, and different arrangements of objects can have various effects on other objects in the area around them. However, challenge is created in that you have to match at least 3 objects of the same kind together and that rules for collecting the various objects change between levels. There are also a number of different obstacles that will get in the way of the player collecting what they need to in order to complete the level.
Sheep Jumper Game: How could this be made more juicy?
Personally, I would make the game more juicy by first giving a purpose to the point collection for successfully jumping over the sheep. The points could potentially be used to change the dog the player is using or to change the environment or soundtrack in some way. I would also increase the difficulty of the game )maybe through the use of more obstacles and varying the speed of the sheep more) and I would add a completion point in order to give the player a sense of satisfaction for beating the game.