What makes a video game a success boils down to one thing, and that is immersion. How immersed do the players become while playing the game? What can the game do to help this happen, or better yet help the players increase their own level of immersion?
But what is immersion? Immersion is the spatial presence created by some sort of a fictitious environment or atmosphere. Have you ever found yourself at the end of a movie or after reading the last chapter of a book and thinking about the characters and how real they seemed? That is because you were immersed I the media. MUDs are no different!
So what is it about a text-based game that makes you feel like you’re leaving reality behind and traveling into a fantasy environment? Psychologists have actually studied how this happens. Their research revealed that immersion requires a balance of factors that are both preset and decided upon by the player’s actions within the game.
Finding Just the Right Balance
When these two factors are balanced at just the right proportions, which could be as unique as the different players in the game, it increases the spatial presence which in turn encourages players to become more involved, thus further immersing them into the game itself.
Because Achaea is a MUD, players form mental images of what they read on their computer screens. Check out this infographic that explains the ways that the developers of Achaea, a text-based game produced by Iron Realms Entertainment, enrich the environment to encourage player immersion.
A Logical Approach to Total Immersion
When things in the game behave in a logical manner, it helps players to have a constant, believable experience. From using a shovel to dig for treasure beneath the surface of the ground to gathering ingredients and refining or preparing them for use by chefs to cook recipes, no detail is overlooked.
Crafting skills, such as cooking or tailoring, allow players to draw parallels between Achaea and real life while roleplaying, which leads to a deeper immersion. Can’t afford those Louis Vuitton boots? College student budget doesn’t allow for bling? Just create virtual versions in Achaea!
By encouraging these features, hosting world events and contests on a regular basis, and limiting things that remind people that they are only playing a game Achaea continually immerses a large player base daily.
About the Author:
Seth Grayson spends his evenings working as a barista at the coffee shop on the campus of the university where he attends classes. When he’s not brewing up espressos or creating images in foam, he’s usually hanging out in the dorms where he plays his favorite Iron Realms MUDs between study sessions.