This week’s post will be short.
The second major factor of care has nothing to do with mechanics. Instead, you can often make someone care, simply by displaying factors which echo lessons, feelings or beliefs that are already ingrained into their habits.
My favorite example of this is the art of a huge, flaming fireball. Fire is dangerous, Red is dangerous, Burning Sounds are dangerous. Little wonder then that player in a sidescroller naturally avoids the incoming attack. These were not lessons you had to teach the player.
Which is why sometimes they are the most powerful and most annoying thing you can deal with.
I recall a time when we discussed having a dragon who breathed healing fire as a mechanic on a boss fight. While the creative director was stoked at the idea, experience quickly showed that players avoided the fire, unless they were utterly required to sit in it.
While players will often adapt if the rewards are high enough, the price of trying to break these ingrained lessons is rarely worth the cost.