Choice Design in Steel Seal

In Steel Seal, the player can make different choices that effect the way the game works for them. Our game offers in app purchases that can effect the game play to a small degree. These purchases are small power-ups that can be applied at the start of a play through. In this blog I will explain choice design and how they apply to the powerups in Steel Seal

Choice design, also known as meaningful choice, is design that is implemented into games that causes the player to make significant choices that will effect the game itself, or the way that they will play the game. A common example of choice design is The Walking Dead game. The Walking Dead is a story based game that lets the player make obvious choices that will effect the gameplay. When it comes to choice design, there are a few components that need to be touched on. These are

- Awareness, whether the player is aware they are making a choice
- consequences, what the consequences of the choice are
- reminders, how the player is reminded about their choice
- permanence, whether or not the player can go back on their decision.

If your games choices cover these points, your choices are going to have more impact on the player and the game play.

Steel Seal offers in-app purchases for power-ups that can be bought in the shop. These power-ups that are bought in the shop and can be applied at the start of a play through. The choices that the player has in Steel Seal are a little different to normal story driven games. The game play itself is very linear so the player doesn't have much choice, other than to swim up or down. The main choices that effect game play has to do with the power ups and in game purchases. These power ups change the way the start of a play through by giving the player a boost. These powerups include:

- Invulnerable: For a small amount of time, the player is invulnerable which guarantees a score of at least 50. This isn't a very high score, so its not a pay-to-win power up, but does give the player a choice. 
- Magnet: The magnet means all the pickups in game are dragged towards the players position.
-Speed boost: This power up gives the player a large boost to approximately 150-200 score. This score is certain when the power up is used and gives the player an opportunity to go for their high score. 
- Feeding Frenzy: this power-up spawns 5 times more snacks that the player can collect for a short amount of time. This is a good power-up for when you are running low of snacks. 

With these power-ups, the player has to make a decision on when to use them. The player is aware of their choice, because at the start of every play through they are reminded that they have power ups to use. The consequences the player has to accommodate for is that they may waste their power up, and therefore waste their snacks. After a power up is consumed, the choice is permanent and the player cant take back their choice.