Arising alongside video game development in the 1980s, the term gameplay was used solely within the context of video games, though now its popularity has begun to see use in the description of other, more traditional, game forms. Generally, gameplay is considered to be the overall experience of playing a video game excluding factors like graphics and sound. Game mechanics, on the other hand, is the sets of rules in a game that are intended to produce an enjoyable gaming experience. Academic discussions tend to favor terms like game mechanics specifically to avoid gameplay since the latter term is too vague.
- “A series of interesting choices.” -Sid Meier
- “The structures of player interaction with the game system and with other players in the game.”
- “One or more causally linked series of challenges in a simulated environment.”
- “A good game is one that you can win by doing the unexpected and making it work.”
- “The experience of gameplay is one of interacting with a game design in the performance of cognitive tasks, with a variety of emotions arising from or associated with different elements of motivation, task performance and completion.”
- “Gameplay here is seen as the interactive gaming process of the player with the game
The playability analysis is a very complex process due to the different point of view to analyze the different part of video game architecture. Each facet allows us to identify the different playability’s attributes and properties affected by the different elements of video game architecture. The playability’s facets are:
- Intrinsic Playability: the playability based on the own video game nature and how it is shown by the player. It is strongly related to the GamePlay and Game Mechanic. In this facet we can analyze the video game design implementation especially video game rules, goals, objectives, rhythm and other design mechanics.
- Mechanical Playability: the video game quality as a software system. It is related to the Game Engine, with special emphasis, for example, in the fluency of the movie scenes, correct lights, shadows and rendering, sound and music, graphics motions, character personality implementation and communication systems in a multiplayer video game.
- Interactive Playability: player interaction and video game user interface development, for example interaction dialog and game controls. This playability is easily visible in the Game Interface.
- Artistic Playability: the quality of the video game arts and aesthetics in the game elements: visual graphics, sound effects, music and melodies, storyline and storytelling and how these elements are shown in the video game.
- Intrapersonal Playability or Personal Playability: the individual vision, perception, and feelings that the video game produces in each player when they play the game. It has a highly subjective value.
- Interpersonal Playability or Social Playability: the group consciousness and different user perceptions when the player plays with other player in a competitive, cooperative or collaborative way.