Do delays after losing and before restarting serve as a defense against burnout, or are they addiction machines?

by Demetre Saghliani   Last Updated October 11, 2018 14:13 PM

In games like Super Hexagon or even Everwing, there's a very brief but noticeable delay from losing to starting over: waiting for the restart button to appear, pressing it, etc...

Is this a defense against player burnout? If there's no pause that separates one game try from next, the game might feel never-ending and burn out the player quickly.

Or is it a way to keep the player addicted? I often suspected this in Everwing, because that game's hardly shy about its avaricious nature. Perhaps there's a psychological effect in making the player wait before they can play again — like building the craving part of a habit?

Or perhaps a lack of this delay is to keep the flow going, so to speak? Ori and the Blind Forest does something similar in its Ginso Tree level. It has very fast restarts, no button or anything, and deaths do not restart the music that's playing in the BG. The result is that deaths do not break the flow of the game, and despite them the whole level feels seamless.

So, are there any studies on this? Barring those, anecdotes? I couldn't find anything, anywhere.

Tags : game-design


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