The use of psychological theory in the development.
SlowRun blog author, journalist Justin Rive, wrote a column in which he explained how the psychological theory of self-identification allowed Avalanche to make the player feel connected to his car in Mad Max. It turned out that through it the authors of the game satisfy three basic human needs. We chose from the main material.
Sometimes a special connection arises between man and machine. Notice how the racers talk about their cars, how the sailors talk about the ships. Justin Reeve admits that, as a professional pilot, he understands these feelings. He himself developed some feelings for the airplanes on which he had to fly.
Mad Max developers managed to transfer this connection between the machine and man. The player begins to really worry about your car – Magnum Opus. The answer to how exactly Avalanche succeeded is in the theory of self-identification.
According to her, the psychological health and well-being of a person is supported by three basic needs: autonomy, competence, and interaction with other people. As soon as they “meet”, we feel extremely motivated. Magnum Opus contributes to this in many ways, and it is he who forces the player to continue spending time in Mad Max.
Competence is directly related to skills. Players must feel that they are good at what they do. Many different systems are connected with Magnum Opus, but Avalanche made it so that the player does not get confused in them and does not feel silly.
The ride itself here forgives mistakes. For example, if you fly off a cliff, the car will almost always land on wheels. In addition, Magnum Opus is very well protected – it is able to withstand heavy damage. Because of this, the player can improve their driving skills as he wants.
In other words, with the help of Magnum Opus player competence is growing rapidly. In Mad Max, the user needs to learn a lot, and the game allows him to do it.
Autonomy is achieved through control of the environment. Games provide it to players in different ways, but in the case of Mad Max we are talking about customizing Magnum Opus. The game has improvements for Max himself, but they are much smaller than the upgrades of the car.
You can change almost any of its components: the engine, bumper, coloring. There is even an opportunity to change the body. Each user can choose what he likes exactly. Reeves believes that Mad Max provides almost unlimited scope for self-expression.
As for the relationship between people, in games this need is satisfied by developing relations between the player and the NPC. In Mad Max, Magnum Opus has a “own voice” – a mechanic nicknamed Tinman.
In addition to fighting features, such as the ability to “harpoon” the enemy car, it shares with the players useful tips on the condition of the car. According to the author, the role of the Tinman in battle is far less significant than in the process of player motivation. He speaks for Magnum Opus, thereby satisfying the need for relationships between people.