What is Player Vocabulary?

What is Player Vocabulary?

  • Player Vocabulary is all about the player's amassed knowledge and expectations.

Player vocabulary is a term coined by Johnson (2001) to describe the knowledge and experience players acquire when travelling through a level.

This vocabulary serves two purposes.

Firstly, it forms the palette of skills and strategies that players use to complete a level.

Secondly, it shapes their expectations. This is a powerful design technique, as expectations can be later subverted to produce memorable sequences (Johnson 2001), provided that subversion leads to surprise and not frustration. The subversion of expectations should never leave the player at an obvious loss as how to proceed.

Johnson, B. (2001) ‘Great Expectations: Building a Player Vocabulary.’ In: Gamasutra.
Available at: http://www.gamasutra.com/resource_guide/20010716/johnson_pfv.htm [accessed: June 2006]

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