Lab 1.2: Variety and Tension

Variety and Tension

Variety in a game refers to how different one game is from the next. Some games have a lot of variety, like Fallout or Dragon Age: Origins, with each playthrough having the potential to be very different than previous games. Some games, like Call of Duty or Texas hold 'em, have very little variety and each play of the game is very much like any other. Variety is often called "replayability" by reviewers and game fans.

Tension in a game refers to how much suspense it generates in its players. To lift from the Wikipedia article on the subject:

Suspense is a feeling of pleasurable fascination and excitement mixed with apprehension, tension, and anxiety developed from an unpredictable, mysterious, and rousing source of entertainment.

Games like Tomb Raider (2013) or spoons have a lot of tension. Some games have very little tension, like Monopoly or Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel (or Super Bowl XLVIII).