You don’t know what Game Feel is, read the damn book please!

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This article is going to be me apologetically shilling for Steve Swink, because Game Feel is Rocket Science Quantum Computing Laser Surgery handed to Cave Men who decided that nomadic pastoralism is a better pursuit than being agriculturalists or hunter gatherers, dooming future civilization forever.

GAME FEEL! It’s the way a game feels to play! It’s incredibly intuitive as a concept, people talk about it CONSTANTLY! Yet, if you look up GDC talks on the topic, or youtube videos, it becomes obvious that no one has read the fucking book, despite it going into WAY more detail than any of those talks do.

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There was a whole talk on “juicy” that prescribes a specific type of game feel by pointing out some specific polish effects that these two dudes like to add to their games by adding them to pong, ignoring that 2 parts of game feel are real-time control and spatial simulation. Jan Willem Nijman of Vlambeer followed this up with another talk that did the same exact thing for a platformer game (calling Game Feel a terrible term in the process as if it were vague or unclear, despite clearly not having read the book, where it’s laid out extremely discretely) and showing off a ton of changes that aren’t actually anything to do with game feel (hp, rate of fire, number of enemies, bigger bullets, etc) and basically spends the whole talk saying, “do what I do and game feel is good now”, rather than building an integrated understanding of all the things that go into game feel, like Steve Swink’s book does.

Even youtube videos made on the specific topic of game feel omit terms from the book and have clearly not read the book. There are 3 components: Real-Time Control, Spatial Simulation, and Polish Effects. None of these videos mention these things, placed at the start of the damn book.

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At this point I’m begging you. PLEASE just read the damn book. It came out over a decade ago now. 2008. There is literally no better resource on the topic since. If you want a demo of what’s in the book, here’s a Gamasutra article by Steve Swink.

Hell, Steve Swink even coded INTERACTIVE DEMOS and put them on his site. Just read the damn book please.

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