Illusion of freedom

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The player's sense of being able to do "anything" in a game, even though the range of actions is really much more limited. An element of mimesis.

Some techniques which contribute to the illusion of freedom include:

  • Influencing players to choose actions that the author wants them to choose.
  • Time limited situations (or at least a sense of a time limit), where the player does not have time to probe too deeply into the limits of the implementation.
  • Making the player too concerned with their immediate problems to be side tracked into other activities.
  • Softening the edges of the world (see Emily Short's article on geography - search for "At the Edge of the World").
  • Through richer implementation, including second level objects, a large number of conversation topics, multiple solutions to puzzles, and so on.

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