First off... Hello! I've been lurking without an account for a while, and this is definitely a great community here. Tons of successful, smart people... I'm sure I can learn a lot from you guys. So I have the very early stuff here for a 3d strategy game that plays a bit like the board game Go in terms of its deceptive simplicity and its slow pace. Early into my toying with it, I have noticed that the game could definitely be considered a bit boring; it is a turn-based strategy game and thus it has a slow paced feel. No real exciting / big effects; the most "exciting" thing that happens here is (hopefully) the occasional hole being blasted through a platform, which is more a strategy thing than an eye candy thing. Doing something like that requires planning and a bit of thinking beforehand by the player, so considering it's practically the only fancy sparkly effect happening, it's not much. The game will look nice in the end (it does in my head, anyway, as they do!) but I digress: I'm really more thinking about movement stuff at the moment. The whole game works a lot like a board game. It is pulled very far back to the point that every object in the game can be safely represented by a cube until I get some decent artwork. (Though, since it is entirely physics-based, it couldn't be a real board game). It's all just markers and one single command. Much like Go, but with multiple boards, no grid and a big focus on equilibrium. Eye candy definitely doesn't hold up excitement here (I'm probably the only person in the world who can be preoccupied for 5 minutes observing a specular map), and since the game is turn based there isn't really a speed thing either. I've noticed with lots of puzzle games, even, that much of the excitement / fun is achieved by fast moving objects, darting obstacles and flashy particle effects to keep the player's attention. A curious trick, but it works! In my game's case, this seems quite impossible. (Woah, I'm drifting away here...) Okay, to my point! A while ago I was playing about with Nintendo's Electroplankton, and I found it fascinating. I was especially grabbed by the section with leaves and water (#2), and the orangey one with little eggs that grow and eventually pop. They were both slow-paced, but in the end always generated startling music through magical means. My game has always been abstract, meditative and 'spaced out' ("that guy must be on drugs" sort of thing) in terms of its underlying design. It's all about balance; and I claim that it is all a metaphor for human civilization, life, God and the universe. Anyhow, I was recently inspired by Electroplankton's 'feel' and now I am thinking of going all the way with that sort of meditative, ambient experience in my creation. The complete boredom ("No, you have to use your noggin`, that's the point!") sort of thing probably doesn't have a huge audience - and it's worth noting that thinking games like Chess and Go are popular because they are very old and perfectly executed traditions, which mine certainly is neither of. Ambient music, however, does have an audience... so how about ambient games? To start off, I am looking at procedural sound like in Electroplankton to keep people from getting totally sick of music repeating itself, to keep me from paying for piles of ambient music, and most importantly to integrate the music into the unified wholeness of the game. Not totally procedural, but tiny bits of sound that are all generated based on the situations of certain things in the game. These would be on events like collisions (as in the #2 scene in Electroplankton), and there would be some sort of ambient background sound occurring when things aren't bouncing around (during that whole 'thinking' part) generated by each individual object (of course using different kinds of sounds, and a script / equation of some sort to get them all on queue). The fact that the whole scene is free-moving makes this possible Anyway, that's one bit of thought, but I need that sort of feeling throughout and I bet the idea of meditative game design is not uncommon -- it's just that I haven't appreciated it until now. What games have you seen that have a molasses slow pace yet stay interesting, immersive and amusing? With a turn based game, I'd say my worst enemy is the pause between 5 second action sequences. (I'm exaggerating the "thinking time" here, as each turn really only has one move but that one move can often cost or gain a lot, so there is no telling how long a move can take with more complex situations against actual intelligent humans or hopefully smart AI). This thinking break can't get away with much movement outside of the UI, and I'm kind of trying to do away with the UI anyway... The player pretty much only has 2 buttons to play with bouncing in and out of the screen for the whole time, which isn't much interaction after 50 repetitions of it. Interesting cameras and dynamic skies spring to mind to make it interesting, as well as the integrated music, but there is still that depressing, distracting stillness where what was a smoothly moving, flowing world has ceased to move. "Still" doesn't even happen, because it isn't still; it's just paused. Artificially stopped with no logical explanation. "Still" has a more positive connotation where you can feel a peace, with the birds tweeting in the background... with a pause, though, the player will just be hearing the hum of his monitor and the fact that he is indoors, sitting in a chair in front of a computer. Hard to forget that bit, but it's nice when the depressing "where the heck am I?!" part is forgotten. ...And then there's the poor player who's waiting on the other end! Have you seen anything or thought of anything that tries to solve this issue? Music helps a fraction of it, but it seems not enough because since the objects are unmoving... the music is also pretty still unless I opt for longer samples to generate the ambient sound. For the full thing, there must be movement in some way at all times or else the flow of it all is disturbed. Erm... Ponderings? Links, stuff like "Flow"... would also be cool. Thanks in advance!