What gives a game “good pacing”? How do you make moments in a game “memorable”? When is less information, actually more? These questions are all something that video game developers should be asking, and I would recommend looking to the psychology of primacy and recency for the answers. The human mind has a natural desire to process the stimulation in front of it, and in this episode of Psych of Play, I’ll take a swing at explaining how you can play with levels of color and sound to make your video game memorable.

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Game Sources:
The Legend of Zelda: Majoras Mask (2000) – Nintendo
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006) – Nintendo
Celese (2017) – Matt Makes Games
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2017) – Nintendo
Shadow of the Colossus (2005) – Team Ico
Shovel Knight (2000) – Yacht Club Games
Uncharted 2 (2009) – Naughty Dog
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017) – Nintendo
Journey (2012) – That Game Company
Limbo (2010) – PlayDead
Skyrim (2011) – Bethesda
Kingdom Hearts 2 (2005) – Square Enix
Pokemon Gold (1999) – Game Freak
Vanquish (2010) – Platinum Games
Inside (2016) – PlayDead
Megaman X (1993) – Capcom
Dead Space 3 (2013) – Visceral Games

Music Sources:
The Glow of the Dark Mountains- Chris Zabriskie
Cylinder 2- Chris Zabriskie
Air Hockey Saloon – Chris Zabriskie
We Always Thought the Future Would be Kind of Fun- Chris Zabriskie
I am a Man who will Fight for your Honor – Chris Zabriskie
Titan Souls: Forest Songs – David Fenn

Research Sources:

Serial Position effect experiment – VCE Psychology – Andrew Scott

Other Sources:

Smash Bros Switch Reveal Trailer
Passengers Trailer
Fast Five Trailer

_Welcome to Daryl Talks Games_

Hi! I’m Daryl, and on this channel I explore the intersection between video games, psychology, and real life.

I’ve talked about how Pokemon and the Generation Effect can make you a better student. I’ve made a video on why game developers really should understand functional fixedness. And I’ve interviewed some of the best speedrunners on Earth to find out how exactly they make setting world records look so easy.

Primacy and Recency, subconscious associations, classical conditioning, divergent thinking, amnesia (the disorder not the game), if its psychological concept that relates to games, I’ve probably talked about it before or will in the future. But to be clear, psychology isn’t all I talk about. Every now and then I’ll dabble in a little bit of game design and sometimes I’ll just talk about life and how games really can make it better… and for some people are the best way to relate to the world around us.

So if all that sounds like a good time to you, subscribe to my channel, watch my videos, and if you feel so inclined, show a friend! If you take a look at my videos, I truly hope that you learn something or are entertained and that your day is better after watching!

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33 thoughts on “How to Make a Video Game Memorable | Psych of Play

  1. 6:20 Out of all the words I remembered sport, panda, train, paper, truck, force and share. I didn't remember onion though, maybe because I was too focused on visualizing the previous words together and couldn't find a way to fit it in the picture in time. I remember reading years ago that associating words with pictures can make them easier to remember, so I tried to do that which at least led to an interesting series of images as I quickly tried to connect them all. At first it's like: okay sport, baseball bat, panda, the panda's playing baseball, wood, the bat's made out of wood, train, camera zooms out and the panda's standing on top of a train, truck, a truck crashes into the train, force, the truck and train crash into each other with tremendous force, share, the panda shares some food with a surviving passenger amongst the wreckage, hammer, panda whacks passenger with a toy hammer. I ended up forgetting wood and hammer but still remembered paper for some reason, I feel like this would be fun to try with different words and quickly trying to create short stories out of them.

  2. Whenever I'm about to enter the boss level in a game, I don't really feel "The Dip Effect." I feel more anxious knowing that I'm about to fight the boss because having played many video games, I know what's coming. Does anyone know if this is an intentional effect?

  3. I only got six and i absolutely forgot onion 🤣 i stopped memorizing midway too because i realized that there was no connection between the words 🤣 i remember by visualizing it in my brain that didn't work so well when i gave up mid way 🤣

  4. I’m a little surprised this video doesn’t have a bazillion views. Recently I’ve piqued my curiosty in creating a video game of my own. This video has taught me priceless knowledge for not only that, but also gave me an idea for how I can incorporate the dip effect in my own writing / music for said game. Thank you, is an understatement!

  5. Dark Souls does this well with audio. Outside of boss fights and Firelink Shrine, there's absolutely no background music whatsoever, really encourages you to take your time to look and think about the world around you, as well as creates a pervasive feeling of loneliness.

  6. I know a trick for the memorization thing. If you try to combine the words you can make it a whole lot easier. For example, I combined sports and panda into soccer, because the ball is black and while similar to a panda.
    Great videos! I’m in love with this channel!

  7. I only just discovered your channel yesterday, and I've already subscribed. Not only are your videos full of useful information, they're also super fun to watch!

  8. I got 9 & 1/2, and I completely forgot onion actually.
    It may have something to do with some memory techniques I have kind of studied before, but I got
    And then got distracted and accidentally started thinking about the memory technique instead of actually using it, and just barely managed to grab Hammer and Truck, and took a guess at Happy but wasn’t actually certain it was one of the words.

  9. Also when you gave the word memorization quiz i remembered most of it because i made a mental image of things like digit on a paper, hammering an onion, a wooden train etc.
    This may just be because i am an artist and draw a lot but it may be worth looking into

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