Ornery is a casual game series that experiments with the Reward/Punishment ratio and the effect of graphical stylization. According to known psychologists Dr. John Gottman, author of 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work and Dr. Terri Orbuch’s, author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great, research has shown that in the most fulfilling marriages there is at least a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative experiences. Marriage can be considered the most complex interaction, or highest level of interactivity, of the human condition. Interactivity can be defined as two active agents that can gather, process, and convey information to one another. Games also work on the principle of interactivity, the two active agents being between two humans or a human and a computer, but are constrained by rules and end with a win/lose scenario. Games produce high levels of interactivity between the user and computer, creating a relationship. Developers of these video games try to produce a positive experience that keeps the players interested for as long as possible.

In addition I will examine the effects of graphical fidelity. Common concepts of mental processing state that the less information the brain needs to interpret, the quicker the correct message can be received, and the more effective the communication will be. For instance, studies in visual communication have found that people can process black and white images quicker than their colored counterparts and that abstract logos are generally more effective in brand identification. So I will also craft an abstract, stylized, and realistic version of the game for each difficulty ratio, resulting in nine games total. After the games are complete I will compile the data from numerous play testing sessions. Testers will not be made aware of the experiment until feedback forms are distributed. I’ll then analyze the data and see exactly how both the reward ratio and type of aesthetics affect the user’s experience.