How Do They Know?

When Beethoven or Mozart wrote a piano sonata, how did they know someone else might be able to play it the way it was supposed to be played? I am a piano player and I can “play” most anything both of these composers wrote as long as you don’t look at the time signature. If it says Allegro, I’m probably in trouble. If we think of a sonata as a game, it would mean I might only get one or two of the possible three stars available for that level.

Which brings me to the question that led to this entry: Do video game creators always know that you can beat the game or, as the scenario above suggests, play the game so that you achieve the highest level possible? I suspect they do some testing and with all the walkthroughs available, obviously someone figured out how to do it, but I found myself wondering as I work through a new game.

The Northern Tale series are time management building games of the sort that I love. Pick up resources, build sawmills and farms, repair roads and bridges, and complete various tasks to move through the levels. You can move on even if you get less than three starts but the bonus levels require a three-star rating on every level, something I normally can do without too much fatigue. But, Northern Tale has several levels that have stumped me. I actually gave up in the first series and still have two levels I haven’t beaten. In the second series, I just this morning managed to beat Level 25 with just seconds to go, following some walkthrough advice. But I still have another one that needs attention and the walkthrough advice didn’t seem to do the trick. I do find myself blaming the game as being laggy and unresponsive. (I clicked that button, darn it!, really I did!)

So, I found this video from Andrew Carboni very interesting as he explains why it may be our brains to blame:

Or maybe it’s because I’m distracted by typos 😉

Image of Game with Mispelled Word

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