GirlGamer‘s H. B. Duran just did a really flattering piece on me and my work at Next Island. Thanks again for the opportunity, and the kind words.
GG: Next Island just recently entered my radar and I was delighted to find a woman behind the scenes developing the missions. What do you think makes a mission satisfying to players?
MS: An ideal game scenario has an engaging story and the right difficulty level. Without a solid character or interesting motivation, it’s very hard to feel motivated and engaged by the story. And with an objective that’s too easy, we don’t feel challenged and sometimes even feel like the game is condescending to us. We don’t feel very heroic dressed in our best armor to run a simple delivery mission, for example. If the objective is too hard, it’s easy to feel frustrated by the game as a whole, and not just come back to that particular questgiver or scenario later on.
I also like to make things as open ended as possible. When I play RPGs, I like to feel like I have choices and that my choices affect my game experience, so I try to give that feeling to my players.