Pervasive Games
Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Gamedesigner
&
Writer for Interactieve Media
Win-condition:

Understanding pervasive-gamedesign and
putting it in perspective with classic- and
video-gamedesign.
Games < 40
Gamedesigner
Video-gamedesigner
‘Other’ gamedesigner
Magic Circle
Urban Game
Interactive Theatre
Playful Installation
Life Action Roleplaying
Location Based Game
Alternate Reality Game
Pervasive Gamedesigner
&
Writer for Interactieve Media

www.player-2.nl
Video removed in online-slideshare version.
Video removed in online-slideshare version.
Theory
What is a game? = What is art?
- Meaningful Interaction
- Progression
- You can PLAY with it
- Game ≠ Videogame
- As long ...
Can we categorize games?
Digital

Analog

Entertainment

Applied

Created
world

Pervasive
Common ground?

- Ruleset
- Players
- Magic Circle
The Ruleset

- Actions and forbidden actions
- Designing behaviour
- Players don’t always know (all) rules
People think in rules

- Causal thinking
- If this  Then that
- Recognising patterns
Game design done!
Well not quite..
The Magic Circle
Space
- ‘Physical’ Space
- Time
- Social Space
- Mindset
Suspension of Disbelief

- Agreement
- Metacommunications
- Pretending ‘as if’
- Cheating / Breaking
Context
Ruleset Players
Game

Context /
Magic Circle

Big
Game
So what’s different?
Pervasive games

‚One or more salient features that
expand the contractual magic circle of
play spatially, temporally, or ...
Creation vs Staging
Creation
Staging
What does that mean?
Videogames can be pervasive
Pervasive games can be digital
Hidden treasure?
Magic circle = true
- Your game doesn’t
just happen in your
game world
- Realize that and use
it.
Thinking outside of the box?
- Burn the box
- Seriously, do it
- Thinking in platforms is
limiting
- Genres are only a way...
Thinking outside of the box?
- Design an experience
- Catagorize later
- ‚It’s like … but then
with …‛ should get
you fire...
Intrinsic motivation wins
- Leave players more freedom to set their
own targets
- Go from ‘I have to’ to ‘I want to’
- Mak...
Emergent play = awesome
-

Design a game like a framework
Allow players to play and experiment
Play, don’t tell.
Allow pla...
Pervasive Gamedesigner
&
Schrijver voor Interactieve Media

www.player-2.nl
www.player-2.nl

Playful Narrative
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong
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Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong

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Flux reading for the HKU game design courses. About pervasive games, giving a framework to look at and learn from them through their core design differences with video-games.

(Note: Slideshare kills my font so text may be difficult to read in some slides.)

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  • Flux  Fluxusartists. ‘60ies ‘70ies from the punk andhippymovement. Art foreveryonebut most off alltheychallenged the givenframework of art and made new experiences. Notunlikehow I workwithin games.I googled a bit on flux-reading andmostly found reportsfromstudents telling me manypeopleusedit as promotionOr subject youcouldn’tcompletelyrelateto.So I decidednotto do that.
  • Who in the room believes games are about 40 yearsold?
  • Whowould call him or herself a gamedesigner?
  • Who has heard of the ‘magiccircle’?
  • Who has ever playedanurban game?
  • Who has ever attendedinteractivetheatre?
  • A littleabout me.Istartedplaying, modifyinganddesigningmyown games at a veryyoungage.I alwaysanalyzed the games I boughtandusually found them boring after I did, so I was leftwithpiles of unfinished games.Wantedtobecome a video-gamedesigner at first but then…
  • I was fascinatedby the Harry Potter novelsand the whole community aroundthemthattriedtosolveall the mysteries (and make up a bunch more along the way)Whatifyoucouldplaythis….?
  • Turned out, aroundthat time, youcouldplay games likethat,mostly in the States.I hadn’theard of them, but I didfind a small-scale gamedesign education course thatpromisedto look furtherthan videogames.So I applied.
  • Some of the stuff I made.InteractiveTheatre Game with ARG influences.Pregame of 3 weeks.Live eventsLive narrativethat was co-authoredby the players.Actions of the characters/actors weredependend on the players.Playersdidpuzzles, secret meetings, a playerwrote a rap forone of the characters promotion campaigns, etc. etc.Eventuallytheyended up all in the same room for the live theatre show, the textswere taken fromthings the players had written or saidthrough the game.With a live talkshow in the next room happening as well.We created a world, through the media, in which the players had a role.
  • I’vedone a bunch of urban games.Solar Festival 2011. Mad Hatter
  • Alt-30 Interactive Installation ArtLike a digital playgroundThere are no directlycommunicatedrules, but people make theirownrules.
  • Linearity – Series of prototypes in combininginteractive storytelling with ARG elements.Clues – Extra ‘world’ andmeaningto the stories. Creating a bigger context/universeandexperiencefor it.
  • I also make videogamesnowandthen. Mostly at Global Game Jams.
  • I writeabout a whole lot of things. I’vewritten a whileabout art and games andpervasive games for Bashers.nl and blog on other websites andmyown…
  • I’malso on a slightlyfoolishquesttoconvince gamedesigners andwritersthat we cancreatebetterstories.
  • So, parameters that at leastallowustocommunicate.A word never means the samefortwo persons, a ‘term’ even less.If I say ‘shooter’ we allsort of have the sameidea but itcandiffergreatlywhenyou zoom in on the details and the feelings we associatewith it.
  • Yes, in manyways. Youcanbasically do thiswithanyaxes.Fancy 3D TriangleFramingmatters!! More on that later.
  • Certain MathematicalTheoriescanbetoughtthroughchess. But it’sallabout the framing.
  • Thoughthisthenmakesit a lot more pervasive.There is a lot more happening herethenthere thatdoesn’tjust happen in the world of the game.
  • Do games, broad as theymaybe, have a certain common ground?Well yes, they do.
  • Games are allabout actions, behaviour.You as the gamedesigner design that behaviour, through the rules (mostly).
  • That last bit of the previous slide is important,becausethereonce was a man thatthought his game was not a game mostlybecause he didn’tcommunicate his rulesto the players (andsubsequentlydeniedtherebeinganyrulesto begin withbecause of that).
  • Games always have rulesthough!!Andthat’sawesomebecause…!!
  • Biological Advantage – Ifsmoke, thenfire. | You make this system of rulesthatcreate the behaviour youdesire. Test it, balanceit, test itagain etc.Andthat’sbasicallywhat game design is at itscore.
  • Nice!Exceptformaybe…
  • Youdon’t have a spaceand time foritto happen yet. Neither have youframedit in a socialconstruction.
  • Huizinga 1938 Cultureel antropoloog/historicus – Homo LudensSpatial, Temporal, Social.Where the game takes place, but in everydimensionand way youcanthink of.
  • ‘Physical’spacebecause the spacecanbe non-physicaltoo, like online or digital environments.
  • Mindset / Social Space  Suspension of Disbelief. It’s an agreement to take on the samemindset, betweenplayersandsometimes gamemasters.
  • So the magiccircle isallabout context. The contextsyour game takes place in.
  • A lot of info about the magiccircleveryquickly.It’s notrigid,depending on the game playerscan switch in and out veryfast. Plus, it’spermeable, youcan’talwaysleavethingsoutside or inside (Called ‘bleed’ in some scenes). | The more pervasive a game, the more youwork in the full circleandoutside of the ruleset. Through the rulesetandthroughstaging the context however, youcanstillinfluencethings, but youcan’t ‘write’ itall.
  • Games always have a magiccircle!!
  • That sounds nice, but what doesitmean?
  • In real design, itmostly means creationvs staging.
  • Bottom up, you have tobuildeverything. Exclusive. You’re God, and the rulesetdefinesgreatlywhat the game is aboutandhowit takes place. You control thatrulesetsoyou control the experiencealmostcompletely.
  • Top down, you stage what is alreadythere. Inclusive. | Experiencecomes first, platform later (usually). (transmedia) | You’re never in full control, a lot happensoutside of the ruleset, youcanonly stage whathappensthereandinfluenceit a bit throughstagingandthrough smart design of yourruleset.
  • Morefreedom + improvisationforplayers/gamemasters. More player-playerdynamics. Somethings are very easy toattain (likeshowingemotion) otherthings hard, likehaving a helicopterfly over. In videogames, it’s the other way around. Just anexample of course.
  • Though the more you code and change the original game in a mod, the more you are creatinginstead of stagingand the lesspervasive the game is.
  • Sowhatcanyou take fromthisanduse in videogame design?
  • Workwith ‘A game in whichyou… ‘ instead. Thisfocusses on experienceand action ratherthanassociationwithexisting games/gameplay/actions.
  • Pervasive Games - Flux reading at the HKU gamedesign - Arjen de Jong

    1. 1. Pervasive Games Arjen de Jong Pervasive Gamedesigner & Writer for Interactieve Media
    2. 2. Win-condition: Understanding pervasive-gamedesign and putting it in perspective with classic- and video-gamedesign.
    3. 3. Games < 40
    4. 4. Gamedesigner
    5. 5. Video-gamedesigner
    6. 6. ‘Other’ gamedesigner
    7. 7. Magic Circle
    8. 8. Urban Game
    9. 9. Interactive Theatre
    10. 10. Playful Installation
    11. 11. Life Action Roleplaying
    12. 12. Location Based Game
    13. 13. Alternate Reality Game
    14. 14. Pervasive Gamedesigner & Writer for Interactieve Media www.player-2.nl
    15. 15. Video removed in online-slideshare version.
    16. 16. Video removed in online-slideshare version.
    17. 17. Theory
    18. 18. What is a game? = What is art? - Meaningful Interaction - Progression - You can PLAY with it - Game ≠ Videogame - As long as we sort of agree, it’s ok.
    19. 19. Can we categorize games? Digital Analog Entertainment Applied Created world Pervasive
    20. 20. Common ground? - Ruleset - Players - Magic Circle
    21. 21. The Ruleset - Actions and forbidden actions - Designing behaviour - Players don’t always know (all) rules
    22. 22. People think in rules - Causal thinking - If this  Then that - Recognising patterns
    23. 23. Game design done!
    24. 24. Well not quite..
    25. 25. The Magic Circle
    26. 26. Space - ‘Physical’ Space - Time - Social Space - Mindset
    27. 27. Suspension of Disbelief - Agreement - Metacommunications - Pretending ‘as if’ - Cheating / Breaking
    28. 28. Context
    29. 29. Ruleset Players Game Context / Magic Circle Big Game
    30. 30. So what’s different?
    31. 31. Pervasive games ‚One or more salient features that expand the contractual magic circle of play spatially, temporally, or socially.‛
    32. 32. Creation vs Staging
    33. 33. Creation
    34. 34. Staging
    35. 35. What does that mean?
    36. 36. Videogames can be pervasive
    37. 37. Pervasive games can be digital
    38. 38. Hidden treasure?
    39. 39. Magic circle = true - Your game doesn’t just happen in your game world - Realize that and use it.
    40. 40. Thinking outside of the box? - Burn the box - Seriously, do it - Thinking in platforms is limiting - Genres are only a way to communicate
    41. 41. Thinking outside of the box? - Design an experience - Catagorize later - ‚It’s like … but then with …‛ should get you fired
    42. 42. Intrinsic motivation wins - Leave players more freedom to set their own targets - Go from ‘I have to’ to ‘I want to’ - Make players feel smart - Winning in multiple ways = less losers
    43. 43. Emergent play = awesome - Design a game like a framework Allow players to play and experiment Play, don’t tell. Allow players to co-create the experience
    44. 44. Pervasive Gamedesigner & Schrijver voor Interactieve Media www.player-2.nl
    45. 45. www.player-2.nl Playful Narrative

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