Basics of Game Design                         by Carolina Islas Sedano                      PhD student at the University ...
About me...  My academic background                             1. BSc                             Electronic             ...
Workshop assumptions      • (i) everybody has played        games                                                     Tech...
Workshop aim                      • to build an understanding of the basic                        concepts in game design....
How to achieve the workshop’s aim                      • Offer a brief presentation                         • History     ...
preview: Hands on • Create a turn-based game for two players. • The game has to help the player to   understand/learn some...
History                      Brief PresentationSunday, 27 May 2012
Reference point                                                                       Playing manifestations:             ...
Question #1                      How old games are?                          1. aprox. 60 years old                       ...
How old games are?                      10Sunday, 27 May 2012
How old games are?                      “The fact that play and culture                      are actually interwoven with ...
Meta classification                      Do you know the following                      terms:                      agôn, a...
Digital Game origins                  1958                1961                  Wally           Steve Rusell              ...
Digital Games     • Video games (consoles, computer games, MMO)     • Mobile games     • Location-based games* (e.g. visio...
Serious Games                        Brief PresentationSunday, 27 May 2012
Serious games history                      • Edutainment                         • First weave aprox. 1954 with           ...
Serious games history                      • Edutainment                         • First weave aprox. 1954 with           ...
Serious games history                      • Edutainment                         • First weave aprox. 1954 with           ...
Today’s arguments in serious games          Lindroth (2011). Games, Learning and Education Course.          Göthenburg Uni...
Serious games from game designers perspective (based on Brathwaite & Schreiber, 2009)                      • Training game...
Challenges for serious games      • Difficult making games that teach and are fun      • Conflict between educational goals ...
Game Design Basic Concepts                      Basic and Brief PresentationSunday, 27 May 2012
System.... (in engineering)           ..... is a combination of components that act jointly to achieve           a specific...
System.... (in engineering)           ..... is a combination of components that act jointly to achieve           a specific...
System lexicon (engineering)           A component is a particular unit in the function of a           system.           A...
Defining Games                      Games are dynamics systems of                      interaction approached with a playfu...
Technology is...                      .... essentially the medium in which the                      aesthetics take place,...
Bonus: Gartner Hype Cycle                             Figure source here                        26carolina islas sedano   ...
Digital technology for this workshop                      27         photo sourceSunday, 27 May 2012
Game mechanics               • Game mechanics are the core of the                 game.               • Taxonomies of game...
Game mechanics bonus                        29carolina islas sedano        JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
What do designers do?         • Everything we have around us has been designed (Cross, 2006)         • The ability of desi...
Game design          Game design is the process of creating the content and          rules of a game. Good game design is ...
Designing Games Tips                             Brief Presentation                      Remember: we design for players! ...
Ways to think or frame about the game of  Chess               1. Strictly a strategic and                  mathematical sy...
Ways to think or frame about the game of  Chess               1. Strictly a strategic and                  mathematical sy...
Ways to think or frame about the game of  Chess               1. Strictly a strategic and                  mathematical sy...
Taxonomy of Game Mechanics  suggested by Schell.                      1. Space                      2. Object, attribute a...
Schell’s Taxonomy  Mechanic #1: Space               • Are either discrete or continuos               • Have some number of...
Schell’s Taxonomy  Mechanic #1: Space                      Examples:         Source image tic-tac-toe        Source image ...
Schell’s Taxonomy  Mechanic #1: Space  Examples:                             Figure based on Schell’s concept             ...
Schell’s Taxonomy  Mechanic #2: Object, Attributes and States               • Objects: characters, tokens, scoreboards,   ...
Schell’s Taxonomy  Mechanic #2: Object, Attributes and States          • Attributes are categories of information         ...
Schell’s Taxonomy  Mechanic #2: Object, Attributes and States                        Source image monopoly                ...
Schell’s Taxonomy  Mechanic #2: Object, Attributes and States TIP                                  SECRETS                ...
Schell’s Taxonomy  Mechanic #2: Object, Attributes and States TIP                                                      fat...
Schell’s Taxonomy  Mechanic #3: Actions               • Operative actions - simple actions that                 the player...
Schell’s Taxonomy  Mechanic #3: Actions               • Resultant actions - are only meaningful                 in the lar...
Schell’s Taxonomy  Mechanic #4: Rules               • Fundamental mechanic.               • Define the space, the objects, ...
Schell’s Taxonomy  Mechanic #4: Rules               • Most important rule specify the game’s                 goal:        ...
Schell’s Taxonomy  Mechanic #5: Skill  • Mechanic that focuses on the player instead of on    the game. Skills can be gene...
Schell’s Taxonomy  Mechanic #6: Chance               • Chance = uncertainty = surprise.                      • mathematica...
Mathematical perspective  3 basic tips      1. Suggestion to scale 0 to 1 (0% to 100%)             -10% winning? or 124.12...
Mathematical perspective  3 basic tips      3. Probability distribution             What actions do you want to           ...
Perceived probability...  • Game A:      66% chance of winning $2400      33% chance of winning $2500      1% chance of wi...
Perceived probability...           Kahneman and Tversky (psychologists) study           how we can under-estimate and over...
Game dynamics                      Once players are playing the game is possible                      to see the game mech...
Hands on part I: DESIGN •       Create a turn-based game for two players. •       The game has to help the player to under...
Question might help in the design:           1. Is the goal clear for the players in the game?           2. What skills do...
Thank you for your attentionSunday, 27 May 2012
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2012 JTEL - Workshop: Basics of Game Design

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Presentation given at JTEL2012 (Joint European Summer school on Technology Enhanced Learning)

Event URL: http://www.prolearn-academy.org/Events/summer-school-2012

My contact email: caislas@gmail.com

Published in: Entertainment & Humor, Design

2012 JTEL - Workshop: Basics of Game Design

  1. 1. Basics of Game Design by Carolina Islas Sedano PhD student at the University of Eastern FinlandSunday, 27 May 2012
  2. 2. About me... My academic background 1. BSc Electronic Engineering in Mexico Source image 2. MSc. 3. PhD. Communication Educational and Media Technologies Engineering Research Group in Germany 2 in Finlandcarolina islas sedano Source image JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  3. 3. Workshop assumptions • (i) everybody has played games Technology • (ii) potentially everybody has the capability to design Learning games, Education Game Design • (iii) the awareness of the Context game development opportunities and needs in TEL community.Sunday, 27 May 2012
  4. 4. Workshop aim • to build an understanding of the basic concepts in game design.Sunday, 27 May 2012
  5. 5. How to achieve the workshop’s aim • Offer a brief presentation • History • Serious Games • Game Design Basic Concepts • Designing Game Tips • Hands on • Design a game • Evaluate your designs • DiscussionSunday, 27 May 2012
  6. 6. preview: Hands on • Create a turn-based game for two players. • The game has to help the player to understand/learn something. You can choose the topic. • The game will be designed in 15 minutes. • The gameplay will occur within an A3 surface. • Turns or moves may be signaled by either a six sided dice (D6) or a coin. (I offer: A3 surface, color papers, pencil colors, dices)Sunday, 27 May 2012
  7. 7. History Brief PresentationSunday, 27 May 2012
  8. 8. Reference point Playing manifestations: • Being playful • Ludic activities [ludus is latin word of play] • Gameplay Figure from Islas Sedano, 2012 Source: Salen and Zimmerman (2004). Further reading: Walther, K. (2003) Playing and Gaming Defining Play. In Rules of Play. Game Design Reflections and Classifications. Game Studies Journal Vol 3 Fundamentals. MIT Press issue 1 8Sunday, 27 May 2012
  9. 9. Question #1 How old games are? 1. aprox. 60 years old 2. aprox. 1000 years old 3. aprox. 2000 years old 4. as old as our civilizations 5. other 9carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  10. 10. How old games are? 10Sunday, 27 May 2012
  11. 11. How old games are? “The fact that play and culture are actually interwoven with one another was neither observed nor expressed, whereas for us the whole point is to show that genuine, pure play is one of the main bases of civilization.” Huizinga, 1938. 10Sunday, 27 May 2012
  12. 12. Meta classification Do you know the following terms: agôn, alea, mimicry, ilinx, paidia and ludus. 11Sunday, 27 May 2012
  13. 13. Digital Game origins 1958 1961 Wally Steve Rusell Higginbotham Spacewar! 12carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  14. 14. Digital Games • Video games (consoles, computer games, MMO) • Mobile games • Location-based games* (e.g. visions with Augmented Reality) • Pervasive games* (IPerG) • ARG (Alternate Reality Games)* * transmedia 13carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  15. 15. Serious Games Brief PresentationSunday, 27 May 2012
  16. 16. Serious games history • Edutainment • First weave aprox. 1954 with Disneyland • Second weave in the 1980’s while Disney believed thatspread should be PC started to children allowed togames their own individuality, • Serious explore have fun, and learn by personal experience • End of the 1990s with Game Studies. (Hawk, 2003) 15Sunday, 27 May 2012
  17. 17. Serious games history • Edutainment • First weave aprox. 1954 with Disneyland • Second weave in the 1980’s while PC started to spread "[t]he problem is with the way that creators of todays edutainment producers tend to • Serious games think about learning and education. Too often, they view education as a bitter medicine that needs the sugar-coating of entertainment to become palatable. They provide entertainment as reward if you are willing to suffer through a little education. • End of the 1990s with Game Studies. Or they boast that you will have so much fun using their products that you wont even realize that you are learning — as if learning were the most unpleasant experience in the world" (Resnick, 2006). 16Sunday, 27 May 2012
  18. 18. Serious games history • Edutainment • First weave aprox. 1954 with Disneyland • Second weave in the 1980’s while PC started to spread • Serious games • The term starts to be often used at the end of the 1990s with Game Studies. 17Sunday, 27 May 2012
  19. 19. Today’s arguments in serious games Lindroth (2011). Games, Learning and Education Course. Göthenburg University. He mentions: • Side effects of the technology. For instance, while players play, they gain new literacy skills from digital games, such as multitasking (e.g. Prensky, 2000. Digital Game-based learning) • Players acquire knowledge as a side effect of their gameplay. For instance, multimodal representations of a subject (e.g. Gee, 2003. What video game have to teach us about learning and literacy) 18Sunday, 27 May 2012
  20. 20. Serious games from game designers perspective (based on Brathwaite & Schreiber, 2009) • Training games • Health games • Advergames and anti-advergames • Social-awareness games, persuasive games (Ian Bogost) • Games as a teaching tool (e.g. game design workshops, inspirational tool as the Myst platform, MindcraftEdu) 19Sunday, 27 May 2012
  21. 21. Challenges for serious games • Difficult making games that teach and are fun • Conflict between educational goals and the characteristics of games • Efficiency in games (less efficient than other methodologies) • Educators’ negative believes about games • Misinterpretations of Gamification 20Sunday, 27 May 2012
  22. 22. Game Design Basic Concepts Basic and Brief PresentationSunday, 27 May 2012
  23. 23. System.... (in engineering) ..... is a combination of components that act jointly to achieve a specific objective. 22carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  24. 24. System.... (in engineering) ..... is a combination of components that act jointly to achieve a specific objective.Ogata, K. (1987) Dynamic Systems. Page 417 22carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  25. 25. System lexicon (engineering) A component is a particular unit in the function of a system. A system can be call dynamic when the output depends of an input from the past. That means, systems are changing states or moving constantly to be useful. Example: vehicles, entertainment equipment (TV, radio), computers. A static system is constant. Example: buildings, bridges, furniture. 23carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  26. 26. Defining Games Games are dynamics systems of interaction approached with a playful attitude. Games consist of • Game components often includes aesthetics, story, technology • Game mechanics 24carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  27. 27. Technology is... .... essentially the medium in which the aesthetics take place, in which the mechanics will occur, and which the story will be told (Schell, 2008 pg 42). 25carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  28. 28. Bonus: Gartner Hype Cycle Figure source here 26carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  29. 29. Digital technology for this workshop 27 photo sourceSunday, 27 May 2012
  30. 30. Game mechanics • Game mechanics are the core of the game. • Taxonomies of game mechanics are incomplete. Why? a) involve objective set of rules b) involve mental models of the players. 28carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  31. 31. Game mechanics bonus 29carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  32. 32. What do designers do? • Everything we have around us has been designed (Cross, 2006) • The ability of designers to produce efficient, effective, imaginative and stimulating designs is therefore important to all of us (Cross, 2006). Source: Cross, N.(2006). Designerly ways of knowing. 30carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  33. 33. Game design Game design is the process of creating the content and rules of a game. Good game design is the process of creating goals that a player feels motivated to reach and rules that a player must follow as he makes meaningful decisions in pursuit of those goals. (Brathwaite & Schreiber, 2009) 31carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  34. 34. Designing Games Tips Brief Presentation Remember: we design for players! DESIGNER CREATES AN EXPERIENCE FOR THE PLAYERSSunday, 27 May 2012
  35. 35. Ways to think or frame about the game of Chess 1. Strictly a strategic and mathematical system. Source: Salen and Zimmerman (2004). Game Design Fundamentals. MIT Press 33Sunday, 27 May 2012
  36. 36. Ways to think or frame about the game of Chess 1. Strictly a strategic and mathematical system. 2. System of interaction between players and the game. Source: Salen and Zimmerman (2004). Game Design Fundamentals. MIT Press 33Sunday, 27 May 2012
  37. 37. Ways to think or frame about the game of Chess 1. Strictly a strategic and mathematical system. 2. System of interaction between players and the game. Source: Salen and Zimmerman (2004). Game Design Fundamentals. MIT Press Source photo geograph 33Sunday, 27 May 2012
  38. 38. Taxonomy of Game Mechanics suggested by Schell. 1. Space 2. Object, attribute and states 3. Actions 4. Rules 5. Skills 6. Chance 34carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  39. 39. Schell’s Taxonomy Mechanic #1: Space • Are either discrete or continuos • Have some number of dimensions • Have bounded areas which may or may not be connected 35carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  40. 40. Schell’s Taxonomy Mechanic #1: Space Examples: Source image tic-tac-toe Source image pool table 36carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  41. 41. Schell’s Taxonomy Mechanic #1: Space Examples: Figure based on Schell’s concept 37carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  42. 42. Schell’s Taxonomy Mechanic #2: Object, Attributes and States • Objects: characters, tokens, scoreboards, anything that can be seen or manipulated in your game. Objects have one or more attributes, one of which is often the current position in the game space 38carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  43. 43. Schell’s Taxonomy Mechanic #2: Object, Attributes and States • Attributes are categories of information about an object. • Each attribute has a current state. 39carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  44. 44. Schell’s Taxonomy Mechanic #2: Object, Attributes and States Source image monopoly 40carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  45. 45. Schell’s Taxonomy Mechanic #2: Object, Attributes and States TIP SECRETS Who is aware of which attributes and their states? 41carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  46. 46. Schell’s Taxonomy Mechanic #2: Object, Attributes and States TIP fates game Player 3 C D E Player 1 A B Player 2 Figure based on Schell’s concept 42carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  47. 47. Schell’s Taxonomy Mechanic #3: Actions • Operative actions - simple actions that the player can take. Source image checkers 43carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  48. 48. Schell’s Taxonomy Mechanic #3: Actions • Resultant actions - are only meaningful in the larger picture of the game. Resultant actions are not part of the rules, but rather actions and strategies that emerge as the game is played. Interesting emergent actions are the hallmark of a good game. (Schell, 2008) 44carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  49. 49. Schell’s Taxonomy Mechanic #4: Rules • Fundamental mechanic. • Define the space, the objects, the actions, the consequences of the actions, the constrains on the actions and the goals. 45carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  50. 50. Schell’s Taxonomy Mechanic #4: Rules • Most important rule specify the game’s goal: 1) Concrete 2) Achievable 3) Rewarding 46carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  51. 51. Schell’s Taxonomy Mechanic #5: Skill • Mechanic that focuses on the player instead of on the game. Skills can be general be divided in: 1) Physical skills 2) Mental skills 3) Social skills • Pay attention in the distinction between real skill VS virtual skill 47carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  52. 52. Schell’s Taxonomy Mechanic #6: Chance • Chance = uncertainty = surprise. • mathematical perspective • perceived probability (human element) 48carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  53. 53. Mathematical perspective 3 basic tips 1. Suggestion to scale 0 to 1 (0% to 100%) -10% winning? or 124.12 % of chance of win 2. OR can mean Add 4/52 + 12/52 = 16/52 = 30.76% (13 cards - 1 of the ace = 12) 49Sunday, 27 May 2012
  54. 54. Mathematical perspective 3 basic tips 3. Probability distribution What actions do you want to have more/less often in your game? Analyze the expected value for specific transactions in the game. photo source 50Sunday, 27 May 2012
  55. 55. Perceived probability... • Game A: 66% chance of winning $2400 33% chance of winning $2500 1% chance of winning $0 Expected value of game: (0.66x$2400)+(0.33x$2500)+(0.01x$0)=$2409 • Game B: 100% chance of winning $2400 Expected value of the game: (1x$2400)=$2400 51Sunday, 27 May 2012
  56. 56. Perceived probability... Kahneman and Tversky (psychologists) study how we can under-estimate and over-estimate situations: Cause of death estimated chance actual chance heart disease 22% 34% cancer 18% 23% other natural causes 33% 35% accident 32% 5% homicide 10% 1% other unnatural causes 11% 2% 52Sunday, 27 May 2012
  57. 57. Game dynamics Once players are playing the game is possible to see the game mechanics in movement, because the game dynamics unveil. Game dynamics allow game designers to balance the game with different choices, for example: • rewards VS punishment, • skill VS chance, • competition VS cooperation, • short VS long, .... 53carolina islas sedano JTELSS, 2012Sunday, 27 May 2012
  58. 58. Hands on part I: DESIGN • Create a turn-based game for two players. • The game has to help the player to understand/learn something. You can choose the topic. • The game will be designed in 15 minutes. • The gameplay will occur within an A3 surface. • Turns or moves may be signaled by either a six sided dice (D6) or a coin. (I offer: A3 surface, color papers, pencil colors, dices) • Think on the: • Space, • Object, attributes and states, • Actions, • Rules, • Skills, • Chance • I recommend to balance skill VS chance! • Remember the game is for a player!!!! • Deliver paper prototype which will be played in the next phase.Sunday, 27 May 2012
  59. 59. Question might help in the design: 1. Is the goal clear for the players in the game? 2. What skills does the game require from the player? 3. What sort of emotions is the game trying to evoke in the player? 4. What should the player take away from the game? 5. What sort of control will the player have over the game-world? 6. How is this game unique? 7. What do you want the players to understand/ learn? 55Sunday, 27 May 2012
  60. 60. Thank you for your attentionSunday, 27 May 2012

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