Designing Social Worlds
on intrigue and interaction in live action
role playing games (LARPS)
Carl Heath
GR Experiential L...
About GR Experiential learning
• Design games for the formal educational
system
• Teacher training courses
• Execute gamin...
Among the games designed...
• Live action role play on immigration issues in
Sweden
• Live action role play on experiencin...
Prior & current research projects
• iPerg
• Mobile Learning Environments (MLE)
• AIREA
• GRowth
• GRO - crossing social bo...
Background recepie
• One part educational specialists
• One part thematic expert
• Two parts game designer
• One part proj...
Swedish LARPS, intrigue and interaction
A live action role-playing game (LARP) is a form of
role-playing game where the pa...
First games in Sweden in the mid 1980s
Few genres
Controlled narrative
Rule driven
Generic environments
onsdag den 3 novem...
First games in Sweden in the mid 1980s
Environment
Characters
(rules)
Main plot
Sub plots
Start P1 P2 P3 P4 End
Planned ev...
Early and mid 1990s - broader and deeper
Several genres
Semi-controlled narrative
Game Master driven
Complex environments
...
Complex
environment
Characters
(narrative)
Relationships
Social context
Main plot
Sub plots
Start End
Several possible
end...
Late 1990s to present - exploration
Several genres
Complex narrative using a
broad tool box
Story driven
Complex environme...
Complex
environment
Characters
(narrative)
Relationships
Social context
(Main plot)
(Sub plots)
Start End
Several
possible...
Basic GM pre-game toolbox
Environment design
Basic narrative design
Main plot design
(Sub plot design)
(Character design)
...
Basic GM in-game toolbox
Controlled characters
Controlled ”out of game”
world
Controlled or monitored
communications syste...
GM (or player) meta-game toolbox
Special function roles
Skjebner
Character controlled
narrative
Shift of time and space
Co...
Contrasting design patterns (Game Control)
Character creation
Game Master Players
Environment control
Plot design
Typecast...
Contrasting design patterns (Character
engagement)
RelationalPlot driven
Group Individual
External motivators Internal mot...
Social dynamics and basic plot patterns
A player can only manage a
given number of active
intrigues or plot lines
A player...
Social dynamics and basic plot patterns
onsdag den 3 november 2010
Social dynamics and basic plot patterns
onsdag den 3 november 2010
Social dynamics and basic plot patterns
onsdag den 3 november 2010
Using LARPS beyond entertainment
Game System Game Theme
onsdag den 3 november 2010
Using LARPS beyond entertainment
Game System Game Theme
Technology
onsdag den 3 november 2010
Using LARPS beyond entertainment
Game System Game Theme
Technology
Pedagogy, marketing,
politics, sales, etc.
onsdag den 3...
More on Nordic LARPS
http://www.sverok.se/in-english/
www.knudepunkt.org
www.nordiclarptalks.org
onsdag den 3 november 2010
Carl Heath
GR Experiential Learning
carl.heath@grkom.se
www.grkom.se/utbildning
www.grul.se
skype: carlheath
www.slideshar...
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Designing social worlds

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The past 20 years have seen Live Action Role Playing evolve to become a complex scene of games in the Nordic countries. The Nordic LARP scene has been a creative, dynamic and experimental environment where questions regarding the design of intrigue and interaction have been explored from many perspectives. Over the past years the knowledge within this subcultural context has spread into several academic fields, into the schools of the nordic countries, to the national theatre stages, into other types of games and also into mainstream media. During this keynote Carl Heath will take us on a journey into this subculture, on an exploratory path aiming to explain key elements in the design of the rich and complex social worlds that can be found within LARPs in the Nordic countries.

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Designing social worlds

  1. 1. Designing Social Worlds on intrigue and interaction in live action role playing games (LARPS) Carl Heath GR Experiential Learning onsdag den 3 november 2010
  2. 2. About GR Experiential learning • Design games for the formal educational system • Teacher training courses • Execute gaming experiences • Partner in research projects onsdag den 3 november 2010
  3. 3. Among the games designed... • Live action role play on immigration issues in Sweden • Live action role play on experiencing the Swedish Parliament • Digital interactive narrative on EU issues • Role playing game on consumer rights issues • Role playing game on sexual and reproductive health and rights • Card games on algebra onsdag den 3 november 2010
  4. 4. Prior & current research projects • iPerg • Mobile Learning Environments (MLE) • AIREA • GRowth • GRO - crossing social borders in MMRPG onsdag den 3 november 2010
  5. 5. Background recepie • One part educational specialists • One part thematic expert • Two parts game designer • One part project management • (if digital, two parts programming, one part design and one part interaction design) • Blend together with an environment of research, education, international network onsdag den 3 november 2010
  6. 6. Swedish LARPS, intrigue and interaction A live action role-playing game (LARP) is a form of role-playing game where the participants physically act out their characters' actions.The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world, while interacting with each other in character. The outcome of player actions may be mediated by game rules, or determined by consensus among players. Event arrangers called gamemasters decide the setting and rules to be used and facilitate play. Wikipedia onsdag den 3 november 2010
  7. 7. First games in Sweden in the mid 1980s Few genres Controlled narrative Rule driven Generic environments onsdag den 3 november 2010
  8. 8. First games in Sweden in the mid 1980s Environment Characters (rules) Main plot Sub plots Start P1 P2 P3 P4 End Planned event 1 Planned event 2 Planned event 3 Planned event 4 Planned Ending Usually 1-3 possible outcomes onsdag den 3 november 2010
  9. 9. Early and mid 1990s - broader and deeper Several genres Semi-controlled narrative Game Master driven Complex environments onsdag den 3 november 2010
  10. 10. Complex environment Characters (narrative) Relationships Social context Main plot Sub plots Start End Several possible ends and outcomes Early and mid 1990s - broader and deeper Planned event 1 Planned event 2 Planned event 3 Planned event 4 GM tool 1 GM tool 2 GM tool 3 GM tool 4 onsdag den 3 november 2010
  11. 11. Late 1990s to present - exploration Several genres Complex narrative using a broad tool box Story driven Complex environments onsdag den 3 november 2010
  12. 12. Complex environment Characters (narrative) Relationships Social context (Main plot) (Sub plots) Start End Several possible ends and outcomes Planned event 1 Planned event 2 Planned event 3 Planned event 4 In game GM tool 1 In game GM tool 2 In game GM tool 3 In game GM tool 4 Late 1990s to present - exploration Meta game tool 1 Meta game tool 2 Meta game tool 3 Meta game tool 4 onsdag den 3 november 2010
  13. 13. Basic GM pre-game toolbox Environment design Basic narrative design Main plot design (Sub plot design) (Character design) Typecasting Event design Prop design onsdag den 3 november 2010
  14. 14. Basic GM in-game toolbox Controlled characters Controlled ”out of game” world Controlled or monitored communications systems Controlled props Controlled environment Event orchestration Time management onsdag den 3 november 2010
  15. 15. GM (or player) meta-game toolbox Special function roles Skjebner Character controlled narrative Shift of time and space Controlled cut-scenes Parallell narratives Real world intervention onsdag den 3 november 2010
  16. 16. Contrasting design patterns (Game Control) Character creation Game Master Players Environment control Plot design Typecasting In-game controls Meta-game controls onsdag den 3 november 2010
  17. 17. Contrasting design patterns (Character engagement) RelationalPlot driven Group Individual External motivators Internal motivators onsdag den 3 november 2010
  18. 18. Social dynamics and basic plot patterns A player can only manage a given number of active intrigues or plot lines A player can only manage a given number of active relations onsdag den 3 november 2010
  19. 19. Social dynamics and basic plot patterns onsdag den 3 november 2010
  20. 20. Social dynamics and basic plot patterns onsdag den 3 november 2010
  21. 21. Social dynamics and basic plot patterns onsdag den 3 november 2010
  22. 22. Using LARPS beyond entertainment Game System Game Theme onsdag den 3 november 2010
  23. 23. Using LARPS beyond entertainment Game System Game Theme Technology onsdag den 3 november 2010
  24. 24. Using LARPS beyond entertainment Game System Game Theme Technology Pedagogy, marketing, politics, sales, etc. onsdag den 3 november 2010
  25. 25. More on Nordic LARPS http://www.sverok.se/in-english/ www.knudepunkt.org www.nordiclarptalks.org onsdag den 3 november 2010
  26. 26. Carl Heath GR Experiential Learning carl.heath@grkom.se www.grkom.se/utbildning www.grul.se skype: carlheath www.slideshare.net/carlheath Thank you! onsdag den 3 november 2010

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