LAFS Game Design 1 - Game Mechanics


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Session 2 of the Los Angeles Film School's Game Design 1 class.

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LAFS Game Design 1 - Game Mechanics

  1. 1. Session 2 David Mullich Game Design 1 The Los Angeles Film School
  2. 2. Designer Perspective: Peter Molyneux G4 Icons Episode #43: Peter Molyneux
  4. 4. The Core Mechanic A core mechanic encapsulates what the spirit of a game is really about at its heart. Usually it is the action that the player uses most frequently in the game and the foundation upon which the other game elements are built.  Core Action: The thing players actually do in the game  Core Purpose: The reason why players are doing it
  5. 5. The Core Mechanic Game Core Action Core Purpose Chess Position pieces to capture opponent’s pieces Candy Crush Match 3 pieces to destroy them Tetris Rotate pieces to create lines Super Smash Bros Attack to knock opponent back Doom Run and shoot to kill enemies World of Warcraft Fulfill quests to improve character abilities
  6. 6.  Write down an activity of any kind – related to work, school, fun, chores, anything.  Come up with a verb, based on this activity, that you think would make a good basis for a game.  Identify:  Core Action  Core Purpose
  7. 7. Puzzles What are puzzles?  A puzzle is fun.  And it has the right answer. Unlike a game, a puzzle’s goal is to find a solution, not for one player to win.
  8. 8. Puzzle Mechanics 1. Item Use: Use key to open lock 2. Item Combination: Use rope on hook to create grappling hook 3. Environmental Puzzle: Use level to open door 4. Navigation: Navigate maze to reach exit 5. Diversion: Divert guard to sneak past 6. Order of Operations: Push blocks to open passageway
  9. 9. Puzzle Mechanics, continued 7. Conversation: Choose dialog to elicit response 8. Timing: Click a hotspot within a short period of time to overcome obstacle 9. Riddle: Answer to solve riddle 10. Implausible Item: Identify correct item to take 11. Real-World Research: Use knowledge to answer question 12. Teamwork: Coordinate two or more characters to overcome obstacle
  10. 10. Conflict and Reward Puzzles can create conflict in a game through their innate tension in a single-player game. The choices players make can drive them toward or away from the solution. If you tie this into a system of rewards for solving a puzzle and punishments for failure, the puzzle transforms into a dramatic element. Make sure the puzzles in your game advances the player to the overall goal or advance the storyline so that the puzzles feel like integral, interesting choices.
  11. 11. Puzzle Games Extra Credits: Puzzle Games
  12. 12. Tips For Creating Good Puzzles  You have to design both good levels and good rules (generally, rule design is the harder of the two).  The main challenge is to set the right level of difficulty for your puzzle.  Keep the player in a pleasurably challenging state of flow.  Be creative!
  13. 13. Principles for Making Good Puzzles 1. Make the goal easily understood 2. Make it easy to get started 3. Give a sense of progress 4. Give a sense of solvability 5. Increase difficulty gradually 6. Parallelism (multiple challenges) lets the player rest 7. Pyramid structure (small puzzles build to big one) 8. Give hints 9. Give the answer! (Post the solution someplace) 10. Perceptual shifts are a double-edged sword! Jesse Schell
  14. 14. The Lens of Puzzles Puzzles make the player stop and think.  What are the puzzles in my game?  Should I have more puzzles or less? Why?  Which of the ten puzzle principles apply to each of my puzzles?  Do I have any incongruous puzzles? How can I better integrate them into the game? Jesse Schell, Lens #3
  15. 15. 1. Download GD1 2 Resources from the LAFS GD1 website Session 2 page 2. Create a Pyramid of Puzzles game
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