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LAFS Game Design 1 - The Structure of Games
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LAFS Game Design 1 - The Structure of Games


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

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

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  • Videogames engage the eyes and ears with large amounts of art, visual effects, music and sound effects. All of these sensory experiences can add depth to a game and make it more immersive to the player.

    Role-playing games can tell engaging stories. Sometimes the most fun part of a game comes from experiencing a unique storyline and play sequence, meeting characters, and interacting with them as they overcome tough challenges or go on amazing adventures
  • Transcript

    • 1. Session 2 David Mullich Game Design 1 The Los Angeles Film School
    • 2. Designer Perspective: Peter Molyneux G4 Icons Episode #43: Peter Molyneux
    • 3. What Is A Game? A game is FUN! Duh! So what’s fun? Jesse Schell defines “fun” as “pleasure with surprises”.
    • 4. The Lens of Surprise Surprise is so basic that we can easily forget about it. Use this lens to fill your game with interesting surprises.  What will surprise players when they play my game?  Does the story in my game have surprises? Do the game rules? The artwork? The technology? Jesse Schell, Lens #2
    • 5. The Lens of Fun Fun is desirable in nearly every game, although sometimes fun defies analysis.  What parts of my game are fun? Why?  What parts need to be more fun? Jesse Schell, Lens #3
    • 6. Dramatic Elements  Premise  Character  Story  Challenge  Play
    • 7. Immersion  Immersion creates the illusion that you are another person or in another place.  An immersive experience can be achieved through theme, story, character, graphics, and audio.
    • 8. The Magic Circle The Magic Circle - How Games Transport Us to New Worlds - Extra Credits
    • 9. Discussion  How does the Magic Circle relate to Immersion?  What elements of a game create an immersive experience?
    • 10. The 16 Human Motivators Dr. Steven Reiss describes 16 basic human motivators and their object of desire: Motivator Object of Desire Power Influence Curiosity Knowledge Independence Self-reliance Acceptance Being part of a group Order Organization Saving Collecting things Honor Loyalty to one’s parents, community Idealism Social justice Motivator Object of Desire Social contact Companionship Family Raising children Status Social standing Vengeance Competition, getting even Romance Sex and beauty Eating Food Physical Activity Exercising the body Tranquility Emotional calm
    • 11. Motivators in Games We see many of these motivators satisfied by the games that we play. Motivator Game Power Diplomacy Curiosity Civilization Independence Oregon Trail Acceptance Guild Wars 2 Order Tetris Saving Farmville Honor Sports Idealism Social justice Motivator Game Social contact Pictionary Family The Sims Status World of Warcraft Vengeance Angry Birds Romance Leisure Suit Larry Eating Pac Man Physical Activity Tag Tranquility Candy Crush
    • 12. The Lens of Curiosity Think about the player’s true motivations – not just what your game has set forth, but the reason the player wants to achieve the goals.  What questions does my game put into the player’s mind?  What am I doing to make them care about these questions?  What can I do to make them invent even more questions? Jesse Schell, Lens #4
    • 13. Intertainment Taxonomy Chris Crawford
    • 14. Intertainment Taxonomy  "Intertainment" is the class of activities that entertain through their interactive nature  "Interactive stories" are conventional stories with some small interactive element added (Manhole)  "Playthings" are systems that entertain through their response to the player’s actions  "Toys" are playthings without defined goals (SimCity)
    • 15. Intertainment Taxonomy  "Challenges" are playthings with clearly defined goals  "Puzzles" are challenges with no purposeful opponents (Tetris)  "Conflicts" are challenges with purposeful opponents  "Competitions" are conflicts without impeding action between the competitors
    • 16. Intertainment Taxonomy This leaves “games” as interactive entertainment with conflicts in which the players directly interact in such a way as to foil each other’s goals.
    • 17. What is a Game? What Is a Game? - How This Question Limits Our Medium - Extra Credits
    • 18. Discussion  Why does Extra Credits think “What is a game?” a wrong question to ask?  Do you think it is useful to distinguish between a game and “an interactive experience”?
    • 19. 1. Draw three dots randomly on a piece of paper. (Choose a player to go first) 2. The first player draws a line from one dot to another dot. 3. Then that player draws a new dot anywhere on that line. 4. The second player also draws a line and a dot. • The new line must go from one dot to another, but no dot can have more than three lines coming out of it. • The new line cannot cross any other line. • A line can go from the dot back to the same dot so long as it doesn’t break the “no more than three lines rule.” 5. The player takes turns until one player cannot make a move. The last player to move is the winner.
    • 20. 1. Players: How many? Any requirements? Special knowledge, roles, etc.? 2. Objective: What is the objective of the game? 3. Procedures: What are the required actions for play? 4. Rules: Are there any limits on player actions? Rules regarding behavior? 5. Conflict: What causes conflict in this game? 6. Boundaries: What are the boundaries of the game? Are they physical? Conceptual? 7. Outcome: What are the potential outcomes of the game? 8. Does the game have any dramatic elements? 1. Challenge: What creates challenge in the game? 2. Play: Is there a sense of play within the game? 3. Premise/Character/Story: Are these present in the game?
    • 21. The Lens of Endogenous Value Think about your player’s feelings about the items, objectives, and scoring in your game.  What is valuable to the players in my game?  How can I make it more valuable to them?  What is the relationship between value in the game and the motivations? Jesse Schell, Lens #5
    • 22. Puzzle Games Extra Credits: Puzzle Games
    • 23. 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.
    • 24. 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!
    • 25. 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
    • 26. 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
    • 27. The Lens of Problem Solving Think about the problems your players must solve to succeed at your game.  What problems does my game ask the player to solve?  Are there hidden problems to solve that arise as part of gameplay?  How can my game generate new problems so that players keep coming back? Jesse Schell, Lens #6
    • 28. 1. Download GM Tutorial - Maze from the LAFS GD1 website Resources page 2. Create a Maze game