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Pervasive Game Workshop Pervasive Game Workshop Presentation Transcript

  • Pervasive Games Deploying Digital Content into Everyday Life for Play, Participation and Profit David Fono Founder, Giant Dice www.giantdice.com
  • A Story
    • Margaret’s Honey website gets “hacked”
    • Interested visitors talk to Dana, the webmaster, about what’s going on
    • Visitors find garbled “mayday” messages, fragments of a story in embedded code and corrupted images
    • Ongoing blog/email contact with Dana, mysterious artificial intelligences deepen mystery
  • A Story, Cont.
  • A Story, Cont.
    • Players come across puzzles hidden in the site, leading to more messages
    • Players are lead to payphones across US
    • Over 12 weeks thousands of players congregate at phones to hear story fragments, talk to an AI, and perform missions
  • A Question
    • What’s the difference between a game and “real life”?
  • Pervasive Gaming
    • Break / problematize the “magic circle”
      • Spatial
      • Temporal
      • Social
    • Simpler: “The world is the platform.”
  • The Spectrum of Pervasive Gaming cyberspace in-between meatspace also:
  • Interesting Numbers
    • Tie-Ins / Marketing
      • Art of the Heist: 45mil impressions
      • The Beast: 1mil players
      • I Love Bees: 2mil players
    • Independent
      • Chasing the Wish: 3k players
      • MetaCortechs: 12k players
      • Perplex City: 40k players
  • Play traditional MMO
  • Pervasive Play
    • Low production barrier
    • Low entry barrier
    • Dynamic
    • Flexible
  • Why is this so important?
    • Immersion
    • Games for multitaskers
    • Social capital (x2)
    • Massively scaled collaboration
    • True call-to-action
    • The old becomes news
  • Trends
    • Cross-media
    • Participation Culture
    • Collective Intelligence
    • Public Space Activism
    • Ubiquitous Computing
    • Social Computing
  • Cross-Media
  • Cross-Media (Gary Hayes)
    • “bathing the audience in a sea of your original inextricably linked content across continents of devices, letting them find their own path to live their own story”
    • 1.0 - Pushed
    • 2.0 - Extras
    • 3.0 - Bridges
    • 4.0 - Experiences
  • Participatory Culture
  • Participatory Culture
  • Participatory Culture
    • More than half of all teens are media creators (Pew)
    • This is a culture: (Henry Jenkins, henryjenkins.org)
      • 1. With relatively low barriers
      • 2. With strong support for creating and sharing
      • 3. With some type of informal mentorship
      • 4. Where members believe that their contributions matter
      • 5. Where members feel some degree of social connection with one another
  • Participatory Culture
    • “ Scrap the focus groups,
    • fire the cool chasers,
    • and hire your audience.”
    • Alex Wipperfurth
  • Collective Intelligence
    • The network will “mobilize and coordinate the intelligence, experience, skills, wisdom, and imagination of humanity.” (Pierre Levy)
  • Collective Intelligence
  • Collective Intelligence
  • Public Space Activism
    • “ We are dedicated to protecting our shared common spaces from commercial influence and privatisation. While some see the streets as an untapped source of advertising revenue we see protected public spaces as a fundamental pillar of a healthy democracy. If only wealthy advertisers have access to our visual environment, then freedom of speech suffers in our city.”
    • (Toronto Public Space Committee)
  • Public Space Activism (newmindspace.com)
  • Ubiquitous Computing
    • “ The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” (Mark Weiser)
  • Ubiquitous Computing
  • Social Computing
    • “ Humans are fundamentally social creatures. From birth we orient to other people, and as we develop we acquire abilities for interacting with one another ranging from expression and gesture through spoken and written language. As adults, we are exquisitely sensitive to the actions and interactions of those around us.”
    • (IBM Social Computing Research Group)
  • Social Computing
  • Applications
    • Engagement
      • Audience
      • Customers
      • Employees
      • Taps current consumer behaviour
      • Engenders a strong relationship
      • Empowers participants
  • Applications
    • Marketing
      • Becoming virtually ubiquitous
      • Highly memorable
      • Gets you tons of buzz (even if it’s not that great)
      • Audience becoming too cynical?
  • Applications
    • Education / Training
      • Bleeding edge
      • Serious games point the way
      • Develop real-world skills in real-world contexts
      • Great for new media literacy, collaboration
  • Online Games
  • A Bunch of Words
    • ARGs: Alternate Reality Games
      • “ Help save the world, srsly”
    • AREs: Alternate Reality Experiences
      • “ Feel like you’re saving the world”
    • 360 Campaigns / Extended Reality
      • “ Enjoy the ride”
    • Treasure Hunt
    • Viral Marketing
  • Down the Rabbit Hole
    • “ Alternate Reality Gaming (ARG) is a relatively new genre of games that encourages players (you!) to interact with a fictional world using the real world to do it.” (ARG Quickstart Guide, www.argitect.com )
    • A quick example:
      • Email --> Website --> Hidden Number --> Live conversation!
  • Down the Rabbit Hole
    • Key points through case studies
    • For more info, check out the IGDA whitepaper (igda.org/arg)
  • Types of ARGs
    • Promotional
    • Grassroots
    • Productized
    • Single-Player
    • Education / Training
  • A Promotional ARG
    • The Beast
    • By Microsoft, for A.I.
    • The “first” ARG
  • The Beast
  • The Beast
    • The Story
      • Evan Chan was killed. Who, how, and why? Takes place in the future.
    • Webpages
      • http://bangaloreworldu-in.co.cloudmakers.org/
    • Phone
      • Jeanine Salla’s voicemail
      • Live calls to players
    • Puzzles
      • Simple: hidden text
      • Complex: chemistry
  • The Beast
    • The Curtain
      • “ Not so much as a cough from whichever team is responsible for producing it (Evan Chan has a grandson called 'Lucas' who designs video games, so LucasArts is Netribution's guess)”
      • This is Not a Game - performative suspension of disbelief
    • The Community
      • “ We've managed to keep this thing pretty well organised thanks to the hard work of a few individuals and a co-operative spirit… Personally, I hope we can keep this underground. We probably can't though. So, to all of us 'old timers' I say, be prepared for a flood of newbies.”
      • Collective intelligence in action
  • Another Promotional ARG
    • I Love Bees
    • By 42 Entertainment, for Halo2
    • Rabbit Holes
      • Halo 2 Trailer
      • Funky packages:
  • I Love Bees
    • The Story
      • A weird AI has hacked into Dana’s aunt’s website. WTF?
    • Players called to payphones across US
      • Live events are big news
    • Large part of story told through segments of radio play over payphones
      • Storytelling through archaeology
  • I Love Bees
  • I Love Bees
    • Not many puzzles at first, but added in due to fan response (e.g. killer.jpg)
      • The game can improve on-the-fly
      • Clever gameplay takes advantage of the particular media
    • No blatant “Buy Halo 2 Message”
      • Trust is important - the experience is paramount
  • A Grassroots ARG
    • Chasing the Wish, Catching the Wish
    • By Dave Szulborski
    • The Story
      • Dale Sprague is a web designer who lives in Aglaura, NJ along with an assortment of other characters. Dale has been having strange dreams, and bizarre phenomena are occurring around town. They need help.
  • Catching the Wish
    • Heavily driven by dynamic character interaction
      • ARGs easily do what videogames still dream about
    • Run by a handful of people for about $1000
      • Agile development
      • A lot of bang for your buck
  • Catching the Wish
    • Various packages sent to players from characters, and purchased on eBay
      • Players really get into games that cross traditional media boundaries
  • A Productized ARG
    • Perplex City
    • By Mind Candy
    • The Story
      • Perplex City has lost the Receda Cube. It’s somewhere on Earth, and they need your help to find it.
    • The Product
      • Puzzle Cards
  • Perplex City
    • Mega-events… with helicopters!
      • Spectacle is becoming a key element
    • Competition
      • Players get points for solving cards
      • There’s a $200,000 prize at the end
      • But there are still huge community resources where players help each other
      • Competition and collaboration can live together (given the right conditions)
  • Perplex City
    • Collaboration:
  • Who Wins?
  • Another Productized ARG
    • Majestic
    • By Electronic Arts
    • Single player
    • Subscription based
    • The infamous catastrophic failure
  • Majestic
    • Why did it fail?
      • Ahead of its time
      • Not enough content
      • Arbitrary play-time limitations
    • Developers scared off of subscription model for next decade
  • More Productized ARGs
    • Cathy’s Book
    • An ARG-in-a-book
    • Edoc Laundry
    • An ARG-in-a-T-Shirt-Line
  • An Educational ARG
    • World Without Oil
    • By various people
    • Not your usual “game”
    • “ What is your life like after the oil crash?”
  • World Without Oil
    • Material packaged and distributed to schools
      • With forethought, it is possible to have a lasting product
    • Almost all content player-generated
      • More evidence of incredible player dedication
  • When ARGs Go Wrong
    • Underestimating the Difficulty
      • Grassroots creators unprepared for unique demands of the genre
        • Running the game is as much work (or more) as preparing it
      • Professional creators underestimate the capability of the community to break the game
        • Your game is going to break
  • When ARGs Go Wrong
    • Drink Your Ovaltine
      • Ethan Haas Was Right
        • Fleshed out puzzle trail with websites, phone numbers, hand-delivered letters, a registration form and a countdown to the “next phase”
        • The countdown ends… and it’s just an ad
  • When ARGs Go Wrong
    • Poor expectations management
      • Iris
        • Microsoft’s Halo 3 promotion
        • Much less intricate than I Love Bees, and riddled with technical problems
  • When ARGs Go Wrong
  • When ARGs Go Wrong
    • Misunderstanding the Audience
      • Save my Husband
        • Mainstream competitive players confused by collaboration in ARG community
        • Some mainstream players confused about fictitious nature of plot
      • Golden Jigsaw
        • Tried to shutdown player collaboration, provoking discontent
  • Nuts and Bolts
    • Exposition
      • Heavy narrative element compared to videogames
      • Blogs (cheap and easy!)
      • Websites (narrative landscape)
      • Audio / video (nice reward)
      • The world’s intrinsic weirdness
      • Newspapers, TV, Movies, Posters, Skywriting…
  • Nuts and Bolts
    • Interaction
      • The defining characteristic?
      • Chat (live / bot)
      • Phone (live / message)
      • Email (autoresponse / mass / conversation)
      • Face-to-face interaction
  • Nuts and Bolts
    • Challenges
      • Puzzles
        • Cryptography
        • “ Hacking”
        • Learning a system
        • Etc.
      • Games (easy to grok)
      • Player Projects
      • Social Engineering
  • The Audience
    • Diverse demographics
    • Community play
      • www.unfiction.com
      • Player-created resources
    • Different levels of engagement
      • Devotees
      • Active Players
      • Casual Players
      • Curious Browsers
  • The Audience
    • Different player types
      • Character interactor
      • Community support
      • Information specialist
      • Puzzle solver
      • Reader
      • Story hacker
      • Story specialist
  • Challenges
    • Plausible suspension of disbelief
    • Respecting the audience
    • Selecting / understanding the audience
    • Dealing with the unexpected
    • Managing expectations
    • Preventing frustration
    • Fostering accessibility & reusing content
  • Opportunities
    • Incredibly dedicated fans
    • An incredibly immersive experience
    • Utterly remarkable collaboration
    • A lot of buzz
    • … for cheap!
  • Locative Games
    • Big Games
    • Urban Games
    • Street Games
    • Pervasive Games
    • Mixed Reality Games
    • “The world is a game board.”
  • What Are Locative Games
    • Games that map a significant area of real-world space to game constructs
      • Landscape
      • Artifacts
      • The space itself
    • At least some players are within that space
    • Technology not critical, but it can add tremendous value
  • Some Examples
    • Cruel 2 B Kind
      • Jane McGonigal & Ian Bogost
      • http://www.current.tv/video/?id=25511301
    • Uncle Roy All Around You
      • Blast Theory
      • http://blasttheory.co.uk/bt/work_uncleroy.html
  • Big Games Doc
    • What Are Big Games?
      • http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1394867462119324238
    • Learning Skills Through Play
      • http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7206449325841236249
    • The Future of Big Games
      • http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2135527604136480712
  • How Are They Used?
    • These are mostly experiments / art
    • But there’s a few
      • commercial games
      • employee / client engagement
    • And there’s the potential for
      • localized marketing / tourism
      • education / training
  • A Commercial Game
    • Bot Fighters
    • Fight with bots in your vicinity
    • $70k / month!
  • An Engagement Game
    • The Go Game
    • Operates across the US, running games for:
      • Team-building
      • Conferences
      • Special Events
    • Basic mission structure
  • The Go Game
  • Deriving Design Principles
    • Difficult, because few games have parameters for success
    • But, we have some
      • Facilitate performativity
      • Use the space
      • Use the people
      • Allow flexibility
      • Balance the technology
      • Respect “outsiders”
  • Facilitate Performativity
    • “Drop your pants and dance”
  • Facilitate Performativity
    • Performing missions instead of making decisions
    • Players as actors
    • Designers as puppet masters
    • The illusion of the puppet master creates immersivity
    • The reality is that the players have control
  • Use the Space
    • New York is not Sydney
    • Challenge: reusing content
  • Use the People
    • The people who play these games are generally pretty friendly
  • Allow Flexibility
    • Reality intervenes
    • Technology breaks
    • You have no control
    • Don’t panic!
  • Balance the Technology
    • Too much mediation defeats the purpose
    • What tech can do
      • Gosh wow! aesthetics
      • Local feedback
      • Distance communication
      • Leaving traces
      • Props
    • Technology should be transparent
  • Balance the Technology
    • Your technology is too hard to use
    • Test and iterate in real contexts
    • Automation is tricky
    • Design beautiful seams
  • Respect “Outsiders”
    • People don’t like to be used, or to be threatened
  • Tools of the Trade
    • Mobiles (Phone / SMS / MMS)
    • Mobiles w/ Location Sensing
    • Mobiles with Bluetooth
    • Mobiles with the Web
    • PSP / DS with Wifi
    • Laptops with Wifi
    • RFID
    • Semacodes
  • Tools of the Trade
    • Portable Sensors
    • Fixed Sensors
    • Misc. Props
    • The World
    • Actors
    • MP3 Players
    • Projectors
    • Large Displays
    • Digital Cameras
  • A Few More Games
    • 3001
    • Mobiles, Projector
    • Control an avatar to create collab. music
  • A Few More Games
    • CollecTic
    • PSP
    • Collect resources from wifi points
  • A Few More Games
    • Navball
    • Mobiles w/ GPS
    • Find the ball, line up to kick it and score
  • A Few More Games
    • OMMRPG
    • Mirrors and lasers!
    • Place the mirrors and guide the laser
  • TorGame’s Waking City
    • 2-week online/offline game w/ 120 paying players
      • Websites, blogs, email, live theatrics, live games, puzzles, etc.
      • Goals: build community, knowledge of Toronto
    • In between an ARG and a locative game
    • The trailer
      • http://youtube.com/watch?v=56uc1D_0VDw
    • TV segment
  • Waking City: Day 1
    • Video Blog 1
      • http://youtube.com/watch?v=56uc1D_0VDw
  • Waking City: Day 2
  • Waking City: Days 3-6
  • Waking City: Day 7
  • Waking City: Day 8
  • Waking City: Days 9-11
  • Waking City: Days 12-13
  • Lessons
    • Clear communication is important!
    • So is clever crisis management
    • You need to be open with your players
    • There’s such a thing as too much fun
    • Cross-media stories can be harder to follow
    • Actors are more integral than usual
    • Attrition is a reality
  • Successes
    • Most players enjoyed the game
    • Players reported an increased familiarity with the city
    • Players formed new friendships
    • Players indicated they would return to businesses they’d visited
    • Plenty of buzz
  • Next Steps
    • Further explore the online / offline hybrid
    • Further explore urban engagement between players, the city, and local businesses
  • Questions?