Week 2, Game Design


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This presentation is for week 2 of Game Design class at Montana Tech.

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  • Lesson Plan, September 8, 2007 1:00 B: Who are you? Objectives: Course Outline and Assignments, Resources -- Textbook, Facebook, Website. 1:30 Powerpoints. 2:00 - 2:20 Break 2:20 - 4:40 Film screening. 4:40 - 4:45 Writings.
  • Week 2, Game Design

    1. 1. Intro to Game Design Montana Tech, Fall 2010, Week Two REVISED Lori Shyba lorishyba.pbwiki.com www.lorishyba.com E-mail: LShyba@mtech.edu Scene from Will Wright’s Spore
    2. 2. On today’s Menu of Events Salen and Zimmerman, Core Concepts Pages 28 – 69. In order to create Meaningful Play: Design | Systems | Interactivity
    3. 3. A Word or Two About “Play” <ul><li>In Play there is something “at play” which transcends the immediate needs of life and imparts meaning to the action. All play means something. </li></ul><ul><li>Johann Huizinga, Homo Ludens </li></ul><ul><li>Playing games can help define the things we believe in and can amplify our ethical cinsciosness by provoking us to take action. </li></ul><ul><li>- Lori Shyba, Beyond Fun and Games </li></ul>
    4. 4. Meaningful Play Our GOAL: Is to learning to create great game experiences for players -- experiences that have meaning and are meaningful. Look at Chess, Basketball, RPG Game Everquest, Theatre Sports, Assassin. What do they have in common? Each situates play within the context of a game. Meaning
    5. 5. Two Kinds of Meaningful Play DISCERNABLE: When the result of the game action is communicated in a perceivable way. Eg Asteroids. INTEGRATED: Relationship between action and outcome is integrated into the larger context. The choice a player makes affects the play experience at a later point in the game. Eg. Amazing Race. Meaning
    6. 6. Evaluating and Describing Games A Descriptive Definition: Addresses the mechanics by which games create meaning. A Evaluative Definition: Helps us understand why some games provide more meaningful play. More about this concept soon in our Mayra and Shyba readings. We call this gameplay and representation. Meaning
    7. 7. Interactivity and Choices Playing a game means making choices and taking actions. Every action taken results in a change affecting the overall system of the game. “ Interactivity depends on the choices available to the player.” - Chris Crawford, On Interactive Storytelling. Meaning
    8. 8. Design and Meaning Design is the process by which a designer creates a context to be encountered by a participant from which meaning emerges. This course offers a way of thinking about the process of design. We call this *Iterative Design.* Locating “meaning” means trying to find value or significance so we can make sense of something. Design
    9. 9. Semiotics Semiotics is the study of how meanings are made. Semiotics emerged from the teachings of Ferdinand de Saussure, Swiss linguist in the 1920s. Saussure’s theory of language as a system of signs influenced anthropologists (Claude Levi-Strauss), philosophy (Jacques Derrida), social mythology (Roland Barthes). Design
    10. 10. Four Semiotic concepts <ul><li>Charles Peirce defines a sign as “something that stands for something, to somebody, in some respect or capacity. </li></ul><ul><li>A sign represents something other than itself. </li></ul><ul><li>Signs are interpreted (by players). </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning results when a sign is interpreted (an outcome). </li></ul><ul><li>Context shapes interpretation. </li></ul>Design
    11. 11. Definition of a Game “System” A system can be thought of as a group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements forming a complex whole. As systems, games provide contexts for interaction. Example, the game of soccer where the players, the ball, the goal nets, the playing field, the fans are all individual elements. Systems
    12. 12. The Elements of a System Objects: The parts, elements or variables. Attributes: The qualities or properties of the system and its objects. Internal Relationships: The relationship among the objects. Environment: The surroundings. Can be framed as formal, experiential, or cultural system. Systems
    13. 13. 1. Formal System Strictly mathematical and strategic. Eg. When chess is looked at as formal system: Objects: Piece on the board and board itself. Attributes: Characteristics the rules give the objects, ie starting places of pieces. Internal Relationships: Spatial relations of pieces. Environment: The play of the game. System Frameworks – see more on pages 51 - 53
    14. 14. 2. Experiential System Strategic + interaction between players and game Eg. When chess is looked at as experiential system: Objects: The two players themselves. Attributes: Pieces they control and state of the game. Internal Relationships: strategic interaction + social psychological and emotional communication. Environment: Board, pieces + Environment containing the players. Context of Play. System Frameworks – see more on pages 51 - 53
    15. 15. 3. Cultural System Concern is how the game fits into culture at large. Eg. When chess is looked at as experiential system: Object: The game of chess itself. Attributes: How, when, and why the game was made and used Internal Relationships: links between game + culture. Environment: Culture itself System Frameworks – see more on pages 51 - 53
    16. 16. Further to Games as Cultural Systems We could examine the complex historical evolution of the game. Or, we could investigate the amateur and professional subcultures (books, websites, competitions etc.) that surround the game. We could study how chess is referenced within pop culture eg Spock’s use of variant on Star Trek. System Frameworks – see more on pages 51 - 53
    17. 17. Open and Closed Systems The concept of open and closed systems forms pertains to the properties of games and their social and cultural dimensions. Speaks to the relationships games have to players and their contexts. Systems
    18. 18. Open and Closed Systems Open System: Has an exchange of some kind with its environment. Receives matter and energy from its environment and passes matter and energy to its environment. Closed System: Has no interchange and is isolated from its environment. Systems
    19. 19. Open and Closed Systems As this applies to TYPES of systems 1. Formal System: As a formal set of rules, Chess is a closed, self-contained system. 2. Cultural System: As cultural system, Chess is an open system as we consider the way the game intersects with society, history, language, etc. Systems
    20. 20. Open and Closed Systems <ul><li>As this applies to TYPES of systems </li></ul><ul><li>3. Experiential System: More tricky. </li></ul><ul><li>Could be closed if we consider only the game and the players and their strategic game actions. </li></ul><ul><li>Could be open if we consider the emotional and social baggage the players bring into the game and the reputations that are gained or lost. </li></ul>Systems
    21. 21. Defining Interactivity In Games: Chris Crawford defines interactivity in terms of a conversation, “Interactivity, a cyclical process in which two (social) actors alternately listen, think, and speak. In Improv Theatre and Theatre Sports: The mottos are to “Release, receive, return, Make and accept offers, Get into trouble.” Interactivity
    22. 22. Multivalent Model of Interactivity <ul><li>Cognitive Interactivity: Psychological, Emotional, Intellectual participation. </li></ul><ul><li>Functional Interactivity: Functional structural interactions with the mechanics of the game. </li></ul><ul><li>Explicit Interactivity: “Procedures” ie choices, random events, dynamic simulations. </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond-the-object: Participation in the fan culture, construction of communities around games. </li></ul>Interactivity
    23. 23. Cognitive Interactivity The psychological, emotional, and intellectual participation between a player and a system. *** Engages IMAGINATION. *** MULTIMODAL Recovery of Meaning. (Alert controversial use of the term “text.” We engage with gamespaces through literary text (words), visual text, aural text, and physical (temporal) text. Interactivity
    24. 24. ***Space of Possibility*** The space of future action implied by a game design is the “space of possibility.” Interactivity is something to be experienced rather than observed. Q: How does this reflect your gameplay experience. Was it an experience of perception, attention, cognition and the body? Interactivity
    25. 25. ***More Questions*** Q: Was your gameplay an open or closed system? Could it be all three depending whether it was framed as a formal, an experiential, or a cultural system? (TIP: This will give us a valid and interesting framework for Assignment 1 rubrics.) Interactivity