Game Atoms Game atoms = smallest parts of a game Each part can be designed individually Understanding what the parts are and how they interact is necessary to design or analyze a complete game
Game Definitions there are dozens of definitions of the word “game” and still more ideas on how a game is put together.
Game Atoms The game State and Game Views Players, Avatars and Game Bits Mechanics Dynamics Goals Theme
The Game State and Game Views Game State: a collection of all relevant virtual information that may change during play. Everything that’s going on in a game or may change if someone takes a turn or leaves the Pause menu.
Game View: The portions of the game state that a player can see Ex : in RTS the fog of war gives each player his own incomplete game; in MMO the player can’t possibly know what’s going on half a virtual world away. Game Space: the entire area of the game. Ex: player’s city, the Internet, The Game State and Game Views
Players, Avatars and Game Bits Players, Avatars and Game Bits: player’s representations in a game Players can represents his/her self Ex: Poker, Risk, and the video game Civilization Revolution.
Mechanics (1 of 2) Game mechanics are a construct of rules intended to produce an enjoyable game or game play. All games use mechanics; however, theories and styles differ as to their ultimate importance to the game
The rules and concepts that formally specify the game-as-system.
Mechanics (2 of 2) Here are some common classes of mechanics that are usually found in games: Setup. Victory conditions. Progression of play. Player actions. Definition of game view(s).
Dynamics the pattern of play that comes from the mechanics once they’re set in motion by players Ex: territorial acquisition, race to end
Dynamics (Metagame) the dynamics are part of the play experience, but not all are explicitly defined or enforced by the mechanics Metagame : Anything surrounding the game that increases player interest
Metagame of MTG Tournaments/seasons Trading Offline activities Stable strategies
Exercise Draw a card Play a card (either place it or discard it) The game bits would be: Cards (each one has a piece of a car on it, and it takes 10 pieces to build a complete car)
Adding Mechanics A production pipeline Production pricing that would force players to allocate workers, parts, and the like, to determine optimum output Sabotage, so that one player could affect another’s production pipeline Random cards that introduce luck into the equation by causing production breakdowns, price drops, favorable publicity, and so on
Assignment 2: The Path For this game, you are going to explore the race to the end gameplay dynamic discussed earlier. Two to four players, be about progressing on a path Make them go from point A to point B. The first player to point B wins. Up to you to figure out the theme, the game bits, and the mechanics.
Deliverables One-page write-up of detailing a potential game design File name convention: “assignment 2- (yourname).pdf”
Suggested Process Determine a theme and a goal. Identify mechanics. Identify the conflict between players. Playtest. Create deliverable.