GAME 3400 Level Design - Moment Based Design

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This lecture is a breakdown of good and bad moments in games and how designers can approach building a game that creates great moments.

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GAME 3400 Level Design - Moment Based Design

  1. 1. Level DesignMoment Based Design – Sept. 11, 2012 Fall 2012 Seth Sivak
  2. 2. SummaryPlaycentric DesignMoment Based DesignGame Design Moments Positive Moments Good Negative Moments Bad Negative MomentsPrototypingPlaytesting and Iteration
  3. 3. Good Game/Level Design is…Creating opportunities for the player to make an interesting choice that results in an engaging moment.
  4. 4. Playcentric DesignWhat will the player feel? List of player experience goalsPrototype the mechanicsPlaytest the gameIterate
  5. 5. Experience GoalsWhat will the player feel?“Players will need to cooperate to win, but the game willbe structured so they can never trust each other”“Players will feel a sense of happiness or playfulnessrather than competitiveness”“Players will have the freedom to pursue the goals of thegame in any order that they choose”
  6. 6. Moment Based DesignBrainstorm Interesting MomentsBuild PrototypesPlaytestSolve Problems and Test Again
  7. 7. Brainstorming Interesting MomentsWhat will the player feel?How will the player interact with the experience? Platform, Controls, Camera, MechanicsWhat role does the player have in the experience? Story, Interactions, Mechanics, CameraWhere/When does the experience take place? Narrative, ThemeWhy would the player want to be a part of the experience? Goals, Aspirations, Audience
  8. 8. Consider the PlayerThe player will have preconceived notions based onexperience historyThe player will trust youThe player will learn but can only learn so muchThe player will follow directions
  9. 9. Game Design RulesUse reality to reinforce gameplayBe consistentBuild relationshipsDeliver on promisesProvide plenty of feedbackSet goals
  10. 10. Positive MomentsOutsmarting the AIPowerful FeedbackBeing SurprisedLearning a SkillRecalling Previous LearningBeing LuckySolving a PuzzleWinning
  11. 11. Outsmarting the AIPredicting what the enemy will do TellsUsing a clever strategy to defeat the enemy Clever is usually unexpected or unconventionalhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S88t1Zswons
  12. 12. Outsmarting the AIPredicting what the enemy will do TellsUsing a clever strategy to defeat the enemy Clever is usually unexpected or unconventionalhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S88t1Zswons
  13. 13. Powerful FeedbackMake every action and reaction larger than lifeMake the player feel coolhttp://youtu.be/rXaw1I1XucI?t=3m35shttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX1IhK9bDXs
  14. 14. Being SurprisedCollecting or finding something unexpectedhttp://youtu.be/0uKWM5HuE-c?t=1m11s
  15. 15. Learning a SkillNeeding to remember somethingAcquiring a new skill to masterhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVL6VVw4b_w
  16. 16. Recalling Previous LearningRemembering relationships, tells, patterns, etc…Showing off a previously mastered skillhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsqRnWU303E
  17. 17. Being LuckyGetting an unexpected good outcome This is even better if player knows it is rarehttp://youtu.be/yHHASEvy7os?t=1m18s
  18. 18. Solving a PuzzleGive a clear challenge and a rewardhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh4ETYvgjuk&feature=related
  19. 19. WinningFeedback that the player has done a good jobhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAeKrXMeips
  20. 20. Break Time
  21. 21. Good Negative MomentsJust barely lose You’ll get them next timeLosing fairly You lost fair and square You did the best you could
  22. 22. Just Barely LoseChallenges should be close whenever possibleA close loss is motivatinghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-B4SCPVh8Z8http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0M7QIkM2Nhg
  23. 23. Losing FairlyPlayers can accept their own mistakes and learn fromthem Try to teach the player the correct strategyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaYOlqnuTD0
  24. 24. Negative MomentsMisinterpreting a direction, interface or clueLosing unfairlyWinning EasilyNarrative InconsistenciesPhysical Inconsistencies
  25. 25. Misunderstanding the GameTypically caused by inconsistency This is why sequels are hardhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fraUzGv2abUhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guBCc05_prM
  26. 26. Losing UnfairlyThis is the same as the game being too hardThe player will blame the game for not preparing themproperlyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3hYJR0-pf0
  27. 27. Winning EasilyIf there is no challenge the win feels hollowhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9Nw17hg8wo
  28. 28. Narrative InconsistenciesA character does something incongruous or confusing This is really bad if it is the player characterhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHXN3xtUu44
  29. 29. Physical InconsistenciesUnexpected broken parts of the worldhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaIGu8gaoRQ
  30. 30. Moment Based DesignBrainstorm Interesting MomentsBuild PrototypesPlaytestSolve Problems and Test Again
  31. 31. PrototypingWhat are the moments?What moments are the most important?How often should each moment occur?In what order should these moments occur?
  32. 32. Playtesting and IterationWhat is the minimum needed to test thesemoments?Did these moments occur?What new moments occurred?What can make these moments occur more?
  33. 33. Additional Resourceshttp://garethrees.org/2004/12/01/ocarina-of-time/http://repository.cmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1002&context=etcpress
  34. 34. Good Game VerbsDiscoverExploreLearnAchieveWinCompleteFinishScore

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