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101 Concepts for Games Innovation

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101 Concepts for Games Innovation

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The games industry has the highest rate of creative destruction in tech, as we contend with new platforms, business models, design and art trends. This ever-shifting landscape forces large enterprises to retreat into familiar tropes with certain commercial outcomes, but the future belongs to those who innovate, pushing the creative boundaries of the products and the outer limits of technology. This presentation reviews a series of concepts ripe to be exploited by fearless indies or corporate rebels everywhere, from flicksyncs to metaverse-morphing neural networks.

The games industry has the highest rate of creative destruction in tech, as we contend with new platforms, business models, design and art trends. This ever-shifting landscape forces large enterprises to retreat into familiar tropes with certain commercial outcomes, but the future belongs to those who innovate, pushing the creative boundaries of the products and the outer limits of technology. This presentation reviews a series of concepts ripe to be exploited by fearless indies or corporate rebels everywhere, from flicksyncs to metaverse-morphing neural networks.

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101 Concepts for Games Innovation

  1. 1. 101 Concepts for Games Innovation
  2. 2. Why Innovate? Funding. Talent. Partners. Karma.
  3. 3. Landscape $40M in funding raised in 2017 by Romanian companies. $30M raised by UiPath, AI- enabled process automation. $6.2M raised by dcs plus, a travel tech company. $1.7M raised by Zitec, software development. All others, > $1M.
  4. 4. Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technology, 2017
  5. 5. Emerged Tech *not covered in this presentation Virtual Reality Streamed Games Wearables eSports Location-Based Games
  6. 6. Neurogaming Adam Gazzaley, Neuroscape Lab at UCSF Neuroracer, designed to improve cognition in older adults = “prescription gaming” Akili: digital medicine startup Neurable (Boston), brain controlled VR demo for a dystopic sci-fi game called Awakening JAZZ Venture Partners: VC investing in neuroscience startups
  7. 7. Neural Networks Games = pioneering AI research (NPC behavior, strategy). Unlimited computation in the cloud, further enabled by the advent of game engines in the cloud (Lumberyard) 1952: First use of AI in the game “Nim”, running on Ferranti’s Nimrod computer. 2013: Forza Drivatar, using neural networks in the cloud to create Agents that mimic driving behavior. 2017: University of Edinburgh + Method Studios, natural animation via machine learning feeding on motion capture data.
  8. 8. Neural Networks Deep learning as a game mechanic = NPCs responding intelligently to player input, using real time AI, exhibiting emergent behavior Personalizing the player experience = the game responds in real time to user behavior and game choices: automatic narrative generation changing the world dynamic procedural generation
  9. 9. Transreality Game experiences integrated with everyday routines and social networks. Examples include: Next-gen arcades leveraging Immersive VR: The Void (Lindon, Utah); Holodeck, fictional. Location-based gaming: Pokemon Go, Ingress.
  10. 10. Mixed Reality 1992: Virtual Fixtures, by USAF Armstrong Labs = first Augmented Reality system; AR: Google Glass, Microsoft Hololens, Magic Leap Mobile Enabled: Apple ARKit, Google Tango + WorldSense 2016: Pokemon Go by Niantic, location- based and AR-enabled game mode 2017: Guns of Boom, by Game Insight, FPS spectator mode enabled via ARKit
  11. 11. Synthetic Reality Proposed by Robert Wolcott, 2017 Ever-evolving realities, synthesizing our will or preferences, consciously or unconsciously provided. AI-enabled systems, procedural generation influenced by our individual personality, emotional states, even fleeting desires.
  12. 12. Alternate Reality Transmedia storytelling, using the real world as a means to augment a digital interactive experience (internet, email, phones, social media). 1965: John Fowles, The Magus 1997: The Game (movie) Principles:  Storytelling as archaeology.  Platformless narrative.  Designing for a hive mind.  A whisper is sometimes louder than a shout.  “This is not a game" aesthetic. Real life as a medium.  Collaborative storytelling.  Not a hoax.
  13. 13. Live Action Role Playing Augmented Reality + Cos Play + Interactive Theater Designing AR worlds: Tolkien-inspired medieval fantasy. World of Darkness.
  14. 14. Internet of Things Your smart home can react in real time to game actions: Windows open and close AC temperature fluctuates Lights flicker, change color TV turns on and starts playing a recording IoT devices assist in LARP narratives. Simulate a haunted house. Simulate a horror experience. Guide a scavenger hunt. Extend the experience to a neighborhood or city.
  15. 15. Haptic Suit 1994: Aura Interactor = wearable force feedback 2015: Tesla Suit = full-body haptic feedback delivering a wide range of sensations: touch, wind, water, heat, cold + collecting data for real time motion tracking 2016: The Rapture: vest developed for use in The Void virtual entertainment centers 2017: NullSpace VR: 32 pads + 117 built-in haptic effects, originating from a succesful Kickstarter 3D movement not solved. The next frontier = sending sensations to the cortex?
  16. 16. 4D Printing 3D printed objects that can move, are animated Printed avatars could respond to in-game actions, potentially via MTX.
  17. 17. Flicksyncs 2011: Ernest Clyne, Ready Player One Film simulation where the player’s avatar plays a movie character. Interactive movies: 1967: Kinoautomat, by Radúz Činčera 1974: Wild Gunman, by Nintendo 1983: Dragon’s Lair, FMV cartoon by Don Bluth > first commercial release
  18. 18. Future Sports Drone Wars Robot Combat Geocaching Urban Scavenger Hunt Live Action Role Playing
  19. 19. Blockchain Ethereum = miners running programs specified in the blockchain (no limits to the arbitrarily complex rules of governance set by the shareholders). Distributed Computing = OTOY Render Token App Store = GameCredits (90/10 + 60 hrs payment) Tim Sweeney, Epic Games: “The blockchain is a general mechanism for running programs, storing data, and verifiably carrying out transactions. It’s a superset of everything that exists in computing.”
  20. 20. Serious Games Games designed for a primary purpose other than entertainment, emphasizing the pedagogical value of fun and competition. 1982: Microsoft Flight Simulator 1989: SimCity 1999: Leapfrog, interactive book 2006: A Force More Powerful (PBS) 2006: Darfur Is Dying 2007: Peacemaker 2007: World Without Oil 2008: FoldIt 2010: Second Life 2012: Superbetter
  21. 21. Science Crowdsourcing Gamification of scientific problems = “Citizen Science” University of Washington, Center for Game Science 2008: FoldIt = protein folding, HIV research 2010: Phylo = aligning DNA sequence to solve evolutionary relationships 2011: EteRNA: predicting RNA folding structure
  22. 22. Biosphere Simulation Will Wright / Maxis, SimEarth (1990) + Spore (2008) Integrated Biosphere Simulator Model (University of Wisconsin)  Energy, water, and carbon dioxide exchange between plants, the atmosphere, and the soil  Physiological processes of plants and soil organisms, including photosynthesis and respiration  Seasonal changes of vegetation, including spring budburst, fall senescence, and winter dormancy  Plant growth and plant competition  Nutrient cycling and soil processes
  23. 23. Enterprise Innovation Gamification. Retention, engagement, virality. Social features. Profitable creativity. Much-needed competition to design & innovation agencies.
  24. 24. Business Simulation Training. Scenario analysis. Business model innovation.
  25. 25. Educational Games Oldest idea in the toolshed, yet still a massive opportunity. Social community for children, 250M+ users. Introducing effortless learning through games.
  26. 26. Intelligent Tutoring Leveraging AI to craft individualized learning routines. Duolingo example:
  27. 27. The Human Condition Such themes are primarily the domain of ”Art Games” and generally pursued by indie developers. Sexuality: Dys4ia, by Anna Anthropy Mortality: That Dragon, Cancer, by Numinous Games Misery: This War of Mine, by 11 bit Studios Grieving: Left to My Own Devices, by Geoffrey Thomas Relationships: Façade, by Michael Mateas & Andrew Stern
  28. 28. Metaverse Neal Stephenson, Snowcrash (1992) 1975: Colossal Cave Adventure, by Will Crowther Notable MMOs: 1986: Air Warrior, by Kesmai 1991: Neverwinter Nights, by Stormfront Studios > first to use graphics 1995: Meridian 59, by Archetype Interactive (John Hanke of Niantic!) > first to use 3D graphics 2004: World of Warcraft, by Blizzard

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