LOOKING FOR THEGRAMMAR OFGAME DESIGN                                 1                                            PART   /...
FIRST“If we are to produce works worthy to be termed “art”, we must start tothink about what it takes to do so, to set our...
As game designers,how to analyze games? how tounderstand… …them? …whatworks? …what makes theminteresting? To answer thoseq...
What a Game is Not!It’s Not a Puzzle• Puzzles are STATIC, they present the “player” a logic structure to be solved.• Games...
It’s not a Toy.According to Will Right, his Sim City   is NOT a game at all, but a Toy.• Toys are element that offers Inte...
It’s not a Story.• Stories are inherently linear.• The outcome of a story can’t be changed.• Characters, events and situat...
It Demands ParticipationsGame provide a set of rules; but players use them to create their own consequences.           “Th...
So What is a Game?Continue next week on part 2…      /GREG COSTIKYAN      /WHAT GAMES ARE NOT      /WHAT GAMES ARE      /W...
thanks        alvarogonzalez.mail@gmail.com                                                                               ...
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Looking for the grammar of game design part 1

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This is the part 1 of 3 slides presentation about the subject.
On this slide I talk about how to analyze games? how to understand… …them? …what works? …what makes them interesting? To answer those questions I examine the game LANGUAGE.

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Looking for the grammar of game design part 1

  1. 1. LOOKING FOR THEGRAMMAR OFGAME DESIGN 1 PART /GREG COSTIKYAN /WHAT GAMES ARE NOT /WHAT GAMES ARE /WHAT IS A GAME /THINGS THAT STRENGTHEN GAMES Alvaro Gonzalez Game Designer --THE GAME A POWERFUL TOOL
  2. 2. FIRST“If we are to produce works worthy to be termed “art”, we must start tothink about what it takes to do so, to set ourselves goals beyond themerely commercial. For we are embarked on a voyage of revolutionaryimport: the democrative transformation of the arts. Properly addressed,the voyage will lend grandeur to our civilization; improperly, it will createmerely another mediocrity of the TV age, another form wholly devoid ofintellectual merit.” Greg Costikyan Game Designer and Science Fiction Writer
  3. 3. As game designers,how to analyze games? how tounderstand… …them? …whatworks? …what makes theminteresting? To answer thosequestions we need identifywhich is GAME’s… LANGUAGE
  4. 4. What a Game is Not!It’s Not a Puzzle• Puzzles are STATIC, they present the “player” a logic structure to be solved.• Games, by contrast, are NOT STATIC, they change with the player’s actions.According to Game Designer Chris Crawford some “games” a really just puzzles.For example: point and click graphic adventure games.This kind of games sole objective is the solution of puzzles: finding objects and using them In aparticular way to cause desire changes in the game-state. There is no opposition, there is norol-playing and there are no resources to manage: victory is solely a consequence of puzzlesolving. If Crossword is 100% puzzle, point and click graphic adventure games are 90% puzzleand 10% game. A puzzle is static. A game is interactive.
  5. 5. It’s not a Toy.According to Will Right, his Sim City is NOT a game at all, but a Toy.• Toys are element that offers Interesting behaviors which you may explorer.Sim City provides no objective, no victory conditions, no goals; it’s a software toy.Toys could be part of a game without losing their qualities (a ball can bethrown, bounced, twirled, and became part of basketball game with their victoryconditions, goals and objectives. A Toy is interactive. But a Game has goals.
  6. 6. It’s not a Story.• Stories are inherently linear.• The outcome of a story can’t be changed.• Characters, events and situations are fixed. • Games are inherently non-linear. • Depends on decision-making. • Decisions have to pose real, plausible alternatives, or they aren’t real decisions. • If you make a game more like a story –more linear, fewer real options- you make it LESS like a game. Gaming is NOT about telling stories. They borrow elements of fiction to define meaningful decisions for the player to make. Stories are Linear. Games are NOT.
  7. 7. It Demands ParticipationsGame provide a set of rules; but players use them to create their own consequences. “The designers provide the theme, the player the Music.” • Traditional art forms play to a passive audience. • Game require active participations.
  8. 8. So What is a Game?Continue next week on part 2… /GREG COSTIKYAN /WHAT GAMES ARE NOT /WHAT GAMES ARE /WHAT IS A GAME /THINGS THAT STRENGTHEN GAMES Alvaro Gonzalez Game Designer --THE GAME A POWERFUL TOOL
  9. 9. thanks alvarogonzalez.mail@gmail.com Alvaro Gonzalez alvarogonzalez.skype Game Designer – Game Producer @WASDCtrlSPACE “Ive worked with Alvaro on several game projects over several years and have always been very impressed with his creative thinking andW www.alvarogonzalez.us inventive designs. Alvaro always brings a unique and fresh design aesthetic that is more innovative and far more imaginative than other www.linkedin.com/in/alvarogon designers.” Aaron Norstad Senior Producer at Playdom Meet Latin American Game Developers www.mlagd.com meetlatinamericangamedev@gmail.com @LatAmeGameDevBibliography:Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals, Katie Salen and Eric ZimmermanCambridge MIT Press, 2004I Have No Words, Greg CostikyanArticle, 1990

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