LOOKING FOR THEGRAMMAR OFGAME DESIGN 2 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
So What is a Game?A game is a form of art in whichparticipant, termed players,make decisions in orderto manage resources throughgame tokens in the pursuit of agoal.
Decision-Making • Interaction has no value itself. Interaction must have a purpose to be part of game. • Game are not only interactive, the thing that makes a game a game is the need to make decisions. Excellence in decision-making is what bring success. Goals“Sim City it’s a toy.”• The only way to keep interested in it for very long is to turn it into a game –by setting goals, by defining objectives for yourself-• Whatever goal you’ve chosen, you’ve turned it into a game. • If you have no goals your decisions are meaningless. • For a game to matter, be meaningful you need something to strive toward. You need Goals.
OppositionThe interest of a goal is directly proportional to the struggling a player suffer onachieve it. Oppositions are the situations that makes the player to struggle.Competition• Your opponent is your opposition.• You struggle against him.Obstacles• Obstacles become challenges.• Challenges are oppositions.• Obstacles could be internal challenges, like overcome feelings or external challenges, like a villain.
Puzzles• Passive situations that prevents you to do something in particular and require analysis and conclusions to be solved, are oppositions.Random Elements• There is opposition ruled by random elements the player is faced against• Random elements must be balanced to keep the player struggling and not frustratedby the unpredictable randomness of the opposition. Whatever goals you set your player, you must make the players work to achieve their goals.
Managing Resources Managing Resources provides opposition and makes the game a struggle.Decisions:• If the game has more than one “resource,” decisions suddenly become more complex.• These are not just complex decisions; these are interesting ones.• Inteesting desicions make for interesting games.Resources:• The way to make choices meaningful is to give players resources to manage.• The resources in question have to have a game rol that must to be meaningful for the Player.• Resources with no game rol will not contribute to success or failure. Managing Resources means managing game elements in persuit of your goal.
Game TokensWhat is the difference between “resources” and “tokens?”Resources are things you must manage efficiently to achieve goals.Tokens are your means of managing them.• You effect actions in the game through your game tokens.• Game tokens is an entity you may manipulate directly.• Game Tokens are what give the player the sense that he controls his destiny, that he is playing a game.The fewer the Tokens, the more detailed they must be: It is not coincidence that rolplaying games, which give th eplayer a single token, also have exceptionally detailed rules for what a token do.
Information “Information” is a tool to shape the characteristics and properties of game resources and game tokens.• The player must have ENOUGH information to be able to make a sensible decision.• But ENOUGH don’t means all. Hiding infomation can be very useful to provide opposition and make the player struggle toward a goal. For example: in rol games the player don’t know which damage make his character (hiding infomation ), but he knows the range of possibilities (known information).
Other Things That Strengthen Games…Continue next week on part 3… /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
thanks firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com @LatAmeGameDevBibliography:Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals, Katie Salen and Eric ZimmermanCambridge MIT Press, 2004I Have No Words, Greg CostikyanArticle, 1990