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Game Specific Creativity Techniques

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Game Specific Creativity Techniques

  1. 1. Game Specific Creativity Techniques Annakaisa Kultima [email_address] Researcher, GameSpace project Game Research Lab, University of Tampere
  2. 2. GameSpace <ul><li>Studying design and evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>methods for casual mobile multiplayer games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Methodological approach to design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Expanding the game space” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Frans Mäyrä Scientific Leader </li></ul><ul><li>Janne Paavilainen Project Manager </li></ul><ul><li>Annakaisa Kultima Researcher </li></ul><ul><li>Jussi Kuittinen Researcher </li></ul><ul><li>Johannes Niemelä Researcher </li></ul><ul><li>Hannamari Saarenpää Researcher </li></ul>
  3. 3. Creativity ?
  4. 4. We all know what creativity is? <ul><ul><li>“ Creativity is a mysterious process” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Creativity is a complex phenomenon involving the operation of multiple influences as we move from initial generation of an idea to delivery of an innovative product (Mumford and Gustafson 1988) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ One is either creative or not” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Idea generation is not a random process governed solely by an individual’s personal trait, but a relatively structured process that can be explained (Perttula 2006) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Creativity cannot be learned” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Creativity is born from insight and lateral thinking skills, lateral thinking is a process that can be learned (deBono 1970) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Creativity cannot be enhanced systematically” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Procedures and methods for idea generation are often based on intuitive belief systems rather than empirically validated theory (Perttula 2006) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We do not need more ideas, we are already having trouble on executing the old ones” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quantity of ideas will ultimately yield to quality (Osborn 1957) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Idea generation as a critical means for achieving competitive advantage (Gordan et al. 1997) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Enhancing creative work <ul><li>Atmosphere, environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creativity is supported and welcomed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>There is need for organisations to have cultures which encourage, reward and respect the free flow of ideas and enquires, where the social environment can influence both the level and frequency of creative behaviour (Amabile 1998, Blum 2000) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environment is enhanced with diverse and inspiring stimuli </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Diverse personnel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When putting different people together, creativity will arise from the collision of different opinions and experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Creativity training and workshops </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning lateral thinking skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inspiration and atmosphere </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Creativity techniques </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creativity on demand, Methodological approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning lateral thinking & Inspiration and atmosphere </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Creativity techniques <ul><li>Brainstorming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Treated as a synonym to any group ideating or idea generation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brainstorming don’t necessary produce novel and innovative solutions (McFadzean 2000) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Others: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative Scenarios, BrainSketching, Brainstorming, Brainwriting, Bunches of Bananas, Causal Mapping, Collective Notebook, DO IT, Delphi, Do Nothing, Exaggeration, Keeping a Dream Diary, Mind Mapping, Heuristics, Morphological Analysis, Random Stimuli, Relaxation, Six Thinking Hats, TRIZ, Think Tank, Why Why Why… and so on… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More from: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Michael Michalko: Thinkertoys (2006) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Different techniques for different purposes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Problem Definition, Idea Selection, Idea Implementing Holistic techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Idea Generation (ideation) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Relatively little empirical valid research </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Idea generation techniques <ul><li>Creativity is associated with that part of the innovation process which is labelled as “idea generation” (Majaro 1988) </li></ul><ul><li>Idea generation should be regarded as a separate activity from idea evaluation (Osborn 1963) </li></ul><ul><li>Strong relationship between the number of idea generation techniques and the number of successful products (Sowrey 1989, Parnes 1961) </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation arise from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Novel ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ideas are new or distinctive when comparing to old ideas or existent products </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applicable ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Idea is suitable for given purposes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Techniques targeting to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When producing vast amount of ideas, you will more probable end up with good idea </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The techniques will produce ideas that are different from each other and not only copying the same thing over and over again. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Predictability/stability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Relative independency from outside factors (bad day/good day/location) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Idea generation process <ul><li>User </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expert knowledge, specific experience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Techniques </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Structure, stimuli, inspiration, change from the common procedures, forcing “out of the box”, reducing unnecessary critical thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Basic brainstorming situation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Be crazy, but don’t touch the walls!” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>psychological conflict (novelty and applicability?) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Acknowledged problems in brainstorming sessions <ul><li>Social loafing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Less individual effort while working in a group </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evaluation apprehension </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fear of evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change of behaviour to keep up appearances </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Production blocking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No equal/simultaneous attention </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. How about game design?
  11. 11. How game ideas are born? <ul><li>Not that much of collaborative techniques, ”going solo – marketing my dreams to others” </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorming is used </li></ul><ul><li>Processes involving informal techniques? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seeking inspiration from other fields </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Playing games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Travelling abroad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Playing around with prototypes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taking walks, relaxing, getting enough sleep, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Brainstorming again <ul><li>“ Formal Brainstorming Has a 0% Success Rate” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We tried hard - boy we really wanted brainstorming to work! We scheduled “brainstorm meetings”, and “powwows”, we tried different color markers on whiteboards and oversized post-it notes, we even used motivational phrases like “blue sky” to help with our “out of the box thinking.” But in the end, out of all the games we created, not a single one was the result of sitting down as a group for a brainstorm session.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How to Prototype a Game in Under 7 Days:Tips and Tricks from 4 Grad Students Who Made Over 50 Games in 1 Semester (Gamasutra October 26, 2005, Kyle Gabler, Kyle Gray, Matt Kucic and Shalin Shodhan) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Game idea generation techniques? <ul><li>General or specific approach? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of general ideating techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing game generic ideating techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Based on general techniques </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New approaches to ideating techniques </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing even further specified techniques? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>casual, mobile and multiplayer specific techniques?? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Game specific idea techniques <ul><li>How to bring game design knowledge inside techniques? </li></ul><ul><li>How to guide ideating into desired direction? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. creating ideas applicable to casual audience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Certain structure and stimuli? </li></ul>
  15. 15. What is a game idea? <ul><li>One-liners, narratives (including thematic aspects), core mechanics, interesting features, ideas of cool graphics? Including concept pictures? Meta-ideas? Concept phase, prototyping? Where and what is THE form of the idea? </li></ul><ul><li>Two different approaches: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fundamental </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Good idea can be used as a fundamental basis for the game product </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Completeness, applicability, novelty </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Certain structure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inspirational </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One idea may inspire another </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Iteration rounds </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Level of ideas vary </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No particular structure </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. What GameSpace did?
  17. 17. GameSpace techniques <ul><li>GameSpace workshops on casual mobile multiplayer game concepts 2006-2007 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experimentation with 15 different game specific ideating techniques: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>VNA, MorF, PieceBox, GameSeekers, It’s a Game, Emo, Out-of-the-Office, Call your mama!, Mecano, GameBoard (solo & co-op), Playfirst!, GameBrain, SwopBook, MyBook </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Other similar techniques/approaches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aki Järvinen: GameGame </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jussi Holopainen and Staffan Björk: Game Design Patterns </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Workshop observations <ul><li>Experimentation with different approaches: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional brainstorming </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Random word combinations, computer programs, playing games, seeking inspiration outside, calling your relatives, analysing games and making alterations, seeking inspiration from everyday objects, random pictures, forcing random game structures, writing and swapping notebooks, competing on “idea points”, playing with toys etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Workshop observations <ul><li>Initial questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Are ideating techniques useful?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They were seen as useful and new approaches were welcomed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ What is the basis for a game idea generation technique: thematic, or mechanical approach?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Even though methods were either with thematic or mechanical approach, the idea descriptions did not differ in the level of completeness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ How to help to produce casual game ideas?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>some techniques were more suitable (easier for the user to keep casual focus) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Workshop observations <ul><li>Further questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ What is the function of stimuli and group procedure?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When group procedure was similar, all the methods produced similar amount of ideas in time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Outside factors such as group procedure and documenting techniques are greatly relevant factors </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If there was no specific stimuli, it was taken from the environment (coffee-mug effect) or existing product is recalled </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Properties of the stimuli makes difference </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stimuli is not always easy to treat as inspirational/associational or it can have too strong effect </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The balance between associative and structural elements? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Methods based on an existing game that was not analysed into pieces produced mainly variants and mixtures of existent products </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Workshop observations <ul><li>Even further questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is a (good) game idea anyway? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>more to the question than mere thematic/mechanic approach </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the function of an idea to the production? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>inspirational, fundamental, other? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to evaluate/develop game idea techniques? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What kind of tools are actually needed? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What kind of tools would be actually used? </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Use outside workshops? <ul><li>Workshops provides limited possibilities to study ideating processes </li></ul><ul><li>Further user study to be conducted: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Autumn 2007- winter 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does GameSpace techniques work outside workshop surroundings? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Packages sent to the partners </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Physical objects, card games, example ideas, computer programs and instructional material </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews, feedback </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Sneak preview
  24. 24. GameBoard <ul><li>Structure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Game-like </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>point system </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Turn-based </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competetive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stimuli </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Game structures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Association cards </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Casual VNA <ul><li>Simple & fast </li></ul><ul><li>Structure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>turn-based </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>short process, collaborative ideating </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stimuli: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Casual word set </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Based on the analysis of 40 games </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. GameSeekers <ul><li>Structure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Game-like (no winners) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>co-operative / collaborative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Turn-based </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mechanics for simplifying ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stimuli </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Associative pictures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abstract figures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Casual game genres / social feature cards </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. MorF <ul><li>Structure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Computer aided simple game analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forced combinations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used alone or together </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stimuli </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The game played </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Game analysis provided word set </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Documenting on the go </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Printing option </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Mecano <ul><li>No need for special tools </li></ul><ul><li>Using everyday objects </li></ul><ul><li>Analysing mechanical aspects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using these in game ideas </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. PieceBox <ul><li>Structure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focused stimuli brainstorming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Playing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stimuli: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collection of (casual) play pieces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>physical stimuli </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Idea prototyping / idea generation </li></ul><ul><li>Idea communication </li></ul>
  30. 30. GuideBook <ul><li>Instructions for the GameSpace techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Example ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>selection of recorded ideas from our workshops and testing sessions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>General information of idea generation processes and creativity </li></ul>
  31. 31. Last but not least
  32. 32. How to evaluate idea generation techniques? <ul><li>Session based evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantity of ideas produced in time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Originality of ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applicability of ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inspirational aspects evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Producing ideas that you would have not come up otherwise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating relaxed atmosphere, fun-factor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hearing ideas of others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Educative aspects evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New approaches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching basic assumptions of idea generation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching basic assumptions of creativity </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. comments or questions? Speak now or contact later: Annakaisa Kultima [email_address]