LAFS PREPRO Session 3 - Game Play


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Game Design Lecture for Session 3 of The Los Angeles Film School's Game PreProduction course.

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  • There are three categories of rules, all important to a successful play experience:Setup involves things you do once at the beginning of a gameProgression entails what happens during a gameResolution indicates the conditions that cause the game to end and how an outcome is determined based on the game state.Mechanics are a collection of rules that form a discrete chunk of gameplay.Systems are collections of mechanics that make up the biggest chunks of the game.
  • Resources are all the things directly under a players control that can be used as a game advances.
  • Strategic (mental) and reflex (physical) gameplay are different expressions of player skill. In both cases, the player has control over the outcome through his decisions and actions.By contrast, chance-based mechanics have a randomized outcome. Chance adds uncertainty to a game, which can create tension and make it more exciting. Too much randomness can be frustrating. Players want to make meaningful decisions, but decisions lose meaning if the outcomes are decided solely by dice rolls or card shuffles.Chance-based mechanics also come in different flavors with different mathematical characteristics. Determining the right type and amount of chance-based mechanics is a big part of being a game designer.
  • What are the players trying to do? Game objectives determine who won or whether the player has beaten the game or a portion of the game. They can also vary in scale. Complete the level or mission is an objective, but the bigger objective might be complete a series of levels or complete the storyline. Here are some common game objectives.Score: Get more points than your opponent; or, be the first player to reach a certain number of points. There might be one source of points, or different actions might have different point values.Capture/Destroy: Eliminate all of your opponent’s resources from the game. Chess is a well-known example where you must eliminate opposing forces to win.Collection: Many jumping and exploration games like LittleBigPlanet and other platformers require the player to collect a certain number of objects scattered throughout the levels.Solve: The game Clue is an example of a game where the objective is to solve a puzzle.Chase/Race/Escape: Generally anything were you are moving toward or away from something.Beat the Clock: Trying to reach an objective before time runs out.Spatial Alignment: A number of games, like Tetris, involve the positioning of elements as an objective.Build: The opposite of “destroy”, players use resources to build structures or assets. In the game Civilization, players have must build things at many different levels: combat units, structures, technologies, cities. RPGs include the objective of character advancement where the player characters gradually gain power and capability.Avoiding a Loss: Some games end when one player performs an at that is forbidden by the rules, like Simon Says.Advance the Story: Sometimes the objective of a game is just to continue storyline and see what happens next to the characters.Explore: Game worlds like the Legend of Zelda series encourage players to travel around the world and discover new characters and places.
  • LAFS PREPRO Session 3 - Game Play

    1. 1. Session 3 David Mullich Concept Workshop - Game PreProduction The Los Angeles Film School
    2. 2. Gameplay  Game Mechanics  Resources  Obstacles  Goals  Win/Loss Conditions  Main Game Loop
    3. 3. Rules  Easily Understood  Consistent with Game Theme  Setup  Progression  Resolution Rule Categories  Rules  Mechanics  Systems Rule Groupings
    4. 4. Game Mechanics  Avoid unkillable objects  Instant death  Game repeats until you die  Remember an increasing number of things  Repeat pattern  Forced constant movement  Block puzzles  Game keeps getting harder until you die  Uncountable number of possible paths  Big gains for you can be big gains for your enemy  Block path  Information Overload  Disinformation  Switch modes  Push mole down, mole pops up  Cut off one head, two grow back  Bouncing object  Gravity  Mouse dexterity  Spinning plates  Teleports  Squad  Race  Chase  Collecting  Interrupt Action  Squad  Scarce Resource  Jumping  Hidden image/ Where’s Waldo?  Timed  Protect a target  Undirected exploration  Bullet Hell  Buy Low, Sell High  Brawling  Dialog Tree  Building  Crafting
    5. 5. Resources  Currency  Building Materials  Energy  Health  Combat Units  Inventory Items  Time  Turns  Moves  Territory  Power-Ups  Information Anything the player must gather or protect to help in achieving the game’s goals.
    6. 6. Obstacles Anything that makes achieving the game’s goals difficult.  Enemies  Puzzles  Traps  Time Limits  Hidden Resources  Resource Management  Randomness
    7. 7. Goals Achievement milestones that advance progress in a game.  Elementary (Minor) Goals  Intermediate (Level) Goals  Primary (Win/Loss) Goals
    8. 8. Types of Goals STRATEGIC (Mental) REFLEX (Physical) CHANCE (Random)
    9. 9. Examples of Goals  Score  Capture/Destroy  Collection  Solve  Chase/Race/Esca pe  Beat the Clock  Spatial Alignment  Build  Explore  Advance the Story
    10. 10. What Makes Goals Addictive  Worthy of Obtaining  Challenging to Reach  Obtainable  New Goals Replace Old Goals
    11. 11. Experience Phases A good game designer will look at one game as 4 different game, which emphasizes on the 4 Experience Phases of a game, as defined by Professor Kevin Werbach:  Discovery  Onboarding  Scaffolding  Endgame
    12. 12. Game Main Loop The set of rules that a game follows during each game turn. All games have turns, even if they appear to be continuously be running. This is because most modern games don’t stop and wait for player input.
    13. 13. Game Main Loop
    14. 14. Game Main Loop while (game is not over) check for user input If user input case (user input) navigation: move player construction: build object fight: attack enemy determine enemy state changes case (enemy state) idle: do nothing patrol: walk between waypoints chase: run toward player flee: run to default waypoint die: enemy death end while
    15. 15. Create a page in your Concept PowerPoint that lists the following:  Game Mechanics  Resources  Obstacles  Intermediate Goals (if any)  Win Conditions  Lose Conditions (if any) PowerPoint
    16. 16. Create a Gameplay page in your GDD Wiki that lists the following:  Game Mechanics: List at least three core game mechanics (don’t describe movement, unless it is unusual)  Resources: What you acquire or protect as you progress through the game (e.g., score, turns, health, energy, territory)  Obstacles: What makes reaching the game’s goals challenging? (e.g., fighting enemies, solving puzzles, avoiding hazards, time limits)  Progression: What intermediate goals must you reach to advance (e.g., clear levels, defeat bosses)  Resolution: What final goal must you reach to win the game? (e.g., complete level 5, defeat main boss) Are there ways to lose the game? (e.g., lose all 3 lives, game timer runs out) Wiki
    17. 17. 2. Create a Main Game Loop page in your TDD Wiki, specifying the following:  Player inputs and resulting actions  Enemy states and resulting actions  Goals and resulting actions Wiki