From Experiment Gameplay to the Wonderful World of Goo

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With this presentation, I will engage in an in-depth close reading of the game, World of Goo, in order to parse out various meanings I found in the experience of playing the game. I approach the experience from the perspective of how its narrative development and game design help a player learn how to play the game. Sequences in the game will be played and analyzed in detail in order to illustrate and interpret how these various components of the game come together to create a fulfilling playing experience that leads to a literacy and mastery of the gameplay mechanics. I’m currently editing a book with a group of authors performing similar analyses of various videogames. The goal of this book is to help develop and define a literacy of games as well as a sense of their value as an experience. Videogames are a complex medium that merits careful interpretation and insightful analysis.

Published in: Entertainment & Humor
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From Experiment Gameplay to the Wonderful World of Goo

  1. 1. From Experimental Gameplay to the Wonderful and How Physics is Your Friend
  2. 2. Analysis •  Narrative Development & Game Design •  Literacy & Mastery of Gameplay •  Learning Units – Flow •  Themes
  3. 3. Narrative
  4. 4. Gameplay
  5. 5. Analysis •  Cultural Buzz –  Media Attention –  Industry Interest •  Development Process –  Indie –  Beta Testing •  Playing Experience –  Game & Story –  Variations on Gameplay
  6. 6. Full Disclosure •  I know Kyle (ETC) •  Participated in Beta Testing (PC) •  Played Tower of Goo (Unlimited) countless times •  Played Chapter 1 Demo about 6 times •  Recorded complete Play Through for Beta Testing •  Completed Gold Candidate •  Played various Levels multiple times •  Honored to receive Special Thanks •  No Major Spoilers
  7. 7. Going Up Play
  8. 8. Impale Sticky Play
  9. 9. Fisty’s Bog Play
  10. 10. Buzz •  Media Attention –  Blogs –  News •  Industry Interest –  Conferences –  Articles –  Awards •  Community –  Forums –  Fansites
  11. 11. Shirts
  12. 12. Tower of Goo
  13. 13. Tower of Goo •  Play
  14. 14. Experimental Gameplay Project •  Student-Pitched Project at the ETC @ CMU •  4 Grad Students Prototyping Games –  Kyle Gabler, Kyle Gray, Matt Kucic, Shalin Shodhan •  3 rules: Each Game must be... –  Made in less than 7 Days –  Made by exactly 1 Person –  Based around a Common Theme •  Over 50 Games during the Semester
  15. 15. experimentalgameplay.com
  16. 16. 2D Boy •  Kyle Gabler –  Design, Art, Music and Story •  Ron Carmel –  Programming and Production •  “... making games the old fashioned way – a team of two, no money, and a whole lot of ‘love’...”
  17. 17. 2dboy.com
  18. 18. World of Goo •  “World of Goo is a physics based puzzle / construction game. The millions of Goo Balls that live in the beautiful World of Goo don't know that they are in a game, or that they are extremely delicious.”
  19. 19. The Game •  4 Chapters, an Epilogue and a MetaGame –  + Additional Chapter for European Release •  48 Levels •  @ 25 types of Goo •  @ 10-12 hours •  Metagame Leaderboard •  3 profiles –  # of Goo Balls –  Time Units
  20. 20. Beauty School •  Play
  21. 21. Whistler •  Play
  22. 22. The Red Carpet •  Play
  23. 23. Gameplay Mechanic
  24. 24. Gameplay Mechanic
  25. 25. Gameplay Variations •  Goos •  Levels •  Islands
  26. 26. Goos! Common Albino Ivy Water Balloon Fuse Pokey Bone ...and Many More!
  27. 27. Levels •  Construction •  Directions •  Navigation
  28. 28. Islands •  Chapter 1 – “The Goo Filled Hills” •  Chapter 2 – “Little Miss World of Goo” •  Chapter 3 – “Cog in the Machine” •  Chapter 4 – “Information Superhighway” •  Epilogue – “End of the World” •  World of Goo Corporation •  Tower of Goo Memorial Park and Recreation Center •  * Additional Chapter – “The Moon 2.0” *
  29. 29. Burning Man •  Play
  30. 30. Misty’s Long Bony Road •  Play
  31. 31. You Have to Explode the Head •  Play
  32. 32. Playful Story •  Satirically Elliptical •  Ambiguously Ominous •  Constructively Gooey
  33. 33. Satirically Elliptical
  34. 34. Ambiguously Ominous
  35. 35. Constructively Gooey
  36. 36. Chapter 4 Super Secret Surprise
  37. 37. Information Superhighway •  Show
  38. 38. Experiential Themes •  Trickster Humor •  Friendly Physics •  GooPunk World
  39. 39. Trickster Humor
  40. 40. Physics is Your Friend
  41. 41. GooPunk World
  42. 42. Infesty the Worm •  Show
  43. 43. Weather Vane •  Show
  44. 44. Horizontal Transportation Innovation Committee •  Show
  45. 45. Literacy & Mastery •  Flow across Learning Units –  Sometimes Interrupted •  Trickster Humor •  Variations on Gameplay •  Physics is Your Friend •  GooPunk World •  Goo is Elliptically Ambiguous and Ominously Constructive as Satire –  Open-Ended
  46. 46. Ludic Narrens •  Homo Ludens + •  Homo Narrens = •  Ludic Narrens = •  World of Goo
  47. 47. Tower of Goo Memorial Park and Recreation Center •  Play
  48. 48. Quality •  Polish across the Board –  Game Design –  Art Direction –  Music & Sound –  Story –  Technical •  Independent Revolution
  49. 49. •  World of Goo •  Release on 10/13! •  Wiiware –  1500 Points •  PC –  $20 •  Mac / Linux –  Shortly After
  50. 50. And So... •  Interpret & Analyze •  Buzz & Dev •  Narrative & Gameplay, Learning Units •  Meaning & Themes, Literacy & Mastery •  Well Played –  ETC Press •  etc.cmu.edu/etcpress
  51. 51. Questions?

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