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Final Weeks Mtech Game Design


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These slides are from the Montana Tech Intro to Game Design class.

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Final Weeks Mtech Game Design

  1. 1. From Introduction to Game Studies Chapter 7 The Real and the Game The Third Millennium MontanaTech Thanks to Frans Mäyrä & SAGE Publications
  2. 2. 21 Century: Learning the Lexicon <ul><li>Big Boom is Internet and Smartphones. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Games at the Turn of the Century <ul><li>Interest in digital games has continued quite steadily, even during the ‘IT bubble crash’ years (2000-2002) ‏ . </li></ul><ul><li>Yet, the average time spent with games remains small when compared to television viewing (69 hours vs. 1,745 hours of tv in the US during 2003) ‏ . </li></ul><ul><li>Rather than being revolutionary, the development of digital culture has taken place quietly, as mobile phones and home Internet connections have gradually become more common. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Social Play <ul><li>All play takes place within social contexts, whether overtly social or as apparently more solitary activity. </li></ul><ul><li>As children’s access to public space is being limited, ‘digital playgrounds’ appear as an escape from adult regulation (Henry Jenkins, 1998) ‏ . </li></ul><ul><li>As social networks used to be constructed in physical play, now social forms of digital play have also become important. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Online Play <ul><li>Historically, online gaming became possible as the early Internet was developed. </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple players could join the same game in mainframe computers, or play turn-based games by email. </li></ul><ul><li>As home computers got modems, dial-up multiplayer services appeared (e.g. DWANGO, see next slide) ‏ . </li></ul><ul><li>Internet Service Providers (ISPs) replaced such dedicated services during the late-1990s. </li></ul>
  6. 6. “ DWANGO” <ul><li>Stands for Dial-up Wide-Area Network Game Operation. </li></ul><ul><li>DWANGO was early online gaming service developed for the support of Doom. </li></ul><ul><li>Ever wonder what 16 players in Doom 2 deathmatch would be like on a small map? </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Birth of Online Game Worlds <ul><li>Early ‘multi-user dungeons’ (MUDs) were text-based games where characters, game worlds and actions were handled by text and typing. </li></ul><ul><li>The first MUD was developed by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle at Essex University in 1978. </li></ul><ul><li>Graphically more advanced AVATAR and other similar games were available for the users of PLATO computer system at the University of Illinois during the late-1970s. </li></ul>AVATAR screen . Image credits: Wikipedia, .
  8. 8. Richard Bartle <ul><li>Bartle received a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from the University of Essex , where he created MUD with Roy Trubshaw , in 1978. </li></ul><ul><li>Bartle did research on player personality types in massively-multiplayer online games. In Bartle's analysis, players of mmorgs can be divided into four types: achievers, explorers, socializers and killers. </li></ul>Auteur
  9. 9. Conflicts in Online Lives pgs 122 - 125 <ul><li>An early example of online controversy took place in Habitat (LucasFilm, 1985) ‏ . (Morningstar and Randall) </li></ul><ul><li>The role of guns and ‘player-killing’ was the focus of debate: would Habitat be an exiting action game, or an online society? </li></ul><ul><li>Julian Dibbell made famous the ‘rape in cyberspace’ event that took place in LambdaMOO in 1993. </li></ul><ul><li>Player-character Mr. Bungle used a ‘Voodoo Doll’ object to play out sadistic sexual fantasies on other characters, creating controversy. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Online Psychology <ul><li>Researchers of CMC (computer-mediated communication) have noticed how the anonymity and distance can lead to uninhibited behaviour. </li></ul><ul><li>Online communication can also be used to develop trust and close relationships. (Nancy Baym, pg 125.) </li></ul><ul><li>Online “Social presence” is related to various contextual, game system, group and participant-related factors. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Online Player Types and Motives <ul><li>Richard Bartle (1996) divided MUD players into four basic types: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>achievers (motivated by achieving in the game) ‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>explorers (motivated by exploration in the game) ‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>socialisers (enjoying social interaction) ‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>killers (enjoy using their power over others) ‏ . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bartle acknowledged types crossing over each other – alternative models of player motivations have also been developed. </li></ul><ul><li>Sherry Turkle (1993) interpreted online play as identity experimentation and escapism. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Graphical Virtual Worlds <ul><li>As MUD-style games gained more realistic graphical interfaces, it became easier to see the game as an alternative ‘virtual world’ </li></ul><ul><li>Known as MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games), these games typically focus on the progress of player characters, collecting virtual items, and various social interaction. </li></ul><ul><li>Often time spent and achievements gained in game translate to more experience points and levels. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Evolution of Interfaces <ul><li>The evolution of game interfaces in online role-playing games: clockwise, Meridian 59 (3DO, 1996), EverQuest (Verant Interactive, 1999) and a beginner and advanced player’s screen from World of Warcraft (Blizzard, 2004). </li></ul>Image credits: 3DO/NearDeathStudios, Verant/Sony, Blizzard, Frans Mäyrä, Markus Montola; sources: , .
  14. 14. MMORPG Features <ul><li>The sense of place in MMORPGs is heightened by the persistence of the game world ( the game world continues to develop even while logged out). </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous world and online social relations make these games suitable for cultivation of online persona and community. </li></ul><ul><li>MMORPGs are mostly subscription-based, the flat-fee further encouraging long play sessions. </li></ul><ul><li>Player-run organisations such as guilds are a common feature in them. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Product, Service or Public Space? <ul><li>The traditionally commercial digital game was perceived as a product, available off the shelf. </li></ul><ul><li>MMORPGs are principally conceptualised as services, constantly maintained and updated for the customers. </li></ul><ul><li>As players continue to invest their time and energy into these worlds, they also become public spaces. </li></ul><ul><li>Debates and conflicts have risen over the ownership of virtual space and property. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Example: EverQuest (1999>) ‏ <ul><li>EverQuest (by Verant/Sony), at its peak of 450,000 players, was second most popular MMORPG around 2000-2003 (after Lineage from South Korea) ‏ . </li></ul><ul><li>The game is located in the fantasy world of Norrath, its moon and alternate planes of existence. </li></ul><ul><li>The EverQuest universe is extensive, combining geographical variety with multiple races and character classes to choose from. </li></ul><ul><li>Not particularly tailored for casual play, EverQuest gained the nickname ‘EverCrack’ for its supposedly addictive qualities. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Example: World of Warcraft <ul><li>World of Warcraft was developed by Blizzard Entertainment and became the most popular MMORPG soon after its release in 2004 (reaching 9 million players in 2007) ‏ . </li></ul><ul><li>Rooted in previous Warcraft mythology, the game features several races, divided into two warring factions, Horde and Alliance. </li></ul><ul><li>WoW is known as the ‘more casual multiplayer game’, as its gameplay has been designed to be easily accessible and immediately rewarding. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Virtual Property Sales <ul><li>Even if considered ‘cheating’, real money trading on virtual game items has expanded. </li></ul><ul><li>Calculating the value of such transactions, economist Edward Castronova (2001) estimated that the per capita ‘Gross National Product’ taking place within a virtual world like Norrath easily exceeds that of real countries like India or China. </li></ul><ul><li>Real money trading challenges the ‘magic circle’ and threatens to ruin the game for some – but there are virtual worlds like Second Life that endorse it. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Further to Bartle … <ul><li>In Bartle's analysis, players of mmorgs can be divided into four types: achievers, explorers, socializers and killers. </li></ul><ul><li>Further to Bartle, psychologist Richard Lee (2002) studied players of Everquest and other MMORGS and compacted their holding power into five desires … 1) to form and sustain supportive and meaningful relationships, 2) to accumulate power in different forms 3) to be immersed in a fantasy world 4) to taunt, annoy, irritate other people 4) to be part of a group strategy and collaboration. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Games Getting Physical <ul><li>Multimodal digital play is getting more common. </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple senses or modes or interaction are being used in games, including dancing, singing, drumming and playing the guitar. </li></ul><ul><li>Early physical gaming devices met with only moderate success in the1970s and 1980s, eg Mogul Maniac,1983. </li></ul><ul><li>In the early 21 st century, physical and rhythm-based play has got more into the mainstream. </li></ul><ul><li>Dance Dance Revolution. Konami, 1998. pg 142, 143. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  21. 21. The Physical Interface <ul><ul><li>Clockwise: Foot Craz pad for Atari 2600 (Exus, 1987), Eye Toy camera (Sony, 2002) , Guitar Hero package by Harmonix Music Systems (2005), dance game players . </li></ul></ul>Image credits: Atari Age, Sony, Harmonix, Honolulu Star-Bulletin; sources: , , ,
  22. 22. <ul><li>If ‘virtual reality’ involves replacing real sensations with those from a simulation, augmented and pervasive games try the opposite. </li></ul><ul><li>Augmented reality games aim to impose virtual elements seamlessly in physical reality (e.g. ARQuake ) ‏ . </li></ul><ul><li>Pervasive games aim to blur the boundary between the ‘real’ and the ‘game’ by expanding the place, time and participation in games in different ways. </li></ul>From Virtual to Pervasive Games
  23. 23. Pervasive and Alternate Reality Games <ul><li>Alternate reality games are often designed as parts of advertisement campaigns, aka. Advergames. </li></ul><ul><li>Typically massively scaled puzzle challenges that require players to organise themselves into teams and hunt for clues in multiple media and places. </li></ul><ul><li>Pervasive and alternate reality games have been described to be superimposed to public, shared reality and to have personally, socially and culturally transformative power. </li></ul>
  24. 24. A.I Movie ARG Challenge <ul><li>Game accompanying A.I. movie, The Beast was created by Microsoft in 2001. Hypotheses were: </li></ul><ul><li>Narrative is broken into segments that players would reassemble. </li></ul><ul><li>Game world is fundamentally cooperative and collective because of the nature of the internet. </li></ul><ul><li>Game is cooler if nobody knows who is doing it or why. </li></ul><ul><li>Game is cooler if it comes at you through as many different conduits as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>More info about The Beast http:// /beast/intro/ </li></ul>
  25. 25. Momentum <ul><li>Momentum was a pervasive game produced by the Swedish IPerG research project in 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>Combining larp and embedded electronics, Momentum experimented with game design, technology, politics and alternate reality experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>Thirty participants took on characters as dead revolutionaries re-entering our world, this time to save their own from oblivion. The larp used a host of technology installations, mobile equipment, and an advanced system for game mastering to enable the game to be ongoing around the clock for 34 days. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Momentum Photos Image credits: Jaakko Stenros & the IPerG project: .