Game Design Patterns Workshop - FDG2012 - Opening Remarks

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My opening remarks for the workshop on Game Design Patterns held at the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG) Conference 2012 (June).

This is where I talked about dark patterns in game design.

Note: I removed the slides that had to do with administrative details of the workshop.

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Game Design Patterns Workshop - FDG2012 - Opening Remarks

  1. 1. Foundations of Digital Games 2012DESIGN PATTERNS IN GAMES: THE WORKSHOP
  2. 2. Opening RemarksBIG QUESTIONS AND CHALLENGES
  3. 3. 1977 Architecture and urban design “ Organize implicit knowledge about how people solve recurring problems when they go about building things” Present a problem and a solution http://www.patternlanguage.com
  4. 4. INFLUENCE ON SOFTWARE ENGINEERING  “reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem in software design” 1994(with lots of earlier work at least as far back as 1987)
  5. 5. GAMES?1. Need for a language/vocabulary for describing and talking about game design2. Desire to document design decisions/conventions  Often problem/solution pairs
  6. 6. GAMES – EARLY WORK Formal Abstract Design Tools 1984 1999 Crawford Church (Game Developer) The Case for Game Design Patterns 2002 2005 2005Bernd Kreimeier Bjork & Holopainen Zagal, Mateas, et al. (Gamasutra) (also earlier work in 2003)
  7. 7. TODAY Genre DescriptiveGenerative Specific Notation &Grammars Patterns Grammars Game Interface Programming Patterns Patterns AbstractTaxonomies Logical Etc. Formalisms
  8. 8. WHY PATTERNS IN GAMES?1. Common solutions for design problems2. Development of critical/expressive language3. Framework for developing/sharing deeper understanding4. Exploring/mapping design space5. Formalizing design knowledge for automated creation6. Support for games education
  9. 9. It’s been about 10 years….DESIGN PATTERNS AND GAMESBEYOND 2012
  10. 10. THE BIG CHALLENGES1. Accessibility & Usability2. Significance of Contributions3. Ludic Responsibility
  11. 11. ACCESSIBILITY & USABILITY (1/3) Barriers to Entry  How to navigate and make sense of?  Topologies of patterns  Entry Points  Experts invest time to learn language  Elitist Fragmentation  Multiple approaches re-inventing the wheel
  12. 12. ACCESSIBILITY AND USABILITY (2/3) Why not useful? Is this work relevant? To whom?
  13. 13. ACCESSIBILITY & USABILITY (3/3) Appropriate Level of Abstraction  Focus on the tree, miss the forest  Focus on forest, what trees?
  14. 14. SIGNIFICANCE OF CONTRIBUTIONS Theoretical Underpinnings  Are we creating theory?  What theory/ies are informing/supporting our work? Methodological Rigor  What are our methods?  What are the drawbacks?  What are the strengths?  Documenting and developing  Data collection, data sharing
  15. 15. LUDIC RESPONSIBILITY (1/3) “Good” Design vs “Bad” Design vs “Design”  PositiveValues (e.g. cooperation)?  Negative Values (e.g. competition)? Is our work descriptive?  This is what we’ve seen Is our work prescriptive?  This is what you should do…
  16. 16. LUDIC RESPONSIBILITY (2/3) Anti-patterns  Examples of “bad design”  Common Mistakes  Laziness  “Should know better” Dark Patterns  From wiki.darkpatterns.org (UI/UX)  “User Interfaces Designed to Trick People”
  17. 17. LUDIC RESPONSIBILITY (3/3) Dark Patterns = Patterns for “Evil” “Evil”?  Patterns for manipulating players  Removing the player’s autonomy  Don’t make an informed decision about game  When the designers’ intentions aren’t good?
  18. 18. DARK PATTERNS – FRIEND SPAM “A site or game asks for your twitter or email credentials for an allegedly benign purpose (e.g. finding friends who are already using that service), but then goes on publish content or send out bulk messages using your account - i.e. from you.” http://wiki.darkpatterns.org/Friend_Spam
  19. 19. DARK PATTERN? – IN-GAME PURCHASES http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/11/06
  20. 20. DARK PATTERNS? Charging extra for additional game options  E.g. Skip a level? Pay now! Pay-to-cheat  Words With Friends: Buy ability “look in bag” and see what letters are left (access to hidden info) Mercenary Treadmill  Game’s features depend on in-game currency that takes forever to amass - unless you pay real $! http://s349909351.websitehome.co.uk/blog/
  21. 21. THE BIG CHALLENGES1. Accessibility & Usability 1. Entry Barriers 2. Who is this for? What is the relevance? 3. Level of Abstraction?2. Significance of Contributions 1. Theoretical Underpinnings 2. Methodological Rigor3. Ludic Responsibility  Descriptive / Prescriptive  Supporting Values
  22. 22. THANK YOU, ANY QUESTIONS?Jose Zagaljzagal@cdm.depaul.eduhttp://facsrv.cdm.depaul.edu/~jzagal

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