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Game Analysis, lecture 1

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Game Analysis, lecture 1

  1. 1. Game Analysis Petri Lankoski aalto.fi
  2. 2. Goals • To develop skills for analyzing, describing, and discussing games and their structures using concepts and theories
  3. 3. What Games • Examples Today – The Settlers of Catan – Monopoly – Space Invaders – Tetris • Wed to Fri – Group assignments & discussions • Essay Theories, Concepts • Game elements – Järvinen, 2008. Games without Frontiers • Emotions – Lankoski, unpublished manuscript • Feedback systems – Further reading: Salen & Zimmerman, 2004. Rules of Play • Probabilities
  4. 4. Essay • Choose a game or a part of the game – Except: example and exercise games • 8-12 pages, 12 pt Times or equivalent, double spaced • You should describe the game (or the part) using the concepts or theories from – Lankoski, “Computer Games and Emotions” – Järvinen, “Chapter Four: Theory of Game Elements” – (Salen & Zimmerman, “Chapter 18: Games as Cybernetic Systems”) • Deadline Friday 10.12. – Writing tutoring (at latest) in the week 48 • Missing the deadline will decrease the grade (1/week), unless new schedule is agreed beforehand!
  5. 5. Essay… • A game analysis essay should be independent work that should be readable and understandable by a person who is not expert on subject matter. Essay should contain: 1. Introduction: a description of the goals of the essay, short introduction to a game analyzed, description of the main concept used in the essay (with references); 2. Main part structured by the needs of analysis; 3. Conclusions summarizing main findings; 4. References • References should be formatted according to Harvard system.
  6. 6. Assignment • Become familiar with the game – the Settlers of Catan • One game box (4 players) • http://www.playcatan.com/ (introductory game) – Space Invaders • Taito Legends, PS 2 • http://www.freespaceinvaders.org/ – Tetris • http://www.tetris.com/how-to-play-tetris/ • http://www.tetrisfriends.com/games/Marathon/game.php?ref=from-homepage-ad – Monopoly • One game box • 1 hour to play
  7. 7. Settlers of Catan: Game Elements Game Analysis Environment
  8. 8. Settlers of Catan: Game Elements Game Analysis Game Mechanics ? Components
  9. 9. Settlers of Catan: Game Elements • Procedures – Build Board – Player Setup -> Game Mechanics: Place the settlements and roads – Yield • rand_num = random(1-6) + random(1-6) DICE! • if rand_num=7: – player_move_robber -> Game Mechanic: Move Robber & Select Player whom to steal – all_discard -> Game Mechanic: Select Resources to Discard • foreach hex=rand_num : – if hex not disabled_by_robber: collect_yield – Buy (road, settlement, city, development_card) <- initiated by Game Mechanic • if player[active] have_enough_resources and can_place: – place (road, settlement, city) OR add (development_card) • Not completed list of procedures Game Analysis
  10. 10. Settlers of Catan: Balance • A multiplayer game is balanced when each player have equal change of winning in the beginning – In terms of formal features • Symmetry creates balance – Not the only way to balance a game • Setters of Catan is symmetric in terms of – Game Mechanics – Component-of-self • Not symmetric in terms of setup – Setup • Asymmetry is compensated with setup order player1–player2–player3–player4– player4–player3–player2–player1 • Game board? Game Analysis
  11. 11. Probabilities 1 2 3 4 5 6 Probability 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 1/6 Game Analysis 1D6 2D6 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Prob 2 1/36 3 2/36 4 3/36 5 4/36 6 5/36 7 6/36 8 5/36 9 4/36 10 3/36 11 2/36 12 1/36
  12. 12. Probabilities • Dice throws are always independent events – Previous event does not influence the probability of the next event! • But cards are dependent events – The probability to get two aces from the unused deck is 4/52 (four aces in 52 cards) * 3/51 (three aces and 51 cards left) Game Analysis
  13. 13. Settlers of Catan: Balance… Game Analysis 5.56% 11.11% 13.89% 3 OR 5 OR 8: 5.56+11.11+13.89 = 30.56% 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 11/36=30.56% Or calculate using table
  14. 14. Settlers of Catan: Balance… Game Analysis • Now we can calculate probabilities for the board – But what these probabilities tell… • Does the board afford balanced play? – Is there enough good locations to place initial settlement for all the players? – Is there good locations to expand later? - YES - YES, unless on made a bad choices in the setup
  15. 15. Settlers of Catan: Feedback Loops Game Analysis Resources Settlement & Cities + Victory Points Positive Feedback Loop Negative Feedback Loop Probability of Negative feedback activating 1-4 times in a round: 1-(30/36)^4 = 51,8% • no robbers in a round: (30/36)^4 Resources If more than 7 resource cards in one’s hand & 7 7 -
  16. 16. Space Invaders • Components – Invaders, the ship, bullets – Bunkers (or environment?) • Game mechanics – Move left, move right, shoot • Goals – Shoot invaders, stay alive, high score • Procedures – ship move, can shoot?, bullet move, bunker damage, invader move, ufo appear, ufo move, invader hit, invader shoot, lost life, new wave, game over, … • Feedback loops – Less the invaders, faster they move, extra lives Space Invaders, Taito 1978 Image source: Wikipedia
  17. 17. Tetris: Emotion Game Analysis Success Fail, goal blocked
  18. 18. Monopoly Game Analysis Change to end up in a square 1/40 = 2,50%? 3 doubles in a row 1/16 Card takes to Jail A player can increase probability to land to these squares (out with doubles)
  19. 19. Monopoly Game Analysis Land to Jail If a card moves, these are not counted
  20. 20. Monopoly Game Analysis Breakeven Times, assumes short jail stay Based on data from http://www.tkcs-collins.com/truman/monopoly/monopoly.shtml There is positive feedback loop • Gains are insignificant if no monopolies Prison: conditional negative feedback • Pay to get out, or • Staying reduces changes of collecting rents

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