CFC Gaming Session - Lecture 01 Game Experience

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CFC Day 1 Lecture Slides on Game Experience

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CFC Gaming Session - Lecture 01 Game Experience

  1. 1. Game Experience – Day 1!! 3rd November 2010! Emma Westecott ! !! 1! Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 1 The Game Experience Emma Westecott Assistant Professor: Game Design, OCAD-U ewestecott@faculty.ocad.ca Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 2Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 2 What is a game? Excerpts from Salen & Zimmerman (2004) •  A formal game has a twofold structure based on ends and means; Ends: It is a contest to achieve an objective. Means; It has an agreed set of equipment and of procedural “rules” (Parlett, D) •  Reduced to its formal essence, a game is an activity among two or more independent decision-makers seeking to achieve their objectives in some limiting context. (Clark C. Abt) •  [Play is] a free activity standing quite consciously outside “ordinary” life as being “not serious”, but at the same time absorbing the player intensely and utterly. It is an activity connected with no material interest, and no profit can be gained by it. It proceeds within its own proper boundaries of time and space according to fixed rules and in an orderly manner.” (Huizinga, J) •  Playing a game is the voluntary effort to overcome unnecessary obstacles. (Suits, B) •  A game is a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome. (Salen & Zimmerman)
  2. 2. Game Experience – Day 1!! 3rd November 2010! Emma Westecott ! !! 2! Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 3Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 3 What is game studies? Object of Study: GAMES Aim: to gain an overall picture of games in culture through an intersection of perspectives: 1.  study of games 2.  study of players 3.  study of the contexts of the previous two. Mutually interacting and complementary views, all informed by historical processes. Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 4Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 4 What is game studies? •  Game Studies is a new academic field of study, focusing particularly on digital games. •  Game Studies often involves a range of approaches: –  Humanities methods –  Social science methods –  Design research methods –  Game playing as method
  3. 3. Game Experience – Day 1!! 3rd November 2010! Emma Westecott ! !! 3! Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 5Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 5 What is game studies? The focus of study Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 6Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 6
  4. 4. Game Experience – Day 1!! 3rd November 2010! Emma Westecott ! !! 4! Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 7Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 7 Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 8Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 8 Game worlds •  Games offer worlds to play in, some are abstract e.g. tetris, pacman, etc. others are fictional e.g. mario, zelda, etc. •  Game design is often about the design of space. Whether the wide open spaces of Assassin’s Creed or the grooved tracks of Frequency ( http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=tWjPHBmZPmQ&feature=related)
  5. 5. Game Experience – Day 1!! 3rd November 2010! Emma Westecott ! !! 5! Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 9Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 9 Broderbund (1993) Myst. Cyan Worlds. Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 10Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 10 id Software (1993) Doom. id Software.
  6. 6. Game Experience – Day 1!! 3rd November 2010! Emma Westecott ! !! 6! Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 11Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 11 Contested Spaces •  “stripped to their simplest elements, the earliest digital games consisted of little more than contested spaces.” Jenkins, H. “The Art of Contested Spaces” Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 12Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 12 Game worlds •  “When we refer to such influential early works as Shigeru Miyamoto's Super Mario Bros. as "scroll games," we situate them alongside a much older tradition of spatial storytelling: many Japanese scroll paintings map, for example, the passing of the seasons onto an unfolding space.” Jenkins, H. “Game Design as Narrative Architecture” http://web.mit.edu/cms/People/henry3/games&narrative.html
  7. 7. Game Experience – Day 1!! 3rd November 2010! Emma Westecott ! !! 7! Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 13Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 13 Game worlds Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 14Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 14 Level design •  Why do games centre on level design?
  8. 8. Game Experience – Day 1!! 3rd November 2010! Emma Westecott ! !! 8! Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 15Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 15 Level design •  Why do games centre on level design? –  To give a sense of progress –  Due to technical constraint and performance issues (norm has developed) –  Development convenience Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 16Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 16 Level design Braid
  9. 9. Game Experience – Day 1!! 3rd November 2010! Emma Westecott ! !! 9! Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 17Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 17 Level design •  There is always an entry and exit point •  You always aim to leave the level •  The first thing the player does is figure out where to go •  There are obstacles, enemies and barriers •  The meta-goal (to escape) is achieved through mini goals Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 18Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 18 Level design •  All game design is about keys and locks •  We expect game space to tell us what to do, the space speaks to you about action..
  10. 10. Game Experience – Day 1!! 3rd November 2010! Emma Westecott ! !! 10! Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 19Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 19 Theme parks •  In some ways game designers draw more from studying techniques for environmental story telling that brands such as Disney employ in designing amusement park attractions. •  “bread crumbing” (Hansel & Gretel) Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 20Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 20 Narrative in Game worlds •  The theme park *evokes* the fictional world rather than re-construct the whole narrative •  More than just a container for player action, the space of a game is a space of representation that helps a player build meaning. Jenkins, H. “Game Design as Narrative Architecture” http://web.mit.edu/cms/People/henry3/games&narrative.html
  11. 11. Game Experience – Day 1!! 3rd November 2010! Emma Westecott ! !! 11! Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 21Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 21 Narrative in Game worlds •  Another possibility is the use of micro- narratives (short narrative units) e.g. Eisenstein’s Battleship Potempkin (1925) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euG1y0KtP_Q Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 22Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 22 Divergence between game and narrative worlds •  Ryan differentiates between the structure of space in games as opposed to narrative fiction: –  Games create an alternative space, separated by what Huizinga calls a magic circle –  Narrative fiction transports its users into an alternative possible world separated by the conventions of make-believe Ryan, M.L. (2009). From Playfields to Fictional Worlds: A Second Life for Ariosto in “New Literary History” Vol 40, No 1.
  12. 12. Game Experience – Day 1!! 3rd November 2010! Emma Westecott ! !! 12! Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 23Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Emma Westecott 23 Cross platform storyworlds •  Our transmedia future considers the range of ways to deliver narrative i.e. book, move, game, television, mobile; narratives now move across media to build a diffuse web of intertextual references ... Thus the game world becomes the story world and reaches out of the game across media

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