Game Mechanics &
Gameplay Design Patterns
A language to support game design
Staffan Björk
Interactive Institute & Gothenbu...
What You Will Learn


The idea behind Game Mechanics and Gameplay
Design Patterns



How these can be used to externaliz...
Who am I?
Schedule
Wednesday
13.30-14.00
14.00-15.15
15.30-16.30

Introduction & Presentation of Mechanics
Exercise I: Mechanics Identificati...
Thursday
10.00-10.30
10.30-12.00

Presentation of Design Patterns
Exercise II: Map pattern network in own game

12.00-13.0...
Friday
10.00-10.15
Recap
10.15-12.00
Exercise IV: Update pattern network to
address problems in own game
13.00-14.30
Prese...
The need for a Gameplay
Design Language
9/58
Challenges in Gameplay Design
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
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

Explain values of novel game concepts
Understanding differences between gam...
Design is typically a Wicked Problem
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Characteristics of Wicked Problems
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





Not understood until after solu...
Gameplay


The goal-driven activities related to a game system
whose values are solely described in direct relation to
th...
Game Mechanics
What is a Game Mechanic?





“the guts of a design document” (Rouse, 2005)
“rule based system/simulations that facilit...
What is a Game Mechanic? Cont.


“methods invoked by agents, designed for
interaction with the game state” (Sicart, 2008)...
Exercise I
Exercise I: Analyze your game for
gameplay mechanics






Go through your view on what is the core gameplay
Go throug...
Student Presentations
Indentified Mechanics








Samla VP
Anfall motståndare och slå tärning
Ta resurser/föremål
Släpp eller saka resu...
Thursday
10.00-10.30
10.30-12.00

Presentation of Design Patterns
Exercise II: Map pattern network in own game

12.00-13.0...
Gameplay Design
Patterns
Gameplay Design Patterns


A way to describe reoccurring design choices






A guide of how to make similar design ch...
Gameplay Design Pattern Examples


Power-Ups




First Person Views




Sequences of storytelling where players canno...
What is the difference?!?


Basically, relations


Sicart does talk about the need to trace
relationship but does not ar...
Gameplay Design Pattern Examples


Power-Ups




First Person Views




Sequences of storytelling where players canno...
Gameplay Design Pattern Relations


Small changes in a game can
have large effects on gameplay
and overall game experienc...
Types of relations


Can Instantiate








α(β)→ α⃰

High Score Lists ( Tiebreakers ) → High Score Lists⃰

Potentia...
Relations between GDPs
Surprises

Limited Foresight

Analysis Paralysis

Randomness

Luck

Fixed Distributions
Drawing Sta...
Mechanics, Dynamics,
Aesthetics
http://algorithmancy.8kindsoffun.com/
Marc LeBlanc
(Ultima Underworld II, System Shock, Fl...
The MDA model

Code
Processes
Requirements

Rules
Game Sessions
“Fun”

Mechanics
Dynamics
Aesthetics
MDA - Eight Kinds of "Fun"
1. Sensation
Game as sense-pleasure

2. Fantasy
Game as make-believe

3. Narrative
Game as dram...
Different Levels of Patterns


Patterns fit into the MDA framework


Mechanical gameplay patterns




Dynamic gameplay...
Exercise II: Map pattern network in
own game



Update mechanics list with ones from the combined list
Translate mechani...
Thematic
Consistency

Spectacular
Failure
Enjoyment

Tension

Replayability

Higher-Level
Closures as
Gameplay
Progresses
...
Indentified Mechanics




Sortera kort
Blanda kort
Dra Kort










Spela kort från hand
Anfall motståndare o...
Types of relations


Can Instantiate








α(β)→ α⃰

High Score Lists ( Tiebreakers ) → High Score Lists⃰

Potentia...
Student Presentations
Exercise III: Analyze problems
in own game with patterns




Start with listing identified gameplay problems with your
c...
Student Presentations
Exercise IV: Update pattern network
to address problems in own game




Consider the identified problem patterns and mis...
Roundup
Differences between Design and Craftwork


Knowledge transferal








Crafts are primarily learned
by imitation
Pra...
Advantages of Design Languages









Explain values of novel game concepts
Understand differences between games...
Thank you!

Questions?
Workshop södertörn jan 2014 intermittent version
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  • Main point: finished product may differ from original vision, tools to help in the design process, words like brick, gradiant, corridors, dead ends, shafts, pit falls, secret chambers
    The Bent Pyramid, located at the royal necropolis of Dahshur, approximately 40 kilometres south of Cairo, of Old Kingdom Pharaoh Sneferu, is a unique example of early pyramid development in Egypt, about 2596 BCE. This was the second pyramid built by Sneferu.
    The lower part of the pyramid rises from the desert at a 55-degree inclination, but the top section is built at the shallower angle of 43 degrees, lending the pyramid its very obvious "bent" appearance.[1]
    Archaeologists now believe that the Bent Pyramid represents a transitional form between step-sided and smooth-sided pyramids (see Step pyramid). It has been suggested that due to the steepness of the original angle of inclination the structure may have begun to show signs of instability during construction, forcing the builders to adopt a shallower angle to avert the structure's collapse.[2] This theory appears to be borne out by the fact that the adjacent Red Pyramid, built immediately afterwards by the same Pharaoh, was constructed at an angle of 43 degrees from its base. Another theory suggests that at the initial angle the construction would take too long because Sneferu's death was nearing, so the builders changed the angle to complete the construction in time.
    The Bent Pyramid has a small satellite pyramid which was the final resting place of Sneferu's queen; interestingly there is a connecting tunnel which runs twenty-five metres between the two pyramids, which was built so that Sneferu could visit his queen in the after life. It also has an early form of offering temple on its eastern side. It is also unique amongst the approximately ninety pyramids to be found in Egypt, in that its original polished limestone outer casing remains largely intact.
  • Workshop södertörn jan 2014 intermittent version

    1. 1. Game Mechanics & Gameplay Design Patterns A language to support game design Staffan Björk Interactive Institute & Gothenburg University
    2. 2. What You Will Learn  The idea behind Game Mechanics and Gameplay Design Patterns  How these can be used to externalize your knowledge  How these can be used to develop game concepts
    3. 3. Who am I?
    4. 4. Schedule
    5. 5. Wednesday 13.30-14.00 14.00-15.15 15.30-16.30 Introduction & Presentation of Mechanics Exercise I: Mechanics Identification Present mechanics candidates
    6. 6. Thursday 10.00-10.30 10.30-12.00 Presentation of Design Patterns Exercise II: Map pattern network in own game 12.00-13.00 Lunch 13.00-14.00 Present network 14.00-16.00 Exercise III: Analyze problems in own game with patterns 16.00-17.00 Presentation of analyses
    7. 7. Friday 10.00-10.15 Recap 10.15-12.00 Exercise IV: Update pattern network to address problems in own game 13.00-14.30 Present updated game designs 14.30Debriefing
    8. 8. The need for a Gameplay Design Language
    9. 9. 9/58
    10. 10. Challenges in Gameplay Design         Explain values of novel game concepts Understanding differences between games Gain understanding within development teams Communication between developers and stakeholders Exploit new platforms and technologies Depersonalize intended gameplay Describe gameplay problems Specify foci of gameplay evaluations
    11. 11. Design is typically a Wicked Problem  Characteristics of Wicked Problems        Not understood until after solutions are found Have no stopping rule Solutions are not right or wrong Every problem is essentially novel and unique Every solution is a 'one shot operation' Solutions have no given alternatives How to Mitigate Wicked Problems?   Methods Language to discuss aspects or parts of the problem
    12. 12. Gameplay  The goal-driven activities related to a game system whose values are solely described in direct relation to that game system  Boundaries     Not Diegetic Aspects Not Interfaces Aspects Not Narrative Aspects But these are often interrelated in game designs
    13. 13. Game Mechanics
    14. 14. What is a Game Mechanic?    “the guts of a design document” (Rouse, 2005) “rule based system/simulations that facilitate and encourage a user to explore and learn the properties of their possibility space through the use of feedback mechanisms” (Cook, 2005) “the particular components of the game, at the level of data representations and algorithms (…) mechanics are the various actions, behaviours, and control mechanisms afforded to the player within a game context” (Hunicke, Zubek, LeBlanc, 2004)
    15. 15. What is a Game Mechanic? Cont.  “methods invoked by agents, designed for interaction with the game state” (Sicart, 2008)   “game mechanics are best described with verbs” (Järvinen, 2008)   Inspired by OO-programing Move, Attack, Climb, Take, Push, etc. Agents not only players
    16. 16. Exercise I
    17. 17. Exercise I: Analyze your game for gameplay mechanics     Go through your view on what is the core gameplay Go through what distinguishes the game from similar games Make notes on candidates for gameplay mechanics  And a one sentence description Intended Result – 10+ mechanic candidates  Gameplay mechanics    goal-driven activities related to a game system whose values are solely described in direct relation to that game system methods invoked by agents, designed for interaction with the game state At 15.30 you should present the results to others   Short overview List of mechanics and their descriptions
    18. 18. Student Presentations
    19. 19. Indentified Mechanics        Samla VP Anfall motståndare och slå tärning Ta resurser/föremål Släpp eller saka resurser/föremål Sorta kort Blanda kort Dra Kort     Spela kort från hand Aktivera förmåga          Dra kort till hand Dra kort och spela kort                  Temporärt höja statvärde Sänka statvärde   Slå och Gå Ta genväg Höja statvärde  Aktivera dold förmåga Manipulera inventory Ta skada Återuppstå Placera monster Förflytta monster Lägga ut spelruta Erövra spelruta Skicka vidare first player token Läka Förflyttta sig Temporärt höja statvärde Memory Undersöka dold resurser/föremål Samarbeta Klara utmaning (quest) Köpa resurser/föremål Byta resurser/föremål Få resurser/föremål Stjäl resurser/föremål Avsluta spel Aktivera immunitet Betala uppehåll Investera resurs  Investera dold resurs
    20. 20. Thursday 10.00-10.30 10.30-12.00 Presentation of Design Patterns Exercise II: Map pattern network in own game 12.00-13.00 Lunch 13.00-14.00 Present network 14.00-16.00 Exercise III: Analyze problems in own game with patterns 16.00-17.00 Presentation of analyses
    21. 21. Gameplay Design Patterns
    22. 22. Gameplay Design Patterns  A way to describe reoccurring design choices    A guide of how to make similar design choices in game projects     Offers possible explanations to why these design choices have been made Codify unintentional features so they can be intentional choices in later designs What is required to make a pattern emerge What consequences do a pattern have? Not only problem solving Gameplay Design Patterns a way to describe components on all levels within the design language
    23. 23. Gameplay Design Pattern Examples  Power-Ups   First Person Views   Sequences of storytelling where players cannot act Parallel Lives   The act of taking aim at something and then shooting at it Cut Scenes   Players are shown the game world as if they were inside it Aim & Shoot   Game elements that activate time-limited advantages when collected Game elements that when individually lost do not interrupt gameplay, but do so when all are lost. High High Score Lists  The storing of scores after games have finished so the they can be compared
    24. 24. What is the difference?!?  Basically, relations  Sicart does talk about the need to trace relationship but does not argue for documenting general relations   Only specific ones found in specific games Patterns includes more abstract phenomena   Not only verbs Observable features and experiences
    25. 25. Gameplay Design Pattern Examples  Power-Ups   First Person Views   Sequences of storytelling where players cannot act Parallel Lives   The act of taking aim at something and then shooting at it Cut Scenes   Players are shown the game world as if they were inside it Aim & Shoot   Game elements that activate time-limited advantages when collected Game elements that when individually lost do not interrupt gameplay, but do so when all are lost. High High Score Lists  The storing of scores after games have finished so the they can be compared
    26. 26. Gameplay Design Pattern Relations  Small changes in a game can have large effects on gameplay and overall game experience   This due delicate balances, risk/reward, meaningful choices, etc. Patterns related to each other      Explains effects of having a pattern Proposes possible causes for a pattern to be in a design Provides alternatives how to make a pattern emerge in a design Suggests ways of modifying patterns Alerts of possible incompatibilities
    27. 27. Types of relations  Can Instantiate     α(β)→ α⃰ High Score Lists ( Tiebreakers ) → High Score Lists⃰ Potentially Conflicting With  α←β Cut Scenes ← Dedicated Game Facilitators Can Be Modulated By  β(α)→β⃰ Game World ( First-Person Views ) → Game World ⃰ Can Be Instantiated By   Parallel Lives → Attention Swapping Can Modulate  α→β First-Person Views ≠ God Views α≠β
    28. 28. Relations between GDPs Surprises Limited Foresight Analysis Paralysis Randomness Luck Fixed Distributions Drawing Stacks Cards D4 Dice D6 D8 D10 D12 D20
    29. 29. Mechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics http://algorithmancy.8kindsoffun.com/ Marc LeBlanc (Ultima Underworld II, System Shock, Flight Unlimited, Terra Nova, Thief I-II, Deus Ex, NFL 2K2, NBA 2K2, Oasis, Field Commander)
    30. 30. The MDA model Code Processes Requirements Rules Game Sessions “Fun” Mechanics Dynamics Aesthetics
    31. 31. MDA - Eight Kinds of "Fun" 1. Sensation Game as sense-pleasure 2. Fantasy Game as make-believe 3. Narrative Game as drama 4. Challenge Game as obstacle course 5. Fellowship Game as social framework 6. Discovery Game as uncharted territory 7. Expression Game as self-discovery 8. Submission Game as pastime
    32. 32. Different Levels of Patterns  Patterns fit into the MDA framework  Mechanical gameplay patterns   Dynamic gameplay patterns   E.g. Power-Ups, Aim & Shoot, Cut Scenes E.g. Red Queen Dilemmas, Choke points Aesthetical gameplay patterns  E.g. Player Adaptability, Camaraderie
    33. 33. Exercise II: Map pattern network in own game   Update mechanics list with ones from the combined list Translate mechanics to patterns    Consider additional patterns     General – not game specific – relations!!! Indentify disconnected or loosely connected patterns   Especially dynamic and Aesthetical Find relations between the patterns   Consider generalizing Consider where in the MDA scheme they fit Consider new pattterns Repeat from ”Consider additional patterns” Presentation should be a network with different types of links MDA level preferably also
    34. 34. Thematic Consistency Spectacular Failure Enjoyment Tension Replayability Higher-Level Closures as Gameplay Progresses Stimulated Planning Luck Emotional Engrossment Instakills Helplessness Surprise Attacks Stealth Micromanagement Challenging Gameplay Combat Enemies Roaming Enemies Movement Budgeted Action Points Loss of Control Risk/Reward Avalanche Effects Randomness Line of Sight Uncertainty of Information Time Limits Save-Load Cycles Tradeoffs Irreversible Events Character Development Positive Feedback Loops Inventories Equipment Slots Rotate In Place Transfer of Control Time Unit System Lingering Effects Equipment Poison Fog of War Exploding Objects Levels 2-phase Actions Incompatible Goals Progress Evaluations Achievements Permadeath Difficulty Levels Technology Trees Privileged Abilities Talent trees Increased statistics Ironman Mode Most patterns mention from X:EU and X:UD (Green indicates presence in both games, red only in X:UD, and blue only in X:EU). Solid lines indicate instantiating relations and dashes lines modulating ones. Boxes without outlines are mechanics.
    35. 35. Indentified Mechanics    Sortera kort Blanda kort Dra Kort         Spela kort från hand Anfall motståndare och slå tärning Ta skada Läka Återuppstå Förflyttta sig                   Aktivera immunitet Skicka vidare first player token Sabotera    Temporärt höja statvärde Memory Samarbeta Ta resurser/föremål Släpp eller saka resurser/föremål Undersöka dold resurser/föremål Köpa resurser/föremål Byta resurser/föremål Få resurser/föremål Stjäl resurser/föremål Manipulera inventory Betala uppehåll Investera resurs  Aktivera dold förmåga Temporärt höja statvärde Sänka statvärde  Lägga ut spelruta Erövra spelruta Placera monster Förflytta monster Aktivera förmåga      Höja statvärde  Slå och Gå Ta genväg   Dra kort till hand Dra kort och spela kort  Investera dold resurs Samla VP Klara utmaning (quest) Avsluta spel Tur
    36. 36. Types of relations  Can Instantiate     α(β)→ α⃰ High Score Lists ( Tiebreakers ) → High Score Lists⃰ Potentially Conflicting With  α←β Cut Scenes ← Dedicated Game Facilitators Can Be Modulated By  β(α)→β⃰ Game World ( First-Person Views ) → Game World ⃰ Can Be Instantiated By   Parallel Lives → Attention Swapping Can Modulate  α→β First-Person Views ≠ God Views α≠β
    37. 37. Student Presentations
    38. 38. Exercise III: Analyze problems in own game with patterns   Start with listing identified gameplay problems with your current design Locate patterns related to these problems   Identified missing patterns that would have solved these problems   Possibly have to update the network… Consider especially dynamic (e.g. for balancing) and aesthetical (“fun”) patterns End result should be highlighted map and list of missing patterns
    39. 39. Student Presentations
    40. 40. Exercise IV: Update pattern network to address problems in own game   Consider the identified problem patterns and missing patterns For problem patterns    Consider patterns to modulate these patterns Consider removing or replacing these patterns For missing patterns  Consider how to add these patterns  What relations to existing patterns do they add?     Are these a problem? What more abstract patterns in the MDA model to they add What more concrete patterns need to be added to reach mechanics? End result should be updated map
    41. 41. Roundup
    42. 42. Differences between Design and Craftwork  Knowledge transferal     Crafts are primarily learned by imitation Practitioners can not motivate why one does things one way Unintentional trial-and-error experiments Information about designs are only recorded in the produced artifact
    43. 43. Advantages of Design Languages         Explain values of novel game concepts Understand differences between games Gain understanding within development teams Communicate with stakeholders Exploit new platforms and technologies Depersonalize intended gameplay Describe gameplay problems Specify foci of gameplay evaluations
    44. 44. Thank you! Questions?

    ×