recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : gamedesign   246

« earlier  
One Hour One Life
"a multiplayer survival game of parenting and civilization building by Jason Rohrer"



"This game is about playing one small part in a much larger story. You only live an hour, but time and space in this game is infinite. You can only do so much in one lifetime, but the tech tree in this game will take hundreds of generations to fully explore. This game is also about family trees. Having a mother who takes care of you as a baby, and hopefully taking care of a baby yourself later in life. And your mother is another player. And your baby is another player. Building something to use in your lifetime, but inevitably realizing that, in the end, what you build is not for YOU, but for your children and all the countless others that will come after you. Proudly using your grandfather's ax, and then passing it on to your own grandchild as the end of your life nears. And looking at each life as a unique story. I was this kid born in this situation, but I eventually grew up. I built a bakery near the wheat fields. Over time, I watched my grandparents and parents grow old and die. I had some kids of my own along the way, but they are grown now... and look at my character now! She's an old woman. What a life passed by in this little hour of mine. After I die, this life will be over and gone forever. I can be born again, but I can never live this unique story again. Everything's changing. I'll be born as a different person in a different place and different time, with another unique story to experience in the next hour..."



"The thinking behind One Hour One Life [a YouTube playlist]

"How to Deal With A Crisis of Meaning" (The School of Life)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu8d3iW2yxM

"Bonsai: the Endless Ritual | Extraordinary Rituals | Earth Unplugged"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEGevD5jd64

"Power of the Market - The Pencil"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5Gppi-O3a8

"Primitive Technology: Forge Blower"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVV4xeWBIxE

"The Game Design Challenge 2011: Bigger Than Jesus Panel at GDC 2011"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAG6XzGah8Q

"Last Day Dream"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWlbZO92ZyA

"334 Time Life - Rock A Bye Baby - 1976"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63fBJPFPCbs "
games  gaming  videogames  jasonrohrer  civilization  parenting  philosophy  gamedesign  small  change  purpose  meaningoflife  meaning  generations  srg  edg 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Tacit Dimension – game design for urban design | game design for urban design
"Tacit Dimension creates games to close the gap between urban research and the development of things and technologies used in urban life. As a lab we constantly develop the method of ‘research through design’ to generate knowledge and test innovative designs.

The term ‘Tacit Dimension’ is borrowed from the philosopher scientist Michael Polányi. He coined the term to elaborate on knowledge that we acquire through experience and through interactions with our environment, but which we can’t explicitly formulate. Yet tacit knowledge is always at the bottom of what we can put into words, draw or create.

Street Game Design
Streets, stairs, and the rhythm of traffic lights constitute our platform. We create games in which rules of the game blend in with every day rules of urban life.

Research Through Design
We create games to explore research questions regarding the urban. Games function as probes that provide knowledge in context. Often the game design process itself is the research tool.

Technology Testing
We use urban games to test prototypes of technologies and services that are designed for urban use."
games  gamedesign  play  urban  ubanism  technology 
november 2018 by robertogreco
The Ren'Py Visual Novel Engine
"Ren'Py is a visual novel engine – used by thousands of creators from around the world – that helps you use words, images, and sounds to tell interactive stories that run on computers and mobile devices. These can be both visual novels and life simulation games. The easy to learn script language allows anyone to efficiently write large visual novels, while its Python scripting is enough for complex simulation games.

Ren'Py is open source and free for commercial use.

Ren'Py has been used to create over 1,500 visual novels, games, and other works. You can find them at the official Ren'Py Games List, and the list of Games made with Ren'Py on itch.io."
games  gaming  gamedesign  design  ren'py  visualnovels  if  interactivefiction  lifesimulation  software  mac  osx  linux  chromeos  chrome  android  ios  applications  windows  gamemaking  classideas  writing  multiliteracies  opensource  onlinetoolkit  storytelling 
september 2018 by robertogreco
Nicky Case: Seeing Whole Systems - The Long Now
"Nicky Case is an independent game developer who creates interactive games and simulations including Parable of the Polygons (02014), Coming Out Simulator (02014), We Become What We Behold (02016), To Build A Better Ballot (02016), and LOOPY (02017).



Nicky Case’s presentations are as ingenious, compelling, and graphically rich as the visualizing tools and games Nicky creates for understanding complex dynamic systems.

Case writes: “We need to see the non-linear feedback loops between culture, economics, and technology. Not only that, but we need to see how collective behavior emerges from individual minds and motives. We need new tools, theories, and visualizations to help people talk across disciplines.”

Nicky Case is the creator of Parable of the Polygons (02014), Coming Out Simulator (02014), We Become What We Behold (02016), To Build A Better Ballot (02016), and LOOPY (02017).



How to finesse complexity

HE BEGAN, “Hi, I’m Nicky Case, and I explain complex systems in a visual, tangible, and playful way.” He did exactly that with 207 brilliant slides and clear terminology. What system engineers call “negative feedback,” for example, Case calls “balancing loops.” They maintain a value. Likewise “positive feedback” he calls “reinforcing loops.” They increase a value

Using examples and stories such as the viciousness of the board game Monopoly and the miracle of self-organizing starlings, Case laid out the visual basics of finessing complex systems. A reinforcing loop is like a ball on the top of a hill, ready to accelerate downhill when set in motion. A balancing loop is like a ball in a valley, always returning to the bottom of the valley when perturbed.

Now consider how to deal with a situation where you have an “attractor” (a deep valley) that attracts a system toward failure:

[image]

The situation is precarious for the ball because it is near a hilltop that is a reinforcing loop. If the ball is nudged over the top, it will plummet to the bottom of the balancing-loop valley and be stuck there. It would take enormous effort raise the ball out of such an attractor—which might be financial collapse or civil war. Case’s solution is not to try to move the ball, MOVE THE HILLS—identify the balancing and reinforcing loops in the system and weaken or strengthen them as needed to reconfigure the whole system so that the desired condition becomes the dominant attractor.

Now add two more characteristics of the real world—dense networks and chaos (randomness). They make possible the phenomena of emergence (a whole that is different than the sum of its parts) and evolution. Evolution is made of selection (managed by reinforcing and balancing loops) plus variation (unleashed by dense networks and chaos). You cannot control evolution and should not try--that way lies totalitarianism. Our ever popular over-emphasis on selection can lead to paralyzed systems—top-down autocratic governments and frozen businesses. Case urges attention to variation, harnessing networks and chaos from the bottom up via connecting various people from various fields, experimenting with lots of solutions, and welcoming a certain amount of randomness and play. “Design for evolution,” Case says, “and the system will surprise you with solutions you never thought of.”

To do that, “Make chaos your friend.”

--Stewart Brand"
systems  systemsthinking  nickycase  2017  illustration  visualization  longnow  maps  mapping  stewartbrand  games  gaming  gamedesign  capitalism  socialism  monopoly  economics  technology  culture  precarity  chaos  networks  evolution  socialtrust  voting  design  complexity  abstraction  communication  jargon  unknown  loopiness  alinear  feedbackloops  interconnectedness  dataviz  predictions  interconnected  nonlinear  linearity  interconnectivity 
august 2017 by robertogreco
The Game Worlds We Make: Why designing a simple board game with my son rivals anything he’s learning in school
"You will have already noticed the echo here: You design a complex system based on a hypothesis about how all its component parts will interact, then you test the system to see if it corresponds to your hypothesis. When it invariably deviates from your initial predictions, you refine your model and build a new hypothesis. The actual content you are analyzing is, literally, child’s play: imaginary baseball players; virtual crops. But the form of the cognition is the scientific method.

I wish I could tell you that this story ends with a Charles Darrow-style runaway hit game. (Though even that triumph turned out to be fiction.) After a few cycles of revisions, I made up a bunch of cards on the computer and color-printed the whole thing out to glossy paper. That alone was a meaningful threshold for Dean: We’d graduated into the world of color illustrations and proper typefaces, and left behind our magic-marker sketches. We played it start-to-finish in its final draft form probably a dozen times. We investigated a few services that self-publish board games, but somehow once we had figured out the rules, the possibility of sharing (or even selling) the game seemed less intriguing. (Though it didn’t stop Dean’s brothers from demanding a percentage of future royalties, thanks to their work as unpaid “consultants” on the project.) Blossom never became a hit. But as a creative project shared by parent and child, it was pure magic.

The kind of blended thinking you have to do in creating a playable game — particularly one that models some kind of real-world equivalent — is, by my measure at least, every bit as rich as the more conventional classroom experiences, and much more fun. I’m hardly the first person to make this observation; game design has already made its way onto many curricula around the world, and there are wonderful institutions dedicated to exploring the pedagogical opportunities that games present."



"That, of course, is the beauty of game design as a learning experience. It doesn’t feel like learning. It feels like the other side of play: not play in the sense of escape, the breaking of boundaries, but play in the sense of figuring out the rules, and figuring out the way the rules aren’t quite working yet and dreaming up better ones. You don’t do that kind of thinking when you memorize state capitals, or read novels, or solve quadratic equations, or write expository essays, as important as all those enterprises are. It’s one of those rare skills that happens to play well at both tables of general and vocational education. You’re learning the scientific method when you conjure up a game, but you’re also learning product design. If we’re lucky, more of our schools will come around to the power of game creation as a pedagogical tool. But in the meantime, parents can make their own luck — dice or no dice. Designing a game teaches your kid how to think. And it reminds you how much there is to learn from playing."
stevenjohnson  2017  games  boardgames  gamedesign  children  parenting  classideas  systems  systemsthinking  play  scientificmethod  learning  howwelearn  modeling  education  schools  productdesign  criticalthinking  thinking 
january 2017 by robertogreco
11 video game trends that will change the future of the industry | Technology | The Guardian
"1. VR with friends rather than alone

2. Physically collaborative games

Virtual reality and its experimental tech contemporaries are exploring new ways to incorporate the body as more than just an anchor to the physical world. As Ghislaine Boddington, creative director of body>data>space, noted in her talk on virtual reality and the “internet of bodies”, the hope for the future is in recognising and augmenting physical bodies in games and play. She offers technologies like programmable gels used with the body in more intimate ways, such as rubbing “gels on to erogenous zones”, allowing partners to “connect together at a distance”.

Boddington also noted the future of physically collaborative and increasingly social spaces in AR, as seen in the very popular Pokémon Go: “Pokémon Go is definitely a collaborative share space. The Pokémon Go site, along with many others, allow the individual to join with the group into the middle, both in a physical and a virtual way.”

Implications of the physical are vast, as Robin Hunicke, co-founder and creative director of Funomena (Woorld, Luna) and previously of thatgamecompany (Journey), noted on the psychological impact of VR brought about by gestural controls, and recognising the capacity of range of movement from players. What does it mean for a player, psychologically, to encourage them to stand tall and strike a powerful pose? What might it mean to force them into a crouched position, to feel small? The necessity of an embodied experience in VR also brings up new questions, such as what the platform offers by way of accessibility.

3. The future of augmented reality

Pokémon Go came to the UK on the third and last day of the conference, and it felt like everyone in Brighton was catching Magikarp and Shellder and Seel and all the other water Pokémon the seaside town had to offer. Had this international hit been available a little earlier, the conference schedule would surely have contained a few more panels about augmented reality. Whether we can expect to see an AR-heavy Develop 2017 will depend on whether Pokémon Go represents the start of a new trend, or if it’s simply a one-off success carried by an already successful brand.

Ismail thinks the latter. When asked what he would do with Pokémon Go, he said that he would sell it, and that it hasn’t proven anything about AR itself. “We’re seeing a lot of discussion right now about whether AR just beat VR, and I think that would be a very wrong statement. Like, Pokémon beat VR, that’s for sure, but I guess Pokémon beat everything at the moment. Pokémon beat Tinder and Twitter, which is a big deal.”

Hunicke might not be looking to make the next Pokémon Go, but she’s still interested in the potential of augmented-reality games that “make the world more silly and joyful, and less logical”. One of Funomena’s upcoming games, Woorld, is described as “a hand-held Alternative Reality experience”, a “whimsical, exploratory application” that lets you place virtual objects against the backdrop of your physical environment. Created in collaboration with Google, with art from Keita Takahashi (Katamari Damacy, Noby Noby Boy), this colourful augmented-reality game and sandbox will be available on devices that include Google’s new AR-enabling platform Tango, like the upcoming Lenovo Phab2 Pro.

4. Incremental console updates …

5. The next step for mobile: TV …

6. Sayonara, Steam: the rise of specialised stores

The number of games on Steam is on the rise, and with it, the number of games that go unplayed or unnoticed. Nearly 37% of all registered Steam games go unplayed , and it’s no secret that many indie games – even good, critically acclaimed games – get lost amid a sea of other green lit games.

In light of this, smaller more specialised distribution services are becoming more important. Itch.io, an “indie game marketplace and DIY game jam host” is already hugely popular in the indie scene, offering pay-what-you-want and minimum-pricing models. Just last year, Itch’s co-founder Leaf Corcoran revealed in a blog post about the site’s finances that they had paid out $393,000 to developers. Since then, the platform has only grown and it’s likely that we’ll see more specialised distributors following Itch’s model.

7. The rise of indie studios …

8. Rejecting crunch

Crunch, ie mandatory (and often unpaid) overtime in the weeks or months leading to a game’s release, has long been an issue for this industry. More than a decade since Erin Hoffman wrote about her husband’s experiences of unpaid overtime when working for EA, in an originally anonymous blog post known at the time as “EA Spouse”, crunch is still commonplace in studios of all sizes, and people are still fighting it.

At this year’s Develop, Machine Studios (Maia) founder Simon Roth gave a talk called “Killing the Indie Crunch Myth: Shipping Games Alive”, which began tweet:
People who support crunch are going against 100+ years of data and science. They are the flat earthers of software development.

9. Design that puts feelings first

The design practice underlying Hunicke’s studio Funomena, and the focus of her keynote, is one she calls “feel engineering”. As Hunicke describes it: “Feel engineering is the process by which you create a game backwards from the feeling you want to create in a person forward towards the mechanics and the dynamics of the game itself.” She notes that while feel engineering isn’t easy, due to its time commitment, high cost, and level of emotional investment asked from development teams, it’s worth it. Hunicke speaks to the positive studio culture of feeling-focused engineering, and its contrast to the toxicity of crunch is evident. “The process of making it is so delightful,” she adds. “It’s so much better than anything I’ve ever done.”

We’ve already seen aspects of feel engineering in the mobile market, with games looking to reverse-engineer social situations people already find fun. Haslam outlines how the design of “co-operative shouting game” Spaceteam was inspired by the social experience of playing a board game with friends, an experience its lead designer Henry Smith already enjoyed.

10. Trying – and failing …

11. Feeling twitchy about YouTube and Twitch"
games  gaming  videogames  future  2016  vr  virtualreality  ar  augmentedreality  youtube  twitch  funomena  kickstarter  crowdfunding  indiegames  design  gamedesign  spaceteam  social  collaboration  braid  worldofgoo  steam  itch.io  mobile  phones  smartphones  pokemongo  keitatakahashi  robinhunicke  thatgamecompany  ghislaineboddington  body>data>space  bodies  play  physical  oculusrift  ramiismail  jordanericaebber  katbrewster  pokémongo  body 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Make Games - This is an excerpt from the Spelunky book, which...
[via: "Thinking about this but for learning:"
https://twitter.com/tealtan/status/754162176345210880
along with
http://tevisthompson.com/saving-zelda/
https://medium.com/@helvetica/full-thoughts-on-pokemon-go-from-my-interview-on-the-verge-178b97b1112b ]

"Indifference

I played games everywhere as a kid—on my parents’ PC and their Atari 2600, at the arcades, in the car with my Game Boy, and at friends’ houses where I was introduced to Chinese pirate multicarts and exotic game systems like the Neo Geo and TurboGrafx-16. But for me, that era still belongs to Nintendo. My uncle was the first in my family to get a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and I spent entire visits playing Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt. When I wasn’t playing, I’d read my new issue of Nintendo Power compulsively until the next month’s issue. No one in the 80s built worlds as magical and well-crafted as Nintendo did. And although many talented men and women deserve credit for that, the one who stands out among them all is the developer who I was most excited to see in the crowd at IGF 2007: Shigeru Miyamoto.

Miyamoto once said that his childhood exploration of the Kyoto countryside was the inspiration for creating The Legend of Zelda, a top-down action-adventure game set in the fictional land of Hyrule. Recalling the time he discovered a lake while hiking, he explained, “It was quite a surprise for me to stumble upon it. When I traveled around the country without a map, trying to find my way, stumbling on amazing things as I went, I realized how it felt to go on an adventure like this.“ It’s the perfect way to describe my experience with The Legend of Zelda as a child, when my dad and I spent many hours meticulously exploring and mapping Hyrule. As I moved from screen to screen, slaying monsters and prodding the environment for hidden secrets, he would mark them down on our map with colored pencils.

It felt like we were Lewis and Clark trekking across the American West. I’ll never forget the first time I entered a dungeon and watched the bright greens, browns, and yellows of the overworld give way to ominous blues and reds—the sound of Link’s footsteps on stairs heralding the eerie dungeon music that still echoes in every Nintendo kid’s ears. It seems strange now, but in The Legend of Zelda no one tells you where the first dungeon is located. It’s possible to wander into the farthest reaches of Hyrule before locating it, and when you find the entrance—a gaping black “mouth” beckoning you into a giant tree—you may not necessarily know what you have found.

In a 2003 interview with SuperPlay magazine, Miyamoto recalled the day the game was released: “I remember that we were very nervous since The Legend of Zelda was our first game that forced the players to think what they should do next.” This bold and risky design, based on the joy of discovery, had a huge impact on me as a game designer. In Spelunky, as in all of my games, I wanted to capture the same emotions I had on that first adventure.

Unfortunately, that feeling about Hyrule waned with each successive game. Even as the worlds grew more beautiful and vibrant, a feeling of disappointment clouded my initial wondrous experience. Part of it is that I grew up. Zelda is 30 years old now, and in that time I’ve played 30 years’ worth of games and released some of my own. But while it’s harder to surprise me now, it also doesn’t appear that the series is as interested in trying. If the original Zelda game was made only for children, I might chalk it up to my age, but revisiting it as a “Classic Series” Game Boy Advance reissue, I was amazed at how strange and wild it still felt compared to the later games, and to modern games in general. It was like returning to the wilderness after a long hiatus, trying to get back in touch with senses that had been steadily dulled.

In Tevis Thompson’s brilliant 2012 essay “Saving Zelda,” Thompson likened modern installments of the game to theme parks, saying, “Skyward Sword, with its segregated, recycled areas and puzzly overworld dungeons, is not an outlier; it is the culmination of years of reducing the world to a series of bottlenecks, to a kiddie theme park (this is not an exaggeration: Lanayru Desert has a roller-coaster).” Gone is the wild frontier that I explored with my dad and the Kyoto countryside that inspired the series, replaced by something that feels too linear, too elegant, too smooth, too… designed? Quests have been turned into fun house games with obvious goals and rewards. “Secrets” are outlined with bright, flashing signposts. A theme park is exactly what it feels like.

Is a theme park necessarily a bad thing, though? I also have great memories of going to Disneyland, Magic Mountain, and other amusement parks. But leaving the park after a full day of riding rides and eating cotton candy, I’m not eager to go back the next day or even the next week or month. The thrills are garish and over-the-top, but also obvious and safe. Compare a theme park to that Kyoto countryside—Miyamoto purportedly came across a cave during his explorations and hesitated for days before eventually going inside. Why did that cave feel so dangerous to him, even though there was likely nothing inside? Why did my wife and I feel the same trepidation as adults in Hawaii, when we ducked into a little path carved into a bamboo field off the side of the road?

Thompson continues:
Hyrule must become more indifferent to the player. It must aspire to ignore Link. Zelda has so far resisted the urge to lavish choice on the player and respond to his every whim, but it follows a similar spirit of indulgence in its loving details, its carefully crafted adventure that reeks of quality and just-for-you-ness. But a world is not for you. A world needs a substance, an independence, a sense that it doesn’t just disappear when you turn around (even if it kinda does). It needs architecture, not level design with themed wallpaper, and environments with their own ecosystems (which were doing just fine before you showed up). Every location can’t be plagued with false crises only you can solve, grist for the storymill.

It’s easy to mistake Thompson’s assertion that “Hyrule must become more indifferent to the player” for an assertion that game developers shouldn’t care about the player or shouldn’t guide the player toward their ultimate vision. What it means is that the guides must be a natural part of the world, and the world, like Miyamoto’s cave, must simply exist. If a world is independent and self-sufficient, so are its inhabitants. If every part of a world exists only for the player, both the world and the hero will feel artificial.

Nintendo wasn’t the only developer to lose sight of that cave in Kyoto. All game creators must control the player’s experience to a degree, and it’s easy to take it too far—this is particularly true of large studios with bigger budgets that they have to recoup from audiences that include many casual players. Designers often mistake intentionality for good game design: We think that a cave must have a treasure chest in it, and if there’s a treasure chest it must be guarded by a monster, and if there’s treasure in the cave, then the player must find it, and if the player must find it, then there has to be a map that leads the player to the cave. That feels like good design because we took the time to plan it out and in the end the player did what we expected. But it doesn’t guarantee that the player will feel like they’re on a true adventure, making genuine discoveries.

Creating Spelunky was the perfect project to help me think about what a true adventure meant to me. Working by myself on a small freeware game made it easier to focus on my personal vision instead of what other people wanted. Using Game Maker allowed me to focus on game design rather than technology. And then there was the randomization of the levels, which made it impossible to fully control the player’s experience. All I could do was create the building blocks of the world and set them in motion—what came out could be as surprising and indifferent to me as it was to the players."
derekyu  games  gaming  videogames  spelunky  zelda  edg  srg  learning  howwelearn  shigerumiyamoto  exploration  worlds  kyoto  caves  hyrule  zpd  design  gamedesign  maps  mapping  techgnology  autonomy  experience  amusementparks  themeparks  legendofzelda  nintendo 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Full Thoughts on Pokemon Go from my interview on The Verge — Medium
[via: "And the ideas of "intentional obtuseness" in Pokemon Go (and Snapchat):"
https://twitter.com/tealtan/status/754162625802534912
along with these:
http://makegames.tumblr.com/post/147367627844/this-is-an-excerpt-from-the-spelunky-book-which
http://tevisthompson.com/saving-zelda/ ]

"Andrew Webster over at The Verge interviewed Rami Ismail, Asher Vollmer, and I about Pokemon Go. It's a great piece and the thoughts from Asher and Rami are very good. You should read the piece.

Pokemon Go has been as divisive as it has been phenomenal, so I wanted to post up the full-text from the interview now that parts are up online.

--- Do you think it's a good game / does it do what it sets out to do successfully?

I think Pokemon Go is a great game.

To really understand why it's important to recognize that some games are made great by their mechanics, and some are made great by their communities. Since games really only exist when they are being played, it's very difficult (or maybe impossible) to meaningfully separate a community from a game itself. I think a lot about something my friend and fellow designer Doug Wilson (JS Joust, B.U.T.T.O.N.) told me once about how he designs games: Unlike most developers I know, Doug makes games not by designing intricate and mentally exciting systems, but by looking for interactions that are just physically or emotionally fun to do. I think recognizing this emotional/physical aspect to games is key to understanding much of what Pokemon Go has done brilliantly.

I've seen twitter folks and reviewers complaining about the experience being good but the game itself being bad, but i'm not sure it's entirely fair to pick it apart like that. "What the game is mechanically" or at least what it appears to be mechanically is a huge part of what's drawing so many people to play it, and the biggest, most magical part of playing Pokemon Go right now is that it's the first real-world sized, real world game. By which I mean, the game not only takes place in the real world, but it has enough players to fill it up.

--- Does it even matter if it's "good"?

I think what people are claiming as "bad" is actually a creeping component of modern viral game design — opaque UI. Theres no indication yet as to if the extremely awkward UI of Pokemon Go was intentional or not, but either way I think the aggressive obfuscation (and lacking tutorialization) of the deeper game mechanics is doing a lot to bring players in. Not only is it hiding the more complicated parts of the game from new players, but it enables a lot of discovery sharing amongst friends, kids and parents, websites and readers, etc. Beyond the confusing gym-battle UI you can see this practice stretches into many clearly intentional design decisions in the game: Battle-use items only show up around level 8, Great Balls at level 12, and the pokedex keeps expanding as you find higher and higher numbered Pokemon. These early-level omissions both simplify the game and add to the excitement of players discovering them. How many pokemon are even in this game? I have no idea, but I sure want to find out!

--- What do you think are the most important design aspects that led to it blowing up like this? (i.e. things other than it being Pokemon)

Obviously Pokemon being a gigantic brand is the single biggest thing contributing to the massive player explosion, but no brand is powerful enough to do something like this on it's own — it had to be paired with the perfect game.

Pokemon Go does a lot of things very right, and some of the easiest to spot pop up pretty quickly when you compare it to older team-based AR games like ConQwest or Niantic's own Ingress. Unlike those prior AR games, Pokemon Go is not initially (or necessarily ever) a competitive game. Additionally, like many of the most successful mobile games, you can grasp the entire initial ruleset from watching someone else play the game.

It seems obvious to say, but I believe one of the most substantial features of Pokemon Go is that just walking around catching Pokemon is fun, even if you do absolutely nothing else. And while it seems simple, there are a lot of clever mechanics supporting this small action. The hilariously jankey but stressful ball tossing minigame is just hard enough to make you feel proud when you catch a pokemon, but still incredibly accessible. The vaguely detective-like tracking interface gives you a good reason to rush outside if theres a new pokemon silhouette, while still making them just hard enough to find to encourage strangers on the street to offer unsolicited advice to other players. Even the AR component is used appropriately sparingly to drive home the collecting game. While the technology is still rough, it works just well enough to cement our belief that pokemon are actually in places, and drives the language that players use to communicate with each other ("Theres a squirtle on that corner!"). AR gives the more visible and obvious side-bennefit of social image sharing, but I think its most successful function in Pokemon Go is it's capacity to feed our imaginations. Despite being an AR game, Pokemon Go is still largely played in our imaginations, just like any other game, and being able to see a Pikachu on a street-corner just for a second fuels our fantasy worlds immensely.

--- As a designer what are the most interesting aspects of the game / phenomenon to you? LIke what are things you would like to pull from it for your own?

One of the most exciting things about the success of Pokemon Go is that it gives us a blueprint for what people want out of augmented reality. As far as I can tell, the biggest thing we want from it is social camaraderie — which, feels like it should be obvious, but clearly was not when you look at just how few prior AR games have been non-competitive. Less excitingly but just as obviously, AR game players want to see and interact with other players around them. While news outlets joke that Pokemon Go is a great excuse to go out into the real world and then ignore it, I'd argue that while Pokemon Go players are potentially less connected to the physical outdoors than non-players, they're more connected to the social fabric of society outside. I've interacted with more strangers in NYC in a few days of playing Pokemon than in the last decade I lived there. In aggressively fractured world of headphones and podcasts and socially-filtered news, it's really exciting to see a piece of tech that makes the social space feel vast and whole again.

Of course, there are developers and thinkers out there who are sad to see AR require such high-levels engagement to take off, lamenting that this kind of feat is only viable to global brands, and while that may be true, I think this kind of game coming out only makes it more accessible to indies. I'm certainly not saying that it is accessible to indies, but that this can only help. Not only does it introduce huge swaths of people to AR games, but it also shows us what we're up against if we want to make something like this, and the first thing that makes solving an impossible problem easier knowing exactly what the problem is."
vi:tealtan  pokemongo  2016  games  gaming  play  interface  ux  learning  howelearn  howweplay  videogames  andrewwebster  ramiismail  ashervollmer  zachgage  ar  design  ui  snapchat  srg  edg  gamedesign  zpd  howwelearn  exploration  pokémongo  augmentedreality 
july 2016 by robertogreco
The Infinite Arcade by Tinybop on the App Store
"Dream, design & play your own video games.

*** Children's Technology Review Editor's Choice ***
"Infinite Arcade makes it dead simple to make your own video games." — WIRED

Make platformer games, adventure games, pinball games, ball and paddle games, text puzzlers, and mazes. Make games with zombie mobs, hot lava, disco bricks, crystal geysers, trampoline tiles, oil slicks, wandering stars, and more!

Infinite Arcade is a video game construction kit. It’s the fourth app in Tinybop’s Digital Toys series which includes the iPad App of the Year, The Robot Factory.

MAKE YOUR OWN GAMES
Start quickly with a classic game to build on. Or invent your own! Create levels with terrain blocks, obstacles, hazards, enemies, and more. Make your game small or massive with lethal boundaries or magic passageways. Control gravity to make characters walk or float. You decide how many lives they get.

CREATE OR CHOOSE YOUR CHARACTER
Create your own ninja or ball. Pick character colors or add a photo and special effects. Or choose one of six unique characters or balls: Chompers, Jellyclops, Inky Brains, and more! Each has their own skills, strengths, and weaknesses. Be wise with your choices.

TELL STORIES
Add words and thought bubbles to tell a story. Post signs, clues, and secret messages to help your character out. Add all kinds of sound effects: laughs, boos, cheers, and farts! Write your own messages for the end of the game: Super bummer if you lose. You are the champion if you win!

PLAY YOUR OWN GAMES
Let the gaming begin! Can you play as well as you make? Now’s the time to see. Run on a travelator, jump over hot lava, swim through water, and find the victory portal. Attack zombies, evil snails, and electromagnetic cats. Collect all the gold coins and glittery skulls. Is your game too easy? Go back and make it harder. Set the high score record!

SAVE ALL YOUR GAMES
You have your own video game showroom. Stockpile all your games, give them names, pass them over to a friend to play.

FEATURES:
+ FREE gamer guide with tips and hints. Download The Infinite Arcade Technical Manual in your app or at tinybop.com.
+ Original artwork by Roza Gazarian and Holly Graham.
+ Original sound design.
+ Open-ended construction kit with no rules. Curiosity is rewarded.
+ Multi-user system: each child gets their own avatar and showroom to save their own creations.
+ Fun for all ages."
tinybop  applications  ios  games  gaming  gamedesign  videogames  children  storytelling  classideas 
april 2016 by robertogreco
LGR - Developing Firewatch's In-Game Photographs! - YouTube
"While playing the game Firewatch, you find a disposable 35mm camera. Take photos while playing and they can be developed and shipped to you for real!"
games  gaming  videogames  photography  2016  firewatch  edg  srg  virtual  digital  gamedesign 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Letters with John Sharp: Inter-generational conflict in games | Mattie Brice
"A while back, I went on an artist’s tour of the Pennsylvania Hotel as part of Elastic City’s annual festival. An artist had spent months visiting the hotel, walking its halls, learning the habits of the hotel’s staff and guests, and generally coming to really know the place. She then constructed a tour she took a group of a dozen of us on one evening. We explored empty ballrooms, corridors, listened to the silence of the halls, visited rooms, and generally came to have a really expressive understanding of a fairly mundane space. It was one of the more enriching art experiences I’ve had in some time.

As we walked through the hotel, I couldn’t help but think about videogames. What would it be like to make a game that provided a similar experience? I was struck by the emptiness of videogame spaces, and how that always just seems like how it should be. But when in similarly empty spaces in real life, they took on so much more meaning and important, and had so much more powerful impact on me than any 3D game ever has. One of the rooms we visited was an abandoned efficiency apartment that appeared to have been hastily abandoned, with most of the furniture removed. Random things remained, though—a small passport sized picture of a man, a calendar, newspapers, a lamp, paper clips. It immediately made me think of “object oriented storytelling,” and how hollow that feels when compared to a real space with real things, presumably left behind by someone.

All of which made me kind of sad about games, that they aren’t able to connect with me in the same way an artist’s tour of a hotel can."
games  gaming  videogames  exploration  johnsharp  mattiebrice  2015  play  gamedesign  indygames  objectorientedstorytelling  worldbuilding  space  experience  via:tealtan 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Gamasutra - Opinion: What can game devs learn from 19th century art?
"Video games are never far from my mind when I’m in an art gallery; as much as we (rightly) harp on how new and revolutionary this medium is, we can sometimes forget that in crucial ways, we have been here before and that the past can be a useful field-guide to the present.

The rage that met Caillebotte’s use of anonymous working and middle class subjects in his art is quite analogous to that which still greets games which make people of color, the poor, the mentally ill, into their protagonists.

Caillebotte’s use of classical technique--striving for naturalism--showed that there were new tricks in old methods; it made it impossible to argue that the “degradation” of art was merely the province of those moving away from naturalism. Similarly with video games, as much hatred as is poured on games that deliberately eschew high-graphical aesthetics--most especially text-based or text-heavy games--many new indie games nevertheless show that traditional graphical design can always be bent in new and insightful ways."



"Put another way, other video games would make the protagonist someone standing far beyond the windows that define the borders of Burnes’ world, a young man in the street with a gun, firing at the military dictatorship’s arms convoys. Sunset's perspective shift puts the focus elsewhere, telling a different story about life in wartime and how the small inputs of an otherwise disregarded person can make a difference all on their own.

It mirrors the shift from the heroic or idealized figures of earlier art to the subjectification of ordinary people in 19th Century art. In games we’re slowly, grudgingly moving from our own divinity figures--that of the grizzled (space) marine--to a variety of other, previously ignored characters."



"That attention to the quotidian is what gives Caillebotte’s Paris some character. It almost always begins from the Hausmannisation of the city; the rationalized urban plan of the mid 19th Century that gave Paris its now famous broad streets and boulevards, and made way for the railroads; straight lines, perspectives, modern materials and facades, traffic flows, all tell Paris’ tale.

What can game developers learn from this? The most lively representations of cities must begin from one defining feature that then undergirds everything else. Whether your game is set in a fictional city or a representation of a real one, look for what it is that gives the city its character. Not just landmarks, but the marrow of the city itself. For Caillebotte, what stood out to him about Paris was its modernized look and feel. The mathematical angles of Baron Hausmann’s boulevards and intersections tell their own story that also serves as a documentation of mid 19th century Paris.

Similarly, for Orgrimmar, the fact that this signature World of Warcraft city is hewn into a canyon is used again and again to provide attractive and distinctive vistas--a city of stone very different from, say, Stormwind’s marble (whose castle also sets the tone for the entire city). Consider also the Undercity as a Nightmare Before Christmas-style urbanscape that begins from a single theme: it’s located in a crypt. What if an anarchist squat were a whole neighborhood in Berlin? Shadowrun: Dragonfall has the answer.

One single theme can drive your portrayal of an entire city, spooling it out into a character in its own right.

A theme can be seen as the “key” in which your city is composed, which is essential for making a city a memorable component of a work of art, be it a video game or an oil painting. Crucially this means that even deliberately dreary or flat cities can still have character; just as Caillebotte made modern urban planning into a “character” so too can game devs make intentionally rationalized or dull places into living members of the game’s environment. It is all a matter of finding the guiding theme to emphasize and then iterating with it.

Just as Caillebotte’s work emphasized the use of vision--be it his own, his subjects’, or ours as the viewer--videogames do the same thing. We all see through the painter’s eye or the designer’s eye, out onto a world populated by stories; make them interesting ones."
katherinecross  videogames  games  gaming  gamedesign  cities  art  arthistory 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Intimacy and Digital Patina | Mattie Brice
"From embodiment and kink to luxury and tea, I see myself reaching for something solid to hold onto. I feel disconnected from digital art and environments, and resist how much conversation is centered around theorizing the digital. There’s more to play than video games, and a lot can be learned if we stretch beyond this genre and find more relationships in other places concerned with play. Admittedly, there is some distaste, bitterness, for the digital experience within me that I have to grapple with. I feel completely repelled, like a fugue lifted and I see a land of nightmares, and want nothing to do with it. But that would be unfair, and also throw away a lot of work that I’ve done with games. So I wanted to investigate what made me feel so distant from video games that attracted me to the looser, more intimate-feeling play currently grabbing my attention. I want to believe that there is more playfulness that video games has yet to focus on, something that can deepen our bonds to play and life. The tension then lies within the apparent immateriality of digital games, which are still subject to principles of object design yet rarely attain certain qualities of objecthood that we expect from physical experiences.

Video games feel distinctly like products, made for consumption but not necessarily use. It’s easy to enter a malaise of ennui, your Steam library having many games you’ll never touch and mobile games only one slight iteration away from the other. Digital game design is focused on an attention economy, how to grab you, keep you engrossed for as long as possible, and have you spend as much while they’ve got you. Because design is so focused on this kind of consumerism, video games enable cycles of disposability, where you buy something with the knowledge that you’re going to replace it with the next version soon after. This is ultimately unsustainable as we see with companies trying to shove life into harried sequels and remakes. You won’t get too attached because there will always be something similar fighting for your attention, and it is rare that something will be uniquely special to you. Typical game design acts as wedge between player and experience, trying to tap into your short-term worth at the expense of your long-term investment. Video games rarely make you care. You might get to know video games, but video games don’t really get to know you. They keep themselves on the screen and often don’t conjure intimacy with the physical interfaces between you and the experience. It knows you can just load up another game in the same manner that you accessed this one. Because what is being sold is some abstract immersion, a sort of mental drug trip, there is little legacy it can leave behind, having a profound effect through your use. Passing down games will soon go extinct between planned obsolescence and constant hype cycles for the new. Instead, we are left with empty, pandering nostalgia, sucking desperately at a straw and only getting the watered down remnants of a high long ago crashed.

This circles me back to the question of intimacy in games. There is an accepted fault of contemporary video games that intimacy, both in feeling and as a topic, are not its strengths. I doubt that it’s a weakness of the form, rather an outcome of canonized design practices. I have my own hunches for play in general, but digital games in particular prove tricky to find intimacy outside of a now quiet trend of autobiographical games. Is there a design concept out there that can reliably point someone towards crafting more intimate digital games?

My search lead me to digital patina, a technique in user interface design that builds on an apparently divisive skeuomorphic trend popularized by Apple. In short, digital patina creates artificial wear and tear to your digital products as you use them, particularly the ones that are already designed to resemble their physical analogues. So if your contacts app looked like an old-school address book, then there would be signs of usage around the tabs and pages you used the most. Despite handwringing over going into too deep of ideological territory, J. Houge notes “without patina, there is no history. Without history, there is very little attachment to the thing.” This evokes our typical relationship with objects, that it’s harder to part with an heirloom passed down in your family than with something you got at H&M. But this form of digital patina is still a couple steps away from design that helps solidify meaningful relationships, since this is purely about visuals. He cites something closer to what I’m thinking from Mark Boulton, who ties the analogy of digital patina to wok hey:

“In Chinese cooking, a wok is seasoned to make it non-stick. A well seasoned pan will go beyond simply making the pan non-stick. It will impart flavour to the food in what the Chinese call ‘wok hey’, or ‘breath of wok’. You see, to me, Patina is more than surface level sheen, or the aging of something. It’s the flavour. It’s an individual ‘taste’ that can only come from that thing. Not all woks are alike. This one is mine.”

For him, patina would be a practice in making a digital product uniquely the user’s, turning a mass-produced object into uniquely yours through personal use. Meaning, the experience that the product, or in our case, a game, can offer is changed by its unique circumstances. It imbues its idiosyncrasies in everything it touches that differs from person to person.

It’s tempting to assume that games with user-generated content or general sandbox types fulfill this idea. But that’s the topical application, the game itself is still the same and produces the same kind of experience. Though there is a strong player-evangelist edge in contemporary design philosophies, it stays within the digital ephemera, that a player will feel agency but not actually have agency. Agency isn’t really a good word for this, rather an effect, that a player can affect the actual design and use of a game as a part of the construction of the experience. The point isn’t to be able to do whatever you want in a game, rather that a game shapes itself around your natural motions and in turn reads as something idiosyncratic of you.

While it isn’t at the level that I’m thinking of, I see this happen with games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, particularly with the consequences of actions in one game transferring over to the next. The choices are still topical and don’t really change the game itself, but the way players often talk about the games taps into what I’m speaking to. Look through fan discussion of these games and you’ll see people say “my Shepherd,” indicating that the boilerplate main character has been ‘seasoned’ with their playthrough to amount to a unique character. Speaking from personal experience, there is an investment on having particular kinds of playthroughs, like your ‘fresh’ run that is a result of playing the game without knowledge of any of the choices, and a ‘true’ run that is a meticulously curated save file that has all the choices you feel represents the most interesting story and what you’ll use to base your headcanon. The save files become a part of a legacy that you want to carry with you and retain, and many people grow attached to these personalized kinds of games. I don’t think this exemplifies my argument, rather shows what we can start from in contemporary design to push beyond what we have now.

Games that evolve over time intrinsically have the potential to evoke their own wok hey, because the tiny choices build up over time that build up into unique structures that are hard to replicate. I think about games like Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing that focus on longer cycles of engagement, where you have different ways to save the farm and interact with the village, and while these things don’t quantitatively differentiate too much, the experience that we build up with it makes an emotional impression on, and of, us. In essence, this is trying to make digital games more life-like, things that grow with us than expecting to be cast aside, filling up the trash heaps of our lives. Maybe it’s just me, but I ache for these sorts of games to be iterated on again, to further entrench themselves in our lives. A lot of my fantasy video game projects are inspired by experiences like Harvest Moon and would turn out to be an imprint of your experience. Like playing through a game shows an aspect of yourself that isn’t easily visible without its particular focus.

What patina looks like in game design could still use some discussion. I do have some investment in it though, there’s something romantic about design made for you to personally express yourself through mundanity. The reason why contemporary games don’t really do this well is because all instances of change must be grand and explicitly telegraphed. Life isn’t like that though, we are slow buildups of tiny effects and motions, and it isn’t until we take time to reflect that we see we’re something different from the past. This would be a game trying to translate how you exist, how you affect the world by just being, what it is like for you to just touch something or think a thought. I think we crave those sorts of things, to see reflections of ourselves, to see that we do make a mark and matter. So far, video games mostly tap into sedative design, numbing us to the world so we can feel important or centered in some way. But instead, I think there’s design that can make us feel more alive through the mundane acts in our lives, to find how we move through the world its own kind of magic."

[See also: http://www.projectevolution.com/activity/challenge-digital-patina/
http://www.markboulton.co.uk/journal/digital-patina ]
mattiebrice  games  gaming  videogames  gamedesign  consumerism  capitalism  disposability  consumption  intimacy  jhouge  markboulton  patina  harvestmoon  animalcrossing  engagement  time  beausage  slow  digital  digitalpatina  degradation 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Matheson Marcault
"Matheson Marcault work with culture, history and physical space. We use game design to engage people with places and ideas. Our work fits in museums, in public squares, at arts festivals, and online.
Our work focuses on words, play, installations, and interactive history.

Follow us on twitter at @mathmarcault for more."



"Holly Gramazio [https://twitter.com/hollygramazio ] is a game designer with a particular interest in site-specific work and physicality. As Lead Game Designer at Hide&Seek she led on projects including The New Year Games, a street game for 12,000 players; Castle, Forest, Island, Sea, an online game for the Open University exploring philosophy and reason in a crumbling castle; and 99 Tiny Games, an installation of low-tech games across every borough of London.

Working independently she’s created installations like Games for Places, painting rulesets on sites across East Durham; How To Be A Blackbird, an online narrative about the life of a blackbird in the city, and Hotel Room, in which players simultaneously navigate a real-life hotel room and an interactive story about the room. She started designing games after completing a PhD in online fiction in 2008, and also curates game events, including the Sandpit, a regular playtesting night for experimental work that ran for five years.

Sophie Sampson [https://twitter.com/ultracobalt ] is a producer of games, playful interaction design, and digital prototyping, with a particular interest in work that spans the physical and digital worlds, and projects deeply rooted in history and archives.

Her work uses research and game-related thinking for cultural institutions and commercial clients. She has produced web and iOS projects for clients like Royal Botanic Gardens, Faber&Faber, BBC and Warner Bros, as well as making games around history and science including So Wrong It’s Right for the Wellcome Collection, House of Shadows for the V&A and Concubines with Exeter University.

She also writes on history, game design and culture, and has written video games and historical content for exhibitions, including Coney’s House of Cards at Kensington Palace."
hollygramazio  sophiesampson  games  gaming  play  culture  mathesonmarcault  place  gamedesign  museums  events  installations  words  interaction  interactiondesign  history  edg  srg 
august 2015 by robertogreco
The Galaxy-Sized Video Game - The New Yorker
[See the embedded video.]

"To build a triple-A game, hundreds of artists and programmers collaborate in tight coördination: nearly every pixel in Grand Theft Auto’s game space has been attentively worked out by hand. Murray realized early that the only way a small team could build a title of comparable impact was by using procedural generation, in which digital environments are created by equations that process strings of random numbers. The approach had been used in 1984, for a space game called Elite, which Murray played as a child. Mark Riedl, the director of Georgia Tech’s Entertainment Intelligence Lab, told me, “Back in those days, games had a lot of procedural generation, because memory on computers was very small; it was largely forgotten, but now it is being rediscovered.” (Minecraft, an expansive world that was designed by only one person, also uses the technique.) Games based on procedural generation often suffer from unrelenting sameness, marked by easily detectable algorithmic patterns (imagine a row of more or less identical trees, stretching to infinity), or from visual turmoil. But Murray hoped that if a middle ground could be achieved he could create graphically rich environments worthy of discovery—a fictional version of exploration that had a grain of reality to it.

Once Murray decided on the basic mathematical architecture of the game, he needed random numbers to feed into it. No computer can generate true randomness, but programmers use a variety of algorithms, and sometimes the physical limitations of the machine, to create approximations. “Computers can understand numbers only of a set size,” Murray told me. “When you are building a computer, you are literally saying, This is where a number gets stored, and this is how many digits can fit in that space.” For a game console, that space is sixty-four bits. When a player first turns on No Man’s Sky, a “seed” number—currently, the phone number of a programmer at Hello Games—is plugged into an equation, to generate long strings of numbers, and when the computer tries to store them in that sixty-four-bit space they become arbitrarily truncated. “What you are left with is a random number,” Murray said. The seed defines the over-all structure of the galaxy, and the random numbers spawned from it serve as digital markers for stars. The process is then repeated: each star’s number becomes a seed that defines its orbiting planets, and the planetary numbers are used as seeds to define the qualities of planetary terrain, atmosphere, and ecology. In this way, the system combines entropy and structure: if two players begin with the same seed and the same formulas, they will experience identical environments.

The design allows for extraordinary economy in computer processing: the terrain for eighteen quintillion unique planets flows out of only fourteen hundred lines of code. Because all the necessary visual information in the game is described by formulas, nothing needs to be rendered graphically until a player encounters it. Murray compared the process to a sine curve: one simple equation can define a limitless contour of hills and valleys—with every point on that contour generated independently of every other. “This is a lovely thing,” he said. “It means I don’t need to calculate anything before or after that point.” In the same way, the game continuously identifies a player’s location, and then renders only what is visible. Turn away from a mountain, an antelope, a star system, and it will vanish just as quickly as it appeared. “You can get philosophical about it,” Murray once said. “Does that planet exist before you visit it? Sort of not—until the maths create it.”

Initially, the system proved fantastically difficult to control. It was generating planetary terrain that was wild, alien-seeming, and also impossible to traverse. If Murray pushed the system in the other direction, the terrain became dull and repetitive. There were also specific natural features, such as rivers, that did not lend themselves easily to equations. To make a river in a conventional game, an artist creates a mountain, places a digital drop of water on it, and maps the water’s trajectory downward. “That is the correct way,” Murray told me. But the process involves laborious computation, and requires that the topography be known in advance. Because of No Man’s Sky’s algorithmic structure—with every pixel rendered on the fly—the topography would not be known until the moment of encounter. Theoretically, the game could quickly render a sample of the terrain before deciding that a particular pixel belonged to a river, but then it would also have to render a sample of the terrain surrounding that sample, and so on. “What would end up happening is what we call an intractable problem to which there is only a brute-force solution,” Murray said. “There’s no way to know without calculating everything.” After much trial and error, he devised a mathematical sleight of hand to resolve the problem. Otherwise, the computer would have become mired in building an entire world merely to determine the existence of a drop of water."
videogames  games  gaming  noman'ssky  raffikhatchadourian  seanmurray  gamedesign  proceduralgeneration  worldbuilding  2015 
july 2015 by robertogreco
A comprehensive history of low-poly art, Pt. 1 - Kill Screen - Videogame Arts & Culture.
[Part 2: http://killscreendaily.com/articles/poly-generational-2/
Part 3: http://killscreendaily.com/articles/low-poly-3/ ]

[See also: “Is low-polygon art the next pixel art?”
http://killscreendaily.com/articles/low-polygon-art-doesnt-have-look-awful/

"Pixel art has been having a renaissance for the past few years. Its less popular cousin, low-polygon art, is still finding a niche; these designs by Tim Reynolds have me convinced that it's a form worth pursuing."]
low-polyart  polygons  3d  art  illustration  edg  timschneider  2014  games  videogames  gaming  gamedesign  low-polygonart  low-polygon 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Hackaball - A computer you can throw by Hackaball — Kickstarter
"Hackaball is a smart and responsive ball that children can program to invent and play games."

"Hackaball is a smart and responsive ball that children can program using an iPad app to invent and play games.

It's for kids aged 6 to 10 but we’ve seen younger children have fun with Hackaball with a little help from their siblings or parents.

How does it work?

The computer inside Hackaball has sensors that detect motions like being dropped, bounced, kicked, shaken or being perfectly still. Children hack the ball with an iPad app which allows them to go in and change the behaviour of Hackaball to do what they want.

The paired iPad app comes pre-loaded with several games that can be sent to Hackaball to get kids started. Once they've mastered these initial games, kids can create brand new ones using a simple building block interface, experimenting with Hackaball's sounds, LED lighting effects and rumble patterns. You can install the app on as many iPads as you like, it's free! "
hackaball  balls  2015  ios  ipad  play  games  gaming  outdoors  toys  classideas  gamedesign 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Therefore promises "interactive philosophy," dreamy pixel art - Kill Screen - Videogame Arts & Culture.
"What's initially so captivating about Therefore is how the music and art style blends together. Composer Sergio Cuesta’s incidental piano score plays with atonality in a way that's reminiscent of the impressionist compositions of Claude Debussy, or Erik Satie: simple and pretty, but slightly haunting. It's a dynamic that plays into the game's serene, meditative mood, even when surrounded by austere environments and muted colors.

A PUZZLE GAME THAT'S EERILY EVOCATIVE

In Therefore, you guide a character called The Wanderer through a land called The First Realm as you try to uncover the forces undermining your continued existence. The game supposedly operates on a fixed countdown, so you'll need to use a mechanic called The Memento Mori to reset time while exploring and trying to solve puzzles. Therefore will also include some form of item crafting, though it's not clear at this point how that part of the game meshes with the rest.

In fact, just about everything developer Trim Tangle has to say about the game is at once both intriguing and cryptic. Therefore is apparently "a pixel experience," focused on "interactive philosophy" that takes place within the more familiar confines of a sandbox videogame.

[trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpUF2KPKwSU ]

Perhaps most mysterious of all, the Indiegogo campaign claims that, for anyone who can navigate the games esoteric presentation and coded meanings, "Therefore will send a message to those ready to hear it." However, underneath this veil of inscrutability there looks to be a puzzle game that's eerily evocative."
therefore  videogames  mementomori  puzzles  edg  srg  sound  audio  claudedebussy  eriksatie  sergiocuesta  2015  trimtangle  music  design  gamedesign  games  gaming  tiume  memory 
march 2015 by robertogreco
80 Days at GDC (with images, tweets) · laurajnash · Storify
"Recaps and Livetweets of Meg Jayanth's (@betterthemask) presentation."

Taking Risks

"On #80Days, @betterthemask: "my job was to tempt players into making bad choices." Oh, and also writing those 500,000 words ;)

.@betterthemask: "our goal was to teach players that making a bad strategic decision can lead to a better story" omg I'm in love

.@betterthemask talking about tricking players into making foolish decisions "because it's more fun winning by the skin of your teeth"

"It's the near-misses, the catastrophes, the daring escapes that players remember." This 100%. via @betterthemask http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/237810/Narrative_and_design_insights_from_80_Days_writing_lead

The Dark Stuff

.@betterthemask: Don't avoid sensitive topics, but do think ethically and politically about what you're saying. #GDC2015

.@betterthemask: Slave-catching expedition is not a mechanics punishment. It's a narrative consequence for a narrative decision. #GDC2015

.@betterthemask: 80 Days deliberately deconstructs the classism, racism, and sexism of Verne's novel and steampunk in general. #GDC2015

Playing the Sidekick

.@betterthemask: The world of 80 Days turns, but it doesn't turn around you. Not being the most important person is liberating. #GDC2015

I liked the idea of the world not revolving around the main characters in the 80 days talk #GDC

Props to @betterthemask for that - playing as a minor hero was a refreshing bit of humility from the god complex of too many games n gamers.

Romance

.@betterthemask: Romances in 80 Days are important to players, but those narratives are unpredictable. Can't game the romance. #GDC2015

#gdc .@betterthemask on the value of romances that aren't skill checked and cannot be gamed

Behind-the-Scenes

I love @betterthemask’s description of approaching 80 Days as “a machine for telling stories”.

It's about READING #gosh #gasp @betterthemask

"Talking about mechanics and narrative as oppositional completely misses the point."
#80Days
- @betterthemask

@betterthemask, wonderful talk about building a strong narrative foundation while embracing constraints and collaboration. #GDC2015

On getting lost in research - 80-90% of the research @betterthemask did never made it into the game; rabbit-holes not avoided on 80 Days.

.@betterthemask: In games, you have to create your own editing process. Find a first reader & redraft. Protect redrafting time. #GDC2015

Writers: think ethically about your game writing, what you leave out is as critical as what you put in. seek criticism- @betterthemask

.@betterthemask: Hire writers early and involve them in the process! (I couldn't agree more.) Use each other's strengths. #GDC2015

.@betterthemask: Make efficient design choices; figure out how to be as lazy as possible. It's a necessity. #GDC2015

Things I didn't know about 80 Days:

.@betterthemask: 80 Days has more text than the LOTR trilogy (but not as much as the first five ASOIAF books). :) #GDC2015

.@betterthemask: Europe is all introductory. Asia adds complexity. Americas ramps up the tension. #GDC2015

So it turns out you can die tragically in @betterthemask's 80 days. Kinda stunned here http://www.inklestudios.com/80days/journeys/?id=7qwvUJqmv4&playerName=@john_brindle

Recaps

Narrative and design insights from 80 Days' writing lead
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/237810/Narrative_and_design_insights_from_80_Days_writing_lead.php

ICYMI @_shortgame on 80 Days, we pile on praise, mock “evocative”, fail at French and hype camels, drag, romance… http://www.theshortgame.net/36-80-days/ "
via:robinsloan  80days  games  gamedesign  videogames  gamedev  gaming  storytelling  writing  megjayanth  edg  srg  research  process  howwework  reading  howweread  text  interactivefiction  collaboration  constraints  tension  complexity  gamedevelopment  if 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Idle Thumbs > Shows > Designer Notes
"Why do we make games? Every designer has a different and very personal answer to that question. Soren Johnson, founder of Mohawk Games, sits down with noted designers to find out by examining their careers as a whole."

[via: https://twitter.com/irondavy/status/572048943321755648 ]
edg  games  gamedesign  gaming  sorenjohnson  mohawkgames  interviews  henrikfahraeus  robpardo  franklantz  videogames  tolisten 
march 2015 by robertogreco
A Dark Room on the App Store on iTunes
[via: http://interconnected.org/home/2014/12/14/filtered

"I've been totally immersed this weekend in the iPhone game A Dark Room -- minimalist, just text and tapping, and what a picture it paints.

Don't read any reviews, just play it with no preconceptions. Absolutely top fucking notch, best game I've played all year.

Once you have played, here's the development blog. http://amirrajan.net/a-dark-room/ " ]
games  ios  iphone  ipad  amiralirajan  gaming  edg  srg  gamedevelopment  gamedesign  applications  ios7  videogames 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Want To Learn About Game Design? Go To Ikea - ReadWrite
"The path is constantly curving to keep you enticed."

[also posted at: http://killscreendaily.com/articles/game-design-ikea/
video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKCDJ89ODyM ]

"IKEA’s reach extends beyond simple economic heft. In Lauren Collins’ epic 2011 New Yorker profile of the company, she casts the IKEA vision as something that extends beyond pure commerce. “The invisible designer of domestic life, it not only reflects but also molds, in its ubiquity, our routines and our attitudes.” Our IKEA, ourselves, as it were.

But to become that successful requires a unique understanding of the consumer mindset and there are certainly many explanations for why this might be. I wanted to introduce something else. Intentionally or not, IKEA embodies some of the best values of good games. I’m not saying that IKEA is a game, per se, but it exhibits many game-like characteristics.

So how?

DESIGNING A GOOD MAZE …

BUILD A STORY WORLD THROUGH DETAILS …

"Because Ikea's founder is dyslexic, the company built a whole taxonomy for products to help him remember. Furniture is Swedish place names, chairs are men’s names, and children’s items are mammals and birds. (Lars Petrus’ Ikea dictionary reads like a key to reading Ulysses in this respect.)

The act of naming an object is an incredibly powerful key to immersion that games use all the time. Think about the names of the drones in BioShock or inventory descriptions in Dark Souls. Each of these games uses unique in-game language to build a convincing story world and keep you there.

For Ikea, they want you to identify with a place, in this case the Swedish concept of “folkhemmet,” a social democratic term coined by the Social Democratic Party leader Per Albin Hansson in 1928, that means “the people’s home.” And this identity is bolstered through numerous elements that want to capture a full-bodied Swedish identity, despite the global presence of the store. The colors are the Swedish national flag; the store sells traditional Swedish foods; the children’s play room is called Smaland as a nod to the founder’s hometown and so on.

As Ursula Lindqvist, an associate professor of Scandinavian studies at Adolphus Gustavus, writes, “The Ikea store is a space of acculturation, a living archive in which values and traits identified as distinctively Swedish are communicated to consumers worldwide through its Nordic-identified product lines, organized walking routes, and nationalistic narrative.”

But the language plays the largest part Ikea builds their retail universe, the same way that Borderlands doesn’t just call a pistol a pistol. It’s a Lacerator or The Dove or the Chiquito Amigo or Athena’s Wisdom. Ikea doesn't just sell you a coffee table; it sells you a Lack or a Lillbron or a Lovbaken.

As writers Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn said of their Significant Objects project, “It turns out that once you start increasing the emotional energy of inanimate objects, an unpredictable chain reaction is set off.""

ALLOW SHOPPERS TO CREATE THEIR OWN MEANING …

THE VALUE IS THAT YOU HAVE TO DO IT YOURSELF …

"But the value is that you have to do it yourself, which makes it more meaningful. Researchers found this is at the heart of “the Ikea effect” which suggests that people will value mass-produced items as much as artisan wares … if only they build them piece by frustrating piece. In their 2012 paper, “The Ikea Effect: When Labor Leads to Love,” Michael Norton and his team explain that the reason people love Ikea is a form of “effort justification.” You’ve put so much time into building Lack shelves that it has to be valuable."

DEVELOP UNIVERSAL EXPERIENCES

This is something we take for granted in games, but think about if you couldn’t play Tetris if you didn’t speak Russian or Super Mario Galaxy if you didn’t speak Japanese. Games are their own language and can be played by anyone, regardless of the nationality, location or background.

IKEA has a similar idea about decorating your home. They call it “democratic design.” As founder Ingvar Kamprad wrote, “Why do the most famous designers always fail to reach the majority of people with their ideas?” So IKEA tries to takes its designs to everyone in the world and designs products that ostensibly could fit in any living room from Shanghai to Berlin or Los Angeles.

This has obviously been a source of critique. Bill Moggridge, the director of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, in New York, calls IKEA’s aesthetic “global functional minimalism.” He says “it’s modernist, and it’s very neutral in order to avoid local preferences.” IKEA flattens the experience of every home by selling the same furniture which, of course, benefits the company but also benefits the mission of the paradoxical non-profit that technically owns IKEA and is somehow dedicated to furthering the advancement of architecture and interior design.

Regardless, that impulse for world domination has a pleasant by-product in that creates a common design language for people around the world. It’s the same type of experience that Jenova Chen wanted to make in Journey. Chen argued to me that the language we use is a facade and that games like Journey can be played by anyone. One could argue is the same desire to explains the lack of words on IKEA’s instructions."
ikea  gamedesign  2014  games  gaming  jaminwarren  jenovachen  journey  design  videogames  effortjustification  dyslexia  names  naming  flow  objects  economics  effort  language  constructivism  construction  mastery  difficulty  ingvarkamprad  culture  acculturation  robwalker  joshuaglenn  billmoggridge  homoludens  significantobjects  ursulalindqvist  adolphusgustavus  universality  global  meaningmaking  michaelnorton 
december 2014 by robertogreco
EA2014 05 Paolo Pedercini on Vimeo
"While mainstream videogames keep striving for a cinematic feel and photographic realism, a new wave of independent games are developing an autonomous, medium-specific language for interactive storytelling. Paolo will present some Molleindustria projects such as Unmanned, a story game about a day in the life of a drone pilot, and discuss the contaminations between animation and gaming focusing on low budget, DIY productions."
paolopedercini  2014  games  gaming  videogames  gamedesign  storytelling  molleindustria  towatch 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Whyfinding: what pervasive gaming has taught me about 3D videogame design | Christy's Corner of the Universe
"The thing I came back to was my experience with pervasive games. Those games set in the actual world — on websites, social media, newspaper, in your street. Is my frustration because I’m corrupted by my background designing and playing pervasive games? In pervasive games I could actually pick up a bow. I could actually be crawling through the cave. Is the problem that I want the seamlessness of mission play and can’t get it in some 3D games? So I played with that idea. What is the difference in how the missions would be designed and experienced in a pervasive game versus a 3D digital game?"



"Looking for Internally-Motivated Navigation

I looked at works that seem to be about this internally-driven navigation of space: Michel de Certeau’s ‘Walking in the City’ in The Practice of Everyday Life [PDF], Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space [PDF]; Walter Benjamin’s The Arcade Project [PDF], John Stilgoe’s Outside Lies Magic, and Rebecca Solnit’s Wanderlust: A History of Walking. I jumped from flâneurs to the larp movement to (with the help of Johanna MacDonald) Laban drives (link, link) — all in the hope of finding design techniques relating to internal motivation. I remembered my theatre experiences and thought maybe that relates to my type of play.

These works are all about internally-driven movement, but specifically about a free-movement, where you walk (or run) where you please and with a particular way of seeing. This is related, but doesn’t explain exactly what I’m talking about. A common thread in these works, however, is that it is about being present in the moment…in the world…in the streets. I look around to the rise of digital exploration games, and see a similar trend. Indeed, I don’t think the growing attraction to open world games, experiential games, and thin play is  coincidental. These are parallel phenomena that speak of an urge for a different kind of experience: one of being present in the (digital) world. But these types of experiences are often couched in phrases such as agency or choice that an open world games affords, such as the “exploring freedom in World of Warcraft.

There are many reasons for the attraction to these types of experiences (both as designers and players), including having an alternative to the magical dad stories of first-person shooters, and the reflection a “walking simulator” affords. Indeed, there are more and more of these sorts of games, or “first person exploration games, ” “first person adventure,” “story exploration games,” “a game of audio-visual exploration,” “non-combative exploration games,” or “not games,” or whatever. There are well known ones such as Gone Home, Dear Esther, Proteus, Bientôt l’Été, as well as ones more recent or in development such as Ether One, Dream, Sunset, Firewatch, Virginia, and HomeMake, and Hohokum.

I believe that one of the attracting factors of these games is the desire for intrinsically-motivated movement. (This trait, however, certainly isn’t shared by all of the community-created “walking simulator” tags on Steam.)

It isn’t as if exploration is ignored in conventional videogame and theme park design though. For instance, Scott Rogers talks about enabling exploration by creating subpaths or alternate paths that people discover that get them to the main attractions. But this way of navigating space is different. It isn’t just about exploring space either. Most of the internally-driven movement I found though, was about exploring or viewing space differently. There is something else. Then I found it.”
videogames  situationist  worldofwarcraft  digital  sandboxgames  freedom  exploration  flaneur  derive  2014  johnstilgoe  larp  larping  gastonbachelard  micheldecerteau  walterbenjamin  rebeccasolnit  wandering  whyfinding  pervasivegames  gaming  games  play  maps  mapping  landscapes  landscape  gamedesign  motivation  visualattention  attention  christydena  experience  dérive 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Make Weird Stuff in Unity Tutorial
"How to make cool stuff in Unity Tutorial 1: The Basics"
unity  games  gaming  gamedesign  howto  tutorial  edg  bronsonzgeb  gplackey 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Making Games in a Fucked Up World – G4C 2014 | Molleindustria
"And yet here we are now, academia, disruptors from the education industry, DARPA creeps, venture philantrophists, noprofit bureocrats, technocrats, game fundamentalists…

We are working for all kinds of change. Therefore we cannot really talk about change.

We use euphemisms like social good, values, and other progressive terms that don’t offend or scare anyone (especially funders and sponsors).
But we can only really talk about games. It’s the only common denominator.

We are discussing games as general purpose instruments.
And in doing so we are putting the means ahead of the ends.

Here’s my first proposition:

If we can't talk about the change we want to see, we can't choose our tools according to tactical considerations and strategic goals.

The Nazis embraced radio because, in Germany, at that point in time it was an extremely centralized infrastructure. Perfectly consistent with the kind of change they wanted to create.

The discourse around serious and transformative games has been stuck in a sort of delusional loop for several years now.

Of course at this point we established that games can be expressive and representational media. They aren’t mere vectors for messages to be dumped into players’ brain.

They are objects we can think with – like moving images, or texts.

They are interfaces between people.
They are conversations that can happen via body language and verbal language, through the clash of conflicting desires, through the dance between chance and skill, through computation and storytelling…

Even single player games are conversations.
I often say that single player computer games are a type of multiplayer games. The designers can be seen as players as well. They are an extreme form of asynchronous, asymmetrical game if you will.
You play with the authors.

Games are multitude.

BUT for serious and transformative games this is not enough.
It’s not enough to be just a cultural form among the others.
Serious games want to transcend this symbolic and relational dimension and be the very embodiment of *actual* change.

This is the delusional loop I’m talking about.

One of the starting points of this narrative was this talk from 2007:
Making a new kind of serious game: Games that are designed as functions with an end result that is a measurable difference in the present state of reality.
— Jane McGonigal Erasing the Delta – Games that Accomplish a Specific Task, Games Developer Conference 2007

The delta is the gap between representation and actual change.
And here the keyword is measurement.

The presumption is that social change can be measured in the same way you can measure the calories burned by playing an exercise game.

This obsession with quantification pervades contemporary society.

It’s the basis of the gamification ideology.
And the basis of contemporary capitalism. Late capitalism is less about producing and selling stuff and more about reifying the immaterial sphere (culture, language, relationships, ambitions).

If you can measure something, you can rationalize it, you can optimize it, you can sell it.

If you are in the no profit industrial complex you can get more funding if you demonstrate a measurable impact.

Except the measurement of complex social phenomena is always reductionist and problematic.

We use the Gross Domestic Product to measure the success of a nation disregarding many other indicators.

By using standardized tests to assess the quality of learning we turned our schools into bootcamps for standardized tests.

Here’s another simple proposition:

If you can measure it then that’s not the change I want to see.

It’s a provocation of course, I’m fine with games accomplishing very specific tasks.

The problem is that by focusing on measurable goals we narrow our action.
We favor individual change, versus systemic and long term change.
We target burning calories without addressing food politics and food justice.
We try to impose prepackaged behavior protocols rather than facilitating critical thought.

And I’ll go even further:

If your game or technology really works (in this direct and reductionist way) it freaks me out.

If you actually figure out methods to control people’s behavior.
You can bet they will be adopted by governments and advertisers in no time.
You are working for them."



"But one thing I can tell for sure: the act of making games about social issues, has always been a profound transformative experience for me.

I came to the conclusion that there is a greater liberation potential in designing games rather than playing games.

I argue that next step of games for impact doesn’t lie in some technological advancement but rather, in helping people to engage with the practice of game design.

Game design, especially when socially engaged, involves a lot of research and synthesis. What are the actors and the forces governing this system?
What are the internal relationships?
What are the limits of the player’s agency?
This conceptual (and not just technical) tools is what we practitioners can share.

Designing game has a couple of terrific extra outcomes:

First: by designing games you acquire the tools to demystify all games. To play critically.

Second: by democratizing game design you don’t have to look for big funders.

Games are expensive to make but also not. I’ve never spent more than 100 dollars on my games.

There are plenty of digital tools. And non professionals have been making and adapting games (even games for change) since forever.
As Zach Gage said yesterday, every child is a game designer.

Third: by just facilitating the creation of games you don’t incur into typical fallacies of the white savior industrial complex. Like the mis-representation and objectification of others.

This makes me think about another keyword in this industry: empathy.
If you want to convince privileged people to donate you have to make them feel bad.

But empathy is almost inevitably patronizing, it presumes helpless subject who can’t speak for themselves. And privileged subjects i.e. “us” that are somehow separated from them.

Pppression is fractal.

Most of us (the 99% of us), are both oppressed and part of a system of oppression.

Anyway, here’s my last proposition:

WORK TO MAKE YOURSELF OBSOLETE

Which is probably a terrible idea if you want to be a professional in the social change industry.

I want to conclude by mentioning an initiative I’ve been helping to coordinate in the last two years.
It’s not a solution but a small contribution and a possible alternative model. It’s a series of workshops called Imagining better futures through play."
videogames  games  gaming  gamification  systemsthinking  longterm  systems  behavior  2014  paolopedercini  control  measurement  systemicchange  advertising  centralization  change  changemaking  seriousgames  gamedesign  design  quantification  capitalism  gdp  janemcgonigal  zachgage  classideas  children  making  empathy  paulofreire  oppression  saviorcomplex  privilege  edg  srg 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Custom Game Cards
"Specifications:
Type: Poker sized blank cards
Number of cards per deck: from 18 up to 234
Customization: Each card can be customized individually both front and back as required.
Dimensions: 63mm x 88mm, 2.5" x 3.5"
Material options: [cardstock details]
270gsm promotional quality card stock with blue core
300gsm premium quality card stock with blue core (smooth finish)
310gsm French casino quality card stock with black core (linen finish)
13pt 100% white plastic (0.325mm)
Packaging options (per deck):
Cellowrap (default for deck sizes of above 54 cards)
White plain tuck box (add US$ 0.10 per deck)
White window tuck box (add US$ 0.10 per deck)
Clear plastic case (add US$ 0.30 per deck)
Tin box (add US$ 0.90 per deck)
Custom-printed tuck box (add as low as US$ 0.60 per deck)
Uncut sheet - your cards are not cut individually. Taken straight off the press. 54 cards per sheet (add US$ 9 per deck design)
Delivery packaging: card deck individually shrink-wrapped, boxes shrink-wrapped, uncut sheets rolled up
No minimum order required. Buy 1 deck for $12.00"
cards  games  gamedesign  boardgames  printing  via:bopuc 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Gamasutra - Robin Hunicke's idealistic, silly, wonderful view of video games
""Who is our player?; Why do they care about this experience?; Why would a kid say to their parent, 'Hey, come and play this with me'?; Why would a girl turn to her boyfriend and say, 'Oh my gosh, we have to play this game together!'?" she asks.

These are the questions that Hunicke is asking as she and her team try to figure out how video games impact peoples' lives. They're difficult questions that almost always lead to other, more difficult questions. Possible answers are vetted and proven out through the rigorous playtesting and player analysis that she practices. The whole process is sort of a retro-engineering of emotional output in order to arrive at the game mechanics that can spark these emotions and inclinations.

Designing for empathy

Talking about designing for emotional impact also means understanding (or at least asking questions about) empathy. For Hunicke, she says designing for empathy may start here: "If you wanted to make a game that increased empathy on the planet, you'd ask yourself, 'Why do people not pay attention to one another? Why don't we care about one another?'"

This is an interesting angle. The obvious question, if you're creating something intended to bring people together, is to find out why people connect, and how. But asking why people disconnect from one another, in a world more connected than ever, can yield more interesting results.

It's a question that Jenova Chen, designer at thatgamecompany and Hunicke's former coworker, spent a lot of time pondering, she says.

"What is it that distracts us from one another?" she asks. You don't have to look that far to see that we spend a lot of time looking at our phones, we spend a lot of time worrying about the Likes on our Facebook feeds and who retweeted our Tweets. There are a lot of what we call "2D friends," says Hunicke. And often even when we're surrounded by "3D people," we instead opt to "connect" with the 2D people. (Just look at how many people are glued to their smartphones next time you go out to a supposed social venue, like a bar.)

"That's the trial of our times -- getting away from the immediate feedback of the 2D world that is inside of a device," says Hunicke.

Our culture is one that prides itself on the immediacy of everything, from hamburgers to information. That expectation and hunger for feedback right now causes challenges for game designers who want to encourage players to slow down, think, and feel emotions that are deeper -- or at least different -- than quick adrenaline shots.

"We've talked about this recently, and in my career in general this has come up a lot on the games I've worked on -- the 'gamey-ness' of a game versus the 'feedback' of a game," says Hunicke. "[We talk about] 'juicy' feedback -- the feeling the world is responding you to a beautiful way. … That's more immersive."

She categorizes atmostpheric games like Ed Key and David Kanaga's Proteus and Current Circus' Muse as games that give "juicy" feedback. "I really love that kind of a concept, where you feel like what you do matters, without having to earn points or hearts or that kind of stuff.""
games  gaming  gamedesign  gamedev  robinhunicke  funomena  play  empathy  slow  attention  relationships  videogames 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Resources to teach strategy game design - Home
"I have chosen to share these resources that I have developed over the last four or five years, rather than publish them in some stagnant lesson plan book, in the hopes that others can and will use them.

I've always loved board games, and I started looking into finding additional strategy games for my classroom than Risk, Stratego, Mastermind, and such. Those are good games, of course, but once I started really looking into specialty strategy games, I came across terms like designer games and euro games, I realized that there is a whole amazing world of board games out there that I had no idea existed! I started to really get into board gaming as a personal hobby. I joined a local board game Meetup group in St. Louis, MO, a place not as violent as one might be led to believe, and got to know many amazing gamers and designers(!) who lived in my midst. I began to think about how my gifted students, who devoured any new game I brought into my classroom (currently 200ish), were so creative and analytical and clever and loved fun and weren't those key abilities of a good game designer? So, quite fumblingly (that's probably a word) at first, I began teaching kids to design board games. I've improved and refined my methods, and now I'm happy to share them with others who are interested in doing the same. I don't think they are perfect, which is why the book idea stalled for so long, because I am a perfectionist and couldn't stomach the idea of putting out less than really amazing stuff. But with others using them and providing input (see below), I think we can help students learn how to develop a substantial, meaningful, complete game. In the process, students must problem solve, communicate, demonstrate independence and collaborate, listen to others and respond to feedback, improve upon their ideas, and so much more. Yes, they create a board game, but tell me how those skills aren't the skills we need to nurture for these students to survive in the 21st century. BOOM.

My only request is this: If you use any of these materials, please share with me what you used and how you used it. If you share back with me any changes that you've made, that would amazing and I'll post them too. The only thing you can't do is take these materials and publish them yourself. So not cool. Technology is a great liberator, and in this era of online collaborating and crowd sourcing, I want to provide to teachers, who may not have access to challenging materials for gifted middle and high school students, all my stuff for free. Any one can use it, really. Home schoolers, hobbyists, video game designers (the process is similar, just different outputs)...just give credit where credit is due. You don't want to make Ragnor up there angry.

One last thing, if any student (or teacher, or random other person finding and using this information for their own purposes) publishes a game, let me know, and put me in the credits. I get to have a little bit of an ego, after all."
kathleenmercury  gamedesign  games  curriculum  via:jenksbyjenks  classideas  teaching  education  projectideas  srg  edg  glvo 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Videogames and the Spirit of Capitalism | Molleindustria
"We are only learning to speak of immeasurable qualities through videogames. It’s a slow and collective process of hacking accounting machines into expressive machines. Computer games need to learn from their non-digital counterparts to be loose interfaces between people. A new game aesthetic has to be explored: one that revels in problem-making over problem-solving, that celebrates paradoxes and ruptures, that doesn’t eschew broken and dysfunctional systems because the broken and dysfunctional systems governing our lives need to be unpacked and not idealized.

Strategies are to be discovered: poetic wrenches have to be thrown in the works; gears and valves have to grow hair, start pulsing and breathing; algorithms must learn to tell stories and scream in pain."

[direct link to video: https://vimeo.com/86738382 ]
videogames  gaming  paolopedercini  molleindustria  games  art  design  capitalism  economics  efficiency  control  rationalization  marxism  bureaucracy  consumption  commerce  standardization  socialnetworks  quantification  sybernetics  gamification  goals  society  taylorism  relationships  pokemon  facebook  farmville  zynga  management  power  labor  addiction  addictiveness  badges  behavior  measurement  commodification  rogercaillois  play  idleness  ludism  leisure  leisurearts  artleisure  maxweber  resistance  consciousness  storytelling  notgames  taleoftales  agency  proteus  richardhofmeier  cartlife  simulation  2014  douglaswilson  spaceteam  henrysmith  cooperativegames  collaborativegames  tamatipico  tuboflex  everydaythesamedream  unmanned  systemsthinking  human  humans  oligarchy  negativeexternalities  gamedesign  poetry  johannsebastianjoust  edg  srg  shrequest1  simulations  pokémon 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Colab | Creative Technologies at AUT
"Colab is the collaboratory for Design and Creative Technologies at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), New Zealand.

Our aim is to encourage researchers, students and stakeholders to imagine, construct, articulate and navigate rapidly changing social, economic, technological and career environments.

We are a diverse community of creative people, working together in an environment from which new ideas emerge on a daily basis. Colab researchers come from a range of backgrounds, including art, design, computer science, animation, game design, engineering, mechatronics, architecture, business and organisational development.

Colab has also established a Faculty Labs Network within AUT, to manage and develop a number of high-end technology facilities, researching subjects ranging from textile design and production, 3D printing, to motion capture, interactive technologies and virtual worlds.

We pride ourselves on having great relationships with industry and organisational bodies throughout Auckland and abroad, and welcome the opportunity to collaborate with researchers, organisational partners, creative-thinkers, and entrepreneurs. Perhaps, even you?"
newzealand  aukland  openstudioproject  lcproject  via:chrisberthelsen  aut  art  design  compsci  computerscience  animation  gamedesign  architecture  research  makerspaces 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Instead of gamification, content itself can be a game. : Publishing Executive
""Learning games" provide deeper fulfillment, where gamification often plays to urges for instant gratification. "What happens when people learn like that is they have an investment in the learning itself, and it's not simply a matter of jumping through hoops or getting through a requirement, but it makes the player invested in the act of learning," says Gordon.

And it's not for that reason alone that publishers should realize the distinction between gamifying and creating games. Over-gamification, if you will, could have negative results. Gordon thinks people are savvy enough to recognize when game mechanics are being employed to manipulate them.

Gordon speculates that publishers could have success by creating new kinds of experiences with the content they deal in. For example, a current events publisher could create a game where players "piece together various bits of information in order to create a meaningful whole in a way that you don't necessarily do when you're a passive reader. It's about creating different kinds of experiences so when a player goes through it, they think, 'Aha, I never thought about it that way.'"

This type of use of games in publishing can be seen as not just a way to prompt desirable behavior from readers to help your business -- like LinkedIn did to encourage us to populate our profiles -- but to create new products. The structure of a publisher's game, like Civic Seed, could motivate people to learn content, seek information through exploration, and take new actions."
via:greerjacob  2013  gamification  games  play  learning  content  deniswilson  manipulation  motivation  ericgordon  gamedesign  gamefuldesign  gamefulness  engagement 
december 2013 by robertogreco
STET | Attention, rhythm & weight
"For better or worse, we live in a world of media invention. Instead of reusing a stable of forms over and over, it’s not much harder for us to create new ones. Our inventions make it possible to explore the secret shape of our subject material, to coax it into saying more.

These new forms won’t follow the rules of the scroll, the codex, or anything else that came before, but we can certainly learn from them. We can ask questions from a wide range of influences — film, animation, video games, and more. We can harvest what’s still ripe today, and break new ground when necessary.

Let’s begin."

[See also: http://publishingperspectives.com/2013/10/books-in-browsers-iv-why-we-should-not-imitate-snowfall/ and video of Allen's talk at Books in Browsers 2013 (Day 2 Session 1) http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/40164570 ]
allentan  publishing  writing  internet  web  timcarmody  2013  papermodernism  literacy  fluency  intuitiveness  legibility  metaphor  interaction  howweread  howwewrite  communication  multiliteracies  skills  touch  scrolling  snowfall  immersive  focus  distraction  attention  cinema  cinematic  film  flickr  usability  information  historiasextraordinarias  narrative  storytelling  jose-luismoctezuma  text  reading  multimedia  rhythm  pacing  purpose  weight  animation  gamedesign  design  games  gaming  mediainvention  media 
december 2013 by robertogreco
UX Week 2013| Ian Bogost | Fun on Vimeo
"Lately, there’s a lot of interest in borrowing design techniques from game design. At worst, such approaches mistake games for Skinner Boxes, incentive dispensers that dole out rewards for attention. But even at their best, designers’ adoption of game principles run up against the fact that games are fundamentally opposed to product and service design principles. Games are inefficient; they serve no purpose but to provide the experience that is their very playing. Yet, perhaps the most misunderstood concept in game-inspired design is also misunderstood within game design itself: the concept of fun as an end goal and aesthetic. This talk offers a surprising new theory of fun that can help anyone make, use, and appreciate things with greater satisfaction."
ianbogost  games  gaming  play  design  ux  gamification  gamedesign  2013  psychology  servicedesign  experience  fun 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Funomena
Funomena is an independent game studio located in downtown San Francisco, California. The company was founded in January of 2013 by Robin Hunicke and Martin Middleton – two passionate game developers who believe that games can have a positive impact on the world.
funomena  games  gaming  gamedesign  robinhunicke  keitatakahashi  sanfrancisco  martinmiddleton  vikramsubramanian  chelseahowe  charliehuguenard  bencerveny  austinwintory  kelleesantiago  videogames 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Bat, Bean, Beam: Old games
"Amongst the things that I salvaged from the house in which I grew up were four supermarket bags full of Lego. I found the stuff over a number of trips, each time marvelling at how much of it there was. As well as being practically indestructible (the only pieces of ours that ever broke were two of the large thin bases), Lego has fared remarkably well in terms of both its exchange and use value over the last half century. We had all sorts of trouble – and ultimately failed – in finding a good home to a very good library. We literally couldn’t give away the stuff, which was a source of some heartache. But Lego, it might as well be a global currency, or a precious ore. It keeps going up in price. It’s worth shipping around the world. There’s always a use for it, even in small quantities.

The last find involved one of Lego’s early electric engines, which was used to power a train’s locomotor. I vaguely remember playing with this set. Not much you could do with it, as the carriages came pretty much assembled whole. But the rest of those bags contain mostly the standard universal pieces with which I used to build houses and robots and once, I think, a football stadium. It’s a rather sharp lesson in informational entropy now. Four plastic bags’ worth of chaos."



"Totòpoli is a bafflingly elaborate horse-racing board game in two parts. First, the players lease and train the horses, as well as acquire facilities like foraging merchants and veterinary practices. This is not too dissimilar from Monopoly, and results in the accumulation of advantage and disadvantage cards, as well as special cards to forestall certain events, except instead of getting out of jail is preventing your top horse from bursting a blood vessel on the home straight. Then, once the training is completed, the board is flipped over and the race can begin. However even that phase comprises two quite different activities: the taking of bets on the outcome, with what money you have left over from part one, and the race itself. As the rulebook explains:
The winner can either be the one with the most money at the end of the race, or the one with the winning horse. This should be decided at the beginning of the race.


You’d hate to play for three solid hours and be left unsure as to who won.

Totòpoli was a lot of fun. But I rescued form the home some things that I don’t recall playing with, and probably belonged to my sister. A rather exquisite medical set, all in plastic but very detailed and missing remarkably few pieces, given how the small parts in today’s equivalents seem to explode out of the packaging and immediately get lost whenever my children are involved. I wonder if this is a function of the relative scarcity of those years."
games  boardgames  play  giovannitiso  2013  lego  gamedesign  horses  horseracing  childhood  scarcity 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Toward Independence – Indiecade 2012 | Molleindustria
"There is a practical way to conceptualize the immensity & absurdity of this continuum. I borrow it from the Utopian & Anarchist thought.

Utopia is by definition unattainable but it provides a direction.

Utopia is a tiny flickering mirage at the horizon.

By the time you reach it Utopia already moved forward…yet an utopian idea is fundamental because it provides a direction.

It encourages you to a constant tactical engagement with the status quo. It pushes you to continuously break away from the forces & entities that make us miserable & are screwing up the world.

This is how I like to think about independence in gaming and in culture.

Not a status but a tension and a direction to pursue.

And the corollary is that we should not be here at these indie festivals to celebrate our little club, to exchange tricks on how to milk the indie brand for profit.

No: we should be here to conspire about how we can be *more* autonomous. About how we can move another steptoward independence."
freedom  independent  indie  corporations  post-fordism  alienation  creativework  automation  capital  autonomy  fordism  history  paolopedercini  cv  improvement  purpose  values  utopian  utopianism  utopianthinking  indiegames  anarchism  control  power  economics  videogames  molleindustria  2012  direction  vision  utopia  capitalism  labor  creativelabor  creativity  making  gamedesign  games  purity  vectors 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Gaming the System: Oppression & Play | Nightmare Mode
"Because dys4ia requires active participation by the player, it draws them into the logic of a system bigger than the individual. It gives non-trans players a tiny glimpse of the frustrations of living in a society that tells you over and over that you do not exist, and that, when it on occasion deigns to admit that you do, then drops obstacle after obstacle in the path of your desires and goals. Here, one student said that the game helped them to better understand the process of transition and all of the institutional and societal barriers involved. Another told me that the game helped them to better understand the idea of ideology as a force bigger than the individual, something that can structure one’s options and choices in life without one’s knowledge or consent."
gamedesign  merrittkopas  seriousgames  empathy  oppression  gaming  play  games  dys4ia  via:tealtan 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Exertion Games Lab
"The Exertion Games Lab researches the future of gaming in order to understand how to design better interactive experiences, in particular games that require intense physical effort from players. We call it the intersection between gaming and sports."

[Related: "Video game with biofeedback teaches children to curb their anger" http://childrenshospital.org/newsroom/Site1339/mainpageS1339P913.html ]
gamedesign  biofeedback  australia  interactive  exertion  physical  gaming  tangible  games 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Why we need to kill gameplay to make better games - The Astronauts
"What do all these moments have in common?

They are game-free. They are gameplay-less.

That’s right. You heard me.

If we understand gameplay as something that a challenge is a crucial part of, then none of these moments features any gameplay. You just walk, or swim, or ride a horse, but that’s it. You cannot die. You don’t make choices that have any long term consequences. No skill is involved.

There is no gameplay.

In other words, certain things worth remembering from certain video games are not what these video games are all about.

That’s fucked up.

But also great.

Because it means we still don’t understand video games. And if love them so much already, imagine what will happen when one day we will actually understand them."
play  gameplay  design  emotions  adrianchmielarz  2012  srg  edg  gamedesign  videogames  gaming  games 
november 2012 by robertogreco
A Slower Speed of Light | MIT Game Lab
"…a first-person game prototype in which players navigate a 3D space while picking up orbs that reduce the speed of light in increments. Custom-built, open-source relativistic graphics code allows the speed of light in the game to approach the player's own maximum walking speed. Visual effects of special relativity gradually become apparent to the player, increasing the challenge of gameplay. These effects, rendered in realtime to vertex accuracy, include the Doppler effect (red- and blue-shifting of visible light, and the shifting of infrared and ultraviolet light into the visible spectrum); the searchlight effect (increased brightness in the direction of travel); time dilation (differences in the perceived passage of time from the player and the outside world); Lorentz transformation (warping of space at near-light speeds); and the runtime effect (the ability to see objects as they were in the past, due to the travel time of light). Players can choose to…"
mitgamelab  mit  gamedesign  speedoflight  videogames  gamelab  gaming  science  physics  games 
november 2012 by robertogreco
GDC 2012: Designing For Friendship - Chris Bell
And then there’s the relationship between us, the communication barrier that separates us, and the empathy that allows us to understand each other in spite of that.…

Both games I’ve helped design, "Journey" and "WAY", attempt to herd two strangers toward friendship. And both do it in similar and different ways.

But how do we do that? How do we design so friendship will emerge? And what is friendship really?…

What I’m interested in, is that spontaneous bond between strangers. I want to focus on online multiplayer that emphasizes shared goals, freedom of choice, anonymity, vulnerability, and communication.…

What were the seeds of my connections?…investment & responsibility…high stakes & real consequences…empathy…vulnerability…free choice…teaching…communication…

If the world isn’t valuing what we consider significant, we have the responsibility to create worlds that do.…

It’s what you choose to make that reveals who you are..."
worldbuilding  vulnerability  consequences  responsibility  investment  cv  tcsnmy  unschooling  freechoice  communication  empathy  japan  gamedesign  society  humanity  humanism  learning  teaching  2012  play  videogames  journey  gaming  games  design  via:kissane  chrisbell  friendship  way  waygame 
june 2012 by robertogreco
Jenova Chen: Journeyman • Articles • Eurogamer.net
"[Saint] Augustine wrote: 'People will venture out to the height of the mountain to seek for wonder. They will stand and stare at the width of the ocean to be filled with wonder. But they will pass one another in the street and feel nothing. Yet every individual is a miracle. How strange that nobody sees the wonder in one another.'"

"And because we are mostly lonely as human beings the desire to be accepted by others is so strong. When people experience a shared sense of loneliness their immediate reaction is to reach out and make contact. I would imagine anyone who is creating something is searching for connection.""

"…only three ways to create valuable games for adults…intellectually…emotionally…by creating a social environment…"
saintaugustine  wonder  emotion  acceptance  experience  ps3  humanism  2012  social  design  videogames  interviews  gaming  art  gamedesign  emotions  journey  jenovachen 
april 2012 by robertogreco
One Time in a Card House with Stephanie Morgan… - Let’s Make Mistakes - Mule Radio Syndicate
"Stephanie Morgan, game producer to the game stars, stops in to chat with Mike and Katie about hot spots, self-flagellation, and not about casino buffets. When they have a few minutes, they discuss "gamification" in it's most meaningful as well as its most useless forms. Stephanie shares her past as a professional card player and some deep analysis of gameplay. This show rocks. As a bonus, Katie doesn't actually throw up in this episode, but Mike tries his hardest to instigate."

“I think twitter is a really interesting example of a very tightly honed game play loop.” [As pointed out here: http://twitter.com/litherland/status/182277474724491264 ]
analytics  facebook  zynga  engagement  badges  incentives  feedback  gamedesign  feedbackloops  katiegillum  mikemonteiro  gameplay  gaming  games  twitter  gamification  stephaniemorgan 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Copenhagen Game Collective - Games, research, and other cool projects from Copenhagen and beyond
"Copenhagen Game Collective is a multi-gender, multi-national, non-profit game design collective based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The collective comprises a network of people and companies interested in independent game culture. Our members include creative individuals first of all, but also small companies, non-commercial interest groups, and game communicators and disseminators.

We play, exhibit, create, and care about games of all types – digital or otherwise – with a slant towards types of play that the game industry’s big boys can’t or won’t address. The diversity of our exhibits and game projects reflects our belief that creativity breeds creativity. The loose structure of the collective, encompassing a network of developers and collaborators, aims to create synergies between all our various projects."
design  development  collective  community  art  gaming  copenhagen  denmark  gamedesign  games 
february 2012 by robertogreco
tevis thompson: Saving Zelda
"A world is more than a space, more than a place; it is something to inhabit & be inhabited by. What you infuse a space w/ to make it habitable, to make it memorable (since memory is profoundly spatial), gives the place its character, its soul…

Zelda would be better if it had no story…no plot to structure the adventure…first Zs barely had any plot…were better for it. With plot, sequence matters too much…early Zs had situations, worlds & scenarios that framed action, gaps to be filled in by player, sequences to be broken. Optimal paths & shortcuts weren’t a given; they had to be earned. Items were the most prominent plot devices, & even they were not unduly strict about order. You could be slow & steady or blast straight through with a little know-how…basic rules of the gameworld were what bound you, not some artificial necessity imposed for the sake of plot."

…a world is not for you. A world needs a substance, independence, sense that it doesn’t just disappear when you turn around."

[Update [17 June 2016]:

Revisited thanks to:
"(And Thompson's essay, excerpted in the previous: http://tevisthompson.com/saving-zelda/ )"
https://twitter.com/tealtan/status/754162412484452352

See also:
"Thinking about this but for learning: http://makegames.tumblr.com/post/147367627844/this-is-an-excerpt-from-the-spelunky-book-which "
https://twitter.com/tealtan/status/754162176345210880

"And the ideas of "intentional obtuseness" in Pokemon Go (and Snapchat): https://medium.com/@helvetica/full-thoughts-on-pokemon-go-from-my-interview-on-the-verge-178b97b1112b "
https://twitter.com/tealtan/status/754162625802534912
2012  space  play  openendedness  open-ended  autonomy  exploration  memory  spatialmemory  worlds  worldbuilding  nintendo  videogames  gaming  zelda  games  gamecriticism  gamedesign  via:tealtan  tevisthompson  howwelearn  hyrule  legendofzelda  independence  zpd  howweplay 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Picaro - Say Hello to Picaro
"Picaro is a way to make and play small adventure games. They play a bit like interactive fiction with the control scheme of an old Sierra/LucasArts adventure game. If that was gibberish: the games are completely text-driven, but require no text input. You don’t type “use the key on the door”, you tap “Use”, “Key”, “Door”, then you’re told in a few sentences what happened.

In a way, this is the worst of both worlds: the restrictive agency of mouse input and the limited expression of text output. But this is precisely why it’s exciting: clicks in, text out is the cheapest, simplest format for a narrative game."
projectideas  classideas  srg  edg  text-basedadventures  text-driven  gaming  gamedesign  games  picaro 
january 2012 by robertogreco
The Complete Rules For Games | Rock, Paper, Shotgun
"DO let me flush the toilets and turn on the taps. Scenery, in any game of any genre, shouldn’t be painted on the walls. And so many games before have put in a nice toilet flushing noise. Since all games do insist in including a toilet, as well they should, then all games should include the splishy sploshy noise of flushing it.

DON’T tell me that you’re a game any more. You want to capture something of Brechtian estrangement, break down that fourth wall with mallets and wrecking balls, because you think it’s a fresh and original approach. It’s not. It’s been done a lot, and it’s probably a sign that you’re not confident enough in your own creation. If you feel the urge to winkingly acknowledge to the player that they’re playing a game, then you need to go back to work to create a more convincing world."
gamedesign  fun  rules  games  play  videogames  2011  gaming 
december 2011 by robertogreco
How Vimeo Lost Me
"I used to prefer Vimeo over YouTube. Vimeo was always a bit better in quality, had a nicer looking player and website. Most importantly, it had a more mature and tasteful community. So when I released my game TRAUMA, it was a no-brainer to publish the trailer for it on Vimeo. It was an arty project that was made exactly for the kind of audience I would meet on Vimeo.

Today, I’m regretting that decision…"
vimeo  gamedev  gamedesign  videogames  2011  video  trauma  indievideogames  krystianmajewski  hostng  videohosting  videosharing 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Video games for Xbox and Playstation : The New Yorker
"The second thing I learned about video games is that they are long…not like watching one ninety-minute movie…like watching one whole season of a TV show…in a state of staring, jaw-clenched concentration…

On the other hand, the games can be beautiful."

"The good thing about Halo 3: ODST is…I don’t know. If I was fonder of 1970s cast-concrete architecture, I’m sure I would have enjoyed the experience more…game seemed to me to be both desolate & repetitive, w/ incomprehensible Biblical & race-war undermeanings."

"…best time I had w/ Uncharted 2 was while eating a submarine sandwich & watching the making-of videos that came w/ the game disk, fantasizing about what it would be like to work for Naughty Dog as a late-afternoon-lighting designer or a stony-ledge-placement specialist. These people know how to have fun."

"This list…made w/ my son’s help. He reads video-game Web sites & listens every week…Giant Bombcast…like “Car Talk” but with 4 vastly knowledgeable gamers."
videogames  gaming  games  nicholsonbaker  reviews  gamedesign  2010 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Create Flash Games with Stencyl
"Welcome to StencylWorks, 2D game creation done right. StencylWorks isn't your average game creation software; it's a gorgeous, intuitive toolset that integrates seamlessly with the Stencyl ecosystem.

Exclusive collaboration and sharing features will have you making Flash games in a flash. For free."
games  software  tools  online  design  gamedesign  scratch  glvo  edg  srg  classideas  tcsnmy  coding  gaming  diy  stencyl  kongregate  facebook  mac  osx  windows  flash 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Introducing: Helicopter Taxi | Toca Boca
"As our first digital toy, we are proud to announce the release of Helicopter Taxi for iPhone! The story is that Rita and Skip, our pilots, run a helicopter taxi that picks up five different characters that need to get to certain places. Your kids can fly the helicopter by walking around in the room and moving the iPhone. Since it is in 3D, you can look at the helicopter from all angles by simply turning the iPhone. After picking all of the characters up and flying them to where they want to go, you fly the helicopter home so Rita and Skip can rest for the night. After that, you’re ready to play again!

Helicopter Taxi uses the camera on the iPhone in an innovative way in order to create an augmented reality effect. It looks like the helicopter is flying in the room with you! You pick the characters up by simply laying the iPhone down on a flat surface, and then they get in or out."
children  gamedesign  toys  iphone  applications  ios  helicoptertaxi  tocaboca  interactive  fun  augmentedreality  ar 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Gamasutra - Features - The Era Of Behaving Playfully
"Playing is behaving. From childhood experimentation & role-play to the competitive simulations of adults, it's impossible to separate even the most abstract forms of play from human expression. Yet video game design is dominated by the perceived need for win conditions.

If an interaction can't be parsed into passing or failing it can't be counted as fun. Without the threat of failure there is no fun. Yet, it's not victory that drives the invented play of kids on a playground, nor friends laughing over an inside joke.

Video games built around behavior aren't often given the same attention more competitively oriented games are, but they're no less important a part of the industry.

Games like The Sims 3, Heavy Rain, Nintendogs, Façade, Animal Crossing, & Harvest Moon are all made for the pleasures of expression. These are games played for their creative experiences more than their victory conditions."

[See also the Comment from Bart Stewart.]
videogames  gaming  play  gamedesign  roleplaying  simulations  invention  inventiveplay  animalcrossing  thesims  harvestmoon  nintendogs  creativity  games 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Gamasutra - Features - The Era Of Behaving Playfully
"In the same way that Call of Duty games only work when you're moving forward and trying to complete the objectives, Façade worked surprisingly well when you acclimated to its limitations and learned to play within them."
storytelling  videogames  narrative  play  gamedesign  gaming 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Gamasutra - Features - Creating A Glitch In the Industry
"Q: This is like the unholy marriage of Animal Crossing & EVE Online.

SB: …That's actually a very good way [of describing it.] LittleBigPlanet is obviously an inspiration…in the aesthetics. I wish that we had a PS3 underneath this & that we're a lot better on 3D. But EVE, MOOs, & Animal Crossing have a cult following [here]

…I've never played EVE before…never got into it because it just seemed too hard to me. It's my favorite game to read about.

Q: Most games are boring to play & boring to read about. I'm not sure if EVE's boring to play; it's just an investment I don't want to make. But it's fascinating to read about.

SB: I've always imagined that while the fights can be exciting & it can be cool…to have victory in one of the fights, it's not really what it's about. I mean, people are playing the game to create the world. They're part of the corporations because they're buying into the agenda, even if it's roleplaying, against some other agenda. That's where the fun is."
stewartbutterfield  glitch  tinyspeck  games  eveonline  gaming  reading  cv  worldbuilding  2010  interviews  animalcrossing  littlebigplanet  gamedev  gamedesign  homoludens  play  facebookconnect  facebook  zynga  mmo  flickr  gne  wow  simcity  sims  everquest  muds  mushes  metaplace  secondlife  social  experience  thesims 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Electric Dreamers on Vimeo
"Short documentary film shot at NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc in March 2010 in Tokyo, Japan. Features interviews with the genius creator of the Katamari and Noby Noby Boy video games, Keita Takahashi, and the man behind the strange and wonderful Muscle March, Shinya Satake.

Following Keita Takahashi's departure from NAMCO BANDAI in autumn 2010, the film was never released, but we were pleased with how it turned out and NAMCO BANDAI have kindly given me permission to show it here."
keitatakahashi  games  gamedesign  katamaridamacy  nobinobiboy  nobynobyboy  namcobandai  shinyasatake  sculpture  brianholmes  musclemarch 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s man behind Mario : The New Yorker
"Miyamoto has told variations on the cave story a few times over the years, in order to emphasize the extent to which he was surrounded by nature, as a child, and also to claim his youthful explorations as a source of his aptitude and enthusiasm for inventing and designing video games."

"The Dutch cultural historian Johan Huizinga, in his classic 1938 study “Homo Ludens” (“Man the Player”), argued that play was one of the essential components of culture—that it in fact predates culture, because even animals play. His definition of play is instructive. One, play is free—it must be voluntary. Prisoners of war forced to play Russian roulette are not at play. Two, it is separate; it takes place outside the realm of ordinary life and is unserious, in terms of its consequences. A game of chess has no bearing on your survival (unless the opponent is Death). Three, it is unproductive; nothing comes of it—nothing of material value, anyway. Plastic trophies, plush stuffed animals, and bragging rights cannot be monetized. Four, it follows an established set of parameters and rules, and requires some artificial boundary of time and space. Tennis requires lines and a net and the agreement of its participants to abide by the conceit that those boundaries matter. Five, it is uncertain; the outcome is unknown, and uncertainty can create opportunities for discretion and improvisation. In Hyrule, you may or may not get past the Deku Babas, and you can slay them with your own particular panache.

The French intellectual Roger Caillois, in a 1958 response to Huizinga entitled “Man, Play and Games,” called play “an occasion of pure waste: waste of time, energy, ingenuity, skill, and often of money.” Therein lies its utility, as a simulation that exists outside regular life. Caillois divides play into four categories: agon (competition), alea (chance), mimicry (simulation), and ilinx (vertigo). Super Mario has all four. You are competing against the game, trying to predict the seemingly random flurry of impediments it sets in your way, and pretending to be a bouncy Italian plumber in a realm of mushrooms and bricks. As for vertigo, what Caillois has in mind is the surrender of stability and the embrace of panic, such as you might experience while skiing. Mario’s dizzying rate of passage through whatever world he’s in—the onslaught of enemies and options—confers a kind of vertigo on the gaming experience. Like skiing, it requires a certain degree of mastery, a countervailing ability to contend with the panic and reassert a measure of stability. In short, the game requires participation, and so you can call it play.

Caillois also introduces the idea that games range along a continuum between two modes: ludus, “the taste for gratuitous difficulty,” and paidia, “the power of improvisation and joy.” A crossword puzzle is ludus. Kill the Carrier is paidia (unless you’re the carrier). Super Mario and Zelda seem to be perched right between the two."
games  nintendo  miyamoto  shigerumiyamoto  design  art  inspiration  videogames  childhood  exploration  nature  naturedeficitdisorder  wonder  children  play  unstructuredtime  gaming  mario  japan  history  edg  srg  glvo  unschooling  deschooling  topost  toshare  classideas  narratology  ludology  adventure  rogercaillois  johanhuizinga  work  gamification  asobi  funware  music  guitar  self-improvement  kyokan  empathy  collaboration  japanese  jesperjuul  janemcgonigal  animals  focusgroups  gamedesign  experience 
december 2010 by robertogreco
GameSalad Creator for Mac - Feed your inner game designer ™ - GameSalad
"Designed for designers.

There's no faster or easier way to get started building a game than with GameSalad Creator. Its visual, drag & drop based style requires absolutely no coding whatsoever. Avoid spending hours poring over code, and spend more time finding the fun.

"Rapid" is an understatement. GameSalad's wide variety of complex behaviors provide almost limitless freedom for varied game genres, styles, and mechanics. On top of its incredible versatility, GameSalad brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "rapid prototyping". Explore the possibilities in hours and days instead of weeks. It's fast. It's versatile. It's GameSalad."
applications  design  gamedesign  gamedev  games  gaming  edg  srg  coding  videogames  ipad  osx  iphone  ios  todo 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Can’t play, won’t play | Hide&Seek - Inventing new kinds of play
"That problem being that gamification isn’t gamification at all. What we’re currently terming gamification is in fact the process of taking the thing that is least essential to games and representing it as the core of the experience. Points and badges have no closer a relationship to games than they do to websites and fitness apps and loyalty cards. They’re great tools for communicating progress and acknowledging effort, but neither points nor badges in any way constitute a game. Games just use them – as primary school teachers, military hierarchies and coffee shops have for centuries – to help people visualise things they might otherwise lose track of. They are the least important bit of a game, the bit that has the least to do with all of the rich cognitive, emotional and social drivers which gamifiers are intending to connect with."
gamification  pointsification  gaming  games  motivation  assessment  measurement  terminology  play  badges  points  progress  communication  gamedesign  visualization 
november 2010 by robertogreco
All about playground session in GameCity - uvula
"The overview of my concept has not changed since the beginning of this project. It is to create something that anyone can play with, kids, adults, dogs. But the way 3 years old kids would play is very different from 5 years old. Besides that, who to play with is also a big element that changes the way they play. For example, they would play more safely with parents, while they would play more adventurously with other kids. I designed the equipments considering such things, although I am not sure if my designs fully reflect them. As a result, I think the design has become something very simple and familiar, while respecting the plays which already exist.

Now, I will introduce each of the equipments."

[Now here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/555294/uvula_archive/posts/2010/11/all-about-playground-session-in-gamecity.html ]
playgrounds  design  keitatakahashi  play  competition  children  dogs  equipment  toys  games  gaming  gamedesign  animals 
november 2010 by robertogreco
in the Japanese Embassy of London - uvula
"public place, part of all of our lives, where children & adults can gather & discover something exciting…playground…

I don’t intend to create something game-like, electronic or high tech…what I want most from the park is for it to be a space for children & adults (dogs or squirrels too) to be able to play, although it might be a little bit dangerous…

this might seem harsh, but I think it would be great if we could take ‘video’ part out of ‘video game’. Now the term ‘game’ thought about simply is too restrictive so we could change it further to mean ‘play’. To put it another way, ‘play’ is another word for ‘fun’…

So what is the meaning of the existence of games? Is it merely something for passing the time? an instrument for eliminating stress? a business? Because it is a thing that can make people happy, by playing them, by making them, & even more so, by broadening our perspectives, they can make the world a more enjoyable & at the same time more peaceful place to live."
keitatakahashi  play  games  videogames  learning  experience  nobinobiboy  nobynobyboy  perspective  happiness  well-being  playgrounds  gamedesign  discovery  gaming 
november 2010 by robertogreco
s:s&s ep - hello, world: [Sword & Sworcery]
"S:S&S EP is a 21st century interpretation of the archetypical old school videogame adventure, designed exclusively for Apple's iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch.

It's a mix of laid-back exploration, careful investigation & mysterious musical problem-solving occasionally punctuated by hard-hitting combat encounters. S:S&S EP is an unusual genre-bending effort with an emphasis on sound, music & audiovisual style that has been positioned as 'a brave experiment in Input Output Cinema'."
games  gaming  iphone  ipad  ios  applications  gamedesign  videogames  8-bit  superbrothers  retro  indiegames  pixelart 
november 2010 by robertogreco
The Glass Bead Game - Wikipedia [via: http://lebbeuswoods.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/eight-diagrams-of-the-future/]
"The Glass Bead Game takes place at an unspecified date, centuries into the future. Hesse suggested that he imagined the book's narrator writing around the start of the 25th century. The setting is a fictional province of central Europe called Castalia, reserved by political decision for the life of the mind; technology and economic life are kept to a strict minimum. Castalia is home to an austere order of intellectuals with a twofold mission: to run boarding schools for boys, and to nurture & play the Glass Bead Game, whose exact nature remains elusive & whose devotees occupy a special school within Castalia known as Waldzell. The rules of the game are only alluded to, and are so sophisticated that they are not easy to imagine. Playing the game well requires years of hard study of music, mathematics, & cultural history. Essentially the game is an abstract synthesis of all arts and sciences. It proceeds by players making deep connections between seemingly unrelated topics."
existentialism  fiction  gamedesign  literature  philosophy  lifeofthemind  hermanhesse  german  knowledge  informatics  ideas  books  history 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Infovore » Interesting North: Things Rules Do
"The thing that make games Games isn’t joypads, or scores, or 3D graphics, or little bits of cardboard, or many-sided dice. It’s the rules and mechanics beating in their little clockwork hearts. That may be a somewhat dry reduction of thousands of years of fun, but my aim is to celebrate and explore the many things that games (and other systemic media) do with the rules at their foundation. And, on the way, perhaps change your mind at exactly what rules are for."
via:preoccupations  games  gaming  gamedesign  rules  systemicmedia  media  systems  play 
october 2010 by robertogreco
notgames
"This is Keita Takahashi. I became a freelancer in October. I want to continue fun activities and help somebody with fun people of the world along with my wife who is a composer."

[original: http://www.uvula.jp/2010/09/blog-post.html]
keitatakahashi  partnerships  fun  games  gaming  gamedesign  glvo  work  freelancing 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » My (quick) notes from Playful10, London
"what's wrong w/ gameification: 1: games are not fun because they are games, they are fun because they are well designed! Sturgeon’s Law “90% of everything is crap” 2: rewards are not achievements, this is just bad psychology. Vendors who sell this have a Pavlovian model in mind. “it’s so 1940″ as Deterding said…exemplified by showing game on which there’s big button called “earn 1,000,000,000,000 $” you can click & win. Based on the reward model, this would be the best game. As described by Raph Koster, “fun in games arises from mastery”. 3: competition is not for everyone!

…problem is also that gameification has side-effects: creates unintended behavior, people game the system & it messes w/ implicit social norms.

When people take gameification too directly, they generally miss that games are about: fictions, make believe, talk, & freedom to play (”whoever plays plays freely, whoever must play cannot play!“). Playing = “as if” & playing is fun because of the autonomy."
games  gaming  motivation  sebastiandeterding  tommuller  paulbennun  naomialderman  tobybarnes  nicolasnova  hgwells  raphkoster  playful10  pavlov  bertrandduplat  competition  badges  psychology  autonomy  play  mastery  social  gamedesign  experience  gamification 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Kodu Offers Pop-Up Computer Programming for Children - NYTimes.com
"Kodu, built by a team at Microsoft’s main campus outside Seattle, is a programming environment that runs on an Xbox 360, using the game console’s controller rather than a keyboard. Instead of typing if/then statements in a syntax that must be memorized — as adult programmers do — the student uses the Xbox controller to pop up menus that contain options from which to choose. Kodu itself resembles a video game, with a point-and-click interface instead of the thousand-lines-of-text coding tools used by grown-ups."
microsoft  xbox  xbox360  programming  scratch  education  learning  children  games  gaming  gamedesign  criticalthinking  edg  srg  tcsnmy  kodu  interface  iteration  computing  classideas  coding  teaching 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Video Games Win a Beachhead in the Classroom - NYTimes.com
"Doyle was, at 54, a veteran teacher and had logged 32 years in schools all over Manhattan, where he primarily taught art and computer graphics. In the school, which was called Quest to Learn, he was teaching a class, Sports for the Mind, which every student attended three times a week. It was described in a jargony flourish on the school’s Web site as “a primary space of practice attuned to new media literacies, which are multimodal and multicultural, operating as they do within specific contexts for specific purposes.” What it was, really, was a class in technology and game design."
games  gaming  videogames  quest2learn  schools  education  tcsnmy  assessment  gamedesign  play  learning  lcproject 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Pixel Poppers: Awesome By Proxy: Addicted to Fake Achievement
"When I learned about performance and mastery orientations, I realized with growing horror just what I'd been doing for most of my life. Going through school as a "gifted" kid, most of the praise I'd received had been of the "Wow, you must be smart!" variety. I had very little ability to follow through or persevere, and my grades tended to be either A's or F's, as I either understood things right away (such as, say, calculus) or gave up on them completely (trigonometry). I had a serious performance orientation. And I was reinforcing it every time I played an RPG…

Be aware of why you play the games you do the way you do. Be aware of how you use them. We humans are remarkably adept at finding ways to lie to ourselves, and ways to be self-destructive."
2009  via:preoccupations  achievement  rpg  videogames  praise  productivity  psychology  mindset  motivation  goals  education  design  children  games  gaming  gamedesign  entertainment  parenting  performance  learning  brain  habits  deschooling  unschooling  shrequest1 
august 2010 by robertogreco
A Podcast with Nicholson Baker : The New Yorker
via John Naughton via David Smith, http://memex.naughtons.org/archives/2010/08/13/11597 : "“Painkiller Deathstreak” by Nicolson Baker. An extraordinary piece (alas, available only to subscribers to print or digital editions of the New Yorker, so maybe it’s unfair to include it here) about what happens when a gifted and observant writer spends a month of his life playing computer games. I’ve often blanched at the arrogance of adults denouncing ‘mindless’ computer games which (a) they’ve never tried to play, and (b) are actually far too complex for them to master. The result is a chasm between the shared cultural experience of entire generations — and total ignorance on the part of adults. The kids who understand and play games have better things to do than to delineate the contours of this exotic subculture for the benefit of their elders. So it was an extraordinarily good idea to get a sophisticated, observant, articulate writer to have a go."
2010  gaming  games  nicholsonbaker  newyorker  generations  subcultures  videogames  lostintranslation  arrogance  culture  sharedexperience  experience  anthropology  children  youth  gamedesign 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Why aren’t games about winning anymore?
"But if videogame achievements can make us ignore the end goal in favour of a little gold star, is there any doubt that real-life "achievements" can distract us from what’s actually important in life?

Certainly, incentives can be used to drive good behaviour, but there’s no guarantee that companies or organisations able to provide the most effective incentives will be the ones with the most altruistic motives. (And, of course, if I’m the one unconsciously making up my own achievements, I know they’re not always going to be what’s best for me.)

I’m not saying that achievements in videogames are inherently a bad thing. I’m just saying that perhaps we should take a step back and consider how they make us relate to the world."
games  gaming  videogames  jesseschell  motivation  achievements  competitions  productivity  gamedesign  infinitegames  process  goals  incentives  behavior  life  distraction  theory  via:blackbeltjones 
august 2010 by robertogreco
EPICWIN
"Our lives are full of quests. Remember that birthday card, send that email, or drag ourselves to the gym on a regular basis.

Trouble is, sometimes we’re having too much fun doing other virtual stuff like hunting down rare items in WoW or leveling-up in Facebook games, to remember the stuff we’re supposed to be doing.

EpicWin is an iPhone app that puts the adventure back into your life. It’s a streamlined to-do list, to note down all your everday tasks, but with a role-playing spin.

Rather than just mentally ticking off your chores, completing each one improves & develops your character in an onging quest to level-up, gain riches, & develop skills.

By getting points for your chores it's easier to actually get things done. We all have good intentions but we need a bit of encouragement here and there. Doing the laundry is an epic feat of stamina so why not get stamina points for it?!

Watch as your avatars stats develop in ways to represent your own life."
iphone  application  motivation  gtd  rpg  productivity  gamedesign  games  gaming  chores  epicwin  rewards 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Urgent Evoke » What Went Right, What Went Wrong: Lessons from Season 1 of EVOKE.
"2. We focused on real, intrinsic motivation & real activity. We didn’t adopt a “sugar with the medicine” approach. The rewards weren’t artificial; the rewards were to learn world-changing ideas and to be creative and to master social innovation skills. & we didn’t do simulation or virtual worlds. We linked real-world stories & efforts with online interaction & feedback.
janemcgonigal  evoke  design  socialgaming  social  socialmedia  socialsoftware  gamedesign  gaming  strategy  intrinsicmotivation  facebook  reflection  games  feedback 
july 2010 by robertogreco
« earlier      
per page:    204080120160

Copy this bookmark:





to read