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Homework for Next Class Reading: Chapter 13 For a digital game of your choice (*): 1.Give an example of an element in the graphical user interface of the game that is part of the game’s rules 2.Give an example of an element in the graphical user interface that is not part of the game’s rules 3.Regarding your response to Question 2, does this element affects the play experience? 4.Give an example of an implicit rule for this game (*) describe this game in one paragraph including name, what type of game it is - RPG, RTS, etc-, and what is the objective of the game

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Defining Rules and Levels of Rules (Chs. 11 & 12)

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Rules: Example Let us define the rules for Tic-Tac-Toe These rules describe the formal system (i.e., neither the experience nor the cultural context) Does the game change if we use “ ” instead of “X”, and “ ” instead of “O”? –What about if we use a nice background? –Does the experience change?

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Characteristics of Game Rules Rules limit player action Rules are explicit and unambiguous Is this ambiguous: “roll the dice and move forward as many positions as indicated by the resulting roll”? Rule are shared by all players Rules are fixed – But high level players in RPGs can do stuff that lower levels can’t. Does this means rules are not fixed in RPGs? Rules are binding Rules are repeatable

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Rules and Strategy We now know the characteristics of rules What is an strategy? What is the difference between an strategy and a rule?

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Idea: Abstraction A non-gaming example: Formulate a property or “formal structure” that is common to the following 2 sets of numbers: A = {2, 4, 6, 8, 10} B = {1006, 1008, 1010, 1012, 1014} Formulating such properties provides a better understanding of sets, models, and systems Surprisingly the same idea can be applied to games…

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Another Game Lets play these two games: –Tic-Tac-Toe –“3-to-15” game: Two players alternate turns On your turn pick a number between 1 and 9 that has not been picked before The first player to pick exactly 3 numbers that add to 15 wins These two games have a common formal structure –Don’t believe me? See next slide “Operational Rules”

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Formal Structure or “Constitutive Rules” for Tic-Tac-Toe and 3-to-15 2 9 4 7 5 3 6 1 8 Both games have the same constitutive rules: Players alternate making a unique selection from a grid of 3 x 3 First player to select 3 in a row, column, diagonal wins Otherwise, it is a draw “Constitutive Rules” Which is more appealing: Tic-Tac-Toe or 3-to-15?

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Level 1: Operational Rules They delineate precisely how a player manipulates and interpret objects in the game Describe specific actions that player takes These are the rules that players read to understand what is the game about –These are the rules that are typically printed in the manual or instructions of the game

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Level 2: Constitutive Rules Describe the mathematical logic of the game Actions are more general; can fit many games Another Example: “Chutes and Ladders” We know the operational rules But what are the constitutive rules?

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Constitutive Rules of “Chutes and Ladders” Players begin with a value of 0 Players alternate turns adding a random number from 1 to 6 First to reach 100 wins When player reaches certain numbers (e.g., 62) it adds or subtracts a certain amount (e.g., subtract 43)

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Why not using rules close to the constitutive rules? Why do we need the board in “Chutes and Ladders”? –Why not use the 1-to-100 rules? –Why this specific set of operational rules? What are the constructive rules for RTS, RPG, FPS games? Elegant design: no need for calculator Meaningful: discernable Meaningful: integrated – Some answers will be provided in the design analysis project – How can I tell if a set of constitutive rules is “right”? Those rules should be the same for any other game in that Genre: Example 1 and Example 2Example 1 Example 2

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Level 3: Implicit Rules Unwritten rules. Examples for Tic-Tac-Toe? –Fair play (“no cheating”!) –Etiquette –… Unwritten rules. Examples for Warcraft? Other examples: When teaching another player to play chess one may avoid certain rules Sometimes an implicit rule is actually written. Example?

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Summary Games are structured activities Rules determine the structure An integral part of game design is therefore creating (and testing) the rules Beta testing Problems tuning rules can be game breaking “More than a procedure for designing games, the three kinds of rules provide a framework for understanding how rules operate”

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