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Interactivity Dr. Héctor Muñoz-Avila Assigned readings: Chapter 6 (Rules of Play Book)

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Presentation on theme: "Interactivity Dr. Héctor Muñoz-Avila Assigned readings: Chapter 6 (Rules of Play Book)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Interactivity Dr. Héctor Muñoz-Avila Assigned readings: Chapter 6 (Rules of Play Book)

2 Interactivity Person is making choices within a game system –Which action to take? Including not taking an action, this is an action (people in AI call this “no-action” and treat it the same as other actions – such as “move”). Example? Action gets a response from gaming system. This is an interaction These interactions determine how the game advances Actions define the experience –We want to achieve meaningful play

3 Interactivity: Definitions From the dictionary: –Mutual or reciprocal action or influence –Act on each other; reciprocally Common: relation between two things In this course: –Interaction takes place in a system Players participate as agents –Its relational –It allows direct intervention within a context –It is iterative Borderline case: When we watch a movie is this interactive? What if I press the forward/backward button?

4 A Multivalent Model of Interactivity Four modes of interactivity Cognitive interactivity (interpretive) –Text adventure games (D&D) Functional interactivity (utilitarian; material components) –Fonts ok to read? Explicit interactivity (participation by making choices) –Choose to enter in a room or continue down the road Beyond-the-object interactivity (culture) –Online community (MUDs)

5 Designed Interaction Interaction is part of a system Rules are provided Context for interaction is also provided Reciprocal interaction Example? Example of non-designed interaction?

6 Interaction and Choice Meaningful play: In terms of interaction: Two level of choices: –Micro: “moment-to-moment” choices –Macro: chain of micro-choices to form an experience –Example? Player: action  system: outcome discernable and integrated in larger context Player: choice  (action  system: outcome) discernable and integrated in larger context

7 Micro versus Macro: Example Domination locations Unreal tournament Domination game – points are scored by controlling one or more of the map’s domination locations First team to score pre- determined number of points wins Example of Micro choice? Macro choice?

8 Anatomy of Choice: Five Crucial Stages (first for UT then for your choices) 1.What happened before the player was given a choice? 2.How is the possibility of a choice conveyed to the player? 3.How did a player make a choice? 4.What is the result of choice? How affects future choices? 5.How are the results of choice conveyed positions of the team mates, owner of dom points Other players, what player sees, what other players “yell” at you Controls for moving/firing/ jumping/ walking/ running avatar/stay put Points change, lost health, opponent’s killed Sounds, red health bar,…

9 No Meaningful Play? Breakdown: action  outcome chain These are just some examples of breakdowns. Feeling decisions are arbitrary. –Affects Stage 4: “result of choice?” –Example? “rubber band effect” and here in racing gamesrubber band effecthere Not knowing what to do next –Affects Stage 2: “How choice is conveyed?” –Example?Example Loosing a game without knowing why –Affects Stage 5: “how are the results of choices conveyed?” ExampleExample

10 Space of Possibilities Game interactivity cannot be evaluated as an spectator (“watching over the shoulder”) Needs to be actually experiencing to analyze the 5 stages It is still not common practice among many game developers

11 Add-On: Answer to Question in the Homework Q1: give an example of non designed interaction in a computer game. Designed interaction means that the person who created the game purposely added rules or context so the players’ actions will get a reaction that is planned by the designer. For example, if my avatar throws a punch to an NPC (action) the NPC might get hit, or the NPC blocks the punch (either way this is a planned reaction). Outside of games non- designed interaction happens, for example, when an object slips from my hand and falls to the floor. The reaction (falling to the floor) is caused by gravity and, hence, it is not considered designed interaction. On the other hand, taking into account gravity while throwing a paper aimed at the trash can is designed interaction. If the game designer had simulated gravity in a computer game and an object slips from my avatar’s hand and falls to the floor, this is considered designed interaction because the game designer purposely add gravity into the game. Correct answers to the question include: (1) character gets stuck because of some glitch in the game engine and (2) virus/hacking causes the avatar/NPCs do/say unintended things. The latter is an example of designed interaction from the point of view of the hacker but it is not designed interaction from the point of view of the game designer.

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