Presentation on theme: "I have no words & I must design by Greg Costikyan Currently a Games researcher at NokiaCostikyanNokia."— Presentation transcript:
I have no words & I must design by Greg Costikyan Currently a Games researcher at NokiaCostikyanNokia
2 Context “I Have No Words” was written in the early 1990s, at a time when virtually nothing had been written on the subject of game design as a discipline, before game studies as a discipline or Game Developer magazine existed.Game Developer This piece was written with emphasis on decision making and may be less applicable to games that depend on fast action. Greg Costikyan is an inductee of the Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame For a Lifetime of Accomplishment in the field
3 Lots of Games out there ITS ALL GAMING!! Cart-based Computer CD-ROM Network Arcade PBM (Play By Mail) PBEM Mass-Market Adult War games Card games Tabletop RPGs LARPs (Live Action Role Playing) Freeforms Paintball Virtual Reality Sports Horses
4 Do these things have anything in common? What is a game? How can you tell a good one from a bad one? Good game !! Good book… does that help you write a better one Game designers need to analyze games – Understand them – Understand what works – Understand what makes them interesting
5 What is a game anyhow? Its not a puzzle – Puzzles are static – Present logic structures to be solved w/assistance of clues – Games are NOT static and change with player’s actions Think of games on a continuum Crossword 100% puzzle Zork 90% puzzle – 10% game Zork – Characters move from setting to setting allowable actions vary by setting and inventory changes with action. Almost all games have some degree of puzzle- solving, even military strategy games require players to solve puzzle of making optimum attack
6 Not a toy Sim City is not a game at all, but a toy. Will Wright makes a comparison to a ball – Offers many interesting behaviors for your to explore Bounce It, Twirl it, Throw it Dribble it Can play multiple games with it – It provides a world that the player may manipulate, but provides NO objective – You may chose one… – BUT Sim City itself has no victory conditions, NO Goals, – It is a Software toy. – A toy is interactive, BUT games have goals
7 Not a Story Stories are inherently linear Games are inherently non-linear – Depend on decision making How would gamers feel if game master says “I don’t want you players to do that, because it will ruin the story? Gaming is NOT about telling stories
8 It Demands Participation Traditional art forms have passive audiences. Admire a painting, you may imagine things in it, you may see something other than what the artist intended When reading a book… Most of it is in your head… You are receiving the authors words. Enter the game. – Games provide a set of rules – But players create their own consequences – Like Music The Designers provide the Theme The Players provide the Music – A democratic art form for a democratic age.
9 So What is a Game? Players make decisions – Manage resources through game tokes in the pursuit of a goal Opposition – Competitive games – Real interest is about struggling toward a goal. – After you win you fill the thrill of victory! Game Tokens – entities you manipulate directly – Resources are things you manage efficiently to achieve a goal – Tokens are your means of managing them Without tokens you have a system that operates with out much player input Giving the player a sense of control and it makes the game more interesting.
10 Other Things that Strengthen Games Diplomacy – Whenever multiple players are involved they are strengthened with diplomacy – Games permit diplomacy if players can assist each other Color – Color counts a lot and some games work solely because color – Some games suffer because their lack their of. – Pageantry, detail & sense of place can add greatly to emotional appeal, BUT don’t over do it and make it look appealing Simulation – STAR Wars: The Role Playing Game – He adds simulations of the move, to encourage players to attempt far-fetched cinematic stunts – Using the system to reflect something about the atmosphere and ethos of the films. – Can also improve character identification
11 Other Things that Strengthen Games Variety of Encounter – Random elements are never wholly random, they are within a range of possibilities – Randomness can be useful.. It is one way to provide variety – Players like to encounter the unexpected – With inadequate variety, it gets boring quickly Positive Identification – Character identification is a common theme in fiction and games – Lends emotional power to a story – In a sports game the identifying position is YOU, Making the game more important to YOU Role Playing – provides position identification, the feeling that the world is alive and colorful Socializing – When designing think about social issues and how the game encourages or discourages socialization. – How can you encourage better socializing Narrative tension- The story should become more gripping as it proceeds until climatic resolution
12 What do these myriad form of games have in common? All involve Decision making Managing Resources in pursuit of a goal How can we tell a good game from a bad one? Terms to analyze game appeal – Decisions – Variety of encounter – Compelling – Narrative Tension – Role Playing – Socializing – Color – Simulation – Diplomacy Gaming is a artform! Be mindful of what it takes to make it GREAT!