Tuesday, November 14, 2017

SocietyMassCom: How to Design a Game (W13-P4) Fa17


Let's design a game.  No, not a full-blown game.  Think a basic plan.  A draft.  An outline.
Are there certain types of games that you like to play?  Perhaps you have an idea for a game like the types of games you play?

How do you design a good game? What are the components of good game design?  Let's see what we need to know and then we'll design a game.




Game design: "the implementation of a story or gameplay idea into a playable form" (Crash Course).
It includes the "art, programming and writing that goes into a game."

Early in the game design process there may be sketches and pencil and paper versions of the game.  Think of this as the early drafts.

Basic building blocks of game design:

  • Space: "the sound, the lighting, the color, and the physical space" of the game.  The environment in which the game is played.
  • Components: "the objects that exist in the space and are used to play the game."
  • Mechanics: "involve what the player can actually do in the game, so think verbs."  The activities that the player can do within the game.
  • Goals: what the players are trying to achieve.
  • Rules: "help players understand how to play the game."  They define the game. 

Missing component:
Story: the characters and plot of the game.

So, now let's develop a draft of what is called a game design document.

In the game design document, give your game a title and this describe the each of the building blocks of the game.  It might be helpful to start with goals.  You might also find some sketches helpful.


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SocietyMassCom: Video Games & Violence (W13-P3) Fa17


Screen capture from an Assassin's Creed game.















What do we learn from video games?
What do children learn from video games?   Aggression?  Violence?


To help us think about that, let's first look at some the latest research on the topic.

"Actually, violent video games don’t create violent children, study says"


If interested, you can read the original research article that the news article is based on ("Video Gaming and Children’s Psychosocial Wellbeing: A Longitudinal Study").

The news article (in Salon) does not provide context.  There is no mention of past research or other current research on violence and video games.  Let's take care of that.





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SocietyMassCom: What is a Game? (W13-P2) Fa17

Let's start with this Crash Course video.  We'll have some questions after.




What games do you play?

What is a game?

Game: "a construct that organizes play through a series of rules, for the purpose of achieving a set of goals, overcoming obstacles, and/or attaining an objective" (Crash Course).

Crawford's categories... playthings... playthings with a goal... challenge ... challenge with second party involved ... conflict ... participants do interact or interfere ---> Game

Why play games?  Why do you play games?



What's gamification?

gamification:"the use of game-like mechanics, such as earning points, badges or rewards for doing certain actions, in non-game settings" (Pavlik & McIntosh).

Serious games?  Examples?

serious games:"Games created to be fun and educational, using game dynamics to instruct players on topics" (Pavlik & McIntosh).



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