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Small Changes, Big Results. Redefining a PC Franchise for the Nintendo Wii. Hello!. AI/Games GDC Workshops Sims EP Team Lead Designer: Wii!. Let’s Chat. Franchise Analysis (1/3) Designing to New (1/3) Takeaways (1/3). MDA. What is MDA?. Formal Vocabulary Common Language

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Small Changes,

Big Results

Redefining a PC Franchise for the Nintendo Wii


Hello!

  • AI/Games

  • GDC Workshops

  • Sims EP Team

  • Lead Designer: Wii!


Let’s Chat

  • Franchise Analysis (1/3)

  • Designing to New (1/3)

  • Takeaways (1/3)


MDA


What is MDA?

  • Formal Vocabulary

  • Common Language

  • Flexible, Extensible

    Not a Methodology


Rules

Behavior

Fun

How Games Work


Mechanics

Behavior

Fun

In other words…

The rules and concepts that formally specify the game-as-system.


Mechanics

Dynamics

Fun

In other words…

The run-time behavior of the game-as-system.


Mechanics

Dynamics

Aesthetics

In other words…

The desirable emotional responses evoked by the game dynamics.


Mechanics

Dynamics

Aesthetics

Design Perspective

Player

Designer


Mechanics

Dynamics

Aesthetics

Player Perspective

Player

Designer


The Sims


Mechanics

  • Manage Motives

  • Work for $

  • Spend $ to Build/Buy

  • Objects & Social = mood ++

  • Get promoted!


Mechanics


Mechanics

  • Manage Motives

  • Work for $

  • Spend $ to Build/Buy

  • Objects & Social = mood ++

  • Get promoted!

    Events, object & social failures


Dynamics

  • Motives vs. Fun vs. Work

  • Social for Goals

    • Lothario

    • Miser

    • Slacker

  • Keeping up with the Jones’

    • Plate Spinning/RTS Compulsions


Aesthetics

  • Groundhog Day

  • Fixably Broken

  • Unique Successes and Failures

    “How funny! Should I fix it?”


Success!

  • Millions of units sold

  • Player community thrives

    • Houses

    • Objects

    • Sims

    • Stories!


Q: More?

  • Controls (more to balance)

  • Tools (more to shape)

  • Information (more storytelling)


A: Storytelling

  • Dream… or Nightmare?

  • Romance… or Feud?

  • Real… or Fantasy?


Storytelling

  • Dream… or Nightmare?

  • Romance… or Feud?

  • Real… or Fantasy?

    Life!


The Sims of our Lives

  • Aesthetic: Lifetime

  • Dynamics: Generations

  • Mechanics: Aging, Wants & Fears


Aesthetics First

  • Aesthetic: Lifetime

  • Dynamics: Generations

  • Mechanics: Aging, Wants & Fears

    Play to Tell Your Story!


Fan-tastic!


Aesthetic… Verbs

  • Savor

  • Experiment

  • Create

  • Achieve


Wii Ho!

  • New Context

  • New UI

  • New Game


First Impressions

  • Aesthetics

    • Tactile

    • Clean Lines

    • Family-oriented


First Impressions

  • Dynamics

    • Active

    • Expressive

    • Communal


Mechanics?

  • Consider

    • Core Activities

    • Tactile world

    • New Look

    • Simple but powerful tools


A New World

  • Comfortable pace

    • Savor

    • Create

  • Clear goals

    • Achieve

    • Experiment


MySims

  • Core Cycle

    • Explore (Look what I found!)

    • Build (Look what I made!)

    • Exchange (Look what they did!)


Achievement?

  • Growth

    • More Sims

    • More Buildings

    • More Levels


Collect

Town Growth

Build +

Customize

Socialize

Sim Needs

Exchange


Look What I Found!

  • Mechanic:

    • Open world, hidden goodies

  • Dynamic:

    • Explore and discover

  • Aesthetic:

    • World, not a Set


Look What I Made!

  • Mechanic:

    • Decomposable/Recomposable

  • Dynamic:

    • Design + Build things

  • Aesthetic:

    • You control it!


Look What They Did!

  • Mechanic:

    • Reactive/Responsive Sims

  • Dynamic:

    • Individual and Group Expression

  • Aesthetic:

    • Comic, clockwork world


Takeaways


It’s all about Tactility

  • Controller lets players

    • Touch the world

    • Poke the systems

    • Build a community for their Sims


Aesthetics are key

  • Savor

  • Experiment

  • Create

  • Achieve


Aesthetics are key

  • Touch

  • Savor

  • Experiment

  • Create

  • Achieve


Aesthetics are key

  • Touch

  • Poke

  • Savor

  • Experiment

  • Create

  • Achieve


Aesthetics are key

  • Touch

  • Poke

  • Shape

  • Savor

  • Experiment

  • Create

  • Achieve


Aesthetics are key

  • Touch

  • Poke

  • Shape

  • Drive

  • Savor

  • Experiment

  • Create

  • Achieve


M Supports A

  • Mechanics are our domain

  • Aesthetics are closer to player

  • Creativity is the goal


Shared Design

  • Support expression

    • Iconic Sims + Powerful Tools


Shared Design

  • Support exploration

    • World of Nooks n’ Crannies


Shared Design

  • Reflect Investments

    • Player = Clever

    • Sims are X, Y, Z – because of you!!!

    • “It’s in your hands!”


(sexy video)


Stay Tuned…

  • mysims.com

    Turn in your Eval!


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