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Game Play Styles Structure of Game Play Game Play Styles Games Have various structures that the user must handle Common structures appear in many games Suggestions? Driving & Physical skill Player must control vehicle/self to win Must conform to environment Music and Dance games do this

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Game play styles l.jpg

Game Play Styles

Structure of Game Play

COMP 7970


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Game Play Styles

  • Games Have various structures that the user must handle

  • Common structures appear in many games

COMP 7970


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Suggestions?

COMP 7970


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Driving & Physical skill

  • Player must control vehicle/self to win

  • Must conform to environment

  • Music and Dance games do this

  • Fighting game combos

  • Jumping in platform games

  • Special moves in Skate / Snow Board

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Puzzle - Arrange Geometry

  • Some self-contained artifact must be rearranged into a solved position

    • Sokoban

    • Solitaire

    • Adventure games

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Dynamic Puzzle

  • Some dynamic artifact must be navigated through

    • Deadly pendulums swinging!

    • Tetris

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Rescue/Collection

  • The player has to get something

    • Someone needs to be saved from peril

      • Defender, Choplifter, Donkey Kong

    • Something needs to be collected

      • Mario Bros, Sonic, etc

      • Diablo, MMORPGs

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Collision Detection

  • Shooting

    • Player shoots a projectile to make progress towards winning

  • Direct Attack by self

  • Collision Avoidance

    • Bullets miss you

    • Block punch/kick

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Obstacle Avoidance

  • Player must avoid environmental objects/enemies to win

    • Pac-Man (Inky, Pinky, etc)

    • Centipede

    • Frogger

    • Mario Bros etc etc

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Obstacle Creation

  • Player creates or controls environment to influence or defeat opponent

  • Eg. Light cycles in Tron

  • Walls in strategy games

  • Go

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Search

  • Something’s hidden in the environment

  • Key to locked door

  • Find best X in Geometric state

    • Words in Bookworm

    • Rows or columns of like color in Bejeweled

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Material Removal

  • Object is to remove opponent’s pieces

  • Examples

    • Chess

    • Checkers

    • War games

    • Action games (Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Asteroids)

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Material Creation

  • Objects are created by user or game

  • May be competing process with Material Removal

  • Direct:

    • Tetris, Go, Othello

  • Indirect

    • Fortifications (Walls created to direct traffic)

    • Economies

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Economic Simulation

  • You must set up a flow of material and/or money

    • Get the most stuff

    • He who dies with the most toys wins!

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Economy Simulation

  • Resource gathering

    • Gold, Wood, Iron, etc, etc

  • Direct

    • AOE gatherer units, C&C

  • Indirect

    • Total Annihilation, Kingdoms,

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Economic Simulation

  • Buildings

    • Create NPCs

      • AOE, Warcraft I, Caesar III

    • Create/transform materials

      • Settlers, Caesar III

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Economic Simulation

  • Traffic Flow

    • Roads!

    • NPC must pass a building for a transaction to take place

      • Zoo Tycoon, Caesar III

    • NPC must stop and deliver/pick something up

      • Railroad Tycoon

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“Research”

  • Create a new technology that makes your NPCs better

    • AOE, Starcraft

  • Advance your civilization

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Dialog/Negotiation

  • You talk to other players/NPCs

    • To learn things

    • To gain/lose membership in a gang/guild/club

    • To coordinate attack/defense

    • Trade

  • Read environment for clues

    • News clippings

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Artificial Life

  • Must grow your creature

    • Train it

    • Feed it

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Fun

Flow -- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Chapter 3 “Enjoyment and the Quality of Life”

Some thoughts on Game Design – Andrew Glassner

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What is fun?

  • Can you name an experience that was supposed to be fun but was not?

  • Not supposed to be fun, but was?

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It depends:

… on audience

… do you have to learn a new language?

Ease of play vs. Challenge

Other experiences: Museum

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Not just software alone!

  • Software + context

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Not just software alone!

  • Software + context

Depends on mood

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What Mihaly did

  • Sociology

  • Interviews

  • Surveys of people’s attitudes

  • Using the beeper -

    • “Tell me how you’re feeling now”

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How can you be happy?

  • Make external conditions match goals

    • eg. “kill the jerks”

      or

  • Change your experience of external conditions

    • Even of house is safe, may still worry

    • Make goals match external conditions

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Happiness

  • Money can’t buy happiness

    • eg. Unhappy rock stars

  • Real happiness

    • What happens to us

    • How we feel about ourselves

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Pleasure

  • Expectations have been met

    • Too high: Hype about experience

    • Low expectations: Random video rental

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Pleasure

  • Expectations have been met

    • Too high: Hype about experience

    • Low expectations: Random video rental

Star Wars I & II

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Enjoyment

  • Forward motion, sense of accomplishment

    • Game with matched opponent

    • Too easy or too hard is no fun!

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Characteristics of Flow

  • Have chance of completing the “task”

  • Able to concentrate

  • Clear goals

  • Immediate feedback

  • Deep but “effortless” involvement

  • Exercise control

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Flow

  • A challenging activity that requires skill

    • Hunting dog story:

    • Dog runs in circles, owner tries to catch dog

    • Dog runs tighter circle when master is tired

    • Dog tunes the challenge!

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Control

  • Paradoxical: Can’t be too afraid of failure

  • Rock climbers minimize risk

  • More than just being in control:

    • Exercising control

  • Illusion of Control

    • Anorexia

    • Gamblers “figure out” chance events

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Addiction

  • Lose ability to control own choices

  • Have you ever been addicted to a game?

    • What was going on in your life at the time?

    • Was it you, or the game?

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Flow

  • Concern for self disappears

    • Returns after experience is over

  • Sense of time duration is altered

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Flow

  • Concern for self disappears

    • Returns after experience is over

  • Sense of time duration is altered

… you notice you’re hungry

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Success

  • “Creates order in consciousness and strengthens the structure of the self”

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Success

  • “Creates order in consciousness and strengthens the structure of the self”

Transition from Beginner to Reasonably Skilled

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Why do games stop being fun?

  • Stagnation

  • Obsolescence (new game improves on old)

  • Plateau in skills

  • Pacing or difficulty

  • Why return to a game:

    • Nostalgia

    • Forgetting the bad things

    • Taking a break to think offline

  • COMP 7970


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    Design to Achieve Flow

    • Pace difficulty

    • Allow control

    • Don’t make things too hard

    • Don’t make things too easy

    COMP 7970


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    Glassner

    • Avoid:

      • Making it easy to cheat

    • People will always exploit bugs

      • Flight sim

      • Multiplayer sim

      • etc. etc.

    COMP 7970


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    Repetition

    • Make it easy for users to repeat things

      • Interactivity != Participation

      • The raw count of mouse clicks is not a good measure of quality!

      • Not all actions taken by the user are desirable. Has to be fun.

    COMP 7970


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    Detail

    • Too much detail

      • Required actions overly detailed

      • Eg. Potions in Ultima Online

    • Under-detailed

      • Don't take control away from the user

    • "A game should offer the fastest and easiest possible way to do everything unless there is some entertaining or informative reason to prevent it."

    COMP 7970


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    Deception

    • Faulty scuba gauge

    COMP 7970


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    Deception

    • Faulty scuba gauge

    • Only discover by death

      • Too severe, plus “save game often” is the simple, tedious solution

    COMP 7970




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    Multiple-Choice Conversations

    Probably OK between Non-Player Characters

    Should have a realistic memory

    COMP 7970


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    Agency

    • "Don't trick players into providing a personality description."

    COMP 7970


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    Agency

    • "Don't trick players into providing a personality description."

    • This is reasonable for Role-Playing Games

    • The conflict is over first person vs. third person play

    • Information about the character is important

      • Can’t play a role without knowing what the role is

    COMP 7970


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    Choices

    • Label them well

    • Don’t keep them guessing

    COMP 7970


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    Complexity

    • Need to have picked up pencil 100 turns ago

    • Brick example: need to click on 100 bricks to find the right one

    COMP 7970


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    Paste-On Interaction

    • Design the game and the UI together

    COMP 7970


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    Character Control

    • Don't take control of the user's character

      • Avoid cut scenes in which your character does something stupid

    COMP 7970


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    Character Control

    • Don't take control of the user's character

      • Avoid cut scenes in which your character does something stupid

    Can use them as a reward

    Must have a plot requirement

    Problem is primarily with first person agency

    COMP 7970


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    Interactive Fiction

    • Respect for the player.

    • Player's time will never be wasted

    • Don’t insult or deny her individuality, intelligence, or creativity

    • The player will always be engaged in fun or interesting events

      • passively

      • interacting with them

    COMP 7970


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