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Choice In Video Games. Ricardo Iván Corral Terrazas (42406455) [email protected] Supervisor: Dr. Michael Hitchens June 13 th , 2012. Agenda. Project Introduction Background Video Game And Game D esign B asics About Ontologies

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choice in video games

Choice In Video Games

Ricardo Iván Corral Terrazas (42406455)

[email protected]

Supervisor: Dr. Michael Hitchens

June 13th, 2012

agenda
Agenda

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

  • Project Introduction
  • Background
    • Video Game And Game Design Basics
    • About Ontologies
  • What Is Choice? Defining The Term
  • An Ontological Model For Choice
  • Findings And Usability Of The Model
  • Conclusions And Future Work
agenda1
Agenda

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

  • Project Introduction
  • Background
    • Video Game And Game Design Basics
    • About Ontologies
  • What Is Choice? Defining The Term
  • An Ontological Model For Choice
  • Findings And Usability Of The Model
  • Conclusions And Future Work
the problem
The Problem

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

  • “Game design is about designing choices” - James Portnow, game designer
  • What is choice?
    • No universal definition
    • Lack of a framework to design choice
  • How well do we understand game design if we don’t understand choice completely?
project aims
Project Aims

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

  • Develop an ontological model to represent the types and scopes of choices
    • Open-ended
    • Flexible
  • Unify the isolated notions of choice into an accurate, concise definition
  • Apply the model to existing games
  • Propose uses for the model
agenda2
Agenda

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

  • Project Introduction
  • Background
    • Video Game And Game Design Basics
    • About Ontologies
  • What Is Choice? Defining The Term
  • An Ontological Model For Choice
  • Findings And Usability Of The Model
  • Conclusions And Future Work
background video games are important
Background:Video Games Are Important
  • 72% of American households play computer games
  • Lots of money involved

Source: The NPD Group/Games Industry: Total Consumer Spend

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

background video game concepts
Background:Video Game Concepts

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

  • 4 elements define video games:
    • Play
    • Pretending
    • Goal
    • Rules
  • Play determines interactivity;rules define gameplay
  • Gameplay consists of challenges and actions
slide9

Background:Game Design 101

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

  • To create gameplay, designers outlinetwo components:
    • Core Mechanics
    • User Interface
  • Game design process:
    • Concept stage
    • Development stage
    • Tuning stage
  • Communication is vital
agenda3
Agenda

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

  • Project Introduction
  • Background
    • Video Game And Game Design Basics
    • About Ontologies
  • What Is Choice? Defining The Term
  • An Ontological Model For Choice
  • Findings And Usability Of The Model
  • Conclusions And Future Work
background about ontologies
Background:About Ontologies

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

  • An ontology is an explicit specification of a shared conceptualisation
  • Benefits of using ontologies:
    • Share common understanding of information
    • Enable reuse of knowledge
    • Make domain assumptions explicit
  • General steps to develop an ontology:
    • Define classes
    • Arrange classes in a taxonomic hierarchy
    • Define slots, describing their allowed values
agenda4
Agenda

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

  • Project Introduction
  • Background
    • Video Game And Game Design Basics
    • About Ontologies
  • What Is Choice? Defining The Term
  • An Ontological Model For Choice
  • Findings And Usability Of The Model
  • Conclusions And Future Work
choice as found in literature
Choice As Found In Literature

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

choice defined
Choice Defined

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

A choice is a possibility offered by the video game, which allows the player to perform actionsthat adhere to the rules as prescribed in the programmed code. To carry out such actions is the decision of the player, and the video game system should reflect them within the state of the virtual world

agenda5
Agenda

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

  • Project Introduction
  • Background
    • Video Game And Game Design Basics
    • About Ontologies
  • What Is Choice? Defining The Term
  • An Ontological Model For Choice
  • Findings And Usability Of The Model
  • Conclusions And Future Work
model overview 1 2
Model Overview (1/2)

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

  • Ontological, open-ended model
  • Aimed for a systematic categorisation of choice
  • Model consist of:
    • 3 metacategories
    • 11 dimensions
    • 30+ classes
  • Black-box analysis
  • Used Grounded theory method
model overview 2 2
Model Overview (2/2)
  • Choice regarding other gameplay mechanics
    • Savability

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

Metacategories

  • Choice regarding player-controlled entities
    • Means for terrain exploration
    • Terrain alteration
    • Avatar appearance
    • Combat
    • Player controllable units
  • Choice regarding virtual world
    • Terrain exploration availability
    • Objects
    • Quests/Missions
    • Non-playable character interaction
    • Morality
example terrain exploration availability
Example: Terrain Exploration Availability

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

condensed ontological model
Condensed Ontological Model

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

agenda6
Agenda

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

  • Project Introduction
  • Background
    • Video Game And Game Design Basics
    • About Ontologies
  • What Is Choice? Defining The Term
  • An Ontological Model For Choice
  • Findings And Usability Of The Model
  • Conclusions And Future Work
applicability of the model 1 2
Applicability Of The Model (1/2)

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

  • Applied model to 7 different games, including:
    • Open-world game
    • Shooter game
    • Platformer/Action game
  • Different types of games present different types of choices to the player
  • Coincidences in the offered choices helps to identify when differences in a game are of a qualitative nature
slide22

Applicability Of The Model (2/2)

  • Platformer game (Mega Man X)

Open-world game (GTA IV)

Shooter game (Gears of War)

usability of the model
Usability Of The Model

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

  • Look at choice and its design systematically
    • Understanding which choices are being offered to the player and how they interact
  • Providing the designer with a knowledge base
    • Communicate with precision (designer – programmer – artist)
  • Diagnosing game design problems
    • When game is failing to deliver meaningful play, it usually comes down to choice
  • Choice-based game classification
agenda7
Agenda

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

  • Project Introduction
  • Background
    • Video Game And Game Design Basics
    • About Ontologies
  • What Is Choice? Defining The Term
  • An Ontological Model For Choice
  • Findings And Usability Of The Model
  • Conclusions And Future Work
conclusions and future work
Conclusions And Future Work

Ricardo I Corral Terrazas (42406455) | Choice In Video Games

Although paramount for game design, choice has not been studied as it ought to

An honest attempt to contribute to the largely neglected video game field was made

The ontology could serve as the grammar that could make communication much easier

Iterations of the refinement process will go on as long as games exist

Include multiplayer and social choices in the model

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