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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

Game Play Styles

Structure of Game Play

COMP 7970

game play styles2
Game Play Styles
  • Games Have various structures that the user must handle
  • Common structures appear in many games

COMP 7970

suggestions
Suggestions?

COMP 7970

driving physical skill
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

COMP 7970

puzzle arrange geometry
Puzzle - Arrange Geometry
  • Some self-contained artifact must be rearranged into a solved position
    • Sokoban
    • Solitaire
    • Adventure games

COMP 7970

dynamic puzzle
Dynamic Puzzle
  • Some dynamic artifact must be navigated through
    • Deadly pendulums swinging!
    • Tetris

COMP 7970

rescue collection
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

COMP 7970

collision detection
Collision Detection
  • Shooting
    • Player shoots a projectile to make progress towards winning
  • Direct Attack by self
  • Collision Avoidance
    • Bullets miss you
    • Block punch/kick

COMP 7970

obstacle avoidance
Obstacle Avoidance
  • Player must avoid environmental objects/enemies to win
    • Pac-Man (Inky, Pinky, etc)
    • Centipede
    • Frogger
    • Mario Bros etc etc

COMP 7970

obstacle creation
Obstacle Creation
  • Player creates or controls environment to influence or defeat opponent
  • Eg. Light cycles in Tron
  • Walls in strategy games
  • Go

COMP 7970

search
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

COMP 7970

material removal
Material Removal
  • Object is to remove opponent’s pieces
  • Examples
    • Chess
    • Checkers
    • War games
    • Action games (Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Asteroids)

COMP 7970

material creation
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

COMP 7970

economic simulation
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!

COMP 7970

economy simulation
Economy Simulation
  • Resource gathering
    • Gold, Wood, Iron, etc, etc
  • Direct
    • AOE gatherer units, C&C
  • Indirect
    • Total Annihilation, Kingdoms,

COMP 7970

economic simulation16
Economic Simulation
  • Buildings
    • Create NPCs
      • AOE, Warcraft I, Caesar III
    • Create/transform materials
      • Settlers, Caesar III

COMP 7970

economic simulation17
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

COMP 7970

research
“Research”
  • Create a new technology that makes your NPCs better
    • AOE, Starcraft
  • Advance your civilization

COMP 7970

dialog negotiation
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

COMP 7970

artificial life
Artificial Life
  • Must grow your creature
    • Train it
    • Feed it

COMP 7970

slide22

Fun

Flow -- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Chapter 3 “Enjoyment and the Quality of Life”

Some thoughts on Game Design – Andrew Glassner

COMP 7970

what is fun
What is fun?
  • Can you name an experience that was supposed to be fun but was not?
  • Not supposed to be fun, but was?

COMP 7970

slide25
Is it reasonable to say some software “Is fun” ?

It depends:

… on audience

… do you have to learn a new language?

Ease of play vs. Challenge

Other experiences: Museum

COMP 7970

not just software alone
Not just software alone!
  • Software + context

COMP 7970

not just software alone27
Not just software alone!
  • Software + context

Depends on mood

COMP 7970

what mihaly did
What Mihaly did
  • Sociology
  • Interviews
  • Surveys of people’s attitudes
  • Using the beeper -
    • “Tell me how you’re feeling now”

COMP 7970

how can you be happy
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

COMP 7970

happiness
Happiness
  • Money can’t buy happiness
    • eg. Unhappy rock stars
  • Real happiness
    • What happens to us
    • How we feel about ourselves

COMP 7970

pleasure
Pleasure
  • Expectations have been met
    • Too high: Hype about experience
    • Low expectations: Random video rental

COMP 7970

pleasure32
Pleasure
  • Expectations have been met
    • Too high: Hype about experience
    • Low expectations: Random video rental

Star Wars I & II

COMP 7970

enjoyment
Enjoyment
  • Forward motion, sense of accomplishment
    • Game with matched opponent
    • Too easy or too hard is no fun!

COMP 7970

characteristics of flow
Characteristics of Flow
  • Have chance of completing the “task”
  • Able to concentrate
  • Clear goals
  • Immediate feedback
  • Deep but “effortless” involvement
  • Exercise control

COMP 7970

slide35
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!

COMP 7970

control
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

COMP 7970

addiction
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?

COMP 7970

slide38
Flow
  • Concern for self disappears
    • Returns after experience is over
  • Sense of time duration is altered

COMP 7970

slide39
Flow
  • Concern for self disappears
    • Returns after experience is over
  • Sense of time duration is altered

… you notice you’re hungry

COMP 7970

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

COMP 7970

success41
Success
  • “Creates order in consciousness and strengthens the structure of the self”

Transition from Beginner to Reasonably Skilled

COMP 7970

why do games stop being fun43
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

design to achieve flow
Design to Achieve Flow
  • Pace difficulty
  • Allow control
  • Don’t make things too hard
  • Don’t make things too easy

COMP 7970

glassner
Glassner
  • Avoid:
    • Making it easy to cheat
  • People will always exploit bugs
    • Flight sim
    • Multiplayer sim
    • etc. etc.

COMP 7970

repetition
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

detail
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

deception
Deception
  • Faulty scuba gauge

COMP 7970

deception49
Deception
  • Faulty scuba gauge
  • Only discover by death
    • Too severe, plus “save game often” is the simple, tedious solution

COMP 7970

multiple choice conversations52
Multiple-Choice Conversations

Probably OK between Non-Player Characters

Should have a realistic memory

COMP 7970

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

COMP 7970

agency54
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

choices
Choices
  • Label them well
  • Don’t keep them guessing

COMP 7970

complexity
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

paste on interaction
Paste-On Interaction
  • Design the game and the UI together

COMP 7970

character control
Character Control
  • Don't take control of the user's character
    • Avoid cut scenes in which your character does something stupid

COMP 7970

character control59
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

interactive fiction
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