Wireless game design
Download
1 / 30

Wireless Game Design - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 277 Views
  • Updated On :

Wireless Game Design Games Anywhere, Anytime Greg Costikyan www.ungames.com www.costik.com [email protected] Who Am I? 30 Commercially Published Games Online Games Since 1989 First online game with 1m+ users Journalist, Analyst & Consultant Founder & Chief Design Officer, Unplugged Games

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Wireless Game Design' - benjamin


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Wireless game design l.jpg

Wireless Game Design

Games Anywhere, Anytime

Greg Costikyan

[email protected]


Who am i l.jpg
Who Am I?

  • 30 Commercially Published Games

  • Online Games Since 1989

    First online game with 1m+ users

Journalist, Analyst & Consultant

Founder & Chief Design Officer, Unplugged Games

Consultant & Advisory Board Member, The Themis Group

SF Writer


What we re going to do today l.jpg
What We’re Going to Do Today

  • 10-11: Wireless Game Design

11:15-12:30: Game Design Theory

2-3: SMS & MMS Game Design

3-4: WAP Game Design

4:15-6: J2ME & BREW Game Design


Other stuff l.jpg
Other Stuff

  • Mainly Phones, Will Touch on PDAs

Should Have Time for Discussion

Presentations at www.costik.com/presentations/

I talk too fast, and too softly

Stop me before I sin again.


What is a mobile phone l.jpg
What is a Mobile Phone?

  • Device for Sending & Receiving Data

Primarily Geared for Voice

Can Send & Receive Other Data Types

A Small Computersome processing power local RAM typically 128-500k

Limited Mediasmall form factor screen, often b&w input geared to voice calls with some additions sound handling limited


A different game platform l.jpg
A Different Game Platform

  • Like Developing for 8-bit consoles or early micros

...with tiny screens

Networked from the start!

It’s a Social Device

A New Style of Game: Media Poor, Communication Rich


Design to the medium s strengths l.jpg
Design to the Medium’s Strengths

  • ...instead of struggling with its limits

Network Access the Primary Strength

Gameplay is not a function of whizz-bang graphics

It’s a function of quality of interaction.

Nothing is as satisfying as interaction with other people


Other strengths l.jpg
Other Strengths

  • Portability

    why was a primitive platform like Gameboy so successful?

Ubiquity

you take your cellphone everywhere

It’s Always There

play anytime you have a moment free


Aphorisms to design by l.jpg
Aphorisms to Design By

  • “Nobody on their deathbed ever said I wish I had spent more time alone with my computer.”

    --Dani Bunten Berry

“It’s not the motion, it’s the meat.”

--Greg Costikyan

“It’s the people, stupid.”

--Dani Bunten Berry

“It’s a service, not a product.”

--Gordon Walton


What do the strengths imply l.jpg
What do the Strengths Imply?

  • Short Play Times

    it’s a “spare moment” platform

    persistent, short session games as well as short complete

    games.

Play on Their Schedule, Not Yours

Majestic is an example of what not to do

Persistence: a Key Component for Networked Play

Use the Network

...even for soloplay games


Community is vital for networked play l.jpg
Community is Vital for Networked Play

  • True Online Since the Earliest Games

    MUD in 1979

    the COLS in the mid-80s

    both light & hard-core games today

Current Technology Makes it Hard:

no simultaneous voice-and-data

neither WAP nor J2ME provides intrinsic messaging

latency makes multiplayer beyond head-to-head a problem


How you can support community l.jpg
How You CAN Support Community

  • Challenges

Leaderboards

In-Game Messaging

Diplomacy/Trading

Web Site

Buddy Lists/Presence

Clan Messaging (UPOC)


Design for the hard core l.jpg
Design for the Hard Core

  • On the wired Internet, two successful styles:

    • Hardcore games

    • Free “light” games

When people paid by the hour, hardcore ruled (and even today, bring in more money)

This is an early-adopter market

Fighting, combat, sf/fantasy—and sports

Stay away from “gameshows” and classic games


The metagame l.jpg
The Metagame

  • “The Things Around a Game that Affect it”

    Community part of that...

    Deck building & card trading in CCGs

    The baseball season

Metagames lead to obsessive, repeat play

...and your income derives from continued play, not a one-time sale

Leaderboards are a start...


Ways to create a metagame l.jpg
Ways to Create a Metagame

  • Persistence

Tournaments

Trading

Ways for Players to Reward Each Other

Offline Activities (deck construction)

Stable Strategies (Chess, Diplomacy)


Obvious weaknesses l.jpg
Obvious Weaknesses

  • Graphics & sound will always lag other platforms

Small (and variable) form factor

  • Many manufacturers & carriers

    ...and inconsistent implementation of standards

Inputs designed for non-game use

...of course, that’s true of PCs, too...


Less obvious weaknesses l.jpg
Less Obvious Weaknesses

  • Latency is High (1 sec+)

    ...and likely to remain so

Games were a second thought when standards were established

...but no longer are

...but they still don’t understand networked games

  • No support for simultaneous voice-and-data

    ...but has to happen ultimately


Avoid games that depend on low latency l.jpg
Avoid Games that Depend on Low Latency

  • Soloplay games (never hit the air network)

  • Turn-based games.

    • Round-robin

    • Simultaneous movement

  • “Act whenever” games.

    • Limited by real time

“Slow update” games.

“Giants maneuvering in the mist.”


Dealing with the form factor l.jpg
Dealing with the Form Factor

  • One, small window on world

    • No StarCrafts or Civilizations

    • Small board layouts fine (e.g, Chess, card games)

    • One “actor” works (e.g., RPGs, side-scrollers)

  • Games that don’t require a layout at all

    • Mainly text, graphics “dress up” rather than are core to gameplay

Zoom levels


Coping with ui l.jpg
Coping with UI

Avoid Text Entry when feasible

Use Menus

Arrows plus “select”

Nethack/Ultima III keypresses


Design to the business model l.jpg
Design to the Business Model

Is it a service or a product?

What drives your revenue?

How can you maximize player satisfaction and minimize support cost?

Does play style dovetail with business demands?


Design to the technology l.jpg
Design to the Technology

Exploit its strengths

Design around its weaknesses

Demonstrate what’s compelling

Don’t get stuck with the preconceived


What makes this fun l.jpg
What Makes this Fun?

Nobody Knows what Works—You’re free to innovate!

Dev cycle (and costs) are low—You’ll see your work live within months

Someday, soon, a wireless game will blow us away...

Show us something we’ve never seen before

Demonstrate how this medium enables game styles we haven’t seen on consoles, PCs, or in the arcade


Innovate or die l.jpg
Innovate or Die

  • 99% of wireless games aren’t “designed” in any meaningful sense

    load of imitative crap

    rock-paper-scissors, text adventures, fucking HUNT THE WUMPUS, for god’s sake.

Innovation is what blows markets open


Don t be a vidiot l.jpg
Don’t be a Vidiot

Don’t Be Constrained by video and PC games of the last 5 years

“The game” is an amazingly plastic medium; software is infinitely plastic


Look to l.jpg
Look to...

  • Non-digital games

    wargames, RPGs, CCGs, party games, trivia, German boardgames, LARPs, miniatures, PBM, improvisational drama

  • The history of videogames

    puzzle games, sidescrollers, “maze” games, Robotron

  • The history of computer games

    academic games, Balance of Power, M.U.L.E.

  • The history of online

    MUD, multiplayer air sims, “game shows”, Bingo

  • Wonky little areas of innnovation today

    RealArcade, the indy game movement, Sissyfight, Cheapass


I m interested in all sorts of games richard garfield designer of magic the gathering l.jpg

“I’m interested in all sorts of games.”

--Richard Garfield

designer of Magic: The Gathering


Innovation doesn t mean originality ab initio l.jpg
Innovation Doesn’t Mean Originality ab initio

  • “If I see farther, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants who have come before me.”

    --Robert Burton

Steal a la carte, not whole cloth

If you can’t make yourself a Parker, Roberts, Gygax & Arneson, Garfield, Baer, Bartle, Miyamoto, Yeo, or Wright

--at least innovate at the margins


You have the opportunity to reinvent the game l.jpg
You Have the Opportunity to Reinvent “The Game”

for this new medium.

Don’t blow it.

Beer or die.


Slide30 l.jpg
URLS

  • Me:

    www.costik.com

    www.ungames.com

    www.themis-group.com

Wireless Gaming Review:

www.wirelessgamingreview.com


ad