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Formal Elements - Players. Section C: Game design culture and play. Recognize social game interaction. Engagement Activity. Introduction to formal elements: Gin rummy. SOCIAL GAME FORMATS.

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Section c game design culture and play

Section C: Game design culture and play

Recognize social game interaction

Engagement activity
Engagement Activity

Introduction to formal elements:

Gin rummy

Social game formats

Many games are played with more than one player. These games have a social aspect that allows players to interact with other player.

  • Online multiplayer

    • players connect home PC’s to the Internet.

    • played by thousands of players at the same

    • Crazy Arcade

Social game formats1

Online multiplayer (cont)

  • usually run 24/7

  • subscription-based system - players play a monthly fee

  • encourage players to form groups to solve problems

  • these relationships formed are strong incentives for continuing the game

Social game formats2


  • biggest issues related is how to balance social interaction with immersion.

  • benefits -meet new people from everywhere

  • problem -is player misbehavior.

  • The Internet allows player anonymity resulting in rude, cheating, or fraudulent behavior.

Social game formats3


  • Puzzle Pirates -MMOPG.

  • game master (GM) -player that acts as an organizer, arbitrator, or rules official.

  • MMOG -massively multiplayer online games.

  • MMORPG -massively multiplayer online role-playing games.

Social game formats4


  • MMOFPS stands for massively multiplayer online first-person shooters games.

  • MMORTS stands for massively multiplayer online real-time strategy games.

The game community
The Game Community

  • develops any time players get together to play a game.

  • continually changes - may be as small as two players playing a dance game or as large as an internet poker community.

  • developers control the boundaries with the game rules and roles.

The game community1
The Game Community

  • evolves depending on the player’s personality, the interactions between the players, and the larger social context of the game.

  • more like a convention where players drop in and out instead of a sports team where the players are constant.

The game community2
The Game Community

closed and open systems.

  • closed environment - -no outside exchange with the environment.

  • open when the community of players continually changes.

  • The play can be both open and closed.

  • A closed play game would be bounded.

The game community3
The Game Community

closed and open systems.

  • The community starts as the game begins and disappears as the game concludes.

  • The rules of the game have a big influence on the outcome.

  • The open play game has a group of players across several games and many different game sessions

The game community4
The Game Community


  • games beyond the basic game, interplay that arises outside the rules

  • tactics that uses features that lie outside the intended game use or that exploit errors in programming

The game community5
The Game Community


  • Ex: A player discovers - when a weapon is fired at the ground, jumping power are increased

  • the increased power allows them to overcome obstacles normally were not reachable.

  • this was not the intended purpose of the game..

The game community6
The Game Community


  • game developers must consider the target audience.

  • to understand the makeup of the audience, researchers study demographics of a population.

The game community7
The Game Community


  • Demographics include relevant economic as well as social statistics about the population.

  • Age, gender, and income, are used to separate the audience into target groups called markets.

The game community8
The Game Community


  • Besides demographics, players of the game have special classifications.

  • Player interest for playing a specific game falls into categories such as explorers, collectors, competitors, jokers, storytellers, and so forth.

The game community9
The Game Community

Industry has divided players into 2 groups:

  • Hard Core Players

    • play games over AND OVER AGAIN

    • many long sessions and have frequent discussions

    • knowledgeable about the gaming industry and usually possess all of the latest games.

    • have desires to extend existing games creatively.

    • have a higher frustration level than casual players

    • engage in competition with themselves, the game, and others

  • Casual players.

    These are the rest of the game players who are not hard-core

The game community10
The Game Community


  • one area that has a niche in the game market.

  • can add accessibility options

  • Research has discovered that playing sports or fighting games helps distract children suffering from chronic pain (The Edmonton Journal, Feb 13th 2006).

The game community11
The Game Community


  • being used for cancer treatment, weight control, and improved motor coordination.

  • Dance Dance Revolution has helped many children lose weight and gain motor development.

  • Adding these accessibility features can increase sales as well as improved PR


  • Games designed for players. Without players, games have no reason to exist.

  • When designing a game that you need to consider

    • How many players does the game require?

    • How many total players does the game support?

    • Do various players have different roles?

    • Do players compete, cooperate, or both?

Virtual reality
Virtual Reality

The simulation of reality through technology.  Many reasons VR has become popular in games.

  • Lessen Dangers associated with the real experience - flight simulation for combat helicopter pilots.

  • provide a training environment where mistakes are less permanent and costly - management of nuclear power stations or s chemical plants.  

Virtual reality1
Virtual Reality

  • History-can provide a useful and exciting way of teaching history, in a school or a museum.

  • Ethics- users might have the freedom to commit rape and murder within the VR environment.

  • In the near future, it may be technically possible to construct VR in such a way that almost every possibility of the user's imagination can be fulfilled.

  • Will designers or society place arbitrary limits on what is possible within VR?  VR can also heighten the experience and pleasure in a virtual world not possible in the real world VR thus proposes exciting, intriguing, but dangerous possibilities.

Number of players
Number of Players

  • A game designed for one player is different than a game designed for two, four, or 10,000 players.

  • A game designed for a specific number of players has different considerations than a game designed for a variable number of players.

Roles of players
Roles of Players

  • Most games have uniform roles for all players in the game.

  • Some games have more than one role for players to choose between. In Mastermind, one player chooses to be the code-breaker, while the other chooses to be the code-maker.

  • Role Playing Games (RPG’s) have a variety of roles for players to choose between.

Player interaction patterns
Player Interaction Patterns

  • When you design a game, what will be the interaction between a player, the game system and any other players?

  • There are seven major player patterns:

1 single player vs game
1. Single Player vs Game

  • Most common pattern for digital gaming(use Cards)

  • Includes puzzles and other game structures to create conflict. (solitaire)

2 multiple individual players vs game
2. Multiple Individual Players vs Game

  • Multiple players compete against the game in the company of each other.

  • Action is not directed at each other.

  • No interaction between players is required.

  • Essentially, this pattern is a single-player game played in the company of others. (Race)

3 player vs player
3. Player vs Player

  • A game where two players directly compete.

  • Classic structure for strategy games and good for competitive players.

  • One-on-one makes competition a personal contest.

  • The intense competition marks this pattern for focused, head-to-head play. (war)

4 unilateral competition
4. Unilateral Competition

  • Two or more players compete against one player.

  • Examples include tag and dodge ball.

  • Interesting model for combining cooperative and competitive gameplay.

5 multilateral competition
5. Multilateral Competition

  • Game structure in which three or more players directly compete.

  • This pattern is what people think of when they think of multiplayer games.

  • Board games are multilateral for between three – six players usually. (Hearts-Spades)

6 cooperative play
6. Cooperative Play

  • Two or more players cooperate against the game system. (Farmville)

  • Often found in children’s board games.

7 team competition
7. Team Competition

  • Game structure in which two or more groups compete.

  • Includes soccer, basketball and charades.

  • This game structure can provide fun for fans of the teams as well as the players. (Spades)


  • Play games with each type of player interaction. See handout.