game design principles part 2 challenge and conflict n.
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Game Design Principles Part 2 : Challenge and Conflict. Jehee Lee Seoul National University. Challenge Necessitates Rules. All challenges take place in some sort of defined context, setting the conditions (rules) under which the challenge is presented Most challenges are voluntary.

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Game Design Principles Part 2 : Challenge and Conflict

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challenge necessitates rules
Challenge Necessitates Rules
  • All challenges take place in some sort of defined context, setting the conditions (rules) under which the challenge is presented
  • Most challenges are voluntary
goal vs challenge
Goal vs. Challenge
  • The goal of mountain climbing is to get to the top of the mountain
  • Mountain climbing would be so much easier with a helicopter, but that would remove all the challenge
  • Most climbers have a set of self-imposed rules that limit their utilization of such aides
  • The point is the challenge, not the goal
rules and challenges
Rules and Challenges
  • The primary purpose of rules is to prevent strategies that subvert the challenge
    • In most sports games, there is some sort of boundary and any play that goes “out of bounds” is forbidden by the rules
  • It is possible to ruin a good challenge by exploiting loopholes in the rules
  • “Lock on victory”: A strategy or technique that guarantees success
    • Eg) MazeWar (one of the earliest multiplayer games)
rules and challenges1
Rules and Challenges
  • A good game design ensures that only the challenging ways are possible
  • What constitutes a challenging strategy?
dimensions of challenge
Dimensions of Challenge
  • Cerebellar challenges
  • Sensorimotor challenges
  • Spatial reasoning
  • Pattern recognition
  • Sequential reasoning
  • Numerical reasoning
  • Resource management
  • Social reasoning
cerebellar challenges
Cerebellar Challenges
  • The cerebellum is the control module for motor functions
  • Motor control procedure
    • High-level brain decisions are passed to the cerebellum
    • Breaks each command down into smaller, precisely timed commands to trigger particular muscle bundles
    • These commands go down the brain stem to the spinal cord and thence to the muscles
cerebellar challenges1
Cerebellar Challenges
  • There are only a few sports that are exclusively cerebellar in nature
    • Eg) Discus, shot-put and javelin
    • Do not involve much sensory input
    • Do not require accuracy of aim
sensorimotor challenges
Sensorimotor Challenges
  • Most cerebellar challenges include a sensory element
    • You don’t just trigger muscles in some predetermined sequence
    • You must use your senses (most often vision) to direct and control the muscular activity
  • Even a simple human behavior require very accurate sensory-motor coordination
    • A single neuron takes a few milliseconds to fire
    • How do we attain the accuracy?
sensorimotor challenges1
Sensorimotor Challenges
  • Most sensorimotor challenges require the integration of visual information with motor response
    • Eg) Hand-eye coordination
  • Sport vs videogames
    • Full-body exercise vs. swift thumbs
sensorimotor challenges2
Sensorimotor Challenges
  • The neural pathways utilized in sensorimotor challenges are complex
  • Visual data passes from the retina to the visual cortex
  • Processed into visually meaningful components
  • Travels to the cerebral cortex
  • Decide what to do (high-level processing)
  • Decisions are passed down to cerebellum
  • Muscle action
pushing the pathways down
Pushing the Pathways Down
  • Any process that we concentrate on repetitively can develop its own custom neural pathways that render its operation faster and smoother
  • By moving the pathways lower into the brain, the player reduces the amount of processing required to react to events in the game or sports
    • Decision making is no longer conscious or deliberate
    • Often described as “instinctive”
  • The brain can learn different tasks with different degrees of facility
altered states of consciousness
Altered States of Consciousness
  • Human are programmed to learn, and successful learning is intrinsically pleasurable
  • Some players devote the entire mental resource to the learning process and shut conscious processing down
    • Similar to altered states of consciousness induced by drug
analogy between videogame and drug
Analogy between Videogame and Drug
  • Pleasure
    • “videogamer’s high” attained at a certain level of proficiency
  • The sense of power and invulnerability
    • Drug users report the feeling that they are smarter, more creative, and able to see more deeply into their souls
    • Some videogamers report similar experience
  • The loss of awareness of the real world
  • Addiction
higher level reasoning
Higher-level Reasoning
  • Spatial reasoning
    • Eg) Identifying a bad guy popping up
  • Pattern recognition
    • Eg) a puzzle game in which the player was presented with a random pattern of colored dots that slowly dissolved into a recognizable image
    • Eg) Boardgames
  • Sequential reasoning
    • Eg) Baduk, Chess
    • Programmers tend to overemphasize sequential reasoning because it comes so easily to them
higher level reasoning1
Higher-level Reasoning
  • Numerical reasoning
    • Usually a tedious challenge
  • Resource management
    • Eg) In strategy games, the player must carefully marshal a limited supply of scarce resources
    • Eg) ammunition and health in shooters
    • Some of the best game designers argue that resource management is central to game design
higher level reasoning2
Higher-level Reasoning
  • Social reasoning
    • Less developed source of challenge
    • Eg) The sims
    • Eg) Ms. Pac-Man
    • Eg) Redmango tycoon (mobile game serviced by SKT, LG, KT)
  • Conflict makes challenge personal
  • Challenge without conflict is usually predictable
    • Eg) A cliff waiting to be climbed
    • Eg) A puzzle waiting to be solved
  • Conflict enlivens and animates challenge
dimension of conflict
Dimension of Conflict
  • Physical
    • Dominance and deadly conflict
    • Typically, dominance conflict is applied to members of one’s own species, where deadly conflict is applied to other species
  • Verbal
    • “Insult battle” vs “boasting battle”
    • Narrative assault
      • The attacker tells a fascinating story to audience, but the story contains elements inimical to the opponent
dimension of conflict1
Dimension of Conflict
  • Political
    • Recruit allies and undermine their opponent’s alliances
    • Eg) back-stabbing, bad-mouthing, insinuation, false accusation, falsely informing the victim’s allies that he has betrayed them, and so on
  • Economic
    • Primary form of conflict in business environment
    • You can financially ruin your adversary
directness of conflict
Directness of Conflict
  • Conflict can be prosecuted with varying degree of directness
    • Two combatants face to face at arm’s length
    • Using guns: increase physical distance
    • Using rockets to destroy distant opponents
    • Tossing a grenade through a window
    • Time bomb, booby trap
  • Recoursing to indirection can often yield more interesting possibilities and satisfaction
directness of conflict1
Directness of Conflict
  • Various forms of indirectness
    • Using agents
    • Shoot the rope holding the big weight to kill the enemy
    • Spatial and temporal dimensions
      • Eg) trading embargo, financial offensive
  • Indirect approaches tend to be less violent
    • More subtle and often take longer to achieve the goal
intensity of conflict
Intensity of Conflict
  • Conflict is carried out with varying degree of intensity
    • can be concentrated into a short time
    • can be spread out over a longer time
  • The duration of gameplay is related to the intensity of conflict
    • A well-pace game design will rely on more indirect, less intense forms of conflict if it is to last a long time
  • Violence is the most intense, direct, physical form of conflict
  • The objection to extreme violence is not so much moral as aesthetic
intensity and the evolution of taste
Intensity and the Evolution of Taste
  • Candy vs sophisticated foods
    • Children tend to positively respond to direct conflict
    • Adults can enjoy subtlety, variety and indirectness
  • Are there many videogames that appeal to adult taste ?