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Game Design Fundamentals: The Formal Elements

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Game Design Fundamentals: The Formal Elements

  1. 1. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Game Design Fundamentals @cwodtke | cwodtke@eleganthack.com www.eleganthack.com CHRISTINA WODTKE Formal Elements This work is licensed under a Crea Commons Attribution-NonCommer ShareAlike 4.0 International Licen
  2. 2. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Let’s make a game Exercise via Brenda Romero
  3. 3. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Draw a path
  4. 4. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Create a way to move • Dice roll • Answer a trivia question • Everyone moves • Person behind moves • Roshambo • Card draw • Pass, but gain currency • Physical skill
  5. 5. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Design Conflict • Speed people up • Slow people down • Extra turn • Lose a turn • Swap places • Block Hold on to these, we’ll come back to them.
  6. 6. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke What is a game? A closed, formal system That engages players in a structured conflict And resolves to an unequal outcome. A dynamic system that supports interaction for an aesthetic goal. Tracy Fullerton
  7. 7. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke "the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles". Bernard Suits
  8. 8. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Mechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics How games create emergent experiences
  9. 9. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke
  10. 10. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke What is a game mechanic?
  11. 11. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke What is a game mechanic? Game mechanics are rule based systems / simulations that facilitate and encourage a user to explore and learn the properties of their possibility space through the use of feedback mechanisms. Raph Koster http://www.moc-pages.com/moc.php/218077
  12. 12. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke The 7 Formal Elements (Mechanic s) • Players • Objectives • Outcomes • Rules • Procedures • Resources • Boundaries Fullerton, T. Game Design Workshop. 2008
  13. 13. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke 1.Players Interaction Patterns Fullerton, T. Game Design Workshop. 2008
  14. 14. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Player vs Game
  15. 15. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Player vs Player
  16. 16. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Multilateral Competition
  17. 17. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Unilateral competition
  18. 18. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Team vs Team
  19. 19. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Multi-player co-op
  20. 20. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Multiplayer player co-op
  21. 21. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke How many players will you have? What relation- ship?
  22. 22. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke 2. Objective(s)
  23. 23. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Goals in games Outwit Solution Exploration Construction Forbidden act Rescue or Escape Alignment Race Chase Capture
  24. 24. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Capture Strategery: Capture enemy Territory
  25. 25. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Race Tiny Wings: Go farther faster
  26. 26. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Alignment: Dots & Bejeweled Match three or more
  27. 27. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Forbidden Action: Fruit Ninja. Don’t hit the bomb.
  28. 28. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Exploration: Lego Harry Potter Wander rooms collecting things
  29. 29. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Construction Farmville: Make Beautiful things
  30. 30. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Solution World of Goo How high can you go without toppling.
  31. 31. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Outwit: Carcassonne Board game (also territory)
  32. 32. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Objective(s) Sometimes many stacked goals that evolve with game progression…
  33. 33. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Objective(s) Sometimes the goals are less clear…
  34. 34. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke 3. Outcomes
  35. 35. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Zero-Sum & Non Zero-sum
  36. 36. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Hide & Seek vs Sardines How does the player relationship, objective and outcome change the game?
  37. 37. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke What are your objectives and outcomes?
  38. 38. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke
  39. 39. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke 4. Resources
  40. 40. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Resources: Minecraft
  41. 41. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Resources: Kingdom Rush
  42. 42. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Resources: Hopscotch
  43. 43. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Resource Types Lives Units Health Currency Actions Power-ups Inventory Special Terrain Time
  44. 44. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke 5. Rules & 6. Procedures • Rules • Requirements that must be followed. • Procedures • How the game flows from state to state.
  45. 45. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Procedures of Solitaire • Setup: 28 cards dealt into 7 tableau piles with the number of cards increasing from one to seven, left to right. Top is face up, rest are face down. • The rest of the cards are the draw pile. • Cards are laid out in descending order, alternating red and black. • Aces can be removed to the foundation.
  46. 46. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Rules of Solitaire • Move any aces up to the foundation. • You can place a card on the aces pile if it’s the same suit • You can place any card in your hand on the preceding card if it’s a different color (red 8 on a black 9) • Then go to the draw pile.
  47. 47. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Boundaries
  48. 48. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke The Magic Circle “All play moves and has its being within a play- ground marked off beforehand either materially or ideally, deliberately or as a matter of course… The arena, the card-table, the magic circle, the temple, the stage, the screen, the tennis court, the court of justice, etc. are all in form and function play-grounds… within which special rules obtain. All are temporary worlds within the ordinary world, dedicated to performance of an act apart.” Johan Huizinga Homo Ludens, 1938
  49. 49. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke
  50. 50. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke
  51. 51. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke
  52. 52. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Magic Circle • “To play a game means entering into a magic circle, or perhaps creating one as a game begins.” • -- Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman, Rules of Play
  53. 53. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Magic Circle • “Games are a context from which meaning can emerge.” • -- Eric Zimmerman,“Jerked Around by the Magic Circle.” • https://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/13 5063/jerked_around_by_the_magic_circle_.p hp
  54. 54. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke The 4 Dramatic Elements Challenge Premise Character Story
  55. 55. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Conflict & Challenge
  56. 56. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke A good walk spoiled
  57. 57. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke What makes games engaging?
  58. 58. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke
  59. 59. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke
  60. 60. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Ravaja, Niklas, et al. The Psychophysiology of Video Gaming: Phasic Emotional Responses to Game Events. Digital Games Research Association International Conference 2005. http://tinyurl.com/7rsfz • More pleasure and excitement in active failure than in success • However: passive experience of failure makes players disengage. • Attaining a goal DECREASES player arousal and interest.
  61. 61. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke “Flappy Bird is a perversely, oppressively difficult game. Scoring even a single point takes most players a considerable number of runs. After an hour, I’d managed a high score of two.” - Ian Bogost
  62. 62. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Challenges • Obstacles • Opponents • Dilemmas
  63. 63. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Premise
  64. 64. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke
  65. 65. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Story
  66. 66. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Story Time
  67. 67. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke
  68. 68. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Characters
  69. 69. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke What do we mean by Dynamics? Get your games out
  70. 70. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Dynamics (Ludemes) Mechanics of mechanics
  71. 71. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Harvest Mechanics Wait longer for more valuable crops
  72. 72. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Collection Mechanic “Gotta catch ‘em all”
  73. 73. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Dynamics are emergent
  74. 74. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Dynamic System • “The designer and the player are both active – if not equal – parts of the entire creative expressive experience which is mediated by the machine.” – Clint Hocking (GDC 2006)
  75. 75. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke A game is unknowable until it is played
  76. 76. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Aesthetics?
  77. 77. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke 8 Kinds of fun • Sensation Game as sense-pleasure (For example, skiing or driving the 92 way too fast. Any ios game that leverages the accelerometer. Arguably Monument Valley.) • Fantasy Game as make-believe (I am a hobbit! or a fashion designer!) • Narrative Game as unfolding story (What will happen next???) • Challenge Game as obstacle course (This game is so hard—said while grinning maniacally) Via Matt LeBlanc
  78. 78. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke 8 Kinds of Fun • Fellowship Game as social framework (playing with others. Apples to Apples, and most board games.) • Discovery Game as uncharted territory (What is over that mountain? Bastion.) • Expression Game as soap box (Making stuff- Minecraft, Farmville.)
  79. 79. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Last of the 8 Submission/ Abnegation Game as mindless pastime (Games that let you tune out. Solitaire. Candy Crush.)
  80. 80. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke The Player decides the Aesthetics And if it’s actually fun. Playtesting helps you get to your goal. Games are unknowable until you play them. Are other kinds of software really that different?
  81. 81. CHRISTINA WODTKE @cwodtke Playtest Next Week’s Exciting Topic!

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