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Diversion Play Styles

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  1. Game Play Styles Structure of Game Play COMP 7970

  2. Game Play Styles • Games Have various structures that the user must handle • Common structures appear in many games COMP 7970

  3. Suggestions? COMP 7970

  4. 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

  5. Puzzle - Arrange Geometry • Some self-contained artifact must be rearranged into a solved position • Sokoban • Solitaire • Adventure games COMP 7970

  6. Dynamic Puzzle • Some dynamic artifact must be navigated through • Deadly pendulums swinging! • Tetris COMP 7970

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Obstacle Avoidance • Player must avoid environmental objects/enemies to win • Pac-Man (Inky, Pinky, etc) • Centipede • Frogger • Mario Bros etc etc COMP 7970

  10. Obstacle Creation • Player creates or controls environment to influence or defeat opponent • Eg. Light cycles in Tron • Walls in strategy games • Go COMP 7970

  11. 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

  12. Material Removal • Object is to remove opponent’s pieces • Examples • Chess • Checkers • War games • Action games (Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Asteroids) COMP 7970

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Economy Simulation • Resource gathering • Gold, Wood, Iron, etc, etc • Direct • AOE gatherer units, C&C • Indirect • Total Annihilation, Kingdoms, COMP 7970

  16. Economic Simulation • Buildings • Create NPCs • AOE, Warcraft I, Caesar III • Create/transform materials • Settlers, Caesar III COMP 7970

  17. 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

  18. “Research” • Create a new technology that makes your NPCs better • AOE, Starcraft • Advance your civilization COMP 7970

  19. 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

  20. Artificial Life • Must grow your creature • Train it • Feed it COMP 7970

  21. COMP 7970

  22. Fun Flow -- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Chapter 3 “Enjoyment and the Quality of Life” Some thoughts on Game Design – Andrew Glassner COMP 7970

  23. 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

  24. Is it reasonable to say some software “Is fun” ? COMP 7970

  25. 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

  26. Not just software alone! • Software + context COMP 7970

  27. Not just software alone! • Software + context Depends on mood COMP 7970

  28. What Mihaly did • Sociology • Interviews • Surveys of people’s attitudes • Using the beeper - • “Tell me how you’re feeling now” COMP 7970

  29. 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

  30. Happiness • Money can’t buy happiness • eg. Unhappy rock stars • Real happiness • What happens to us • How we feel about ourselves COMP 7970

  31. Pleasure • Expectations have been met • Too high: Hype about experience • Low expectations: Random video rental COMP 7970

  32. Pleasure • Expectations have been met • Too high: Hype about experience • Low expectations: Random video rental Star Wars I & II COMP 7970

  33. Enjoyment • Forward motion, sense of accomplishment • Game with matched opponent • Too easy or too hard is no fun! COMP 7970

  34. Characteristics of Flow • Have chance of completing the “task” • Able to concentrate • Clear goals • Immediate feedback • Deep but “effortless” involvement • Exercise control COMP 7970

  35. 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

  36. 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

  37. 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

  38. Flow • Concern for self disappears • Returns after experience is over • Sense of time duration is altered COMP 7970

  39. Flow • Concern for self disappears • Returns after experience is over • Sense of time duration is altered … you notice you’re hungry COMP 7970

  40. Success • “Creates order in consciousness and strengthens the structure of the self” COMP 7970

  41. Success • “Creates order in consciousness and strengthens the structure of the self” Transition from Beginner to Reasonably Skilled COMP 7970

  42. Why do games stop being fun? COMP 7970

  43. 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

  44. Design to Achieve Flow • Pace difficulty • Allow control • Don’t make things too hard • Don’t make things too easy COMP 7970

  45. Glassner • Avoid: • Making it easy to cheat • People will always exploit bugs • Flight sim • Multiplayer sim • etc. etc. COMP 7970

  46. 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

  47. 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

  48. Deception • Faulty scuba gauge COMP 7970

  49. Deception • Faulty scuba gauge • Only discover by death • Too severe, plus “save game often” is the simple, tedious solution COMP 7970

  50. Large-Scale Randomness COMP 7970