The Origins of Flow | Motivate. Play. - Aurora As a reader of MP, there's a decent chance that you're already familiar with the concept of "flow" championed by positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced like this, not this). If you aren't up to speed on it, fear not; I'll go into the details in just a moment. The notion is immensely popular among game designers and theorists, whether they want to leverage games' power to put us into a flow state to pursue social good, are using psychophysiological tools to quantify flow and keep players in it, or simply using it as the blueprint for good game design. But as much as the games community wants to take flow as its own, there's more to the story. I finally sat down and read Csikszentmihalyi's principal book on the topic, and the truth of the matter is that "flow" is much more than a gaming concept. The key realization, and the one Csikszentmihalyi is famous for, is that there's a sweet spot where challenge and skill are well-matched that he dubbed the "flow channel".
Welcome to Flow in Games Abstract | Introduction | Foundation | Design Flow in Games | Implement Flow in Games | Conclusion | Bibliography “TWENTY-THREE HUNDRED YEARS AGO Aristotle concluded that, more than anything else, men and women seek happiness...” - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990) Motivation In the last 30 years, as a form of entertainment, video games have evolved from confined arcade activities into a mature media. Video games have deeply infiltrated our daily life and our society. As if toys expanded every child’s imagination, modern videogames take advantage of a player's active involvement to open more possibilities than any other existing mediums. However, video games are still recognized by the majority, who do not play video games, as shallow and aggression-provoking materials. Due to the nature of marketing and business, making video games purely for non-gamers is too risky and impractical. The quality and the budget of typical commercial video games today can easily reach over 20 million dollars.
Neurology of Gaming, Infographic « All Kinds of Minds As with most things, “gaming” (or being engaged in video games) has both positives and negatives when it comes to developing minds. Too much gaming, and the positive effects are overshadowed by the negative. Yet, the right balance can add another avenue for pursuing educational goals and achievement. As a result, more and more programs are using gaming to reach and teach students in ways they never could before. Therapy programs, schools, and even research scientists have all benefitted from the strategic use of games to increase successes. Below is an infographic from Online Universities looking at the brain on games. Image: Online University Like this: Like Loading...
Dissertation « The Dreaming Game Designer This large post has the final version of my dissertation, be advised that the word count came in at 6585 words, it’s a long read but you should be able to just skip to the Further Issues & The Nature of Puzzles sections right at the end without losing out on too much content. The Challenge of Puzzle Solving in Games – Robert Farr Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of BA in Creative Computer Games Design at Swansea Metropolitan University (Formerly Swansea Institute of Higher Education) Table of Contents Word Count 6585 Chapter 1: Introduction What is a game? In order to do the above it is first necessary to examine the definition of a game as this informs further discussion of the reasons for why adventure games have suffered recently. For simplicity we shall instead focus on a definition authored by game designer Greg Costikyan. What is a First Person Shooter? What is a Graphic Adventure Game? Chapter Summary Chapter 2: First Person Shooter Half-Life Far Cry 2
Making Computer Games Is Easy « Meditations on First Gaming Phil Well, not really. Obviously the process of actually making a real game is laboriously difficult and beset with more problems than you could ever presuppose (which is sort of the point), so difficult that any project of any size will find it hard to ever estimate how long their game will take to make. If we are talking man hours to actual end content making games is ludicrously difficult. So maybe we can say finishing a game is hard, but actually making one? As in, getting out a tech demo/general proof of concept and letting it evolve? Now that, well that isn’t that hard. Mario is a paradigm we all understand, controls and rules we are familiar with, so where ever the game wants to pull off its quirk (Time Travel! But that’s the thing. My premier theory for Why All Games Are Shit ™ (Alternatively: Why Gaming Isn’t An Art-form ™ or Why All Mainstream Games Are The Same ™) is that to ever get to the position in any studio that gets its works published you’d already have to A. Like this:
National Geographic, plan it green! Following the news and arguments on city builders’ games, 18th of March last National geographic published a social simulation game. Plan it Green, a new generation serious game, helps with a casual gameplay building the youth ecological awareness. National Geographic, the world’s largest non-profit scientific and educational organisation founded to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge, has developed in partnership with GE (NYSE: GE) and the Center for Science, a free-to-play online game allowing players to design their own city and build it into the greenest, most energy-efficient urban centre in the world. The lesson that National Geographic teaches takes the player a step further than those normally learned at school. Built on a multi-player online platform, Plan it Green teaches about energy technology and better energy future. To discover more about Plan it Green, click HERE.
20 best designs in video games | Video games Anything you can possibly imagine can be realised in a video game, so why dedicate all your time to simply replicating the designs and patterns that we're used to in reality? But some designers get it right, playing to the strengths of the medium, and creating games that are visually striking and artistically inspiring. Here, we pick our 20 favourite designs in games history and grab some leading games designer views. The hood - Assassin's Creed The stories of the Assassin's Creed heroes are separated by hundreds of years, but there's one stylish visual hallmark that ties them together: the hood. Fashion may change over the centuries, but hoods will always be around in some form, which makes Ubisoft's decision to incorporate it into their costume designs a stroke of genius. It also makes sense in the context of the game, as the secretive Assassins use it to conceal their identity. Designer view Master Chief's armour - Halo Halo's world can best be described as 'hard sci-fi'. Designer views
Indie Resources On the 30th July 2014 the site got updated, restrutured and redesigned… however the update is still not finished and thus this new Indie Resources overview page is partly incomplete. In case you are missing something you can still check out the outdated old Indie Resources page until the update is complete. Thank you for your understanding. (Game Making Tools, Game Design, Postmortems, Programming, Project Management…) (Create/Download Graphics, Hire Graphic Designer…) (Create/Download Sound + Music, Hire Sound Designer/Musician/Voice Actor…) (Distribution of Game via Payment Processor, Digital Store, Free File Hoster…) (Starting & Running A Business, Game Revenue, Postmortems…) (released…but still unfinished. rest of the articles will be added in the next few days.)
Deft and intuitive player character movement in a 2D platformer Recently, I released Empty Black, my 2D shooter/puzzler/platformer. In this article, I’ll describe how I made the player movement deft and intuitive. Play the game before you read on, so you’ll know what I’m talking about. My general approach was to change something, then try it out. One. Two. Three. Four. To the algorithm. The short version: a pile of hacks. The long version: The player presses the jump key. Empty Black uses Box2D to control the physics of the game world. Except, it’s not quite that simple. This technique is used frequently as a way for the player to get the character up a narrow shaft. This ability is bounded. The bound makes it harder to decide if the character has a solid footing. Fortunately, Box2D has a metaphysical object that complements the corporeal walls, enemies and bullets: the sensor. What I did was to attach a wide, short sensor to the bottom of the character. Notice how the sensor overlaps the ground. How does that help? One. Two. There is an exception.
Make Games - Finishing a Game Manifesto: The 21st Century Will Be Defined By Games Previous centuries have been defined by novels and cinema. In a bold manifesto we’re proud to debut here on Kotaku, game designer Eric Zimmerman states that this century will be defined by games.ore Below is Zimmerman’s manifesto, which will also appear in the upcoming book The Gameful World from MIT press. We invite you to read it, to think about it and even to annotate it. Zimmerman’s manifesto is followed by an exploration of the ideas behind it, in an essay by author and professor Heather Chaplin. In the days to come, we’ll be expanding the discussion even further with perspectives from other gamers and game-thinkers. Manifesto for a Ludic Century by Eric Zimmerman Games are ancient. Like making music, telling stories, and creating images, playing games is part of what it means to be human. Digital technology has given games a new relevance. The rise of computers has paralleled the resurgence of games in our culture. The 20th Century was the century of information. Games are a literacy.
Fun Pastimes for Stupid Children » not even kidding about any of this not even kidding about any of this So… another week, another story of a woman in gaming being ridiculed, or belittled, or threatened with rape, or just piled on by a horde of people who really aren’t very good people at all. It happens, and it happens a lot. It makes me pretty angry. I have two things I’m going to talk about. It’s a pretty long post, so settle in. The Problem I’m a writer. That’s changing, by the way — not as fast as I’d prefer, but it is changing. What I’m not optimistic about is the audience… or rather, a specific segment of it, and the blatantly misogynistic shitstorm it can and will bring in the blink of an eye. There are countless examples of this. Because she’s not a guy. There are people who will say that the audience is tough on guys, too. But women? While I’m at it, here’s another thing that doesn’t happen to me: I don’t get constantly threatened with rape. That entire element doesn’t exist for me. So I get to be a professional who can do creative work.
This Might Be the Most Beautiful iPad Game of 2014 | Wired Design Monument Valley is an iPad game from Ustwo that draws on the puzzle-like principles of M.C. Escher drawings. Image: Ustwo Players guide Ida, their avatar, through architectural labyrinths in order to progress to the next level. Image: Ustwo In order to beat the levels, Ida has to defy practical laws of physics. It's like a spatial puzzle in interactive game form. Monument Valley is an iPad game from Ustwo that draws on the puzzle-like principles of M.C. A really good videogame should transport you to another place. Fire up the iPad-only game, and you’ll suddenly find yourself inside a colorful M.C. “Early on in the project someone said it would be great if every frame of the game was so beautiful you’d want to hang it on your wall as a piece of art,” says Ken Wong, artist and designer of the game. But the visual design of Monument Valley isn’t just decoration; it’s integral to the game’s puzzle-like gameplay, too. The puzzles are satisfying mentally and aesthetically, too.