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An experiment in game design and teaching

An experiment in game design and teaching
When veteran gamers or game designers are playing a game, if they are doing too well or too poorly, they will often comment on the game’s balance. This word is important, but I fear it is often overused. Like the word “fun,” there are different kinds of balance, and understanding what game balance is and why it’s important is what we cover today. Why are we only covering this now and not earlier (like, say, at the start of the Design Project)? As mentioned earlier, balancing the game is something that is best left until after you have a good set of core mechanics. Balancing a game that is simply not meeting its design goals is a waste of time, and when you change the core mechanics you’ll just have to balance the game again.

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Nicole Lazzaro's Blog Emotion and the Fun of Games As experts in player experiences we see a huge gap between “market research” and what players most enjoy about play. Players may check “good graphics” on a online survey, but our cross-genre contextual research reveals a more interesting story. We know how games deliver more emotions than frustration, excitement, and fear. The secret is in the gameplay. The 4 Fun Keys create games’ four most important emotions 1. Issue 1001, 2010 Diminutive Subjects, Design Strategy, and Driving Sales: Preschoolers and the Nintendo DS by J. Alison Bryant, Anna Akerman, Jordana Drell This article details the “user-centered” research process adopted to create Nintendo DS games for preschoolers and addresses how new titles for specific populations can be approached. We review the role of exploratory and formative research in game development for young audiences and provide findings and design tips from the laboratory and field. [more]

The Big List Of Game Design Book Recommendations: Game Design Books: Articles about Gameplay Mechanics 6 Killer Examples Of Gamification In eLearning Let’s first understand what gamification is and how it is different from playing games. In one of my earlier articles on gamification, Top 6 Benefits Of Gamification In eLearning, I had highlighted both these aspects as follows: Gamification is about more than just playing games (in fact, sometimes it does not involve playing games at all). SCVNGR's Secret Game Mechanics Playdeck Some companies keep a playbook of product tips, tricks and trade secrets. Zynga has an internal playbook, for instance, that is a collection of “concepts, techniques, know-how and best practices for developing successful and distinctive social games”. Zynga’s playbook has entered the realm of legend and was even the subject of a lawsuit. SCVNGR, which makes a mobile game with real-world challenges, has a playdeck. It is a deck of cards listing nearly 50 different game mechanics that can be mixed and matched to create the foundation for different types of games.

Tribeca Film Hackathon: Code As A New Language For Content Creators The Tribeca Film Institute, best known for its annual film festival, wants to teach filmmakers how to code. Starting on December 8, Tribeca is launching the Tribeca Hacks, a nationwide series of hackathons designed to get content creators with varying levels of coding experience to quickly wireframe, collaborate on, and create original interactive projects. Tuition for participants is free; the program is subsidized by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ford Foundation. Tribeca’s first hackathon will take place in Cambridge, MA on December 8 in collaboration with Zeega, a multimedia storytelling platform startup, and the MIT Open Documentary Lab. Participants are working on projects that include a multimedia journalism project from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, gun running in South Sudan, and a “project on mad scientists depicting the battle between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.” Approximately 100 content creators applied to the Boston-area event and 20 were selected.

Video: Loom creator Brian Moriarty seeks out the essence of good game design [Note: To access chapter selection, click the fullscreen button or check out the video on the GDC Vault website] Brian Moriarty, the renowned Infocom and LucasArts veteran behind adventure games like Beyond Zork and Loom, believes that coding lies at the very core of good game design. Sure, understanding theory helps, but if you really want to make good games, he argues that you might want to learn a programming language or two.

Meta-Game Design: Reward Systems that Drive Engagement One of the hottest topics in the Web-meets-Gaming world is metagame design -- the practice of applying game-like reward and feedback systems to non-game applications for the purpose of driving loyalty and engagement. In the physical world, we're surrounded by metagames: Karate belts, scout badges, employee incentive plans, and frequent flyer miles are all reward systems, layered onto an existing activity to drive loyalty and communicate social status. On the Web, metagames peform a similar function. Social networks like MyYearBook and Hi5 let players earn redeemable points by logging in and engaging in various social activities.

'Salinger' and the Future of Multi-Platform Storytelling Filmmakers are increasingly employing apps, graphic novels, games and books to immerse audiences in their narratives (and, of course, to market their films). This digital age asks filmmakers to develop their stories across channels, screens and communities. Let's take a look at some of the ways storytellers are using - and will use - newer platforms to engage audiences.

How to turn your child into a video games designer "I want to make games when I grow up." It's an ambition voiced by many children. That is not surprising given that pretty much every one of them plays games on tablets, phones, consoles and PCs when they have a spare moment. It is certainly my son's goal. And like any dutiful parent, I'm keen to help him realise his ambition - or at least help him find out early on if it's not for him. I am also conscious that my lack of a formal technical background means that, at home, he'll struggle to get to grips with the core technical skill game making seems to demand - coding.

Game mechanics Game mechanics are constructs of rules intended to produce a game or gameplay. All games use mechanics; however, theories and styles differ as to their ultimate importance to the game. In general, the process and study of game design, or ludology, are efforts to come up with game mechanics that allow for people playing a game to have an engaging, but not necessarily fun, experience. Game mechanics vs. gameplay[edit] Gameplay refers to the overall game experience or essence of the game itself.

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