Preparation/Homework for this lecture
- Read AGD: Chapter 3, 4, 5 and 6.
- Deliverable: Write a blog post explaining and reflecting on one or two ideas that impressed you from the reading. Add a link to the post to your homework log. Blog site is here: http://iceland.cs.brandeis.edu/jbsblog2011
- Deliverable: Also comment on 3 students' posts
- Read the Scrum Handbook (it's not long). Additional reading Sutherland's Scrum Handbook.This one is much longer. You can skim it.
- Deliverable: Do some googling for critiques of Scrum (not everyone loves it :) and write a blog post with your reflections on Scrum pro and con.
- Continue working on PA-1. It will be due on Monday morning.
Discussion About Games
Thinking about games
- Get into groups of 4 people, for 15 minutes
- build a mind map of game design concepts, any way you see fit.
- A good way to start is to write down concepts that you think are important to game design, and to try to connect them together.
- Discussion: Each team shows and talks over their mindmap
- (Step outside mindset of the Incubator products)
- This is a course on Mobile Games (duh)
- What kinds of games are we thinking about?
- We cast a wide net: both 'computer games' and mobile apps with game characteristics.
- If you think about just about any (modern) app, it has some degree of gaming features
- If you want to make an impact on the world, you want your app to be adopted, used, shared
So, what is a game?
- Note, these are things we know intuitively yet are hard to explain.
- A Game is something you play. Discussion: examples?
- A Toy is something you play with. Discussion: examples?
- A good toy is something that is fun to play with.
- So, what is fun? (Serious) Discussion?
- Let's actually make a list
- >>> Fun is pleasure with surprises.
- Describe a fun experience that is completely devoid of surprises.
- So, what is the difference between a game and a puzzle?
- Is tic tac toe a game or puzzle?
- Is a rubik's cube a game or a puzzle?
- Discussion: Why
Qualities of a game
- Games are entered willfully (Discussion: What is a game like activity that you don't enter in willfully?)
- Games have goals (Discussion: What is the goal of a player in a Tennis a game? What if I don't keep score?)
- Games have conflict (Discussion: What is the conflict when playing Solitaire?)
- Games have rules (Discussion: What are the rules of improvisational theatre?)
- Games can be won or lost (Discussion: Who is the winner or loser when working on a puzzle?)
- Games are interactive (Discussion: What is a game who's unit of interaction takes weeks?)
- Games have a challenge (Discussion: Can you think of a game where there is no challenge?)
- Games create their own internal value (Discussion: What does this mean?)
- Games engage players (Discussion: Can you think of any 'game' that doesn't engage all it's players?)
- Games are closed, formal systems (Discussion: How about a game where players can add or change rules?)
- How can we use this list of qualities when creating games?
What is a game?
"A game is a problem solving activity approached with a playful attitude"
- Remember that our attention for these courses are focused more broadly, on games and game-like applications
- Conversely that no matter the domain of interest, thinking about it as a game can yield interesting insights
- Break into 4 groups:
- Each group, consider one of these apps and activities
- Decide whether each of these is a game or not, and what qualities and aspects it has and does not have.
- Suggest a change to make it more game like and what effect this change would have
- Any other reflections?
- List of apps or activities to consider:
- Attending this JBS
- Applying to college or grad school
- Getting around - driving a car, walking, bicycling
"Elemental Tetrad" : Four Basic Elements of Every Game
- Mechanics: The procedures, rules, goals, etc of the game
- Note how a movie has the other three elements - aesthetics, technology and story, but still, it's not a game
- Story: The context to make emotional sense out of the mechanics
- It is the sequence of events that unfold in the game
- Without that player cannot make meaning out of the mechanics
- Story is analogous to the 'metaphor' in a user interface
- How the game looks, sounds, smells? and feels
- Without this it is more difficult to make the story come alive
- The "physical" building blocks of the game
- Some things can be done, others cannot
- Depending on the game, some elements may be more important than others
- So: If you want to improve your game, look at these elements and ask yourself,
- which one needs to be strengthened?
- are they in harmony?
- are they in balance?
- Break into a different 4 groups, and dissect a favorite videogame using the Lens of the Elemental Tetrad
- Present your findings
What makes an activity Fun/Pleasure/Enjoyable
- It includes the following
- Problem Solving
- Not too frustrating
- Commitment to a person, character, thing
- Escape from reality
- Social Engagement
- Final brainstorm on Product ideas. Prioritization
- Once final groups are selected
- Break up into groups
- Talk, brainstorm about the product. Start working with your team on a game brief which will grow to 2-5 pages in Google Docs. Imagine you are writing this for someone else, 2 to 5 pages. Answer these questions and any others that are needed.
- Here is a sample outline or questions to answer in a design brief. Use it as a guide.
- Deliverable: Post a link to the google doc in the blog.
- Begin your project on www.pivotaltracker.com
- Deliverable: Post a link to that project in the blog
- We start next week!
- Review homework for Monday's class