Chemists and physicists for centuries are working on trying to determine the smallest detectable particles of the substance and the way these particles interact with each other. Game design is a much younger field, however, designers in exactly the same way trying to determine the smallest definable part of the game. The design of each component of the game you can do individually, and the understanding of what these components are and how they interact is necessary for the development or analysis of completed games. Components of the games, “atoms” game design — this is what this Chapter.
In developing the game, many designers-newbies have no idea where to start. A game like World of Warcraft is so huge and vast that to start developing holistic things from the sketch it is an impossible task. Even in the case of a relatively simple game like “Monopoly” is not entirely clear where the design begins. It begins with player figures, cards with “Chance” or cards with “United Charity Fund”, with a playing field with rules or with something else. When considering the game as a set of atoms it becomes clearer.
As a warning to developers and scientists choose the mass of different definitions of the word “game”, and even more variations of understanding of what made the game. The following is one way of categorizing games, but not only. Designers who find these discussions interesting, should be encouraged to expand these definitions. To understand the game, it is useful to first take a look at the whole picture.
For a moment, draw in your mind the game you played recently. Consider everything that happens in the game or can it be changed, if someone does an action, or get out of the pause menu. We call this pictures condition is the set of all relevant virtual information that may change during the game. In chess, the game state includes a set of figures, their positions on the Board and accurate information based on already completed moves (for example, which player has the right to make a castling which pawns can take a passage whose turn it is to walk). In the poker game state includes.
Hand of each player and the chips; pot size; whose turn to bet; who threw cards; what the deck is left of the card and in what order and so on. In video games-game condition can be incredibly complex composition; in the last game of Madden, for example, game state contains information about each player, on each possible action and each of already committed in the course of the game action. Thanks to the above examples clearly. Players are not always aware of everyones overall condition.
Segment of the game state that the player can see, we define here as the field of view. In chess field of view includes all the game state, because in this game there is no hidden information. In real-time strategy (RTS) is the fog of war, and each player is its own field of view, which can expand at the expense of not yet explored possessions and territories. In an MMO the player cannot in principle know what is happening in a good part of the virtual world outside of its field of view.
Thus we come to the gaming area the gaming area. This may be a Board on which play the game a huge MMO or individual level in the campaign in the first person shooter (FPS). In the game with alternative or enhanced reality (ARG) this can be a city player, the Internet, the habitual residence of the player or the whole world. The game space can be anything small or large, but without the players the game will not work. All games, by definition, must be the players, because the players are the ones who are on the go makes the rules.
In digital worlds, the player is often personified in game avatar. In non-digital games, players will also personified, but in this case not a single term, it varies from game to game (“symbol” or “pawn” — these often appear in the description of the rules of the game). In this book we will consider something personifying the player in the game world, as an avatar. This is something that the players indicate their location in field of view.
In “Monopoly” avatars — thimble, car, little dog. Trivial Pursuit — pie. In chess — the king (the rest of the pieces are here to protect the king). In a typical FPS soldiers or part of the weapon. In many 3D video games you see your avatar back, while he explores the world.
In some games the avatar in the game space no. Instead, the player impersonates himself. This is true for poker, Risk, and video game Civilization Revolution. In the last little soldiers and artillery guns defending player — the ruler. Also, many video games in the RTS genret have avatars.
Avatar is different from what the designers of Board games informally called “gaming particles”, which are material objects, necessary for the game play. The particles are things such as card ownership, cube, plastic military figures in Risk, action cards and mana, jewelry in Pretty Pretty Princess. In video games we often define these particles as “art assets”, when discussing icons, sprites and models, as well as “objects” when talking about their representation in code.
By themselves, these particles are things whose names you are probably familiar. NPCs, items, monsters, enemies and so on. The current set of all avatars and particles (and players, if its about games like Twister, physical agility) is a components status in the overall game space. Game mechanics is what makes the game space is really very interesting.
“Game mechanics” is a different definition for what many usually referred to as rules. Meanwhile in the industry the term “mechanics” is common place. Mechanics is how something works. If you do X then Y will happen. If X is true, then you can do Y.
In Monopoly if you like the property, then you can buy it. If you throw out the highest number, you go first. All of this is simple mechanics. For game designers game mechanics — amazing cool stuff. Imagine a chef that has spices, or a carpenter with wood block.
Mechanics makes every designer to ask yourself. “What can I do about it?” Mechanics associated with the set of features. Such a creative process for many designers it seems like the game is on the creation of the game itself. In other words, the mechanics are rules that affect players, avatars, games particles, slot status, field of view and describe all the ways to change the game state. Mechanics are the components of a game design.
Their understanding is essential for all designers. In fact, you can even find table games by their mechanics on BoardGameGeek.com. Here are some General categories: mechanic, who can usually be found in the games: Some combination mechanic compared to other those people much easier to digest. For example, in the Board game Scotland Yard Mr.
X wanders around London, trying to avoid capture. It manifests only on every third stroke, and the rest of the time remains hidden. The game is based solely on strategy. And it for people to play is not as easy as, say, Sorry. “Game dynamics” is the game model derived from mechanics, after players had brought her in motion.
For example, in the course of this book, we refer to some of the most common dynamics, such as “the race to the end” and “occupation of territory”. The acquisition of territory by itself is only one species of a larger population of the speaker (and, by default, extended their usage). The following games are amongst the speaker and include the acquisition of territory: And all these games are based on the race to the end: Though these games and share a common dynamics, however, the mechanics used to achieve this dynamic, in each game are different.
You should pay attention that the speakers are the components of the gaming experience, but not all of them are defined in detail or supported by mechanics — for example, the interaction between players from outside the game state (this is called “metagame”). Some examples of metagame speaker. Negotiations between the players, discussions, their associations, online chat, boastful or insulting remarks. And on top of all the already described pieces separate layer — gaming tasks.
Final game problem is, of course, the victory. Sometimes the tasks in the game are called “missions” or “quests”. For completing tasks, usually issued awards that motivate players to crush creatures, find treasures, equip all the best and best armor and compete with your friends. In FPS the challenge often lies in killing the enemy, capture the flag, or the rescuing of hostages. In The Age of Discovery is one of the tasks of the players is to discover new coastal land.
Bohnanza is a game about growing beans. Super Mario Bros is a game about a plumber combing the Mushroom Kingdom to rescue the Princess. Katamari Damacy is a game about a Prince who is obliged to recreate the stars in the sky, accidentally destroyed the King of All Creation. However, all the games that angle to consider; Tetris is not a game about something. Nothing described above is not strictly necessary for gameplay.
A legend can act as though searching for lost mittens, even though soul mates, from the point of view of mechanics it will be the same. And at the same time, some motive the prosecution of the murderer will make the game more attractive. There are many types of concept, the meaning of which is that the game is “about something”. It is defined as a subject, as color, as a story or narrative, and many other terms. In this book we use the term “theme” to describe an aspect of games, which although located outside of mechanics, yet somehow, if well matched, does that mechanic is perceived more naturally.
s condition, avatars, mechanics, dynamics,.. begins with the designer?. From the point of view of the game developers priority can be any. Lets say you want to create a game based on collecting resources. With dynamics defined, you now need to select the appropriate mechanics. What it should be to achieve the dynamics of collecting resources.
Also raises the question of the topic. What exactly will collect that will motivate the player to picking up?. The designer can start with the theme. The theme of the Board game Redneck Life developed to such an extent that one gets the feeling that the designer first created a theme, and then figured out which game to fill it.
Certain mechanics can also be used as the basis of the game. In the case of Katamari Damacy mechanics rolling on the facility and picking up it thus forms the basis for everything else in this game, and probably it was the mechanics was developed in the first place. Same with countless FPS. It all starts with the mechanics of shooting, and then something layered on top. As an example, imagine that you do design a physical card game, the theme for which is the production of cars.
The desired dynamics of the race to the bitter end, which stipulates that the player built a car faster than the opponent. Mechanics that allow you to do it, are these: s particles would be: The player impersonates itself, so that the avatar is not needed here. In these components by themselves at this stage there is little that game.
All games at this stage there is little that game. The point is to take something basic, core game — and then make it more interesting for the player by adding elements of strategy, chance, add, or remove the mechanic, thereby enhancing the “playability”. In this case, as an illustration, we can add the following and game mechanics of particles: Depending on the cards, and the chosen strategy of the game can be fun. For many designers creating games is not only attacca skill, but also a great opportunity to have fun in the process.
Learn to experiment and enjoy its design and process design. Remember that you can make a game about anything. If the process is initially disconcerting and scary, this is normal. The irony is that some gamers feel more comfortable, creating levels for shooters in the digital editor than creating Board games. However, these two environments to develop games involve the use of the same building blocks.
Engage in game design and “get caught on the hook”. The challenges described in this Chapter have become more complex; their goal is to give you a sense of comfort in the process of game design in non-digital format. In the remaining chapters, the process will be built on the basis set out here. The proposed options will allow you to move on to one of the further ways:
For the development of this game you will have to delve into the gameplay “race to the end” and the dynamics that we discussed above. The game should allow players (2 to 4) to move towards where you want to go from point A to point B. The first player caught in the point B wins. You as a game designer has to decide on the theme, game mechanics of particles and. Prerequisites:
Results: Proposed process: Where must go the players are and why they should go there. Choose a topic that includes any interaction between the participants to make the game more interesting. Start simple.
Imagine the path from beginning to end, and the way this is divided into several different sectors. It can be 100 spaces or tiles or cards that would eventually create a path that players will need to “go to race”. Now think about the mechanics that will promote your players this way. The easiest way is to throw the game-cube (dice). Now think about how to make the game more interesting.
For example, you can type any act by which a player slows down or speeds up his opponent. Does the narrative any obvious mechanics. For example, if your game is dedicated to running relay race, you will need a way of passing the baton (perhaps a large running speed provides a greater chance to drop the stick when transferring). To add the interaction between players in race walking, you may need to adjust the theme, for example, by making runners robots with lasers that can shoot each other, which involves the introduction of mechanics of shooting and dodging. As the player can damage the progress of another player or to promote their own progress.
What could be the compromise?. Every time you add to the game mechanics, to test it. Does this make the game more interesting or boring. It supports the core of the game. If it works exactly as you initially intended?.
Options: Try to go through the process again and create another game. This time start with the mechanic and only after that create a suitable theme. You will notice that both of these ways will allow you to create perfectly good game, however, your thought process will be very different. In this challenge you will delve into the dynamics of territorial occupation.
If you have not noted, this dynamics is present in the vast majority of Board games created in our days. As in the previous example, this game is designed for players in an amount of from 2 to 4. The game obviously needs to have some sort of gaming area, which you can capture. You can choose from the two conditions for winning: You, as the designer has to decide on the theme, game mechanics of particles and.
Prerequisites: Results: The proposed process: To be precise — that players try to win. The swamp.
The peat bog. Maybe its a gang of wild monkeys that are going to capture the zoo at night. Remember that theme is not mandatory, but if she is, then she helps game designers, especially newcomers, to identify potential dynamics. Continue using the same steps as in the first challenge. We were talking about two universal game dynamics in this Chapter — the race to the end and capture the territory.
However, they are only two among a set of possible speaker. Another General dynamics includes the study and development of the area around, all available to browse. For this exercise focus on the dynamics of research. Well see how it is used in an MMO, adventure games and RPG. In some adventure games, the very essence of the game is the dynamic of “observe each location.”.
Also see how it played Board games such as Clue. You have to create a game that is played by 2-4 people. Since the game involves research, there needs to be some space available for research, even if that space is not physical. Can use this momentum in conjunction with another. You will depend on the development of themes, mechanics, components and additional materials.
Prerequisites: Results: The proposed process: That will be for players to explore. Anything from the garage Parking to the village in the treetops, downtown Chicago, or the fantasy world in the sky.
Think also about what may think a player in the research process. These speakers will give way for the development of the necessary mechanic. Continue in accordance with the same steps as outlined in the first challenge. To pass on some object in order to pick it up (to collect) is phenomenally widely used mechanics in video games, it leads to the dynamics of collecting (collecting). Of course, there are other ways to collect.
Think about how you entered the gathering in the Mario games, Poker and Bejeweled. In this exercise, you will take some mechanics and make the game. This is a somewhat more difficult challenge than building the game dynamics, which implies a beginning and an end. You have to create a game for 2-4 players in which players are on the objects and “collect” them. What players need to collect (three of the same object, monochrome object, and so on.) and how much you need to collect is the decision depends on you as the designer.
Allowed modifiers mechanics. For example, you can require players to collect something only when they land on something, or use a wheelbarrow, you first need to get before you start something with it to collect. You can choose the theme, components and symbols, if applicable. Also, if need be, you can use additional mechanics.
It is important to pay attention to the narrative. Here you can help brainstorm. Think about this game at first as gardening game, then gangster game, then about a racing game. Each of those will bring new features to the game.
Prerequisites: Results: The proposed process: If you cant figure out how to begin, there is one way to start with is naming the objectives or tasks, implementation of which would have ended the game. This will help to draw additional mechanics and dynamics for you.
For example, if the object of the game — having the most points by the expiration time, then it gives you two important questions. As players get points and how to control the playing time in the game?. The object of the game may be associated with the subject, in this case, it will be easier for you to design the main goal (the object of the game) and narrative at the same time or first to create a topic, and then the object of the game. For example, if you are a gangster returning from a Bank robbery, then the goal is to keep as much money as possible for themselves and be able to escape before the cops arrive. Having the theme and the main goal, you probably already have many ideas for mechanics and dynamics to maintain based on the core action game.
If nothing comes to mind, think of a new theme and the main goal — and try again. Options: Think about another universal game mechanics — shooting at targets, avoiding collisions with enemies, increasing the level of your character. Recycle this challenge using this mechanics mechanics instead of “gathering”. In games with the dynamics of territorial occupation, especially in games on the site are rarely captured with the help of a comical race walking.
Typically, the capture goes through violence and death (playing the part of another player), no matter how it is served in the abstract. As a result of this death won the top player takes the territory of another. Who seized the territory wins the war. Another General dynamics — “destroy opposing thee enemy” — used for games in which there are no territories.
In this exercise, however, you will go beyond these traditional boundaries. Make a battle simulator in the Civil war without territorial occupation and without destroying all the enemy forces as the main game dynamics. Divide into teams of 2-4 people. Each team must come up with a better game fit into the above criteria. For a steep challenge let each team will select additional mechanics or dynamics, which are not allowed to use another team.
Prerequisites: Results: The proposed process: Which battle will embody your game?. No seizure of territory does it make sense to provide the territory.
Possibly Yes and possibly no. Think, how else can a player win in addition to capture all areas. What can be the goal in addition to the territory. What mechanics can be used by the player to achieve this?. Every time you enter a new mechanic — test.
Options: Instead of the civil war select any other conflict. The first and Second World wars — the most obvious choice. You can also choose something else, for example, the war corporations, the feud between neighbors, competition, retail chains.