Posts Tagged ‘Gamasutra’

Rational Game Design Handbook

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

The introduction to this article in Gamasutra by Luke McMillian sets the tone for the piece. “When a sound engineer is given the task of recording a particular sound, they rely on a set of tools such as microphones and preamps to take a less than ideal input signal and ‘shape’ this input to what they desire. What we hear as consumer is the product of many hours of fine tuning and tweaking to reach the ideal outcome. Games are no different.

Their designers test and fine tune their product until they have crafted what they believe to be the most ideal player experience. The difference for a game designer is that the method of achieving this ideal player experience doesn’t come in the form of a tangible, standardized device.”

This in-depth comparison between the work of a sound designer and a game designer covers a lot of territory including using noise to stifle competition and the different types of noise used to do this – action noise, rules noise, feedback noise and model noise – and strategies for applying noise.

The piece also mentions Cogswell grad, Steve Swink, for offering “one of the best ways of thinking of games in terms of representational layers, versus mechanics. Swink does this by visualizing how Street Fighter is merely a collection of moving rectangles tied to mathematical formulae BUT represented visually in a way that provides the player with context.”

How will you use sound in your next game project?

The Future of Video Games – Is It in the Cloud?

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Thomas Bidaux, former development director at NCsoft, CEO of online game consulting firm ICO partners, and advisory board member for GDC Next; was recently interviewed by Gamasutra about his thoughts on where the video game industry is heading. In his opinion, one of the big influencers in how games are made and played will be using cloud technology.

  • While he thinks cloud computing still has much to prove to convince him, he does see a lot of untapped potential from cloud computing in the way games are conceived. A few other points he covered during the interview include:
  • How he sees the rise of cloud computing tech changing the industry – the best change would be those that players don’t even notice, convenience.
  • What does he see as the challenges of content creation changing in the future – user generated content requires good UI, good documentation because game developers are basically running a project inside their project.

What other changes do you think cloud computing technology will make to video game development?

Small Game Developers Can Take on Goliath

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Yes, small developers can take on Goliath but don’t expect to beat them if you play by Goliath’s rules. In an article by Chris Gray for Gamasutra, the author talks about his experience as a small developer and what you can learn from for four small developers (Supercell, Mojang, Imangi and Plague Inc.) who managed to out-maneuver the big guys each in their own way.

One interesting fact from the article – a political scientist named Ivan Arreguín-Toft looked at every war fought in the past two hundred years between strong and weak combatants. He found that when the underdogs acknowledged their weakness and chose an unconventional strategy, the “David’s” won in 63.6 percent of the cases. So, when underdogs choose not to play by Goliath’s rules, they win, even when everything we think we know about power says they shouldn’t.

Which strategy do you think will work best for you?

The Hidden Meaning Behind Doors in Video Games

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

As a game designer, you’ve probably figured out that humans are pretty interesting creatures but we have a few idiosyncrasies both individually and collectively. Lots of these behavioral tendencies were ingrained in us back when we carried clubs and were still waiting for the magic of fire to warm our little toes.

In this fascinating article in Gamasutra by Dale Dobson, it turns out that the human mind has a reset button when it comes to walking through doorways or other portals. The piece goes on to examine how doors were used in several games (Zork I, Venture, Mystery Fun House, The Legend of Zelda, Resident Evil, Super Mario 64, Grand Theft Auto III, Shenmue, The Walking Dead episode 104, and the aptly named, Portal) and how our brains respond to each situation.

Dobson concludes the article, “Buried deep in our evolutionary history is a belief that opening a door moves us forward into new places and experiences, but our brains also tend to get a little bit lost when we do so. Game designs that recognize and accommodate these basic human needs and tendencies are more likely to provide rich and rewarding human experiences.”

How does a door or barrier in a game make you behave?