Posts Tagged ‘Game Club’

Cogswell student hones in on psychology and games.

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Here is a guest blog from a Cogswell Digital Art and Animation student, Davain.

Hey everyone. First post of my blogging career. Kind of important isn’t it? Well I hope that I can deliver great topics to discuss and bias/unbiased views on said topics. As well as exceptional grammar since if I can’t even form a coherent sentence, what were all my 12 Language Arts classes for?

Ok, so today’s topic: psychology and games… well psychology and video games to be more exact. In this blog we will discuss the connections between psychological studies and how they are used by both publishing and developing companies in the video game industry. It’s a really big topic that I think about daily since video game development is something I want to do as a profession. It’s pretty big people. So where to begin? Let’s start off with some psychological terms that we are going to be referencing during this thing so you guys don’t get too confused: conditioned and unconditioned response, essentially training someone to do something or even not to do something; subliminal messaging, a hidden message or picture in plain sight, but is de-emphasized in order to trick the subject into thinking about whatever it is your trying to show or tell them without letting them know consciously, but subconsciously; fight or flight reflexes, either you do it, or you walk the other way…there is no in-between;  and I know this isn’t an official term, but I also want to talk about how video games use recognizable situations within their storytelling in order for the player to connect much more with the story and feel much more immersed in the game playing experience.

Let’s start off with conditioned and unconditioned reponses in video games. This is beyond overused because it’s what ALL games use in order to function at a level of enjoyment. You buy a new game, all shiny and new and you start playing. What’s always at the beginning of almost every game that is made nowadays? A tutorial or some level designed to show you the controls of the game and what rhythm you will be using them. You don’t always have to go through these tutorials, but for this blogs purposes let’s stick with the assumption that every person who plays a game goes through it. The game at this point is telling you how to play it and what commands you can give it to grant you success in its progression and if you plan on finishing any game these days, you’ll want to listen. But not all video games nowadays do the traditional tutorial level. Most tutorial levels in the past had you go through a level that wasn’t even a part of the actual storyline. It would put you in a room where you are free to try out the controls and not be punished for doing them wrong.

These days, it’s a mix of styles. Sometimes you get games that do the traditional style, and sometimes you get games that immerse you into the story and give you control commands while you play. On rare occasion, you may get no information at all and be expected to get to a certain part of the game before they tell you how to really perform the complex actions it is capable of. All are effective in telling the player how the game works in its own way, but sometimes the player gets bored or becomes uninterested because the controls are obvious to them or they have already played a previous installment and the controls are already conditioned in their heads. Some might want to skip the tutorial all together and just jump head first into the game, but can’t because the game requires you to go through a long tedious tutorial level. There are many different scenarios that come with tutorials in games, but all these different styles all are trying to do one thing: train your mind to perform the games actions with little to no effort. The developers want to train you, in a very small amount of time, how to perform actions that are new and have you execute them so you can get to the next level…or stage, world, plane of existence, etc. By having an intuitive demonstration of the games controls you will be using throughout the game, you give the player their own conditioning period where they may or may not choose to use certain methods to progress and have them feel like they can understand instructions faster than they originally thought. It’s one of the most important part of a video game and one of the main conditioning tools developers use to teach people how to play. Without it, we’d all go through trial and error for hours on end until we got it right. I don’t know about you, but I like to know how to play my games.

Phew…there’s a LOT to cover within each of these topics and I didn’t even get to touch into unconditioned responses. I’d love to continue onto fight or flight and subliminal messaging, but I think I’m hitting my limit for this blog alone. Check back next week for the continuation of this topic. Hopefully I can put this into much more concise sentences.

See ya guys.

-Davain

Halloween has passed, but look for an upcoming Cogswell ski trip!

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

cogswell freestyle skiiing from creative commons

Midterms have passed, but it appears that there’s still quite a lot of buzz on campus.  The Cogswell Women’s  Club has been revamped this semester and they’re working to get guest speakers in hope of inspiring the female population.  When they do start booking, I’m really looking forward to hearing an insider and getting the female perspective in male dominated industries.  Not only are there more serious events in the works, but the club actually hosted the yearly Halloween party last weekend, which was pretty cool, and left many of the Cogswell population in either a sugar high or sugar coma.

On the note of clubs, Game Club has a few games to unveil at the next ASB meeting.  These have been a part of a project started at the beginning of the fall semester to create playable games.  I’ve heard all of the winning ideas, but I’m not sure if I’m at liberty to say. Game Club is also getting geared to host a game night, which is going to be HUGE.  It’s always a good turn out and why wouldn’t it be?  There’s free food and prizes involved, and of course, FUN!

ASB, as I have mentioned before, which stands for Associated Student Body, our student government, is planning a… SKI TRIP!  It’s been a couple of years since Cogswell had one, so I’m super stoked!  I’m crossing my fingers for an overnight to Tahoe just so I can play in the snow.  I don’t even have to ski or whatever, I just want to see some snow!  Moving from the frigid winters of Ohio to the slightly cold and rainy ones of California has me jonesin’ for some snowball fights.

Ten Years of Cogswell Game Club Celebration

Monday, August 30th, 2010

10yrsGC1

10yrsGC2

Game Development Club Unveils Fall Plans!

Friday, September 25th, 2009

GameClub

In their first meeting of Fall 2009, Game Development Club has put together plans for activities for the semester. The always popular Game Nights, Game Club’s bi-semester late night gaming extravaganzas were the first events added to the lineup. PC Game Night will take place in mid September and might coincide with an Andrew Fest. Console Game Night will take place in mid November, before the Thanksgiving break.

The Game in a Month event is back and will begin on September 10th. During Game in a Month (GIAM), small teams of club members collaborate to create a simple game, or at the very least, a proof of concept. Often times, teams of club veterans use Game in a Month events to iron out their past projects. Game in a Month also pairs seniors with freshmen, to give the freshmen help and insight.

This year the club will also start doing workshops to help those new to game development. Workshops will be lead by club officers and will be held on Fridays. The workshops include board game design, hard surface modeling, how to use Photoshop, how to use Game Maker and Construct, and low poly modeling.

With so much excitement going on, all students should join Game Development Club! See the club President, Brody Brooks, if you have questions.

~Rachael Reisdorf, Design Coordinator

Game Development Club Gets a New Look!

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009
Game Club President, Brody Brooks

Game Club President, Brody Brooks, painting the room. See more photos below!

Every few years, Cogswell’s Game Development Club likes to change the look of its room to match the tastes of the current members. In preparation for the Fall 2009 semester, Game Club President, Brody Brooks, brought together a group of the members to change the colors from stripes of blue to a dark grey with bright orange stripes.

“We wanted to give it a clean look and keep people’s eyes looking around the room,” says Brooks of the new design. And there’s plenty to look at around the room!

The new layout has been streamlined to define the various sections. Along the walls are desktop workstations, loaded with the programs needed to create games and available to all members at any time. One corner of the room is dedicated to resources such as game development and software books, tutorial videos, games to play for reference and files from past Game Club projects.

In the opposite corner, an entertainment section is stocked with various game consoles, a large TV and a chair and sofa set. In the center of the room is a new conference table for laptops and board games with industrial power strips mounted underneath for easy access.

The conference table was, literally, the biggest furniture change in the room and replaces the “space age” oversized table that preceded it. The desks that the workstations are on are also new and replace the previous set up of cubicle walls.

The final touches, which included having the floor waxed, hanging wall decorations, room organization and furniture moving took another week. Brooks says that the room is nearly finished, they just need one more desk and to sort out the old computers that have been lying around. He hopes that room will encourage students to come in and enjoy!

Read our other blog post about what Game Development Club is here.

~ Rachael Reisdorf, Design Coordinator