Ludomedia #86

November 21, 2022

Ludomedia

Games media worth reading, watching or listening to.


Alan MacLeod: Call of Duty is a Government Psyop: These Documents Prove It

  • “Yet a closer inspection of Activision Blizzard’s key staff and their connections to state power, as well as details gleaned from documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that Call of Duty is not a neutral first-person shooter, but a carefully constructed piece of military propaganda, designed to advance the interests of the U.S. national security state.”

Bader Chaarani et al.: Association of Video Gaming With Cognitive Performance Among Children

  • “As part of the national Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study and after controlling for confounding effects, results of this case-control study of 2217 children showed enhanced cognitive performance in children who played video games vs those who did not. Clear blood oxygen level–dependent signal differences were associated with video gaming in task-related brain regions during inhibition control and working memory.”

Edmund McMillen: Dos & Don’ts of Indie Dev Retrospective

  • “I think honesty is what art is. Business makes it dishonest. It’s a difficult field for an artist to be in, because to some degree the dishonesty of selling something, or being a sales person, can easily taint your work, and you can attempt to manipulate people into feeling a certain way, playing more or putting more money into the machine and it’s a dangerous thing. […] Not being manipulative and condescending with your work is important. Knowing who you are is important. And allowing your flaws and eccentricities to show in your work is honest, and that’s what makes art special.”

Elena Petrovskaya & David Zendle: “These People Had Taken Advantage of Me”: A Grounded Theory of Problematic Consequences of Player Interaction with Mobile Games Perceived as “Designed to Drive Spending”

  • “Players from vulnerable populations will engage with mobile games which have been designed to drive spending in a different way to players who are not members of such populations. Traits which may make an adult individual particularly vulnerable to such games include (but are not necessarily limited to) mental health problems, stress at work, low self-esteem, poor quality of life, and loneliness. These factors create an offline environment for the individual where they are not experiencing satisfactory feelings of competence and achievement in their daily lives.”

Sebastian Deterding et al.: Mastering uncertainty: A predictive processing account of enjoying uncertain success in video game play

  • “Positive mood is maintained where the player predicts steady improvements in their error reduction rate. However, learning improves players’ actual and expected error reduction rate for a given challenge. Thus, with learning, uncertainty or expected error over a given challenge goes down, and players get used to the new error reduction rate. Players keep doing well, but slow-down in their rate of improvement, until they stop doing better than expected. As players aim to maximise the velocity of uncertainty reduction, they will thus preferentially sample new challenges that promise more uncertainty to reduce faster.”

Design-Fäden: Experimentalismus & Philosophie

November 9, 2022

Zuletzt habe ich, wenn sich mir ein Thema aufdrängte, ich aber keine Zeit für einen vollumfänglichen Artikel hatte, meine Gedanken in Twitter-Threads niedergeschrieben. Da diese gewissermaßen “Mini-Artikel” darstellen, werde ich sie hin und wieder an dieser Stelle festhalten.

Thread 1: Experimentalismus in der Spieleentwicklung

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Thread 2: Game-Design-Philosophie

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Game Log Q3/2022

October 1, 2022

A tweet-based journal of what I’ve been playing…

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Design-Fäden: Roguelike-Metagames & Unsicherheit

August 14, 2022

Zuletzt habe ich, wenn sich mir ein Thema aufdrängte, ich aber keine Zeit für einen vollumfänglichen Artikel hatte, meine Gedanken in Twitter-Threads niedergeschrieben. Da diese gewissermaßen “Mini-Artikel” darstellen, werde ich sie hin und wieder an dieser Stelle festhalten.

Thread 1: Von Stärken und Schwächen bestimmter Roguelike-Metagame-Systeme

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Thread 2: Unsicherheit bei optimaler Herausforderung, in Idle-Games und in Soulslikes

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Bonus-Thread: Gute Mobile-Games

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Ludomedia #85

August 8, 2022

Ludomedia

Games media worth reading, watching or listening to.


Jesper Juul: The Meanings & Consequences of Rules & Algorithms

  • “I realized the other day that it’s been years since I had this experience of someone dismissing game rules as irrelevant or meaningless, and I think there is a reason: Our world is now so completely enmeshed in algorithms and in issues of algorithmic bias, that it’s now a given that rules, algorithms, and programming fundamentally matter.”

Lucas Pope: Cramming ‘Papers, Please’ Onto Phones

  • “I created Papers, Please in 2013 specifically for desktop computers with mouse control. Now, here, in 2022, desktop computers no longer exist and all computing is done via handheld mobile telephone. Time to update this dinosaur. These thousands of words and megabytes of images will cover some bits of porting the game from big desktop to little phone.”

Matti Vuorre et al.: Time spent playing video games is unlikely to impact well-being

  • “Conceptually replicating previous cross-sectional findings, our results suggested that intrinsic motivation positively and extrinsic motivation negatively affects well-being. […] Our findings, therefore, suggest that amount of play does not, on balance, undermine well-being. Instead, our results align with a perspective that the motivational experiences during play may influence well-being. Simply put, the subjective qualities of play may be more important than its quantity.”

Will Bedingfield: It’s Not Just Loot Boxes: Predatory Monetization Is Everywhere

  • “As Hon suggests, predatory monetization salts the earth of creativity. The games built on these systems exploit their players—they aren’t art, but propaganda, another way to turn play into work. And the history of loot boxes demonstrates that the most exploitative systems can become mainstream if they prove they can turn a serious profit.”

Zayne Black: How To Design A Videogame

  • “Many of you watching might be thinking: ‘Zayne, […] everybody knows this, this is useless!’ First of all, no they don’t. If they did, you wouldn’t get games that burry their genuinely very impressive mechanical gameplay loops under layer after layer of sludgy, tedious, ham-fisted storytelling, as if the cinematic presentation was the reason to buy it, for example. […] Figure out, what you want the game to be […] and then run every single decision through that filter of whether or not it helps you receive your game’s intention!”

Game Log Q2/2022

July 1, 2022

A tweet-based journal of what I’ve been playing…

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Design-Fäden: Super Auto Pets & Poinpy

June 15, 2022

Zuletzt habe ich, wenn sich mir ein Thema aufdrängte, ich aber keine Zeit für einen vollumfänglichen Artikel hatte, meine Gedanken in Twitter-Threads niedergeschrieben.

Da diese gewissermaĂźen “Mini-Artikel” darstellen, werde ich sie hin und wieder an dieser Stelle festhalten.

Thread 1: Wie Super Auto Pets es schafft, “wann immer” und “fĂĽr immer” spielbar zu sein

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Thread 2: Wie Poinpy auf Downwell aufbaut und dabei das RĂĽcksetzproblem elegant vermeidet

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Ludomedia #84

June 13, 2022

Ludomedia

Games media worth reading, watching or listening to.


Casey Muratori: What is the Blockchain Threat Model?

  • “As soon as [decentralized systems] try to build dispute resolution into them, you’re right back to a government and a court system, which we already have and has to involve humans making these decisions. […] Dispute resolution is absolutely critical in finance. If you don’t have it, it’s dead in the water. […] I can’t think of anything [hashed chains of blocks] defend against, where actually you couldn’t have just made a much simpler system and then have the dispute resolution that you already needed anyway.”

Eggplant: The Secret Lives of Games: Untangling Language with Knotwords

  • “Knotwords creators Jack Schlesinger and our own Zach Gage chat to us about their elegant new logic puzzle word game. We discuss “cracking” the game design they’d been chasing forever, and how they created the puzzle/word generator that makes it great.”

Josh Strife Hayes: The Immoral Design of Diablo Immortal

  • “It is indeed fun, but it is also insidiously developed from the ground up to funnel every player action toward the cash shop. […] I enjoy having to engage my brain to beat a game, but if you do that with Diablo Immortal you will ask yourself lots of questions, and the answer to every question is: the credit card. […] I cannot believe that decisions were made in Diablo Immortal with the players in mind. I believe they were made with the payers in mind.”

Keith Burgun: Diablo: Immortal and Aesthetic Gacha-ism

  • “The line between game design and marketing gets blurrier and blurrier and games increasingly become ads for themselves, a constant rolling advertisement that tells you to keep playing. Of course mobile F2P gacha games are the absolute peak level of this sort of stuff, but it bleeds out and infects everything else too, more and more, year after year.”

Kyle Kukshtel: Game Design Mimetics (Or, What Happened To Game Design?)

  • “If the role of mechanics design in a game is to best serve the content of the game, be legible to the player, and not introduce too much uncertainty into the middle of a production, the simplest answer to design is just “copy what already works”. “What already works” is a fundamentally conservative and nostalgic lens through which to view cultural production. Looking at “what already works” rejects an idea or potential of progress, and instead narrows the scope of possibility of a medium to only be capable or remediating the “greatest hits”.”

WikiArena: Wikipedia-Artikel im Wettstreit

April 6, 2022

Kurzer Hinweis: WikiArena gibt es seit Kurzem auf itch.io, spielbar im Browser oder als Download fĂĽr Windows, Linux, Mac und Android.

In dem “Trivia-Roguelike” treten zufällig ausgewählte Wikipedia-Artikel anhand ihrer Zeichenlänge und Besucherzahlen gegeneinander an. Die Aufgabe des Spielers: abschätzen, welcher Artikel “gewinnt”!

Erfreulicherweise konnte das Spiel auch schon den ein oder anderen Streamer ĂĽberzeugen, darunter etwa Northernlion oder BaerTaffy.

Frohes Raten!


Game Log Q1/2022

April 1, 2022

A tweet-based journal of what I’ve been playing…

Read the rest of this entry »