Ludomedia #40

Juli 31, 2017

Ludomedia

Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.


Adrian Forest: How Not To Talk About Game Engines

  • „I’ve historically had to show game development students Unity showreels and other compilations to demonstrate the diversity of games made with the engine, and by extension, how little the use of an engine tells anybody about the game itself.“

Extra Credits: How Games Speak

  • „No matter what we do as developers, our games will speak to our players. And it’s our job, our challenge, to find things worth saying.“

Keith Burgun: Interview with Greg Street

  • „Anyway, I got a chance to chat with Greg about the theory [of input randomness] and how it maybe should, or could apply to League.“

Nikhil Murthy: Mechanical Foreshadowing

  • „Mechanical foreshadowing is a design tool that can be used in a wide variety of games and should help with reward cadences and the impact of twists in your game.“

Patrick Lemon: Why Make Games

  • „The structure of games reflects how we approach science and supports that understanding. […] You’re teaching people how to analyze and understand systems. […] In a way you could call that learning to learn.“

Ludomedia #39

Juli 6, 2017

Ludomedia

Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.


Keith Burgun: Interview with James Lantz

  • „[James Lantz] was for me most notably a designer on Invisible Inc., a really interesting X-Com-ish tactical strategy game, and Mercury, a small indie Rogue-like game that really boiled down how Rogue-likes work in the smartest way I’ve ever seen.“

Raph Koster: The best posts of the last five years

  • „And lastly… despite my feeling I am hardly posting anything, this is a pretty nice list for five years!“

Thomas Grip: The Complexity Fallacy

  • „The player doesn’t play a game based on what happens in the computer, they play it based on what happens in their head. Any feature that doesn’t have a mental representation might as well not exist. […] In games, if a tree falls and nobody hears it, it is a feature you should cut.“

Wolfgang Walk: Unter der Betondecke regt sich was

  • „Wir haben ein Zeitfenster von vielleicht, optimistisch geschätzt, zwei Jahren. Wenn sich bis dahin nichts Entscheidendes getan hat, um die Lücke zu schließen zwischen einer talentierten und international denkenden Indie- bis maximal AA-Entwicklerlandschaft einerseits, und Dutzende Millionen verschlingenden AAA-Produktionen andererseits, dann wird die nächste Gelegenheit lange auf sich warten lassen.“

Wolfgang Walk: Games go Gutenberg

  • „Das Kunstformat, welches das nicht-autoritäre Versprechen des offenen Kunstwerks von seiner ganzen Wesenheit her einzulösen vermag, ist – natürlich, möchte man fast sagen – das Computerspiel: nicht jedes Game schafft es, das Versprechen einzulösen, aber jedes hat die strukturellen Möglichkeiten.“

 


Ludomedia #38

Juni 3, 2017

Ludomedia

Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.


Arnold Rauers: Creating tension in Card Thief

  • „Different mechanics that feed into one core experience can create a rather strong feeling for the player, no matter how abstract they are in the end.“

Ethan Hoeppner: Plan Disruption

  • „A good pattern to follow is the spiky information flow, in which high-impact information is collected into discrete spikes that happen at regular intervals, with a slow, regular flow of information between the spikes. Carefully considering the way information is introduced, and how that impacts the player’s ability to form plans, is essential to designing a good strategy game.“

Keith Burgun: Incremental Complexity

  • „There seems to be this inherent conflict between accessibility and depth in strategy games in particular. […] The fact is that games just need to be pretty complicated to avoid being solvable. So if simplifying isn’t the answer, then what is?“

Thomas Grip: The SSM Framework of Game Design

  • „The System space is where all of the code exists and where all of the game simulations happen. […] Story, as explained in this previous post, is what gives context to the things that happen in System space. […] It is when the Story and System space are experienced together that a Mental model is formed.“

Thomas Grip: Planning – The Core Reason Why Gameplay Feels Good

  • „For too long, game design has relied on the planning component arising naturally out of ’standard‘ gameplay, but when we no longer have that we need to take extra care.“

Ludomedia #37

Mai 22, 2017

Ludomedia

Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.


Anisa Sanusi: Dark Patterns – How Good UX Can Be Bad UX

  • „Dark Patterns are ultimately a cynical, yet working, method for developers to make quick cash. It’s a short term solution to a financial problem that yields little to no trust from your player base.“

Keith Burgun: Against score systems

  • „Thinking of your game in terms of points, and these short loops of getting points, I think lends itself to a game that repeats many short arcs. […] The inherent nature of ‚gathering points‘ is, perhaps, less suited for a strategy game than for a contest.“

Lars Doucet: What I learned playing „SteamProphet“

  • „Each week, dozens of indie games release on Steam, and the vast majority of them will make very little money. And if you don’t get that initial boost of traction, Steam’s discovery algorithms are unlikely to lift you out.“

Michael Ardizzone: Tension and Interesting Decisions

  • „Intuition can take us pretty far, since we all have plenty of experience with tough choices we’ve had to make throughout our lives, in games and out. But the structure of these choices, and how to design such choices in a controlled environment like a game, is seldom discussed in much detail.“

Sid Meier: Designer Notes 26 (Interview)

  • „There’s the whole idea of do you reward mindless clicking, or do you reward intelligent play. I think we said both [in CivWorld], and I think that upset the intelligent players.“

Ludomedia #36

Mai 2, 2017

Ludomedia

Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.


Ian Bogost: Video Games Are Better Without Stories

  • „To use games to tell stories is a fine goal, I suppose, but it’s also an unambitious one. […] To dream of the Holodeck is just to dream a complicated dream of the novel. If there is a future of games, let alone a future in which they discover their potential as a defining medium of an era, it will be one in which games abandon the dream of becoming narrative media.“

Keith Burgun: Fog of War

  • „So at both far-ends of the spectrum, you run into problems. So what you want is something in between. You want randomness, but you also want the new random information coming into the game to give players time to respond to it.“

Marcus Dittmar: Über die Kunst des Verlernens

  • „Und so ist ein optisch opulenter Titel wie Horizon Zero Dawn am Ende auch nicht mehr als das spielerische Äquivalent einer Doppelhaushälfte am Rande einer idyllischen Kleinstadt, deren Bahnhofsanschluss noch eingleisig ist: Sicher, unaufgeregt und die AfD liegt in den Umfragen bei 15 Prozent.“

Jochen Gebauer: Warum sich Spiele der Kritik entziehen (ab 00:43:24)

  • „In wesentlichen Teilen lassen sich etablierte Methoden der Kritik nicht oder nur unvollständig auf Spiele anwenden. […] Spiele bedingen den rationalen Egoismus des Spielers. Im Gegensatz zu vergleichbaren Medien und Kunstformen können sie andere Ideale nur bedingt abbilden.“

Raph Koster: Game Grammar and Design (Interview)

  • „Game design growth is generally glacial. […] It’s fascinating to go back to the 80s and realize we have kept elements of something like a Centipede or a Tempest, but nothing came from Joust. […] It shows there is that exploration that can be done mechanically, but a lot of it isn’t done.“

Ludomedia #35

April 6, 2017

Ludomedia

Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.


Dinofarm Community Podcast: Episode 3 (Core Mechanism / Decision)

  • „The clockwork game design model is built around a single core. It’s kind of like a thesis statement in an essay, or the controlling idea of a story, or the chorus of a song. Some basic piece of information that the design is centered around.“

Kris Graft: New Doom’s deceptively simple design

  • „Here’s how [Marty] Stratton and Id creative director Hugo Martin defined the idea of combat chess: speed of movement; individuality of the demons; distinctiveness of the weapons; overall power of the player; and the idea of make me think, make me move.“

Noclip: The Witness Documentary

  • „What makes a puzzle interesting is not really difficulty. It’s pretty easy to make a puzzle arbitrarily difficult: put more stuff in. […] This makes it harder, but not really more interesting. In fact it goes in the opposite direction of interesting. Interesting is when […] there is a clear idea that you come to see in the process of solving it.“

Peter Termini: Designing Around A Games‘ Identity

  • „Focusing on your games‘ identity is extremely important, especially for smaller games/studios. Every game has its fan base, some are a lot smaller than others. If your fan base is small, that’s fine, but try to think about why they like your game.“

Raph Koster: Abstract Games

  • „Music could be described as the art of sound, and sculpture as the art of mass, and so on. Games in some way could be thought of as the art of math. Another way to think of a game is that it is teaching us the machinery of itself.“

Ludomedia #34

März 22, 2017

Ludomedia

Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.


Ethan Hoeppner: Turn Based Strategy Games Need Turn Timers

  • „The fun strategy and the strategically optimal strategy should be one and the same, but if you give the player infinite time to calculate, they aren’t. You force the player to choose which strategy they will go with: the fun strategy of using analysis, or the boring-but-optimal strategy of using calculation.“

Keith Burgun: Solvability In Games

  • „For any given system, there is some middle point of solvability where you have an ideal amount of depth—enough depth to keep a game playable and interesting for as long as possible (which hopefully, could be years), but not so much that it feels unlearnable.“

Michael Ardizzone: Agency And Randomness

  • „We can think of randomness in terms of how close it is to the player. Since players express skill by reacting to events in ways that draw them closer to their goal, giving the player plenty of room to maneuver around random events allows us to add a lot of variety to designs without it costing much agency.“

Stefan Engblom: Quest for the Healthy Metagame

  • „You need to know your game. Play your game a lot, both during development and release. […] In the end, you’re the one who has to make the decisions. So it boils down to understanding the game.“

Thomas Grip: Traversal and the Problem With Walking Simulators

  • „Walking forward is just a matter of pressing down a key or stick. And unless you are my dad playing a game, this doesn’t pose any sort of challenge at all. Your brain is basically unoccupied and the chance of your mind starting to drift is very high. Instead of being immersed in the game’s world you might start thinking of what to cook for dinner or something else that is totally unrelated to the experience the game wants you to have.“

Jenseits des Tellerrands

Mason Miller: The Art of Blocking

  • „A character’s movement, that is how they move and where they move to, can convey meaning the same as color, music and dialogue.“

Ludomedia #33

Februar 22, 2017

Ludomedia

Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.


Elliot George: Emergence and Chaos in Games

  • „So there is a kind of tension here, chaos is good for increasing the number of mental models that we use, and therefore offers a lot of opportunities for systemic learning, but it also increases the usefulness of memorisation, which is mostly surface learning.“

Ethan Hoeppner: Information Generalizability

  • „Given that the core purpose of a game is to provide the player with interesting decisions that the player isn’t certain about, every moment spent calculating is at best a moment wasted, and at worst a mental burden that distracts from the important parts of the game. Thus, games should seek to have as little calculation as possible.“

Guido Henkel: A new recipe for the roleplaying game formula

  • „As I play through the current fare of CRPGs I can’t help but feel the genre has stagnated and has become utterly formulaic. I strongly feel that it is time for the next step in the evolution of the genre. Let us make use of the technologies and incredible processing power at our disposal for more than stunning visuals.“

Keith Burgun: Arcs in Strategy Games

  • „Arcs is one of the main ways you achieve a structural through-line between playing […] and winning or losing. […] If you have a good structural understanding of your arrangement of arcs, it suddenly becomes quite easy to know how short or long your game should be, which historically has been a pure mystery.“

Michael Ardizzone: Analogy And The Process Of Design

  • „There are plenty of ways we can improve on the modern process of game design incrementally, both through attaining a better understanding of game rules in the abstract, and also through using analogy more expertly and carefully given our knowledge of its limitations, but great power, as a design tool.“

Interview

Wolfgang Walk bei Pixelwarte

  • „Die Kunstform ist als ästhetisches und psychologisches Medium oder Wirkfaktor zu jung, um so untersucht zu sein, dass es Experten geben könnte. Es gibt sicherlich Leute, die mehr wissen als andere aber echte Experten sehe ich noch nicht.“

Ludomedia #32

Januar 31, 2017

Ludomedia

Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.


Brandon Rym DeCoster & Scott Rubin: Quitting

  • „Games are not real life. […] If you can’t quit them they’re not games. If you design games, you have to at least consider the idea that someone might quit your game in the middle of it. And you have to decide how you want that experience to play out for all involved.“

Christopher Gile: XCOM 2 and Vision: The Cost of an Illusion

  • „Deep systemic flaws in design usually don’t present in expected ways and before we can start talking about solutions we have to be able to properly diagnose the problem.“

Daniel Cook: Game design patterns for building friendships

  • „[Games] operate on the same scale as sports, religions and governments. Such engineered human processes can help players thrive in designed virtual spaces and ultimately in their real lives.“

Frank Lantz et al.: Depth in Strategic Games

  • „A game with great depth is one that seems to unfold into an endless series of challenging problems and responds to serious thought by continually revealing surprising and interesting things to think about.“

Jochen Gebauer: Glücksspiele und Kriegsverbrecher

  • „Ich habe einen Vorschlag: Wie wäre es, wenn wir eine altbekannte Frage einmal unter einem völlig anderen Blickwinkel betrachten. Sie lautet: Warum handeln Spieler scheinbar ständig gegen ihre eigenen Interessen?“

Ludomedia #31

Januar 19, 2017

Ludomedia

Lesens-, hörens- und sehenswerte Fundstücke aus der Welt der Spiele.


Christian Neffe: Kritik: „Assassin’s Creed“

  • „Videospielverfilmung des Macbeth-Regisseurs, die weder visuell noch inhaltlich zu überzeugen weiß. Stattdessen: Eine Herausforderung für die Augen, die in philosophischem Nonsens ertränkt wird.“

Extra Credits: Strategic Uncertainty

  • „It’s a really tough task to balance a well-honed system which you can plan and strategize around, while having uncertainties that make that system always feel fresh.“

Jamie Madigan & Scott Rigby: Self Determination Theory and Why We Play Games

  • „You can motivate yourself just fine. What I want to do is create an environment that facilitates you being able to satisfy those needs. When that happens, you value those experiences.“

Matthew Dunstan: The Crossover: Goals in Games

  • „Most games will use a mixture of intrinsic and extrinsic goals, and that exact mix and how it is chosen is an important parameter a designer can tweak to gain a desired player experience.“

Steven Hutton: Why are MOBAs so toxic?

  • „Once you start losing, things can snowball on you very easily and while comebacks do happen the set up of the game makes them inherently difficult to pull off.“

Jenseits des Tellerrands

Evan Puschak: How Louis CK Tells A Joke

  • „There are 207 words in this joke and not a single one is wasted. […] Great standup comedy is language distilled to its most potent form.“