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.“

Ludomedia #30

Dezember 29, 2016

Ludomedia

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


Charlie Cade: When To Use Actor Faces in Video Games

  • „There’s also that nagging feeling […] of trying to legitimize the medium by shoehorning stars from a more established one into ours, which I can’t believe we haven’t grown out of yet.“

Katharine Neil: How We Design Games and Why

  • „It is time we returned to this unanswered question of formal, abstract design tools for game design. Until we have the tools to design with our minds and not just with our hands, we are limiting ourselves creatively. In games, these limits include having our creative process held hostage by the oftentimes alienating and frantic churn of the production and testing cycle.“

Keith Burgun: Clockwork Criteria: Guidelines for Ideal Strategy Game Design

  • „There are certainly practical reasons why you might not want a specific game to be a Clockwork game. But to the extent that you want your strategy game to be elegant, you should adopt as many of these principles as possible.“

Samual Ratchkramer: „How Hard?“ More Like „Hard How?“

  • „When the controls occupy less of a player’s headspace, there’s more room for considering a system, the game proper. While the potential is there, designers need to be careful to not squander it by taking all those old shortcuts.“

Soren Johnson: Donald Trump Won Because Of Bad Game Design

  • „Although rules are written to favor certain outcomes, they must be judged not just by what they fix in the best-case (shortening the primaries) but also by what they enable in the worst-case (Donald Trump).“

Ludomedia #29

Dezember 2, 2016

Ludomedia

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


Curtiss Murphy: What Makes Great Games Great?

  • „Stick to your core. […] Less is, in fact, more.“

Daniel Cook: Autumn of Indie Game Markets

  • „Games are looking nicer than ever, don’t they? That quality bar keeps creeping higher. With so much work to do, your team is a bit larger. And with so many mouths to feed, it feels riskier to lose everything experimenting on wacky new game mechanics.“

Josh Bycer: Feeling the Frustration of “Fun Pain” Game Design

  • „You need to decide where you want your money to come from: Short-term fun pain/heavily monetized elements, or a long-term plan with a dedicated fan-base.“

Maria Garda & Paweł Grabarczyk: Is Every Indie Game Independent?

  • „We claim that, despite the etymology, the term indie is not just an abbreviation of the term independent.“

Wolfgang Walk: Der Mythos vom „story-driven game“

  • „Der Begriff ’story-driven game‘ meint entweder irgendeinen hanebüchenen Marketing-Unfug – oder er bedeutet etwas, das per definitionem eine der zentralen Eigenschaften eines Games beschädigt und versklavt. […] Man kann ein Game mit der Story genauso gut antreiben wie einen Automotor, indem man an den Rädern dreht!“

 


Ludomedia #28

Oktober 11, 2016

Ludomedia

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


Brandon Rym DeCoster & Scott Rubin: The Grind

  • „You only get one life to live and you’re going to spend it pressing A – attack, attack, attack – just so you can see the next video in a Final Fantasy game that you could have watched on YouTube. […] Think of your whole life when you’re doing this.“

Jordan Georgiev: Going Too Big – Simplicity in Indie Games

  • „The more time you spend creating a fluid, satisfying and replayable core experience – the better game you will have. […] So we should spend our time designing the elements our players will spend the most time playing – the main mechanics and the main loops of the game.“

Keith Burgun: Minimize calculation (in games worth playing)

  • „The point is, you do need some degree of determinism in games; some “causal line” that goes from the player’s input and stretches out into the system to some extent. But by using input randomness smartly and carefully selecting the position of the information horizon, you can (and should) reduce the calculate-able (solvable) parts of your game down to a reasonable level.“

Maciej Biedrzycki: Why is selling good games so hard?

  • „Think about No Man’s Sky. They sold millions of copies even though the game was universally criticized by both gamers and the press once it was out. So, if it’s financially better to overpromise and under-deliver, one has to wonder where our industry is heading.“

Richard Garfield: A Game Player’s Manifesto

  • „I believe it is time to send a message to game designers and publishers. As a game player I will not play or promote games that I believe are subsidizing free or inexpensive play with exploitation of addictive players. As a game designer I will no longer work with publishers that are trying to make my designs into skinnerware.“

Jenseits des Tellerrands

Evan Puschak: Breaking Bad – An Episode Of Reactions

  • „What makes drama work, what makes it interesting, isn’t climactic action scenes, or the bombastic declaration of colorful characters, or even big ideas. It’s the succession of reactions that cascade off of every choice.“

Ludomedia #27

September 21, 2016

Ludomedia

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


Brandon Rym DeCoster & Scott Rubin: Atari Game Design

  • „If you design a game with those constraints, it’s going to be a very simple game, a very focused game, a very elegant game. If it’s a good game, then it’s a pure design, it’s a good design.“

Chris Crawford: A 30 Year Game

  • „There’s a game that’s been running around for thousands of years. It’s called religion. And the game designers are called priests.“

Elliot George: Systemic Information in Games

  • „Games are all about mental models. As with any system that we are trying to understand, we make and test predictions based on our models, these predictions lead us to success or failure, and we update our models accordingly.“

John Harris: The Infinite Dungeon

  • „Try to avoid grind. […] There are no interesting gameplay decisions there. It’s just increasing numbers mindlessly. […] Most things that call themselves role-playing games are 90% grind. Please do anything you can to eliminate grind. The human race will thank you.“

Phil Duncan: Game Design Deep Dive – Building truly cooperative play in Overcooked

  • „With Overcooked we wanted to make a game where cooperation was a central pillar, a game which was much more focused on how a team works together rather than simply adding more players to a single player experience.“

Ludomedia #26

August 5, 2016

Ludomedia

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


Ashton McAllan: Games Are About Violence

  • „The reason for the abundance of games about physical violence is the fact that it is the simplest or easiest way to introduce this agency and interactivity into the system, taking it from being a toy, puzzle, or competition and to being a game. If you are in a foot race in which you want to reach the finish line before your opponent, and you are allowed to interfere with each other, the simplest solution, barring further consequences, is to murder them.“

David Sirlin: Overwatch’s Ranking Point System

  • „Work with what you have. Work with your generally uncoordinated or lower-skilled teammates and provide them whatever they actually DO need to win. […] Yeah that’s frustrating, but THAT is the way out of Elo hell. Having the system give you a ranking boost for strategies that aren’t resulting in a positive win rate isn’t a good solution.“

Jay Barnson: Games vs. Stories, Revisited

  • „You can have a great game, or a great story, but not both.“

Jim Sterling: Pokemon Go, The Best Worst Pokemon Game Ever

  • „But the hate, those attempting to rouse a backlash against the new hit thing, all the bollocks has been drowned out by what has become a net positive influence on millions of people. And that’s where Pokémon Go has become simultaneously one of the worst and best Pokémon games ever.“

Keith Burgun and Richard Terrell: Broad Statements

  • „What I tried to do with Auro was, I took the roguelike concept and got rid of all that behind-the-scenes spreadsheet stuff and put all the complexity on the board […] instead of a character having hitpoints and armor and attack […] it all comes down to using the screen well.“