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Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 9 months ago

Game Design Discussion:


I would like to use this and the following pages added to my wiki pages to explore game design from a wider, more general perspective.


We have clearly explored a wide variety of game concepts and many of the games are steadily becoming more and more refined with each class.


The goal of this page is to begin a group discussion that is less focused in each individual's game design for their final game submission and begin to ping pong general gut reactions as to what seems to be working related to building an engaging game design and what elements are not working all that well.


First, I would like to inject some concepts presented by Eric Zimmerman. I thought his idea of games falling either into, 1) Need Driven, or 2) Pleasure Driven categories is very insightful in the game design process. The games I am developing tend to blur the line between Need and Pleasure driven game design. My design goals are to first fill a need but without a healthy dose of pleasure they are certain to fail. (I will not be discussing them in great detail publicly until I get further along in refining them as there is some concept/thesis sensitivity I would like to protect in the short term.)


Game appreciation/enjoyment appears to be a mixture of a very personal, subjective experience of "pleasure inducing" play AND other more global principles that capture the interest of human players everywhere. For example, some people find spatial, shape driven puzzle solving absolutely irritating and aggravating while other more Chess like strategy driven play, invigorating. Some people enjoy conflict directly or indirectly related to physical combat such as ninja fighting while others prefer more team building/group effort game play.


What type of game play seems to be most universally enjoyable and why? Are there games that truly transcend cultural and social boundaries universally? What type of game play is engaging to only a narrow demographic and why? Is one better than the other?


A key ingredient to fully engaging human interest for any significant period of time seems to be "play". The word "play" in my mind conjures up creativity and a lightness implicit to the game experience. If the game even remotely conjures up an excessive experience of "work" or "labor", then the play has been sucked out of the experience and it no longer is equated to "play". Where exactly is this cognitive line drawn for the average player if it is possible to draw such a line? What factors of game play tip the scale one way or the other for your average player?


An ability to "escape" from the painful and more trying facets of modern life is definitely a piece to the fully engaging game design. The ability to escape from our inhibitions, fears, and exhaustion is a key ingredient to creating a pleasurable group dynamic.


An ingredient that seems to be equally important to successful game design is that of "humor." Play + Humor appears to remove the heavy, arduous connotations often associated with "work". How do some games engage our creativity in a playful/humorous way while others push us away by appearing as just another task to be added to our dreaded to-do list?


Talk amongst yourselves....



  1. MiguelTrujillo | MiguelTrujillohttp://

Comments (1)

Anonymous said

at 8:54 am on Mar 14, 2007

I don't know that this got to your final demonstration, but your overall thesis for this class is outstanding. I think everyone is excited by the prospects of your reseach and we wish you luck!

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