Summary Superslide deck

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Summary - Superslide deck

  • 1 Defining videogames

  • Videogames
    Tavinor, 2008 defines:
    ØIt is an artefact in a digital visual medium
    ØIs intended primarily as an object of entertainment

    Modes of engagement of videogames:
    oRule-bound gameplay (Tetris) or
    oInteractive fiction (Text adventures)

    Djaouti, 2007 defines:
    ØVideogames are interactive applications that enter into interaction with a player

    Esposito, 2005 defines:
    ØA game which we play thanks to an audiovisual apparatus and which can be based on a story
  • Play = This is an activity which has the following aspects:
    1.Free: playing is not obligatory
    2.Separate: it is circumscribed in time and place
    3.Uncertain: its outcome is unforeseeable
    4.Unproductive: creates no goods, wealth, etc.
    5.Governed by rules: the activity has rules that are different from everyday life
    6.Make-believe: accompanied by the awareness of a second reality or of a free unreality

    Play is a range of voluntary, intrinsically motivated activities normally associated with recreational pleasure and enjoyment.
  • Game =
    • "A game is a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome." (Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman)
    • "A game is an activity among two or more independent decision-makers seeking to achieve their objectives in some limiting context." (Clark C. Abt)
    • "A game is a form of play with goals and structure." (Kevin J. Maroney)
  • "When you strip away the genre differences and the technological complexities, all games share four defining traits: a goalrulesa feedback system, and voluntary participation.“(Jane McGonigal)

    Examples of videogames:

    • flight simulators are videogames; Simcity is a videogame
    • ...but MS Word is not a videogame; and FourSquare is not a videogame too
  • 2 Game genres

    1. Action
    2. Adventure
    3. Action-Adventure
    4. Role-Playing
    5. Simulation
    6. Strategy
    7. Sports

  • Lindley, 2003 conceptual approach of game genres:

    • Gambling: decisions of gain or loss made by chance within a framework of agreed rules
    • Ludology: a game is a goal-directed and competitive activity conducted within a framework of agreed rules
    • Narratology: an experience that is structured in time
    • Simulation: a representation of the function, operation or features of one process or system through the use of another
  • 3 Social aspects

  • Crime, violence, racism
    • Correlation have been found that playing (violent) games incurs in aggressive people;
    • Racism – a famous example is GTA: Vice City (2002)
      • In a fictionalized Miami, war between Haitians and Cubans
  • Addiction
    The excessive or compulsive use of video-games, which interferes with one’s life:
    • Social isolation
    • Mood swings
    • Diminished imagination

    Sub-case: “Internet gaming addiction.” The term addiction started in the early 1978. Some countries gaming addiction is considered as actual addiction, and there are treatment centers.
  • Rating and censorship
    Irrespective of whether one agrees or not, when producing a game, the following are key aspects to consider:
    • Rating: In some countries, before release, games need rating certification based on their content:
      • US: Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)
      • Europe: Pan European Game Information (PEGI)
    • Censorship applies to games too, and some games had to be modified accordingly.
  • Digital Rights Management
    A large amount of players do not play original/licensed games. 
    The gaming industry developed several mechanisms to prevent/limit this phenomena:
    • Digital Rights Management (DRM)

    Different techniques:
    • Copy protection (limited number of installations);
    • Access control (authentication)

    Online gaming helped quite a lot (a player has to register to challenge other players)
  • Positive effects
    1. Gain full attention by the player
    • Videogames can be used for learning;
    • Videogames are already used in the army and to train pilots (simulations);
    • Videogames can become the unlikely champion of education.
    2. Hand-eye coordination
    3. Full-body movement, with new consoles (such as Wii)
    4. Relief of stress
  • 4 Trends

    • Casual games = games for the mass (vb. angry birds, candy crush)
      • More popular among women
    • Cloud computing
      • No-download, game on-demand; back to thin client concept
    • Social gaming
      • Social networks integration; play against friends through the Internet; LAN party
    • Virtual reality
      • New-generation virtual reality glasses
  • 5 Game production

  • Definition
    The set of activities through which a game idea/concept is turned into a game, its release, evolution, and retirement.
  • A producer: roughly
    Main responsibility: to ensure that a game is created and that code is released on time:

    • Help converging towards the same vision
    • Manage/coordinate the development team
    • Set the deadlines
    • Monitor progression
    • Cope with technical problems
    • Cope with personnel issues
    • Interact with third-parties (outside the team)
  • Production cycle

  • The Production cycle is a very iterative process. From prototype to alpha:
  • 6 Pre-production

  • Pre-production defines the essence of the game:
    • What is the game?
    • How long will it take to make it?
    • How many people?
    • How costly?

    Duration may vary significantly:
    10-25% of the total development time.

    Main outcome: game plan:
    • A roadmap for finishing the game
    • Two key components of the game plan are:
      • Game concept
      • Game requirements
  • Game concept
    The concept is a solution to a problem.

    Who comes up with a concept?
    • Publisher, team member, producer, brainstorming, …
    • Ask around in the industry

    Role of the Producer:
    • Help concretize an abstract concept
              - Goals, main game play elements, genre, platforms, mission
    • Come up with a prototype
    • Deliver to Studio management and Publisher
  • Game requirements
    What features shall the game support?
    • Art, design, engineering, project constraints, documentation.
     - Constraints define the actual set of requirements.

    Team members should be involved to develop a sense of ownership of the game.

    Requirements are prioritized: Must have, want to have, would be nice to have

    Milestones and deliverables are defined.

    Requirements need approval by the decision-makers:
    • Studio management
    • Publisher
    • Marketing
  • Artefacts from pre-production
    Many more artifacts exist, some examples are:
    • Budget
    • Team composition
    • Technical requirements
    • Pen-and-paper prototype
    • Risk analysis
  • Concept
  • Game Requirements
  • Game Plan
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