Archive for March, 2008

it’s social

Make it social and face to face for more fun.

“…hang out with other gamers all the time, but it’s mostly in multiplayer online play, using headsets. It’s social, sure. But as any psychologist will tell you, hanging out in real life allows for even richer styles of communication to emerge. In face-to-face mode, we’re better at picking up the little nuances — frustration, glee, sarcasm, subvocalized ranting, body language — that build team cohesion, and allow us to game with a positively Vulcan level of mind meld.”

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Anthropomorphize everything

“People respond to people. Faces and stick-figures, however crudely drawn, immediately
elicit attention, understanding, and reaction. Whether to show relationships and quantities,
emphasize a point, or just provide a sense of scale, draw people in by drawing in people.”

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listen for what they need?

“We don’t ask consumers what they want. They don’t know. Instead we apply our brainpower to what they need, and will want, and make sure we’re there, ready.”

Akio Morita, Founder of Sony

Feature creep

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design language: jump moment

A ‘jump moment’ is when the player or viewer involuntarily jumps in reaction to a shock, surprise or spectacular event.

Sudden jumps are the scariest thing, ONLY when the director successfully misdirects you so you don’t expect it.

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horror game or discovery plot structure


Building a scenario from Call of Cthulhu 6ed

  • a mystery or crisis is posed…
  • the investigators become linked to the problem…
  • the investigators attempt to define the mystery…
  • the investigators use the clues and evidence to confront the danger…
  • the mystery is solved.

Complex discovery plot;

  • onset
  • discovery
  • confirmation
  • confrontation

The Philosophy of Horror, Noel Carroll

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sell addiction

Achieving flow, consistent rewards and progression should create an addictive experience.

“MMORPGs, tobacco, alcohol, credit. Addictive endeavours. Games=fun/escapism, drugs=euphoria/escapism, credit=”success”. Inescapable products make customers slaves. Could even add security to list, guns/SUV’s/RFID/taxes=”security”, but it’s tangential and political. A new Monopoly board recently released eliminates paper money favor of digitized credit system. Brainwash em young, get em hooked on credit and indebted forever!”

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design language: willing suspension of disbelief


Alan Kay, TED 2008

“…what fools these mortals be!”

Puck, A Midsummer Nights Dream Act 3
Shakespeare means that we are easily fooled by almost everything. We go to the theatre in order to be fooled, we are actually looking forward to it. The same with magic shows, illusions and games.

Games are immersive fun experiences, that work most effectively if the player willingly suspends their disbelief in the obvious non realities. If either party; the player or the game, break the tacit agreement that supports the player’s suspension of disbelief, then the whole experience unravels and becomes less satisfactory. Games often break this agreement by being inconsistent with how they deal with aspects of the game that are not ‘in game’, e.g. restart, saving or instructions.

“Suspension of disbelief is an aesthetic theory intended to characterize people’s relationships to art. It was coined by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1817. It refers to the willingness of a person to accept as true the premises of a work of fiction, even if they are fantastic or impossible. It also refers to the willingness of the audience to overlook the limitations of a medium, so that these do not interfere with the acceptance of those premises. According to the theory, suspension of disbelief is a quid pro quo: the audience tacitly agrees to provisionally suspend their judgment in exchange for the promise of entertainment.”

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