Sunday, November 3, 2013

Homework #11

Chapter 15

  1. A goal with no obstacles is not worth pursuing. 
I believe that this claim can be very true but at the same time I believe that there are goals that might work fine with either a limited number of obstacles or no obstacles at all.
  1. What is the relationship between the main character and the goal? Why does the character care about it? 
The character should care about the main goal, but in many ways in our game the journey is probably more important than the overall goal because that is what makes up the experience.
  1. What are the obstacles between the character and the goal? 
Some obstacles between the player and the goal include office workers, computer terminals, and enemy agents.
  1. Do the obstacles gradually increase in difficulty? If yes, how?
The obstacles gradually increase in difficulty through the typing challenges and other various aspects. 
  1. Great stories often involve the protagonist transforming to overcome the obstacle. Does your protagonist transform? 
Probably not that much for this game due to the shortness of it.
  1. How is the game world simpler than the real world? 
This game world is simpler in terms of dimensional space and objectives.  There is basically “one” way to play this game that we are working on in “one” area space making it simpler in many respects.
  1. What kind of transcendent power do you give to the player? 
No transcendent powers here, just the license to kill and transcendent powers of gunpowder firing projectiles.
  1. What is the weirdest element in the game story? 
The weirdest element would probably be the unknown organization that you are basically trying to take down.
  1. How do you ensure that the weirdest thing does not confuse or alienate the player? 
It probably will not realistically.
  1. Will the players be interested in the game story? Why? 
Probably not, the game is not very story driven.

Chapter 16
  1. In what sense does the player have freedom of action? Does the player "feel" free at these times? 
The player decides where and when to use his weapons and where he moves.  The player, though he has objects should feel relatively free at those times.
  1. What are the constraints imposed on the players? Do they feel constrained? 
Some constraints are magazine size and building walls.  There is one way to play the level and go through.  They may feel constrained, but it probably will not be that big of a deal.
  1. Ideally, what would you like your players to do (lens #72)
Complete mission objectives, have fun, and feel like they are not just wasting their time.
  1. Can you set constraints to "kind of" force the player to do it? 
Absolutely in some instances, but kind of summarizes the idea, a constraint is a constraint.
  1. Can you design your interface to "force" the player to do what you (the designer) wish him/her to do? 
Yes, ideally.  You would have to do it in a cool way though, then the player would not even care.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Homework #12

Home Work #12

For this home work we were supposed to say what our short term individual goals for the game were and how they would further the development as the team's games a whole.  My tasks, to be completed by 10/28 and 11/2 respectively were to develop some psuedo-hacking typing challenges for the typing portion of the game and to determine a difficulty system based on a range of typing speeds for standard keyboards and standard typists.  These will play an important role in the game.  Although it can be argued that planning is not an individual goal but rather a concept when utilized will make sure, or at least try to make sure that the game gets finished at some basic level.  A team without a plan will be mediocre at best.  So I am currently involved with dynamic scheduling based on the constraints within the class and within the team.  Typing Challenges, Difficulty System, Project Management.  Peace

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Home Work #8

Home Work #8
1. Our game space is largely discrete two dimensional.  The game is composed of different levels of an “office building” with a largely two dimensional feel with a fixed space that can be navigated in a continuous fashion.  That is not to say there will not be instances of three dimensionality, but that those aspects will not be too prominent in the game.
2.   Our game, for all intents and purposes, I believe has a mix of two and three dimensions.  Since the only real feature we care about is the characters position in regard to the floor space.  It would be two.  But the space is three.
3.      The boundaries of the space are the walls of the office building and the stacked levels in the office building.
4.      I believe our characters have several different verbs.  Shoot, Hack, “Sneak/stealth objective”, Run, Drive?.
5.     Shooting - on people and objects, Hacking – on different terminals and mobile devices, “Sneak/stealth/social engineering” abstract on people, Run - ???, Drive -???
6.      Players can achieve their goal essentially in one way doing three separate things (social engineering, hacking, and shooting).
7.      Our game involves one subject I believe.
8.       You need to reload your gun as a constraint, you need to pass the typing tests as a constraint, and you need to keep you cover and remain undetected as an intruder as a constraint.
9.      Operational rules include movement like walking and running, and themes like shooting your gun.
10.   Resultant actions include movement for walking and running and, death and destruction for shooting your gun.  If I understand resultant actions correctly.
11.   I would like our character to be able to shoot just about everything in the office and have things get broken and/or fly around when hit.  Stacks of paper, coffee mugs, clocks, computer screens, all destructible at some level.
12.   The ultimate goal of our game from my perspective is to make a functional playable game that is enjoyable to most people on some level.  It doesn’t have to be the best game ever, but you should be able to play it at least two or three times all the way through and still get some enjoyment out of it.  Aside from that it exists as a learning experience for our team on how to develop a game.
13.   Short term goals for are team are varied.  It basically comes down to what our team can reasonably accomplish in the short term.  These short term goals serve to make the game (12), playable and enjoyable.   
14.   I believe with a simple tutorial the player will be able to grasp the concept relatively easily.  Hack, Sneak, Hack, Shoot, Run, Repeat.  Simple.
15.   I believe the foundational rules of our game would be enforced by a health system.  I don’t know for sure though.
16.   Rules in the game are enforced under penalty of death, ahaha.  But seriously A.I.’s will come and shoot you if you mess up.
17.   I think our game will develop typing skill, at least to some extent.  But other than that, just by keeping the mind active like most other video games seem to do.
18.   I don’t think our game develops and virtual skills of any significance, but I could be wrong and that may change.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Homework #9 "Balance"

              Homework #9 "Balance"

               Balancing in gaming of all sorts is an often overlooked  and underutilized aspect that can make or break the game.  You want to have a nice balance of difficulty, entertainment, reward, fairness between players and a game that does not have any outstanding feature that disrupts equal play in the game.  Balance is so important that by shifting the systems of balance inside a game, you can completely change the feel of the game and use the knowledge of balance to enhance your game and make it function better, enhance entertainment experience of players, and simply just solidify your game as a legitament game that is to be taken seriously.
                Balance in the book when looked over at a glance may potentially be summed up as a vague set of fairness.  And to a certain extent, that is exactly what it is.  But perhaps a better way to look at balance in any game is to recognize that there are many different types of balance in many different games, but what gives off the illusion of “vagueness” in balance is actually the pervasive nature of balance itself as a defining aspect of the game.  It is simply intertwined within the game itself, it is arguably the most defining aspect of the game, even over art, technology, game story and game concept.  An unbalanced game with leave players feeling frustrated and disappointed, with little to no chance that they will play the game again.
                Balance is the flavor of your game.  Balance is the part of the game that will influence whether or not players continue to play your game and what ways they choose to play your game.  It is my personal opinion that everyone in their individual minds understands the fundamentals of fairness, no matter how diverse or similar.  It’s a concept that is learned throughout life at a very early age and continuously brought up at every other stage in your life.  People know what fair is, they know logically why things are fair or unfair and moreover they can feel it on an emotional level.  It is from this emotional level that you see the experience of the game affect the person.  It is from this emotional level that you can see the benefits and wonders of virtual reality, mixed with technology, art and design to create a truly unique experience within a video game, existing within the mind of the controller.
                An example of this fairness could be shown in a game like chess.  Though not completely fair, both players do have all of the same pieces, all of the same movements, and have to take turns moving there pieces one at a time.  It is true that one player moves first, but this is a smaller aspect of the game.  You can feel the fairness when you have roughly the same opportunity to win the game as you opponent and whether you succeed or not is based entirely on the quality of decisions you make in respect to your opponents decisions.  You could imagine the unfairness you would feel, the lost sense of entitlement that would come from allowing you opponent to move twice for every one turn you move.  This type of chess would hardly be the same game at all.  It would be frustrating for you and boring for you opponent.  This example mainly would affect the difficulty and the overall functioning of the game.  However there are many more aspects to take into consideration when it comes to creating a well balanced game.
                I will run through the twelve balancing types and how they pertain to out team’s game, at this current stage of development.

#1           Fairness – In our game, I hope to give the player all the tools necessary to succeed in the game without playing the game for him.  Functionally the game should function properly and should be fair in the sense that the game doesn’t seem like playing it is hopeless or worthless.  There are games mentioned in the text that are “asymmetrical games”, I do not believe our game should or is going to be one of those games.  Even if we were to make our game character advantaged in respect to our enemies, you would still have to implement fairness.  And exaggerated example would be a game that contains a weapon that kills all the enemies in the level with one use, and from there you just make your way to the exit.
#2           Difficulty – We want our game to be challenging, but not so much so that it puts off new game players or average players.  We would also like to have experienced players enjoy the game with out feeling like the game is beneath their skills.  To do this we will implement difficulty selection that can be toggled at the beginnings of all levels of the game (mainly based on typing speed), with each level getting increasingly harder.
#3           Meaningful choices – I have not thought too much about what choices should be available in our game or the weight that those decisions will carry, but I’ll think about it.  Right now it seems like our game is relatively straight forward/ one pathed design for levels.

#4           Skill vs. Chance – I think skill will show itself significantly more than chance in our game.  I can’t think of too many reasonable ways that we would implement chance into our game and I quite frankly don’t think we should include it at all, at least on any major level.
#5           Head vs. Hands – I would say for our game that hands are definitely the most important aspect of the gameplay, whether typing or shooting.  If you are typing or shooting at something it doesn’t necessarily take too much mental work to know what to do, your mind has to engage and process the information but does not necessarily require too much mental though.
#6           Competition vs. Cooperation - Our game is a single player game and it looks like the nature of the game will be competitive against the computer players/characters.  And possibly high scores.  I don’t see cooperation fitting in all that much.
#7           Short vs. Long – I feel that our game would best benefit, for the purpose of the class, from being a short to medium length game.  The game should be long enough to feel like more than a level or too, but unless we added many more features in the game it would become much more repetitive.
#8           Rewards - The way I imagine it, at the end of the levels you will receive a letter grade based on your typing and shooting performance for the entire level.  From this score you will receive a certain amount of point to use on upgrades or other aspects of character development.
#9           Punishment – If you wanted make your game completely balanced, then in theory every time you offer a reward you would offset it by offering a punishment.  I don’t think punishment has a role in our game and if anything I would like the player to fail the level as many times as they want with no penalty.
#10         Freedom vs. Controlled Experience – It would be nice to offer our character more freedom within the game.  This certainly can be done within the levels, but I believe it is too far out of the scope of the class and our particular game to benefit from an increased level of freedom (mainly speaking in terms of levels.
#11         Simple vs. Complex – Our game will be simple and complex.  Mainly simple, but it you take a simple concept and apply it in a way such that it becomes complex it adds a depth to it arguably more than a standard complex game.  In our game typing will be the simple, the typing challenges will be the complex.
#12         Detail vs. Imagination – I’m not sure how much should be left content should be left to the players imagination in this game, because you are assuming the role of someone else with a fixed mission.  So at least in terms of story, it is almost like an action oriented RPG.