Sunday, March 26, 2006

Game systems

This week we're looking at game systems - a collection of components or formal elements which can function together across multiple games. Game systems are very difficult to design, yet can afford the creation of many fascinating games. A deck of cards is probably the most commonly known game system.
  1. Creating mods (modifications) to existing games is a common practice, not just for computer games, but for any form of games. Does this imply that any game can be considered a game system? Why/why not?
  2. Consider a game which you feel could be successfully modified. How could this game be generalized into a game system? How much of the unique character/flavour of the game can be retained? How generic can you make the game system? How easy will it be to create new, unique games from the game system?
  3. Describe one new game designed on top of the game system you proposed in question 2.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Just discovered a beautiful little game, Flowing, by the same students who did Cloud. This game investigates the concept of flow, which is very interesting in itself, but theory aside, its a wonderful demostration of an engaging, well-designed experience. Go and play it now!
(Thanks for the pointer, hazylium!)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Lets get digital!

This week we're thinking about what makes digital (video, computer, arcade, etc.) games different from other non-digital games.

For your blog exercise this week:
  1. Try to find an example of a digital game which truly takes advantage of the traits of the medium, and could not be successfully implemented in a non-digital form. In particular, think about the traits of digital/computer games as listed by Crawford. Describe the game, and identify the core gameplay mechanic. What is it about the core mechanic that makes the game truly a digital game?
  2. The third and final assignment is to design a digital game. Blog about your initial ideas for the assignment, ready for discussion in the workshop this week.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Serious games

After a somewhat serious lecture, its time for a somewhat serious topic: serious games. (Seriously.)

Choose a game which presents itself as a "serious" game, one which is not primarily (or solely) intended for entertainment. Using this game as an example, discuss whether it is possible for a game to be successful on two levels: both in terms of its goals as a game (creating meaningful play and engagement/flow), and as a serious game (achieving specific learning objectives, conveying a political message, or other non-entertainment objectives).

Suggested games to look at include
You don't have to limit yourself to digital games - any form of game is fine!