Archive for July, 2010

Can games change the world? Busting through to reality versus Escapism

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Online games are getting more and more popular and game mechanics are being applied everywhere in an attempt to trigger the same eager enthusiasm to participate in something, as gamers experience during gameplay. I’ve recently seen 2 talks that explore this phenomenon: Jesse Schell’s talk at DICE 2010, and Jane McGonigal’s talk at TED. Both talks touch upon the same topic, the power of games to change our (real world) behaviour, but take an opposite approach, here’s a short analysis:

Schell talks about the future of game design as it invades the real world. He analyses the immense success of Facebook games such as Farmville and Mafia wars. What do they have in common? (more…)

Games design

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Our design for for Naked on Pluto isn’t (all that) public yet as it’s very much in the sensitive hand wavy might all change our minds stage, but it will be sooner or later. In the meantime, here are two of the games design practises we are trying out.

User centred design

This one I was taught at a design workshop by Ylva Fernaeus, Sara Ljungblad and Mattias Jacobsson from SICS, but I recognise it from elsewhere, and it was good to have it explained in full.

One part of ‘UCD’ (as I’m sure it’s abbreviated to to confuse the initiates) is called user stories. You make up a fictitious person who might play your game, and describe who they are, why they are playing and what their motivations are etc – you can get quite carried away with this, and within sensible margins, it seems to help.

Then you describe the experience of the game from their point of view. This means you can leave out all the details and focus on what you want them to feel – from the inside. (more…)