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Your Game Is Unnecessary (but it would be nice if people played it anyway)

Your Game Is Unnecessary (but it would be nice if people played it anyway)

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Your Game Is Unnecessary (but it would be nice if people played it anyway)

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  1. Your Game Is Unnecessary(but it would be nice if people played it anyway) Jason Compton Planewalker Games IGDA Wisconsin July 28, 2009

  2. Disclaimers • Lots of issues to raise • No guaranteed solutions • No Ico • Very few games from the past decade, actually • Classic “opening band problem”

  3. Nobody has to play your game: A difficult problem with difficult solutions • Desperate dark ages • Forget the wallet: You want share of waking hours • Nearly innumerable choices

  4. How innumerable, you ask? • Gametap, GOG, Steam • El-cheapo compilations and re-releases • Coverdisks • Legacy freeware releases • Emulator packs • The power of Solitaire • ...and that’s just the legit stuff

  5. It gets worse... • Movies galore • Free books • Free movies • The Internet, she has many web sites

  6. Outspend the competition! • Compete on audiovisuals • Good news: Pushing the envelope makes everybody happy! • Bad news: Anything you can buy, I can also buy.

  7. Motivating players: Coin-op style • You are either with us, or against us • Good news for the player: small outlays of time and money • Bad news for the developer: By and large, these stories have been told. • (Wizard of Wor!)

  8. Motivating By Simulating

  9. Motivating with Nationalism(“Fight the good fight!”) • The good news: You can sell a zillion World War II games, if you know what you’re doing. • The bad news: You might create something tacky and quickly dated.

  10. Motivating With Famous People(“Play a hero you know and love!”) • The weird news: Licenses used to guarantee awfulness. • Obvious advantages, but hard to be really thorough. (Jedi mind tricks!) • Where have all the good books gone?

  11. Is Fun the Only Motivation? • “Game” is an awfully loaded word... • ...but Americans love a happy ending. • Swerves and trick endings aside, games tend to deliver.

  12. Dystopia: No Fun, But Good for you! • Reading 1984 is not fun. • Neither is AMFV. But it’s exceptional. • Can we get past“game = fun”?

  13. A very incomplete guess at what’s gone wrong • The rise and fall of the auteurs – they knew what they wanted to say, and how to say it! • Obscure computer science = gaming! • Auteur system gives way to division of labor, for very good reasons.

  14. Right Hand, Meet Left Hand • Do designers and programmers really understand one another? • If so, how did that conversation happen? • Writers, I blame you, too.

  15. The Complexity/Choice Spectrum • Postulate: The more detailed your message, the more you must constrain choice • Fallout 1: Lauded as the ultimate in story/choice balance! • ...but it has a dark secret.

  16. What to do? • Design for narrative objectives rather than technological accomplishments • Realize that choice is ever-expanding • Find a lucky penny.