Thursday, May 7, 2009

Class 4: designing exertion games

Today you've learned about the process of designing exertion games, and the themes

  • social
  • emotion
  • mind-body loop
  • mind body conflict?
  • performance
when it comes to designing for the body. These themes should help you in creating your project, and they should also help you in arguing why your game is any good!

(This differentiates you from those clever 14 year-olds: they might also create a great game, but they cannot argue why it is any good, and hence cannot tell their future employees how to make another great game. By understanding why your game is great, you will be able to do it again!)


Prepare for "Projects Madness": 1 min presentation + 2 min feedback from class
Use today’s design knowledge in your project
Enter your blog comment (and don't forget to comment on today's presentation styles!)

Homework for Pranee: reply to Ian Bogost

Comment to Michele's comment on the brain-interface:

Think about the theme "mind-body loop" when designing exertion games: what does it mean to design for the mind-body loop? Focusing on the brain alone does not seem to be the best approach with that in mind. (I understand for some it might be the only way to communicate, so there is a space for that). But do you think you can create better games if you would have such an interface?

Further thought: Anton Nijholt (NL) has done experiments where he measured brain activity: he asked people to IMAGINE moving a box: the brain activity in certain parts was X volts. Then he asked the same people to imagine moving a box WHILE moving their hands as if they are moving a box. The brain activity was >X Volts.

The question for us is not WHY?, but WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR GAME DESIGN?

Can you see that this is what Guitar Hero does? It does not only make you THINK (see imagining moving the box) you are a rockstar by putting up all the graphics & sound etc, it ALSO strengthens these emotions that make you think you are a rockstar by encouraging you to do the associated MOVEMENTS: they give you a guitar, so you stand like a rockstar, but they also reward tilting it upwards in the gameplay (even though it does not add anything the way you play (regular) guitar), making it a much more emotional game (through imagining fantasy play) than if they would have just giving you the buttons and the strum bar.

Comments appreciated on what does this mean for YOUR game.