Thursday, May 6, 2010

The difference between Microsoft's Natal and Nintendo's Wii for game designers

Please post here in the comments (bullet points are fine, but be precise!) what the difference is for you as game designers between the technology behind Microsoft's Natal and Nintendo's Wiimote.
What can you do with one that you cannot do with the other?

I challenge you that there is only a handful of points, but that they are much more important than 'more limbs'.

Lecture 9: 06May2010 The Mind and the Body

Hi all,
Thanks again for coming out tonight.
Today you learned about what we know about the body (or how little about it), and how our interactions with computers (not just computer games) are becoming more and more appreciative of the physics of the real world. This is particularly buoyant in games, but can also be observed in how the iPhone adds weight to contacts, for example (You could push that further by 'adding' extra weight to 'heavy' - equals more important - contacts, so they come up more prominent when you flick through with your finger).

In order to design for the body, the best advice so far (to be most effective) is therefore probably no to think, but DO. Designing for the body means moving the body, and you hopefully have seen how the tape-body-parts-together might have given you ideas that would be a million times more complex to imagine and describe with the mind.

I realized that I did not let enough people speak who have not said enough yet, so sorry about that, I'll try to be better next time.

Homework for next week:
* Blog: a) Comment on the lecture OR b) repeat the most important point you have learned for those who could not attend OR c) describe the difference between Wii and Natal for designers IN THE SEPARATE BLOG ENTRY
* Report progress on your team website/blog
* Read the reading assignments for next week
* If you have not done so, email me your dots, video and promotional pic

PS: For the rock-climbing team: Have you thought why you are trying to 'improve' rock-climbing? Are you improving it? If so, why? Or are you making it more accessible? Or more engaging? What do you tell a rock-climber who might say: but rock-climbing is great on its own? Why do we need to add computers?

PPS: A note on getting in the paper: try to market your game through facebook, twitter etc. Email your video out. You have no idea how many people would like to pass your game video to their friends rather than do work in the morning. Just ask all your facebook friends to send it to their friends (this is not spamming, as they should only do it if they like it). Tag the video properly. Increase the hit count. Tell people what they should write about: This game gets fat kids off the couch because ...

PPPS: Thinking about a tag line for any newspaper article might also help your game: If a reporter asks you, what should be the headline? What would you say? Why do we need your game? This is were a target-group might come in handy: Your game might get kids active who so far only liked computer games. Or create a game that takes the piss out of the Myki system: You would need to swipe a fake card a 100 times in order to get a score.... any topical statement is always great for the paper. Or make a game for the unemployed Storm players. Think of a headline: would you print it? If so, your game is on the right track.
And then send it to all the papers, blogs, online articles you know: they all have email addresses, twitter accounts etc. Hey, you have seen what they show on TV (especially shows like Sunrise etc), and they are asking in any of these shows to send in any news, so make use of this! Be an active citizen!

PPPPS: To the Bubble Popper team: Sorry if I might seem very pushy for you to create something new, but I have been thinking a lot why I would like to see this: I think it is a) because I see potential. Everyone enjoyed playing your game. It was simple but wonderful at the same time. Your game did not have a tag-line though (it did not 'help' anyone, did not make the world a better place, but it was so obvious 'fun'). But maybe it did not need one. Nobody also needed to think why this game needed a computer. It was clearly a computer game. You could not do it without a computer. And then I realized: Maybe it is b) I would like to see if you could pull this off again, i.e. do you have enough knowledge about games to do it again but with a different game or was it just mere luck? :-)