Global Game Jam: Only 3 Days to Go!

Gazimağusa is one of this years Global Game Jam locations. We got the support of our university and my faculty will host the event that will take place between 29-31 January.

Since it is our “pilot” event, we were happy to have it not too crowded: our group of participants stands at 15 right now and that is just about the right number to run it smoothly.

I’m very excited! This is a phantastic opportunity for us. An opportunity to show our enthusiasm and skills, an opportunity to show that we have the capacity to do amazing stuff on this island.

GGJ 2010, we’re coming!!

Molleindustria

There is a website that features a list of exiting games. I would label them as games that are meant to create “public enemies” such as anarchists, communists and feminists. Well, that’s exactly the exiting part of it all, isn’t it? :)

Please check out and support:

http://www.molleindustria.org/en/home

Motivating Players in an Engaging Way

My new article up at GDAM discusses the problem of mechanics that artificially lengthen gameplay.

It happens all too often that we lose our motivation exactly because of the mechanics that were supposed to achieve such motivation. I believe that one of the reasons for this is that game designers have too much faith in reward systems and do not tie them strong enough to narrative structures that foster a strong sense of game progression. In this article first I address the concept of climbing tension in order to explain the forces behind a strong sense of progression. Later on I give examples from cases in which the climbing tension principle is ignored and what impact this has on player experience.

I hope you enjoy the read!

GDAM February Poll is up!

The poll for the February topic at GDAM is up. The choices for February are:

  • Multiplayer Economies
  • Emotive Games
  • Losing the Fun Factor

You can vote here.

Favorite Blog Post of the Week at Gamasutra

Woot! My article on combining reward Structures with narrative bits has been elected as the best member blog of the week by Gamasutra. It happens just a week after I made it into top 5 with another article that dealt with categories of interaction.

And I have been awarded a lifetime subscription to Game Developer Magazine! ;)

Game Idea #43

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a game idea. So it was about time to come up with something new. Here comes…

Game Idea #43

The Hand

The Hand is an experimental game that aims to raise questions about choice and authorship in video games.

The player finds herself as an avatar in an open world setting with a third person POV. She can choose items from her inventory to wear or to carry in her hands, she can pick up objects from her environment, she can walk around and explore buildings and space, she can approach NPCs and talk to them etc etc.

However, soon it will be understood that there is another “Will” present in the game: A huge hand, intervening by entering the screen from above if it doesn’t like the decisions the player makes.

The hand would push the avatar around in order to tell her to move on or to make her move into a certain direction, it would “adjust” the avatar to the track it envisioned the player to take, it would deny certain directions completely by blocking the way or it would grab the avatar and place it onto a certain spot in the game world.

But that’s not all: the hand would take away certain items from the avatar’s hand and put them back into the inventory, it would place other items into her hand, it would put back items that the avatar picked up from the environment and shoo the avatar if she continues to pick the same item again. It would get angry if we talk to NPC’s that it doesn’t like and shut our mouth so that the NPC can’t understand what we are saying.

Finally, if the player insists on doing what the hand doesn’t want her to do, she would simply “grab the controller” and move along the avatar by herself for a while. During the period in which the player is stripped from control, she could however “promise” not to do it again and with a bit of begging get back controls. If she fails to keep her promise though, the Hand would keep the controller for longer periods the next time or simply decide that it doesn’t want to play with us any longer.

New Series of Articles on Game Narrativity

I’ve been busy writing a series of articles on game narrativity. Meanwhile they’re three and it keeps coming. They’re all on Gamasutra, so just check out the links below.

Combining Reward Structures With Narrative Bits

Rewarding Players Over Multiple Narrative Layers

Narrative Structure in Formal Games

Enjoy!