Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Origins of Games

Another article on GameCareerGuide (you can click the title of this post):



Ian Schreiber said...

Nice article. It's good to remind people of where game concepts come from.

Maybe it's just my poor interpretation, but it sounds like you were saying that all game concepts come from one of those five categories. Actually, there are a lot of other places high concepts can come from:

* Target market. Examples: "The fastest growing demographic of games is females age 35-55. Make a game that targets them." / "Make a game for children of both genders, age 5-8." / "Make an MMO that appeals specifically to the 'griefer' player type."

* Player experience. Examples: "Make a game where the player experiences the childhood wonder of cloudgazing." / "Make a game that, by playing it, causes the player to physically relax." / "Make a game that's sexy and turns players on, without being overtly raunchy or hypersexualized."

* Artistic vision. Examples: "Make a game that expresses the death terror felt by a 30-year-old who has some of his friends pass away." / "Make a game that shows the challenges of marriage and/or parenthood that are particularly noticeable by you."

* Education or persuasion. Examples: "Make a game that teaches some aspect of math at the 6-8 grade level." / "Make a game that shows through gameplay the unsustainability of a global fast food corporation." / "Make a game to encourage children with diabetes to actively manage their disease."

All of the above examples are starting points I've seen in real games, mind you.

Lewis Pulsipher said...

The problem is teh level of granualarity. R. Knizia identifies just three origins of games, theme, mechanic, or component (and he's thinking mainly of non-electronic games, though he has designed some video games.

In my cse, education is a form of story, as is player experience. Artistic vision is not something I've encountered as an origin of a game, but it, too, is a form of story/theme. Target market may be a form of genre, or more likely of constraints. Though I don't think you've actually reached the origin of a game when you select a target market, that alone doesn't generate much of anything unless it's a very narrowly-defined market.

Lewis Pulsipher said...

I'm away from home typing on an old-fashioned keyboard, and that comment certainly showed it!

"Always do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest."Mark Twain
"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Antoine de Saint-Exup'ery

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." Albert Einstein

"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle