Playing Games Day!

Today we will split up into teams and play 3-4 games in class. Each team will spend 30-45 minutes at each game station, learning how to play, playing the game, taking careful notes, and then moving to the next station when I call time.  

  • For each game, identify:
    • The goal or objective: how does one win?
    • The rules
    • What's good about the game? What's not so good?
    • What type of tactics and strategies might a player employ. From Wikipedia:
      • Tactics are the actual means used to gain an objective
      • Strategy is the overall campaign plan, which may involve complex operational patterns, activity, and decision-making that govern tactical execution
    • Level of choice:
      • Completly on rails, tottaly free motion, or somewhere in between?
    • What is the Core Mechanic of the game?
    • What is the Core Dynamic?
    • Are choices meaningful?
      • Is the outcome of an action discernable at the time of your turn? 
      • Is the outcome of an action integrated into the overall gameplay? I.e can you interpret how each choice relates to the final outcome of the game? 
      • An example from the reading,
      • "Whereas discernability of game events tells players what happened (I hit the monster),integration lets players know how it will affect the rest of the game (If I keep on hitting the monster I will kill it. If I kill enough monsters, I'll gain a level.). Every action a player takes is woven into the larger fabric of the overall game experience: this is how the play of a game becomes truly meaningful.”
    • Identify parts of the system
      • What are the Objects 
      • What are the Attributes of the Objects
      • What Internal Relationships exist between the objects?
      • What is the game Environment? What is the context that surrounds the system?
        • This is open to interpretation, so do your best. I ask because no system exists within a vacuum, and the environment effects gameplay.   

 Presentation of findings

Let's have a quick Q&A session to present our findings about each of these games.


Read chapter 4 – "Design and Semiotics" in Rules of Play