Week 2

For this week we explored the concept of creativity and tried to answer the question, where do ideas come from? I believe that everyone is capable of being creative and coming up with ideas, but not everyone is capable of executing their ideas. There are various techniques that can be implemented, which can help individuals come up with ideas; this includes general knowledge, freeform writing, writing exercise and brainstorming (Brook, 2015). I personally prefer brainstorming ideas, as I am a visual learner. We also discussed various game elements within a game; this incorporates rules, story, players, challenge, platform, genre, interface, and audience (Brook, 2015). Even though prior to this class I have already thought of a narrative for my game, I haven’t decided the various game elements that make up the game.

1. Split into two groups:

  • Take turns to write a sequential sentence on the board
  • After everyone has had a turn, break your group into smaller groups, of 2-3 people.
  • Using your story on the board, determine:
    • Type of gameplay: Challenge and obstacles?
    • Victory condition: How you you win?
    • Player role(s)/interaction: Who/what do you control?
    • Setting: What environments/levels?
    • Interface & perspective: How do you view the world?
    • Game’s structure: How does it work? How is it broken up?
    • Interplayer interactions?: Co-op, competitive, solo?
    • Story: What sets the gameplay in motion? Summarise the plot.
    • Genre: What elements does it draw from/avoid?
    • Fun: Why play this game?

As a class we broke into two groups and took turns to write a sentence on the white board in order to come up with a game concept. Below is the result of this activity…

ancient_french_mountain_village

Figure 1: THE VILLAGE HAS MOVED TO IRCSTORM! (Source: IRC Village, 2014).

Atop the highest mountain on a remote island, sits a small village. Nobody cared about the village, so it exploded into a billion pieces of candy and a fish. This fish was so beautiful that all the other fish worshipped it and gave it gifts as tribute to protect themselves from its shiny disco-ball like scales. However, the fish was violently possessed by the consciousness of the villagers. They wanted vengeance, and would decimate all forms of sea life till they felt satisfied. The fish’s last hope of salvation was a mountain goat god called Clide. Clide possessed an all-powerful dildo they could resurrect all forms of life, such as the village. Unfortunately, it needed to be charged. Once charged, this dildo would shimmer like a caramelized candy fish thingy. But alas, it was crushed by the mountain. The mountains amazing lego collection stepped in and rebirthed the village into small, Lego sized fish people. They lived happily ever after until Clide the goat god came and ate them.

Mountain_Goat_Mount_Massive

Figure 2: File:Mountain Goat Mount Massive.JPG (Source: Darklich14, 2014).

Individually I attempted to create a playable game out of this story. I decided that the game would be a 2 Dimensional side scroller, set in the ocean. The player will control Clide the mountain goat god and will have to collect batteries in order to charge his dildo. Clide will have to not only avoid various sea creatures, but the beautiful fish with shiny disco-ball like scales that has been violently possessed by the consciousness of one of the villagers. Players will be able to hear the beautiful fish coming, because of the 80’s disco music playing, which gets louder as it gets closer. The player will win the game when they have fully charged the dildo, only to watch the dildo being crashed by the mountain and the mountains amazing Lego collection saving the day. People will want to play this game for its humour and interesting game concept. I feel that the game concept we came up with as a class was original, as I haven’t or heard or played a game similar to it yet. Although during class Brook pointed out that religious interpretation can be made from our game concept, for example Jesus has been referred to as goat in biblical stories. This leaves us to question how original our game concept and if we were unconsciously writing a story in the bible.

2) Discuss:

a) What might be the difference between coming up with ideas for games compared with ideas for novels and films? What are some failed or successful attempts to adapt novels or films?

Infinite_Weapons

Figure 3: UI Artist & 2D Generalist (Source: Maryyovina, 2014).

Games are often criticised for being inferior to novels and movies when telling stories as they are not linear and need to appear to give players choice (Costikyan, 2001). In my opinion there are three types of ways a game can tell a story. The first way is when a player has to follow a narrative and the illusion of choice is created in the gameplay. For example in BioShock Infinite players get to choose what guns they equip, how they go about killing their enemies, and the pace of the game. Another way a game can tell a story is by creating an open world, players choose if they want to play the main quest, do side quests or just explore the game environment, examples of these types of games is Skyrim and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The third way a game can tell a story is by creating a sandbox game, where the game designer relies on players to create their own story in their virtual worlds.

b) Draw up a list of games you have actually enjoyed playing. What qualities did you enjoy? What aspects did you find frustrating? Does this suggest some quality that you might like to put in a game?

Skyrim

Figure 4: SKYRIM ULTIMATE GRAPHICS (Source: Aspectral, 2015). 

I enjoy playing various games; this includes Skyrim, Minecraft, BioSkock, Witcher, Diablo, Prototype, Sims, Halo, Forza Horizon, Blur, Left 4 Dead, Portal, Fable, Civilisation, Borderlands, and many more. Some qualities all or most of these games comprise of are continuous challenge, interesting storyline, immediate rewards, choice, aesthetically pleasing environment and fantasy elements.

References:

Aspectral, (2015). SKYRIM ULTIMATE GRAPHICS [Image]. Retrieved from http://techcaffeine.net/page/2/

Brook, L (2015). Week 2 Lecture Slides and Journal Activities [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from Edith Cowan University, Faculty of Creative Industries, Blackboard Website: https://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_617928_1&content_id=_3843051_1

Costikyan, G. (2001). Where Stories End and Games Begin. Retrieved from http://www.costik.com/gamnstry.html

Darklich14, (2014). File:Mountain Goat Mount Massive.JPG [Image]. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mountain_Goat_Mount_Massive.JPG

IRC Village, (2014). THE VILLAGE HAS MOVED TO IRCSTORM! [Image]. Retrieved from http://theircvillage.com

Maryyovina, (2014). UI Artist & 2D Generalist [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.maryyovina.com

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