segunda-feira, 26 de dezembro de 2011

Styleclash - drawing game for IPad2

Visual artist and game designer Jochem van der Spek created Styleclash – The Painting Machine Construction Kit – a competitive abstract drawing game for the iPad2. Each player can construct a virtual drawing machine whose main properties can be manipulated, thus influencing the machine’s visual expressive output. By choosing your type of brush, pencil or crayon and specific drawing technique, your machine creates a unique drawing. Not the players but the machines battle against each other for stylistic dominance in the playing field.

Styleclash - drawing game for IPad2 from SubmarineChannel on Vimeo.

Interesting approach and simple interface. I think that's a perfect use of iPad for games.

And you? What do you think about that?

segunda-feira, 19 de dezembro de 2011

Quote of the day

The problems of puzzles are very near the problems of life, our whole life is solving puzzles. If you are hungry, you have to find something to eat. But everyday problems are very mixed - they're not clear. The Cube's problem depends just on you. You can solve it independently. But to find happiness in life, you're not independent. That's the only big difference.” - Ernő Rubik (Hungarian, Architect and creator of the Magic Cube)

quarta-feira, 14 de dezembro de 2011

Simple and elegant: the essence of game design

Two days ago I've visited (again) a video game exhibition in my city (São Paulo) named GAME ON. There's a lot of good stuff in the place from all periods of the history of video games.

From ATARI till Xbox 360 with Kinect the exhibition gives to us a complete panorama of evolution, technology, design, language, mechanics and market in the video games universe.

The visit inspired myself to write this post. I've played a lot of classics of my childhood in the fair: Pitfall (ATARI, Activison, 1985), Space Invaders (Arcade, Taito, 1978), Donkey Kong (Arcade, Nintendo, 1981), Pac Man (Arcade, Namco, 1980) and many others in different platforms.

But I want to talk about a particular one. I want to talk about PONG, one of the first well succeed games in the history and a game with a great importance in the contemporary scene of communication. PONG is part of a series of experiments in which people began to interact with screens and became more than mere spectators.

PONG it´s an example of simple and elegant game design. It´s simple because there´s only one rule printed in the arcade: "avoid missing ball for high score" and it´s elegant by the minimalist design/idea of a table tennis made with few elements in the screen.

Salen and Zimmerman in the preface of the book Rules of Play (page XIII and XIV) explain why PONG is a successful game. The authors explain that the game despite its almost primitive simplicity, creates meaningful play. PONG is simple to play, every game is unique, it´s social (requires two players to play) and finally it´s fun and cool.

PONG still alive today. We can see the idea and mechanics of this game in new versions, new layout, internet ads and a lot of other places. PONG is a proof that good game design can survive the time.

And you? What do you think about that?

Game over! =)


SALEN, Katie & ZIMMERMAN, Eric. Rules of Play: game design fundamentals. Massachusetts; The MIT Press, 2004

quarta-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2011

Games and movies. Movies and games.

A few posts ago (click here to read) I've published an interesting point of view about the key difference between games and movies in the words of the game designer Sid Meier.

In this post I want to highlight this idea with some quotations from the book Video Gane Spaces. In the words of Nitsche (page 57) the filmmaker says, 'Look, I'll show you.' The spacemaker says, 'Here, I'll help you discover'. And Jenkins suggests that we should "think of game designers less as storytellers than as narrative architects" (page 129) who "don´t simply tell stories; they design worlds and sculpt spaces" (ibid., 121).

I really like the idea of denominate the game designer a kind of spacemaker. In fact we are talking about spaces with interactions, rules and players.

Despite the differences is undeniable that the films strongly influence the games. And it is undeniable that games also greatly influence the films.

In a future post I want to discuss this aspect. I want to talk about the dynamics of how movies become games (eg Iron Man) and how games become movies (eg Silent Hill).

See you!


NITSCHE, Michael. VIDEO GAME SPACES - image, play and structure in 3D worlds. Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2008.

JENKINS, Henry."Game Design as Narrative Architecture" In First Person: New Media as Story, Performance and Game, edited by Pat Harrington and Noah Wardrup-Fruin, 118-131. Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT Press, 2004.

domingo, 4 de dezembro de 2011

A good quote for today

"Playing a game is a voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles" - Bernard Suits (in The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia)