quarta-feira, 25 de janeiro de 2012


By Vince Vader

I want to discuss in this post the importance of creating relevant experiences for players inside the video games. The idea of writing about this subject came from a brief discussion I had with a game designer friend.

Nowadays we have more complex tools to create amazing experiences in video game platforms like 3d graphics, complex soundtrack and interaction with motion devices (like Kinect). But if we think about famous video games from the past, it is possible to notice that game designers created amazing experiences with few resources, too.

Technology changed a lot of things in this area, but the essence of creating a good gaming experience is still the same: players want to have fun.

I always like to use classic games as examples, and I want to use Space Invaders (Tomohiro Nishikado, Taito, 1978) as a good case study in this subject. Space Invaders had limited resources in its creation but it’s a great game still today.

Space Invaders has all the things a game needs to give the player a great experience:

1) Simple and elegant interface. You just need to move left/right, shoot aliens in the sky and try to protect your ship in the limited energy fields;

2) The game has tension. As the invaders come closer, they get faster;

3) The game has no soundtrack, but it has a constant and scary sound (like a heartbeat) that gets faster as the invaders come closer.

As we can see, limited resources did not prevent the creation of a great > game.

As Nitsche wrote: “the narrative perspective emerges from the available interactive options, but also from the way the space is told to the player. The mediated plane works like a narrative filter between the rule-based plane and the play space” (2008, page 145).

So? What do you think about that?


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

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Invaders

terça-feira, 17 de janeiro de 2012

Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world

Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how.

segunda-feira, 16 de janeiro de 2012

A quote from Reiner Knizia

I really like the work of this guy. Knizia is one of my favorites game designers. Born in Germany, he developed his first game at the age of eight (!). He has a PhD in mathematics, and has been a full-time game designer since 1997, when he quit his job from the board of a large international bank. Knizia has been living in England since 1993.

This quote below has a good concept about game design:

When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning.” ― Reiner Knizia

Think about it.


terça-feira, 3 de janeiro de 2012

A quote from Roger Caillois

"In strongly opposing the world of play to that of reality, and in stressing that play is essentially a side activity, the interference is drawn that any contamination by ordinary life runs the risk of corrupting and destroying its very nature." - Roger Caillois (link),"Men, Play and Games",chapter "The Corruption of Games",p. 43