Friday, December 17, 2004

Final Game Design Statement

My final project consisted of making a video game with Leo Hertz called The Lonely City. This wasn't any normal computer game because we used a game design engine based on what LucasArts had used to make such games as Monkey Island or Day of the Tentacle. It is important to note that these games had a huge influence on my tastes in games since they were the first games I ever really played, and the first games I ever really loved (if love is a feeling you can bestow upon a floppy disk). This is probably the main reason why I decided to do such a project, because I wanted to fulfill my dreams as a child of making, or at least trying to make, a game in the style of all my favorite old LucastArts games.
What makes our game even more of a step away from the norm is the fact that we decided to use photos of actual environments that we came across in our every day lives (such as our school) and photos of ourselves and friends to make characters within those environments in the game.
What makes our game still a computer game is the fact that the way you played it is based on how old adventure games made by LucasArts or Sierra were played. That is to say, you are given your character, environments to interact with (pick up/use objects etc..) and characters within that environment to interact with (talk/use etc...). We attempted to make something with more of an artschool/student aesthetic to it. That is to say a story that contained more poeticism and had random and absurd things happening within it. It dealt with things that we felt strongly about, such as the state of our school's artwork and the state of ourselves, going through college and living on our own: trying to be an individual in this big city. Also the backgrounds and characters were edited on photoshop to give a more "artsy" feel, meaning the images themselves were an art project/art piece. Although you won't be seeing any of these images in a gallery, ever, because they don't belong there.
Like all single-player computer games, only one person can play at a time, but anyone around them has the chance to sit in and enjoy the game too. The length after the final game was tested reached to about a half hour, which was more or less what we reaching for.
We tried to make the game's story mysterious and absurd/random enough so that the player would want to continue playing to find out what was going on. We also used the artwork in our game as a tool to keep the player interested by making the backgrounds and characters as aesthetically pleasing and interesting as possible.
I knew that I wanted to give the player the illusion of freedom, but with most 2-D adventure games that is very hard, and our lack of knowledge of the program was also something that stopped from doing that. It was great watching people do things we had normally though during the play testing and helped me realize that for us to give the player more "freedom" we need to offer him more possibilities as far as interections with the environment and the characters.
It was real tough making this game but in the end it was worth it and I know both Leo and I will continue on with this game, although after all the trouble with bugs and learning script we definetly need a little break from it. But when we come back, we'll be much more prepared for what will come out of continuing the story and the game.

In conclusion I really appreciated this class. I got to realize that there was more to games than simply board games and computer games. I am very grateful for this because it has opened new ways for me make my own artwork. I know that next semester I will be attempting to create my first real physical game, that doesn't involve computers but people interacting with each other and environments I will create for them. Alot of the readings were very insightful and really helped me understand how a game works and functions. Im glad I have this course reader and these different essays to look back on if ever I want to be more articulate about the game making process. So thank you Jane for the great class, I won't be forgetting it anytime soon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

response to game feedback.

i think that more inventory in rooms that is needed is really great.
so you have to figure out for yourself what objects are more important that others and choose accordingly
i think we will allow alot of areas to explore which will offer subplots to the game but still close enough to it to make it valuable to the entire story. and perhaps areas with really weird characters to interact with or watch.
me and leo are still dealing with how to make this less of just an interactive narrative and one of the things that will help us is gaining better knowledge of how to use the program which is coming along nicely but im still stumped about ccertain aspects.
so more or less all this feedback is very valuable to us and we will do our best to make it as much of a game as possible.
through inventory management
through setting exloration
through missions....

ok byebye

eliots sfai balance challenge

all in all eliots game seems like a really good idea
what needs to happen though
that the race needs to be alot more clear
and the tests
need to be alot less hard
3 digit multiplication WHO DO YOU THINK I AM MAN?
my suggestions are lots of players not just two.
i think you really need to work on the racing . i think thats the funnest part about it and it needs to be a fucking extravanganza race allover the place.
itd be great if you could get the security to let us skate all over school cos then there could be riding down the ramp and like running up all the stairs and riding on th roof.
i think the testss need to be thought out more and make it challenging but fun for the players
maybe it shouldnt just be these academic tests maybe it could be really random stuff
bobbing for apples... i know thats a really bad example but other physical stuff might be really intersting...
maybe trying to get things while your riding?
so the prototype was alright...
lot more developing seems to be needed.
more crazy skateboards!!!!!

Monday, November 15, 2004


im REALLY sorry about the late everything blogger doesnt like my computer. i forgot completly about emailing..
blahblah excuses excuses.
i choose Katies game from wednesday i dont remember what its called but it should be called
my main isssues with this game is that the core mechanic of this game (making people smile) is more of a lifestyle rather than something to make into a game (although it could be if ALOT was added to it)... i think its really silly to turn it into converting zombies... its just a way to cover up and/or make people feel more comfortable about making people smile (which i guess is kind of necessary for certain people.. but they need to MAN UP)
It really didnt seem that Katie was too interested in peoples suggestions (i think... sorry if im wrong) about making it more into a "game" i think thats good because this really doesnt seem necessary as a "game" its really just something we all need to practice more often
as cheesy as that maybe... i like it . and its definetly something that crosses my mind every couple a days...
the game she showed us was very simple.. so simple i guess it wasnt even a game yet in somepeopeles opinion...
so my conclusion about it is that it isnt necessary as a game, we shouldnt have to cover it up as a game so that people will do it.
I have no real suggestions except... if you want this to be your GAME your going to have to take into account peeeoples suggestions (which i cant remember...)... and make it more gamey... more complicated.... COMPLICATIONS RROOOOWRRR!

the end

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


I choose Kwan Soo's 3D twister
Its a 3D twister. So im guessing the final will be a box.
It fits into that "im making new friends!" type of category. social game....
Verbs I would use to describe the core mechanic are :
not falling
keeping still
adjectives for my gaming experience would be
the perfect mix!
The only thing missing from the prototype is an actual fully functionnal 3D twister box. It can definitely be considered a game as is.
The best develope formal game element is the rules constraining the player behavior.
Thats what twister is all about. The struggle of getting in and out of these wacky
Rules are 10/10. Everybody gets the twister rules.
You could definitely develop strategies, as far as where you put your hand and where other players will and getting them in uncomfortable positions and keeping yourself out of them..
The gaming experience was what i expected . Im really curious to see what willhapeen if each space has a nob to hang from ...
The final needs to have things to hang from on the ceiling and nobs to hold on to on the walls . that is all.

this game could be pretty epic.

Monday, October 18, 2004

jon stewart is the man

ok emergent play.
so if my final project is gonna an old school video game.
i can take any lucasarts game really...
emergent play that happens with those types of games :
comics.. kids will take characters from day of the tentacle..monkeyisland... neverhood.... and make new adventures for them. the reason i think this happens is because all those games have a large emphasis on the artwork in the game.. and its 2d anyways...
kids are always.. cheating?
some of those games are really hard .. i remember getting a cheat book for like... full throttle or something (i know .. im a loser)
thats not really emergent play..
forget it.
thats all really for those old school type of games...
obviously with games like half life... or never winternights... kids can make there own mods and blahblah.. because its not too hard for them and they like the purdy graphics...

Monday, October 11, 2004

my front tooth is bruised

i think it would be really great to make a video game out of Iron Chef.
Imagine this!
a crazy new controller that allows you to make the same types of moves the chef would do... so like chopping and stirring and chopping and mashing and other cooking stuff.
now that would be an ill core mechanic
and youd have to do it all in a certain time .
its like all those stupid games where you smash buttons to go faster but instead your like chopping and stirring and chopping and mashing and other cooking stuff
and youcould make it a one on one multiplayer championship and the winner would get food catered to his housE! BY AN IRON CHEF!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


this THURSDAY at 9PM on PBS

this an excellent documentary on video games .
everyone check it out!