Why People Play Games

 

For one of our classes, we were asked to think about why people played games, create a logical argument for it. We were to also mention how we thought the trend would effect how games were made, and the skillsets we have that would help us in making those games. Here is my take on the subject;

 

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People want to live out a fantasy.

 

When I say ‘fantasy’, I’m referring to things that a person didn’t achieve or couldn’t do for one reason or another. Perhaps because it wasn’t possible in the first place, like being someone else and living their life.

 

I’m sure a lot of us have a daydream or a fantasy we would like to fulfill. Daydreams themselves are mostly ‘self-soothing’, they are meant to help us feel better about ourselves and our circumstances. Adding onto that is that people also spend essentially 50% of their time awake daydreaming.

 

With that in mind, where else other than in our thoughts could we be someone we’re not and do things that we want to but can’t?

 

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In video games, especially because I think its interactivity makes it feel closer to the player.

 

For example, the player’s choices in a game like Skyrim or Mass Effect would be a result of their considerations and personal values towards the situation at hand, making the choice theirs.

 

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It helps makes the experience more individualistic, like adventure itself was the player’s own.

 

This could still be extended to established characters, not only blank ones. After all, the player would still be controlling them, partially experiencing what those characters are going through and making it easier for them to step into their shoes.

 

Let’s take Metal Gear Solid 4 for instance, and here’s a video to better show what I’ll be trying to say:

 

 

Players have to button mash to get through this room; the player’s own frustration, their helplessness and perhaps even their tiredness, could help them understand what Snake could have been feeling at the time.

 

What all this boils down to is that interactivity creates a connection between the player and the game. This connection and the empathy it could incite was the reason why storytelling turned to interactivity in the first place.

 

So, here’s my logical argument;

 

Premise 1: People want to be a part of a fantasy.

Premise 2: Interactivity provides a connection for the player to the fantasy.

 

Conclusion: The interactivity of games easily allows people to be a part of a fantasy.

 

If this were a trend, I could see more developers, especially larger AAA ones adding in branching story paths in their games, since player choice is one of the main ways the player could influence the story.

 

Something a little less like Life is Strange, where the final choice was the only determinant on which significantly different ending was achieved, and a bit more like the Witcher 3, where the ending is a culmination of choices leading up to it.

 

In terms of skills I could apply in this, I’d include my English and writing skills which could help when summarizing the dialogues into choices to be placed within the UI. Mass Effect had a bit of trouble with this as some of the dialogue options ended up misleading in tone or meaning after being shortened. There’s a whole forum for that with an example below.

 

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Also of note is my interest in single-player games. As daydreams and fantasies are very much about the person themselves, a single-player game could be more effective in making the player believe that they are within the game’s world.

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Career Plan for Game Futures

A quick post outlining my skills, abilities and interests as a student game designer nearing internship and graduation to help in planning what I could do in the future and where I would be aiming to go with my career.

 

Skills:

  • Has basic knowledge in;
    • Photoshop
    • Adobe Animate
    • Illustrator
    • Sketchup
    • Stencyl
    • Word
    • Excel/Google Sheets
    • Draw.io
    • C++
    • Video editing (Movie Maker and Filmora Wondershare)

 

Abilities:

  • Has a strong command of the English language
  • Has good summarization and explanation skills
  • Can visualize things easily

 

Interest:

  • Working with mechanics which are uncommon or used in a different take than usual
  • Single player games
  • Learning to program using Unity and/or Unreal
  • Anime
  • Animals and their behaviour

 

Plan for the application of skills, abilities and interests mentioned above:

  • Prototyping mechanics and levels using the various software listed
  • Worldbuilding in terms of the fauna which could fit within a specified world
  • Write articles on the game explaining the features for the game’s website or blog

 

A Beat-em-Up Beta for Genre Studies 2

So, for the last three months or so, I’ve been working on a Beat-em-Up with Basebuilding and Rogue-like as genres.

 

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So let me start off with a pitch:

Might is right, and you are might personified; with every swipe, you gain strength until no one is left alive to tell you otherwise.

 

And for better explanation; you are a powerful yokai, but your adversaries are many and joining together. But this is simply an opportunity; there’s a totem, you’ve heard, that takes souls sacrificed to it to make one defy death. Your soul would return to the world ever stronger, though all who have walked this path has had their own soul trapped within the totem. You have a simple solution to that, and that is to make even the totem bow down to your strength. With that in mind, you set off to fulfill that destiny.

 

What I present to you now is game about power. You will be overwhelming enemies with strength as they attempt to overwhelm you with numbers, but the more they come, they more souls you have to sacrifice to return stronger than ever. But the totem’s not the only thing in your arsenal. Bloodthirst plagues your heart, cleaving enemies in quick succession builds into a berserking rage which leaves even armies at the mercy of your claws.

 

Click here to download the beta version of the game.

To play, simply double-click or drag onto a browser.

 

Platformer: Summary of the Weeks

For the past few weeks I’ve been working on a platformer and so for this week, I’ll be summarizing all that has happened from where it started to where I’ve managed to get it today.

 

The game itself is simply about the adventurer who had incurred the wrath of the tomb’s traps because he had taken one of it’s treasures and has to escape alive. However, the ruin itself has great historical value and harming it would devalue it. So now, he is faced with the choice of either making escape easier by breaking past anything that stops him or to manipulate the very traps around him to help him instead.

 

So to start off, I had a concept of encouraging players to use the environment or enemy attacks to their advantage, mostly to kill enemies, inspired by God of War and Ori and the Blind Forest in my proposal for the platformer.

 

 

Which I got my teeth into far deeper on the coming week where I had blocked out the very basic look and feel of my game along with all the enemy attack interactions with other things in the game, which I had tried to keep as logical as possible. An example of it can be seen below, where the arrows would kill the bats, and the player, but would bounce harmlessly off the stone platforms.

 

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The mockup from the first version of the game

 

From there, I now had what quite felt like en Egyptian tomb, considering that one of the main inspirations for the main character was Indiana Jones, and I decided to make that the art theme of the game. As such, I replaced much of the platforms and tilesets with new ones to fit the theme and make them feel like they belong in the same world, which resulted in the mockup below.

 

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The mockup from the second version of the game

 

What laid beyond that was to make the assets pop out to have a clear distinction between the foreground and the background. To do this, I revisited some of the previously added assets and edited them to have light and shadow as well as swapping out the background for something darker and with a smaller set of brick patterns. At the end of that, I had this;

 

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The mockup from the third version of the game

 

This week, I’ve made some slight changes to the start screen, by include a glowing artifact so as to give a little bit of backstory to what the player is doing in the tomb like how Temple Run 2 does its start screen. I’ve also swapped the ending background to one of slightly old paper, like those from a worn journal to fit the theme better which I reference from World of Warcraft’s Quest Log.

 

 

 

And that concludes my five weeks working on this game. For those who want the complete list of all the art assets I used, here it is;

 

-Exit from Fancy Dungeon Tileset by James Bell

-Player Character from George by sheep

-Turret, Fire Cannon and from Time Canon Sprite SVG by qubodup

-Bat from Bat by bagzie

-Bat Boss from 10 More Fantasy RPG Enemies Plus a Boss Normal Map by Antifarea/CharlesGabriel

-Gun from Handgun by -SMBX-

-Glitter, Bullet, Enemy Bullet, Hurt Dialogue 1, 2 and 3 and Switch by me

-Background from UndeadEmpire tileset (64×64) repack (floor, lava, walls and effects) by Big Rook Games

-Border Tiles with Hieroglyphs from  Hieroglyph Sprites by Andor Salga

-Texture for Unmoving Platform and Wall from  Calinou’s Texture Pack by Calinou

-Top Part of Unmoving Platform and Moving Platform from Egyptian Tileset by gtkampos

-Tent and Wood Planks from OOP Jungle Tiles by Hapiel

-Campfire from Camp Fire Animation for RPGs (Finished) by Zabin and Jetrel

-Ending Screen Paper Background from Paper by Darkwood67

-Fire Pillar from Pyron from Darkstalkers

-Artifact from Artifact (Animated) by Gokhan Solak

 

As for those interested in playing the beta version of the game, click here.

Simply download the file and double click or drag onto Google Chrome to play.

Platformer: Having The Important Stuff Stand Out

For this week, I’ll be attempting to make what I feel are important stand out. So to start off, I did edit the tiles of my platforms once again, this time adding light and shadow to them as well as a stronger outline. I referenced how Mario did their light and shadows to make their platforms pop while doing the same for the cracks on the floor for a similar effect.

 

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Mario’s Platforms and Floor

 

I also changed by Boss sprite this time around as previously my boss used the same sprite as every other bat in the game even though it could only be killed using the fire pillars. To do this, I used a different, more menacing looking bat sprite which was also larger just like how The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess did with their first boss which was a larger, triple headed version of the usual flytrap looking mobs from around that dungeon.

 

 

 

Now onto the colour of the boss which I took reference from Pokemon, specifically how they’ve changed the colour palette of some of the new Alolan forms for existing Pokemon. As my Boss Bat was vulnerable to fire, I thought to use Pokemon that had been changed from some other type into an Ice type like Sandshrew or Vulpix so that the colouring would hint at Ice and since ice is weak to fire would also imply that the Bat would take damage from fire.

 

 

To solidify this further I also referenced Pokemon’s burn status effect, the status itself caused additional damage to the afflicted Pokemon every turn. This is shown in the animation when fire is overlayed on the sprite and burns the Pokemon before the damage is dealt to their health bar.

 

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Pokemon’s Burn Status Effect

And so I changed the Boss Bat’s original colour to a snowy whitish blue like the Ice-type Alolan Pokemon while also adding the fire burning animation when the Bat runs through the fire and gets burned.

 

 

Finally to show when players are damaged by anything that is not instantly fatal and have it be quite obvious, I have made speech bubbles indicating the player is hurt which are outlined in black and a solid white in the middle with clear bold capital letters which spell out exclamations of being hurt. For this I referenced Riddle School 3 where many of the main hints in the game was actually given by the player character who says them to the player through a speech bubble.

 

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A Hint Spoken by the Player Character in Riddle School 3

 

These would appear briefly when the player takes damage and would increase in frequency along with changing its words depending on how much health the player has left.

 

For all the new art assets that was shown in this post, here they are;

Bat Boss from 10 More Fantasy RPG Enemies Plus a Boss Normal Map by Antifarea/CharlesGabriel

 

And for those who are interested, here is the current build of the game;

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwOqOq-a3CrhM0RZZ0hGSlJJNmM/view?usp=sharing

Simply download it and double click or drag it onto a web browser to play.