AET 335 Study Guide - Fall 2019, Comprehensive Midterm Notes - Playtest, Social Constructivism, Natural Selection

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Published on 14 Feb 2019
School
UT-Austin
Department
Arts and Entertainment Technologies
Course
AET 335
Professor
AET 335
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Game design: The creation of a game’s rules
Game engine: Part of software that executes a video game’s core functionality
Eurogames: Focus on strategic depth and less on randomness/luck
Aesthetics
Philosophy of art
Studies sensory/emotional values
Defining play
Game play: Players follow game rules and experience through play
Ludic activities: Play activities including games and non-game behaviors
considered "playing"
Being playful: Playful state of mind
Transformative play: Free movement of play alters the more rigid structure
Games and play
Games are a subset of play
Play is a component of games
Game: A system in which players engage in artificial conflict, defined by rules, that
results in a quantifiable outcome
MDA
Mechanics: Components of game
Rules
Data representation
Algorithms
Processes that can cause game state to change
Dynamics
System
Run-time behavior of mechanics acting on player inputs and outputs over
time
Aesthetics: Desirable emotional responses evoked in player
Elements of game design
Mechanics
Aesthetics
Story
Technology
Game state: A snapshot of the current situation in the game
Invisible game state: Game state behind just what’s visible
Game loop: Mechanics occurring over and over again
System mechanics
Automatically triggered by another mechanic or game state
Does not involve player decision making
Affordance
Capabilities
Actional properties between world-object and living being
Perceived affordance: Hints to do something
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Constraint: Limitations
Theories of emotions and games
Darwinian perspective: Basic emotions are inherited and shared across the
human experience
Cognitive perspective: Emotions and behaviors are constantly changing
James-Lange perspective: Appraisals are unconscious evaluations of the body’s
response to stimuli
Social constructivist perspective: Fear and anxiety are learned through
conditioning
Game components
Core
Pillars
Bug testing: Bounty hunters for loose ends in the program
Alpha/beta tests: Group of people playtesting
Playtesting
Asking questions about the game
Suggesting improvements
Looking for the game style
Prototype → Playtest → Evaluate → Iterate
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Solo playtests: Setting up the game as if it was played by multiple people, then making
moves for each “dummy player” in turn
Identify unanticipated game situations
Confirm the game’s dynamics are working as expected
Improve design
Eight kinds of fun
Sensation
Fantasy
Narrative
Challenge
Fellowship
Discovery
Expression
Submission
Playability: How easy it is to learn and play a game
Qualities of games
Parameterized play with rules
A goal
Obstacles
Resources
Consequences
Information
Explicit rules
Expressly stated to the players
Written in the rulebook
Tabletop games → Rules
Video games → Mechanics
Implicit rules
Unwritten rules of a game
Designer can expect a new player to already know
Rules of etiquette and sportsmanship
Implicit politeness
Discoverable rules: Means of accomplishing must be deduced by player
Hidden rules: Designer does not want players to gain too clear of understanding
Constitutive rules
What is permitted and prohibited in a game
Explicit
Rules of skill
Strategies and rules players should but are not obligated to follow
Implicit
Rules of infraction
Can break and still be in the game
A strategic violation may be considered the game well played
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Document Summary

Game design: the creation of a game"s rules. Game engine: part of software that executes a video game"s core functionality. Eurogames: focus on strategic depth and less on randomness/luck. Game play: players follow game rules and experience through play. Ludic activities: play activities including games and non-game behaviors considered "playing" Transformative play: free movement of play alters the more rigid structure. Game: a system in which players engage in artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome. Processes that can cause game state to change. Run-time behavior of mechanics acting on player inputs and outputs over time. Aesthetics: desirable emotional responses evoked in player. Game state: a snapshot of the current situation in the game. Invisible game state: game state behind just what"s visible. Game loop: mechanics occurring over and over again. Automatically triggered by another mechanic or game state. Actional properties between world-object and living being.

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