top_image
Author Message

<  Design concepts  ~  Navigating a physical place - is it important?

tobr
Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:08 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 08 Apr 2008 Posts: 8
It seems to me that a very large percentage of computer and video game releases involve moving around in and navigating some kind of a "physical" location. Whether it be a race course, a moon base filled with scary monsters, a battlefield, a soccer field, a giant medieval country, or "empty" space, the location and how we relate to it is almost always important.

I guess the presence of a physical location is natural since life takes place in such, and many games are simulations of real world phenomenons in one way or another. But in all of the examples above, the moving about is a crucial part of the game concept. We're used to almost always have some kind of movement controlls.

How does this affect the gaming experience? How could a game be designed to not include navigation like this, let alone a physical space at all? Are there such games? I can only think of puzzle games like tetris, chess etc, where you control the motion of objects, and not of the player itself (nor an avatar).
View user's profile Send private message
MoriartyL
Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:05 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Nov 2005 Posts: 69 Location: Israel
Chess and Tetris both involve movement and navigation. Abstract movement, to be sure, and in abstract worlds; but how does that make a difference? What's the difference between running while kicking a ball, and jumping two to the left and one down? Is the difference that you can relate to the object you're moving? If you were to paint a smiley face on each of the Tetrominoes, would that make a difference to your grouping?

If so, here's how you make a game which doesn't involve human navigation: You make the movement more abstract, to the point that all you've got is symbols and letters and shapes. Take an adventure game, and swap the walking player character with a bouncing hexagon or a mouse cursor. I'm not entirely sure why that should change the experience.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
Michael
Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:59 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
I think the reason why computer games like to deal with space simulation is because it is something that this technology does better than any other. And when competing with other entertainment media for attention, games have to play up their strong points. In fact, I think the simulation aspect of computer games is greatly underestimated. I actually think that most games do not allow you to explore this virual space enough, as they tend to be heavily obsessed with the linear game structure. That structure is old and not specific to the medium, while space simulation is new and can only be done in this medium.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
axcho
Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:20 am Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Jun 2007 Posts: 66
Michael wrote:
In fact, I think the simulation aspect of computer games is greatly underestimated. I actually think that most games do not allow you to explore this virual space enough, as they tend to be heavily obsessed with the linear game structure. That structure is old and not specific to the medium, while space simulation is new and can only be done in this medium.
I think I'd agree here. There are a lot of aspects of interaction through movement in a space that I am interested in exploring, and it's surprising how little of that is done in most games. I guess that's part of my attraction to physics-based games.
View user's profile Send private message
Ymedron
Posted: Mon May 05, 2008 9:19 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Apr 2008 Posts: 176 Location: Finland
I thought first about a game, in which you control a "spirit" and affect the physical world with either your presence or actions... But then I figured that it was just the thing you described in the beginning. It would make an interesting game, however.
Think about the chinese and japanese folk-beliefs. They believed there was a spirit-world. It wouldn't have to look like anything. You could be floating in a sea of colors, and dip into the physical world to see what happens. No goals, just playing around, much like in Endless Forest except that the world changes. ...Now I want to play such a game. Razz
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Deermuda
Posted: Mon May 05, 2008 10:52 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 24 Apr 2008 Posts: 59
O.O
That would definately be a game on my wish-list.
View user's profile Send private message
Blackfeathr
Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 3:57 am Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Feb 2008 Posts: 949 Location: In the box under your stairs...
As I've read in another forum, it has been proven in a study that females tend to play games that focus more on exploring with no particular goal, and males tend to play games that are more linear and involve conflict with a "boss" of some sort, a goal to complete.

Games that simply explore a space I believe would bring girls more into the world of gaming. It wouldn't be as good of a seller as Halo or SSBB, but I believe girls would embrace the concept of such a game. Hence why there are probably more females playing TEF than males. There really needs to be more "explorer" games, because as a linear gamer, I suck. Laughing
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address MSN Messenger
Ymedron
Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 6:14 am Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Apr 2008 Posts: 176 Location: Finland
Most of the people who are around here are artists, am i correct? ;D
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Blackfeathr
Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 6:15 am Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Feb 2008 Posts: 949 Location: In the box under your stairs...
I am :3
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address MSN Messenger
Ymedron
Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 6:32 am Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Apr 2008 Posts: 176 Location: Finland
Yaaaas. And most of them are better (= more experienced, better educated) at drawing. >w< (Ymedron be self taught till' she gets into da school to learn. ;D)
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Blackfeathr
Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 6:43 am Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Feb 2008 Posts: 949 Location: In the box under your stairs...
There is a sizeable amount of artists on this forum, which is quite astounding, I havent seen a population like this since DevART.

But, being that TEF is funded by art institutes and is a game mainly based on art, I guess I should have known. XD
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address MSN Messenger
MoriartyL
Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 10:22 am Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Nov 2005 Posts: 69 Location: Israel
Blackfeathr wrote:
As I've read in another forum, it has been proven in a study that females tend to play games that focus more on exploring with no particular goal, and males tend to play games that are more linear and involve conflict with a "boss" of some sort, a goal to complete.
"Proven".. ha! I've been wishing for a pure exploring game since forever, and my sisters will only conceive of playing a game if it pulls them around by the nose. Your study is wrong.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
Wildbluesun
Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 8:24 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Dec 2006 Posts: 4266 Location: London, Land of Tea and Top Hats
Just because your sisters don't play games doesn't mean the study's wrong...it just means your sisters don't play games.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Ymedron
Posted: Wed May 07, 2008 6:35 am Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Apr 2008 Posts: 176 Location: Finland
I play all types of games, from FPS-esque (Oblivion) to tactics- and puzzlegames (Fire Emblem, Legend of Zelda) The only thing which connects them is that they are fantasy-oriented. ;3
A large part of community in MMORPG:s is usually male, but when the game doesn't have any "better than you" aspect, it has women?
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Michael
Posted: Wed May 07, 2008 8:38 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
For a more nuanced "exploration" of different types of gamers, I recommend that you read Chris Bateman's article "Demographic Game Design". It identifies three distinct categories of players based on psychologic profiles (rather than simply gender). A very good read!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Display posts from previous:  

All times are GMT + 2 Hours
Page 1 of 2
Goto page 1, 2  Next
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.

Jump to:  

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum