topical media & game development

talk show tell print

development(s) -- game patterns

On youtube one can find many clips that somehow discuss the future of the web. One example of this is depicted below, a lecture that explains the differences between the various phases of the web, and the transition to a (3D) web in which the users co-create.



In summary, the following phases are mentioned:


These visions are (partly) realized in a multitude of applications. More interestingly, however, is the question how can deploy these mechanisms in a game context. In other words, can we think of a way to make use of co-creation facilities, to develop our Clima Futura game? In  [Climate] we wrote: having decided on the general structure and elements of the Clima Futura game, a turn-based game loop, a climate-model driven simulation, exploratory video, and mini-games, the problem is how to connect these elements in a meaningfull way, and design a coherent collection of game events. This problem is further aggravated by the need to find a way to design in a collaborative fashion, necessitated by the sheer amount of disciplines and people involved.

To enable collaborative design we developed a game event description format, which standardizes the way game events are to be described, and for which we also developed an online form, structured as outlined below:

game event description format

The game description format should not be confused with game design patterns, as introduced in  [GamePatterns], that we will discuss in section 12.1.

Before enforcing the game event description format, our ideas about the design of Clima Futura were gathered in a collection of narratives and brief descriptions, in what we called the Clima Futura Design Bible. Using the standardized game event description format, we hope to arrive at a more uniform way of describing the narratives, the perspectives from which these narratives can be experienced, the challenges or problems a player must solve, the resources available to the player, such as capital, knowledge and political power, the rewards, possibly using bonus credits for succesfully playing a mini-game, as well as the visuals, which will where possible be derived from the collection of videos we have available.

In addition to the game event description format, we also provided a minigame description form, containing a field to indicate the event that gave rise to the minigame, a field for a description of the minigame in words, as well as a field for the visual depiction of the minigame. Together, the game event and minigame description formats, provide a means to develop an online hyperlinked design document, that may serve as a reference for further design, development and coding. For the elaboration of the design, we are developing storyboards, which characterize in a visual way the major (dramatic) elements of narratives, structured using a subdivision in:


  • context -- general setting, situation
  • problem -- event(s) to occur, problem to solve
  • S-R situation(s) -- stimulus/response (one or more)
  • climax -- action must be taken
  • resolution -- find solution or result
Although the actual workflow that we will deploy during development is at the moment of writing not clear, we will strive for developing templates that allow for a quick realization of the designs captured by the game event and minigame description format(s), along with the storyboards for visual design.

(C) Æliens 04/09/2009

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