Final Blog Post

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Here we are… The final blog post.

First and foremost, yes, I did “read about games, write about games, play games and design games” and it was all connected. This class was the funnest class I’ve ever taken. The lectures were not boring, Instructor Morgan made funny remarks in class, and we got to make our own games. The textbook used for this class was also a great read with lots of interesting information. The MDA framework was the most interesting and valuable lesson of this class, in my opinion. Learning about all the different possibilities for game mechanics were really cool. I took this class as an elective because I have always wanted to work in the game industry. I even considered changing my major to game design, but I’m so glad that I decided to take this class as an elective first. Although I loved creating my own games in this class, I came to a realization that designing games just isn’t for me. It’s way more difficult than it seems and it requires a lot of patience, that I don’t have. I get anxiety when things take too long and creating games takes a LONG time. I can’t even imagine how that would be in the real world. Don’t get me wrong though. I still want to be in the game industry somehow, just not as a designer. Despite my realization, I appreciated this class and Instructor Morgan for making this experience a memorable one. Thank you!

 

Blog Post 8: Final Project

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(Photo of feedback)

I wasn’t able to get a photo of the gameplay between Jenn and Eva but here is a link to a video of mine and my friend’s game session.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1PKEfZSD2t2xxGgWlR5Ap5jHcVbJoPBfM

Straight is a 2-4 player card game that is fun for all ages. The goal of the game is to match each of your 13 cards to each other by suit or number. This does not mean to PAIR them. Each single card must match its previous card or next card by suit or number, but all cards must match. This game is fast so many games can be played. There will be some situations where you will have a bad hand and unable to match all of your cards but this is pretty rare.

A person can come up with different strategies for this game. What I like to do is match all the cards by suit, and then find pairs to use as transition cards. Using this as a starting point is very helpful. This is probably the easiest way to organize your cards but there may be situations where you cannot complete a whole hand using this strategy. With this strategy, your hand will have 4 or less groups for each suit with a pair between each suit group.

When this strategy does not work, you will have to rearrange the cards and may end up with 5+ groups due to the transition cards and making everything match its previous and next card.

VIEW VIDEO FROM 3:27 FOR EXAMPLE OF ORDER OF CARDS.

Blog Post 7: GPS game

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(Pictured above: My character in the app –Moofy is my dogs name, lol)

For class, we played Pokémon Go.

I grew up as almost every kid did in my generation with an obsession of Pokémon and collecting it’s cards. I’ve played the Pokémon Go mobile app game before but just never got into it. I suppose seeing the hype annoyed me, and news articles of bad situations–due to playing the game– made me a little scared to start playing. I know myself and how much I would have invested if I were to start playing regularly like everyone else.

This time around, I spent a little more time with the app than I have before. My sister and cousin were explaining to me all the cool things you can do. I caught a few Pokémon while we were in Target but wasn’t leveled high enough to partake in a battle at the gym. The amount of Pokéstops surprised me because these were stops where you are able to gain power-ups and pokéballs for the game. It made it easy to attain these. I could see how it could get harder later after leveling up your Pokémon.

It was hard to remember to play the game while traveling around since I hardly am ever on my phone. If I am, it’s most likely while I’m relaxing which doesn’t require movement and only allows me to catch maybe one Pokémon or Pokéstop. Most of my gameplay time was spent leveling up the Pokémon I had caught. I found it interesting that the game is a GPS based game but my sister or cousin did not appear near me on the screenplay. I guess maybe for safety reasons?

It was obvious that the main mechanics were exploration and collection. Collection has always been a main part of the whole Pokémon franchise. As kids, we used to collect as many Pokémon cards as we could, as well as the most powerful ones. The app is a very similar but virtual way of doing this. Thanks to modern tech, we can actually add the exploration to the game which almost makes you feel like you’re Ash, Misty, or Brock in the tv show. Both these mechanics definitely bring a strong feeling of nostalgia. You can finally be your favorite Pokémon trainer!

As mentioned previously, exploration and collection have always been part of Pokémon and this definitely requires some discovering. The game makes you get up and actually move around to find the Pokémon. Without looking or finding Pokémon, the game would be useless. After catching Pokémon, the player will most likely want to continue searching for Pokéstops or Gym to really get the full experience of the game, therefore I would name Discovery as the key aesthetic.

 

Blog Post 6

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Gatorhater

Credits: Alexandre

.exe file (has to be from an SJSU account): https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-TDsDknIDW5ejdlb0VRSHVwdTQ

 

 

Instructions for play:

  • WASD keys for movement
  • Mouse for aim direction
  • Click for shoot/hold to continuously shoot

 

The changes I mentioned in last week’s blog post were made except the sound and chest. I did not make any revisions to the artwork as I thought that it looked fine to me. I resized the game to fit the screen as well as slowed down the enemies. The enemies now come out a lot slower than the previous version. One major issue I had was that after resizing the display, the player sprite would not correctly follow the mouse direction. I looked for anything to indicate areas of the screen (x and y, graph positions, area, numbers in the script) that were used for the mouse position but could not find any to adjust. I spent hours trying to fix this but could not figure out what was wrong.  I attempted to add a chest to the game but seen that a “chest” was already added to the game, though it was not visible or in the gameplay. I attempted to change the script to add use to the object but the changes didn’t make any difference or it would make the game unplayable. I have zero experience with any type of programming so everything took me hours to figure out. It’s completely my own fault for not showing up to class. The amount of time that I spent trying to learn the programming made it impossible for me to properly add the chest and sound before the due date. I think it would have been a lot easier to make a brand new game rather than working off of someone else’s script.

 

The game as it is now is best playable in the previous small-screen size because the direction of the player sprite follows smoothly with the movement of the mouse. The game would be a much better game once the end-game is made clear. This was supposed to be the key in the chest to unlock the door but any objective would have been good. I don’t think I would do anything further with this game as it has become totally different than I imagined. This project was stressful and I would much rather prefer to start new, and more simple.

 

 

 

 

Blog Post #5

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We named our game Gator Hater. My role as the artist and producer required that the artwork necessary for gameplay would be done in time to incorporate into the script created by my partner. We both had midterms during the 2 weeks that we had to create the game but I think we finished our parts in a timely manner. We weren’t able to add the chest pieces or key to the game as planned but were able to add the main images to create a simple shooter game.

Here are my image creations for the game. Not all were used and only one wall creation was used to create the background map.

door

 

 

I was not able to attend class yesterday for a classmate to fill out a player feedback form but I was able to have my roommate, Rob, and friend, John, play the game and send me a completed form.

Both playtesters thought that the screen was too small. They both also suggested we add sound. Rob mentioned that there were too many enemies that came out too fast. He thought that it made the game too short. John already knew my idea of this game since our first paper prototype and was expecting the chests to be apart of the game as well as different rooms. If we had more time to create the game, I’m sure we could have added in many things that were discussed. In my opinion, the game turned out pretty cool even though it was a short version of what we imagined. My partner did a great job of adding what he could to complete a prototype.

Based on the playtesters’ feedback, I plan to change the size of the game and make the enemies move slower so it’s easier for the player to maneuver around. If time allows, I will also add the chest to the game.

Game Lab 2

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(Oregon Trail)

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(Star Court)

 

Oregon Trail and Star Court were very similar in mechanics because it required the player to make choices through reading scenarios. These choices would then give you different results and can lead to a different story ending. In Oregon Trail, events like your ox getting hurt can happen if you’re travelling to fast or choosing to try to float your wagon across the river can result in the inability to cross the river without something happening. In Star Court, you have favors that you can use to encourage certain choices like to lessen your sentence or bribe the judge. Each choice these games gives you will change the story line and will never have the same ending.

 

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(Frog Assassin)

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(Triad)

On a different note, I played 3 of Anna Anthropy’s games. Star Court wasn’t fun to me because I hate reading too much but Frog Assassin and Triad were really fun. I got really addicted to both Frog Assassin and Triad. They’re both puzzle like games and I think that losing easily with no stages or levels makes them great pass-time games because it lessens the frustrating feeling of not being able to “make it to the next level.” There is only one setting in each of these games. I really liked how in Frog Assassin every move had to count and you had to have one move over the bug to determine if you eat the bug or he stings you. I also LOVED the music with how the drum beat hit on every movement of the whole game. It helps the player know when it’s time to move and which bugs could sting you on the next move. On the other hand, Triad reminded me of Tetris (one of my favs) and required the player to figure out how to fit these 3 people with specific sleeping patterns in a rectangular bed without disrupting anyone’s sleep. They were both games that I played over and over, and could have continued playing if I wasn’t trying to finish my homework in time.

 

While some of the games I played were decent and some were really fun, the observation of watching someone else play is very useful in game design. I wasn’t able to find a partner to play with so I recorded myself playing each game and watched it over. Playing the game yourself helps you understand the mechanics of games very well and can let you know what makes it fun to you, but when I watched the videos of myself playing, it was easier for me to understand the emotions that the different mechanics gave to the player. I could see when the player was getting bored or when the player got confused. The parts that can be fixed were easier to spot when observing another person play.

Prototype: The Monster and Doors

The Monster and Doors is a game where two players from different hometowns try to find an escape route from the Monster who is ready to go on a hangry wrath. There are three doors that can be used to escape the map. These doors can be opened with 3 matches of a key.

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(Photo shown: Version 1 – Rough draft; unplayed)

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(Photo shown: Version 2)

I played my game 5 different times but will be discussing the last three times I played it. I made the most significant changes during these games.

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(Photo shown: Version 3)

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(Photo shown: Card piles)

I played version 3 of my map with a member of a club that I am involved in. His name is Benny. Our game started with 3 lives each. We used dimes as our player pieces since the board was on the smaller side. We had 3 separate card piles for the key pieces, CHEST and WILD space. These three piles of cards were set aside of the map. I let Benny go first. He rolled 6 on his first roll and moved that many spaces from the P2-Hometown space. After 3 of his turns, he lands on a CHEST space, pulls a card from the CHEST pile, and the card instructs him to take a PIECE card. On my turn, I landed on a WILD space that instructed me to trade cards with the opposing player. (I hadn’t thought about what to do in a situation where a player has no cards to trade.) We continued to play but noticed that the game wasn’t progressing since there was only one copy of each of the two keys in the PIECE pile and we were constantly trading PIECE cards without reaching 3 matches. After 20 minutes of going back and forth, I decided to trade a card with him that would allow for him to open one of the doors. He opened the door and came across the Monster’s dungeon door which had no effect. We then continued to circle around the board until I decided to stop the game because I was getting bored of my own game.

At the end of this game, I decided to add new rules and made some changes. The changes I made were:

  • include 2 copies of each key in the PIECE pile
  • include junk cards in the PIECE pile
  • start each player with 3 PIECE cards in case of a trade situation early in the game
  • separate PIECE pile equally for each CHEST space
  • Magic Mountains sends you back to your start point instead of sending you diagonal from your space as it shows in the photo above.
  • the Monster’s Dungeon door takes full number of lives that the player starts with
  • starting lives changed from 3 to 5 lives; the Monster’s Dungeon door takes 5 lives

 

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(Photo shown: Version 4)

Version 4 of my map is just a bigger version of version 3. I played this version in class with Sukmi. I added one new rule the night before to make the game a little more interesting and fasten the speed. The new rule allowed the player to choose 1-3 dice to roll. This gives the player a chance to make big space moves or little space moves depending on how far across the board they were trying to get to. Instead of my original PIECE cards, I substituted it with playing cards since it was difficult for Sukmi to understand. For each door card, there was a King, an Ace, or a Joker. The playing cards contained Kings, Aces, and other irrelevant cards to substitute for the junk cards. The same rules applied but we would have to have 3 Kings or 3 Aces instead of the pictures I drew on the original PIECE cards. We played about 4 rounds and I started to notice there were too many white spaces and I didn’t have an action for rolling doubles. After our 6th roll, Sukmi started asking in-depth questions about the game. She mentioned that it was a quick kill for the Monster to take all 5 lives that you start with when opening the Monster’s Dungeon door. We never got through the whole game.

The changes I made after this game were:

  • passing your hometown will give you one life
  • when rolling 3 dice, a pair counts as 0 *does not apply to 2 dice roll
  • if all 3 dice match, the player can only move the amount on one die
  • readable PIECE cards
  • 3 more WILD spaces

 

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(Photo shown: Set up of game #5)

I played the fifth time with my sister. We each rolled one die to see who would start. I got the highest roll so I started the game. Twenty minutes into the game, I started to realize that there wasn’t enough action happening for playing 20 minutes in. I was forced to add 3 more WILD spaces since we were hardly landing on those spaces. I also added 5 CHEST cards into the CHEST pile because there weren’t enough advantages when landing on the CHEST space. We started to realize that we were getting cards, but also having to put them back into the chest. After I added the 5 chest cards, the game immediately sped up. My sister ended up with 5 key PIECE cards out of the 7 that she had. She was also able to land on the WILD space multiple times to get 2 “Block Monster Hit” card. While she was winning with the PIECE cards, I was building up my life stack (in pennies). I also noticed that rolling 3 dice was more valuable for moving short distances because it is easy to roll a pair and have the third die be 1-3. Forty minutes in, she was able to unlock 2 doors– one that did not match her key, and the Monster’s Dungeon door. She used her block hit card and the doors got shuffled and put back onto the door spaces. Her next 3 rolls she was able to unlock a door that matched her keys. This game took about an hour to play.

The changes I have made are:

  • more WILD spaces
  • 5 additional CHEST cards
  • still debating on taking out the 3 dice rule

 

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(Photo shown: My sister’s PIECE cards at the peak of the game.)