Posted on May 9, 2018
For my meta game, I made a game about a boy who is buying his first video game. To complete the game and successfully go through the game, you must go live the life of this boy, and go through the obstacle and daily activities he must go through before buying his game of choice. Some of the obstacle include daring to go into your older sisters room, stealing money, going to school, and waiting in the hopelessly long line to get this video game. All these obstacle were designed to throw the player back to when they were a kid, and buying their first video game from the stores. My goal was to illustrate and create a game based of the emotional response kids get when they buy a video game. The link to the game is above and I hope you enjoy!
Posted on April 23, 2018
After reading some of my fellow classmate’s posts about different subjects, I found some of their ideas and subjects to be very different than mine. An example of this would be some of Zach Marks posts when he talks about Super Monkey Ball 2 . He talks about the mechanics and physics of how the game works as well as in a different post, how rewarding the game is. He talks about how the physics of the game is surprisingly realistic and reflects real life physic laws. This connects to what we talked about in class about the difference between a real game, and a counter game. We see that Super Monkey Ball 2 is a real game in the physics sense because it doesn’t implement the use of fake physics that is totally unrealistic from the real world. We also see that the game is rewarding if not in the physical world, in the game world itself. This topic was a different twist on a game for me because personally while I play games, I don’t think of how lucky I am that I got certain in game items. Instead, I think of it as built into the game and how it is suppose to happen. This helped me reflect on my own games and determine which games have a high volume of rewarding items or twists within the game.
Another post that had a different idea than my posts was one of Charlie Casswell’s post about violence within video games. This topic wasn’t something I thought about when playing my games and thought his post was interesting in the fact that it sheds light onto different aspects of the video game industry. This topic can be applied to all my games including Super Smash Bros, League of Legends and Warframe. All the games I play revolve around violence, however, the graphics are so friendly and “fun” that we don’t often think about this aspect of the game.
Although a lot of the posts were different, there was a post that really stuck out to me that correlated strongly with one of my posts. Hugh’s third post was about League of Legends and how the Esports community surrounding it is extremely large in today’s society. This post, although was his third post, was very similar to my first post in the fact that they were the same game, and we talked about similar things. In my post, I described the growing popularity in esports, but in Hugh’s post, he talked about how it is growing and how it is almost comparable to modern and real-life sports including soccer, football, etc.
The last post I read was about the latest Star Wars Battlefront game. This game’s protagonist is a female character on the dark side, so it really turns the typical view of video games on its head. This made me think of the week of class we were talking about predominantly female tropes and how current and modern games are starting to revert from the standard, male hero and damsel in distress, type of video game, to a more feminist playing style of games. This new style of game really clashes against my video games in terms of female tropes.
Reading my class-mates posts have helped me realize that there are so many more topics within the video game industry that can be addressed, that I hadn’t thought of.
A type of metagame I ran into while doing my research and searching for an idea to write about was speed running. Speed running is a specific metagame because it really isn’t the producer’s intention for how the game should be played.
Speed running is the act of trying to finish a level in a game or even the entire game itself as quick as possible. This may seem mundane at first but when you look at certain games and the speed run time, it’ll truly blow your mind. An example of this is within the game Warframe that I have been playing. After having discovered the metagame of speed running, I decided to look at Warframe to see how my speed compared to those of the best. Surprisingly (not surprisingly at all actually) my times for beating different levels in the game were at least 10 times slower then the fastest speed run. The first level in the game, the easiest level in the game, I set on a quest to try and get close to the record. I tried and tried again but my fastest score was a mere 5:33 while the current record for the game is 31 seconds by some guy named dicht.PinkGuy~. To me this time is unfathomable, so I delved into more about speed running and how these people do it so quickly.
What I found that was speed running is surprisingly communitive in the way it is approached. In a rolling stones article about speed running written on February 5, 2018, Rami Ismail says, “You might think of speed running as competitive, but the scene is both incredibly competitive and collaborative. Runners might compete for the best time for those few minutes or hours the race is on, but in general they’re working together to find new ways to speed up their community times. “This quote really surprised me because it does seem like a solo mission to reach the fastest score. In the end I would want my name on that pedestal not someone else I helped. But alas, this is not the case within the speed running gaming community. They work together to find cheats, secret hacks, and small aspects of the game they can exploit.
So next time you see a speed run score, know that it took a lot of different people’s inputs, efforts, and information to put that name up on the board.
If Esports Are the Sports of Video Games, This Is the Parkour. https://www.rollingstone.com/glixel/features/rami-ismail-speedrunning-w516376. Accessed 13 Apr. 2018.
Within the video game realm there are a lot of different aspect that go into it such as the production, marketing, the assembly of the game itself, etc. However, one aspect of the game that not all games have (but the ones that do are super cool) are Easter Eggs. An Easter egg is a creation put into a game that is normally hidden that reveals something cool or special about the game itself but isn’t necessary to the game itself. One of the first examples of this concept being put into a game is the game Adventure made in 1979. Within this game there is an Easter egg that comes in the form of a secret room where the programmers name, Warren Robinett, was written. Obviously, this contributes nothing towards the overall game experience, but for those who figure this hidden message out, it makes them feel closer to the game and create a sort of emotional attachment.
Now, within Super Smash Bros there are a couple of different Easter Eggs the developers snuck into the game. One of the most well known of these would be the Starfox Smash Taunt Easter egg. This Easter egg allows either Fox or Falco, both members of the Starfox series, to be able to call upon their teammates to come shoot the enemy in their ships. However, this only works on two stages, the two Starfox stages. This Easter egg is one of the more well-known Easter eggs in the game, and really isn’t that tough to figure out, which kind of undermines the point of the Easter egg.
A tougher Easter Egg to find is on the bottom of a Barrel of one of the stages. If you zoom in ust right, you can see the bottom of a barrel says,
“2L84ME” which translates to “too late for me”. With some insider’s information, and if you follow the
SSBM series, we see that this refers to the usual KO after being shot from the barrel.
As we can see having insider knowledge and knowing more about a video game franchise or series helps develop how the user will interpret the Easter egg. Those with more knowledge of the game will find it to be much cooler and fascinating, then those without such knowledge. Either way, Easter eggs are a great way for producers to express themselves and their creativity within the gaming industry.
Easter Egg. http://supersmashbros.wikia.com/wiki/Easter_egg. Accessed 13 Apr. 2018.
The Easter Egg Puzzles That Are Hiding inside Video Games. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2129408-the-easter-egg-puzzles-that-are-hiding-inside-video-games/. Accessed 13 Apr. 2018.
Within all video games is a meta game. A game that the designers of the game didn’t intend for users to play but is played anyway. A type of meta game I came across while doing my research that is prevalent across all video games ever made is the act of trolling.
Trolling is a form of provoking an individual or a team into some sort of emotional response based of your actions or words. But why do people troll? What is the fun in trolling? I think to answer these questions you first must view it from a troll’s perspective. From a troll’s perspective, the object of the game isn’t to win or lose, it’s to create some sort of emotional response from another user. Usually this response is rage. Watching someone get so mad over a video game has a sort of appeal to it, because from the troll perspective, its just a game. They break the magic circle and incorporate the real human world into the gaming world, by saying the video game is just a video game. It’s nothing more then a platform on which you should take it not as serious. However, the people playing the video game and being trolled don’t see it like this. They are immersed in the game and want to fulfill the objective of the game, which is typically to win. The conflict of interest is what trolls thrive on, and what makes it such a fun entertainment for them. They love seeing people get so worked up about a “video game” and get a kick out of people playing the game for how its suppose to be played.
League of Legends is notorious among the gaming community for having individuals troll other people. This can come in the shape of feeding (repeatedly killing yourself so the other team gets the advantage), flaming (yelling at your teammates for nothing), or even using champions who shouldn’t be used for certain positions. There are a countless number of trolls I have come across in my games and the unfortunate part is you can’t really do anything. They will play the game how they want to play it and we just must live in the troll’s world.
Thacker, Scott, and Mark D. Griffiths. “An Exploratory Study of Trolling in Online Video Gaming.” International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning (IJCBPL), vol. 2, no. 4, Oct. 2012, pp. 17–33, doi:10.4018/ijcbpl.2012100102.
Super Smash Bros is an immersive game that is unlike most immersive games we played in class. Unlike the games in class that we played, which were all narrative based and attracted you based off the scenery or music or even storyline, SSBM gains its immersion purely by people’s competitive nature. It is similar to games like FIFA or maybe some other street fighter games, where you play another person, or multiple people in a showdown that has a relatively short and limited time. For this short amount of time, you are completely immersed in the game, trying to beat your opponent.
However, not all people view an immersive game in this sense. In Jamie Madigan’s article, The Phycology of Immersive Video Games, Jamie describes an immersive game to fall under two categories,” those that create a rich mental model of the game environment and those that create consistency between the things in that environment.” She then dives into the two categories further and provides examples of both richness and consistency within the environment. She describes richness as fulfilling as many channels of sensory as possible and having a strong narrative or plot. However, with SSBM, we see this is not the case. SSBM does fill some channels of sensory, but not nearly as many as it can, but it’s still a massively immersive game. SSBM doesn’t have a rich narrative or plot line, but players still gather around the world and compete in huge tournaments. In addition to the richness, Jaimie talks about consistency within the environment to create an immersive game. She states that some consistent game traits include, “an unbroken presentation of the game world” and “interactivity with items in the game world”. SSBM breaks both molds of a consistent environment. As I addressed before, it is based off quick games and you are only really playing for short amounts of time, which clearly contradicts with the characteristic of an unbroken world. And although SSBM does have items in the world you can interact with, that isn’t the main premise of the game, and more then often isn’t utilized in normal play.
For the above observations about SSBM, I must disagree with Jaimie and say this is not a comprehensive list of what constitutes an immersive game.
The Psychology of Immersion in Video Games | The Psychology of Video Games. http://www.psychologyofgames.com/2010/07/the-psychology-of-immersion-in-video-games/. Accessed 2 Mar. 2018.
Most people don’t think about the menu of a game adding to the overall experience and creating a connection between the player and the game. Typically, the menu prevents us from becoming immersed in the game and separates its users from the game world and the real world. It is a nondiegetic operative frame that most games have, but few pay much attention to it. However, this is not the case with Warframe.
First let me start by explaining how Warframe “works”. Warframe is a game in which you go on missions and depending on the mission you choose to go on, determines if you go with other online players or alone. Now, depending on the type of mission you choose to go on, the menu changes. For example, when you play with other online players, the world is still happening and moving on its own, like all MMORPG games. And on the contrary, when you play a solo mission, the menu pauses the game and prevents the game world from moving. Although it is unique how these two menus correlate and go hand in hand, Warframe has yet another “menu” and separates it from other games.
When you finish a mission, or are choosing a mission to go on, you are sent to your ship. In this ship you can change weapons, do practice fighting, change appearance, and obviously choose a mission to go on. I considered this in between scene to be a menu as well for it has all the functions of a menu, but also it is interactive. You must move around the ship to locate these different places to perform the operations I listed above. This interactive menu helps keep the user immersed in the game, all the while still acting as a menu. Even though it has the characteristics and preforms the same purpose of a menu, doesn’t feel quite like a menu. This menu manages to keep the attention of those playing, and very creatively closes the bounds between operator and machine. For this reasoning, Warframe has one of the most creative menu’s that blurs the distinction between the game’s menu, and its play.
Nooney, Laine. Debugging Game History, A critical Lexicon. MIT Press: 2016.Print.
The camera angle of League of legends is different than any other game I have played before. Unlike most common games that are staged as either a first-person shooter view, a third person view, or even a two-dimensional view (like the PC game Maple Story), this game is shot in a unique perspective. In the readings from Debugging Game History, the chapter on Game Camera written by Jessica deWinter, we see there are a variety of different camera angles she mentions. However, out of these different angles and styles of camera angles, I couldn’t find one that perfectly described League. Therefor I will create my own phrase for League’s camera angle and call it Party View.This party view is most similar to a bird’s eye view; however, you not only see from a 1st person birds eye view but a group view birds eye view. There is a mini map that is located at the bottom corner that we can view, but only certain parts of the map are “viewable”. The other parts of the map are dark, and you can’t really see what or who is there. The part you can see is the light part, which is where your teammates are, which led me to the name, Party View. This view allows you to see what your teammates can see but you can only see one part of the larger map at a single instance. For example, you can’t split screen and look at two different parts of the map at once, you can only see one portion of the larger map at a time. This camera view is a crucial element of the game because it forces its players to be away of the mini map at all time, all the while focusing on their character and winning their fight against the enemy champion. This is not an easy thing to do, which makes the skill cap in this game quite large. Party View is rising in popularity but is still rare among the most popular of video games.
deWinters, Jessica. Debugging Game History, A critical Lexicon. MIT Press: 2016.Print.
Posted on February 2, 2018
Warframe is a new game that I only started playing less then a week ago, but so far there are a variety of fascinating mechanics of the game that make me want to play more. The game, as far as I’ve gotten, is about a sci-fi world in which the main character, Tenno, is trying to escape from the clutches of the Queen. The Queen is the sole ruler of the galaxy and is very powerful. I have yet to see the queen in action as of now, but the narration reflects how strong she is. I believe Tenno’s ultimate goal is to defeat the Queen and save the galaxy, however, I am very far from doing this.
As I stated before, the mechanics of this game is what really drew me in and what helped me make my decision on what game to play. Henry Lowood and Raiford Guins define mechanics in their book Debugging Game History as,” the rule-based methods for agency in the game world, designed for overcoming challenges in nontrivial ways.” In Warframe we clearly see this with Tenno’s unrealistic abilities and physic defying motions.
The physics in the game are quite unrealistic as far as real life goes, but I believe it adds to the overall game play. It takes you out of this world and into an alternate sci-fi world allowing you to pull of unreal stunts including double jumping, sticking to walls and even shooting lightning bolts from your fingers. All of this adds to the overall experience of the game. The way you overcome obstacles that are presented in front of you by combining a series of abilities simultaneously is what makes the mechanics of this game so great. For example, one could preform a roll right into a double jump, shoot an enemy while in mid air, then land, crushing someone with a javelin. There are hundreds of thousands of combinations of moves that will help accomplish your goal and help you succeed in this game. The mechanics help makes up such a large aspect of how I initially viewed the game and added to the overall feel and excitement of the game.
Lowood, Henry and Guins Raiford. Debugging Game History, A critical Lexicon. MIT Press: 2016.Print.
Posted on February 2, 2018
League of Legends, produced by RIOT games, is one of the most popular online computer games in the world. It has the most live streams from twitch (a video game streaming site) and has a total of 27 million users, PER DAY. This game is a revamp of an older games, those include World of Warcraft Frozen Throne and StarCraft. These games were popular games in the gaming community, however, didn’t come anywhere close to the popularity of League of Legends. But how did LOL get so big?
First, let me explain the goal of the game. The objective of this game is to destroy the enemy base. You choose a champion based off a list of 134 (not all of which you have access to immediately), all with different skills and abilities, and fight an opponent or multiple opponent. Within this game there are different ways of playing, for example there are 5v5 games, 3v3 or ARAM. All of which are played against real people from all over your region. This type of social feature increased league popularity but wasn’t the big turning point.
However, the big catch to League of Legends, and the reason Riot games became one of the leading game manufacturers, is simply due to the cost and accessibility of League. Most other games before it like StarCraft or Frozen Throne you had to go to a story to buy, it cost around 60$ to buy, and both games were rated M. However, League of Legends , you are able to download from your home, it is rated pg-13, and (drum roll please) it was also FREE. It cost nothing to download and start playing the game. This takes the Razorblade example in class to a whole other level. Riot makes no money when people download the game, however, once people are in the game, the have the option to buy things, and of course people do!
Riot’s sheer popularity by allowing the game to be free, ends up generates much more money. This strategy and tactic by RIOT games truly took the video game world by storm and transformed the way companies are marketing their products.
Most Watched Games on Twitch | Esports Content and Total. https://newzoo.com/insights/rankings/top-games-twitch/. Accessed 2 Feb. 2018.
How Riot Games Created the Most Popular Game in the World | Fortune. http://fortune.com/2013/07/10/how-riot-games-created-the-most-popular-game-in-the-world/. Accessed 2 Feb. 2018.