My four year old son was nervously jumping from one fast paced game to another, actually bored at the iPad. I asked him:
“Do you want to try a new game?”
“It’s about preparing and cooking a cake.”
“But I can’t do that!”
So we started playing My Little Cook: in the game you a young cook that moves in this cardboard made animated house, has to get the right ingredients, mix and cook.
You can follow me at @ppolsinelli.
This post is just a bit of “curation” for this stimulating Google Tech Talk by Jesse Schell: The Pleasure Revolution: Why Games Will Lead the Way.
Schell first makes the point that “gamification” works only in specific contexts, and can backfire.
Then introduces self-determination theory as motivation for games as distinct from “fun”.
Also clarifies the distinction between “hafta” software and “wanna” software, articulates the evolution of software today from efficiency to pleasure.
Thanks Professor Schell for your teaching (and for your splendid game design book)!
In this writing I try to give indirect answers to the question: what is the role of storytelling in video games?
Creating narratives for video games results in finished products that elicit storytelling. Stories get fed in game production processes; the resulting games generate storytelling experiences that are not immediate results of the original stories.
Narratives for games are components among others of the complex video game production process. Let’s see more about such narratives.
While preparing the script for the next Gamamoto game I have been researching for interesting, creative browser games. I present here some results of the search, plus a shameless self promotion at the end. The games here listed are small production that IMHO have the conceptual (in story and design) depth that often AAA games lack.
1. 1899 Steam & Spirit
The game has an original and interesting plot and is filled with puzzles cleverly put together – moreover the steampunk design makes fills my heart of love and compassion.
Play here: Winston
The authors: this is the author’s blog:
How to like it: The game’s first page has a link to PayPal for donations.
Note: in the real web page, she even blinks her uncanny eyes. At you.
For reasons not entirely clear to me there is a strong link between browser games and kitsch esthetics. A few examples follow. If you have more examples, do post them in the comments.
Angry Birds may seem a simple game that is substantially without a narrative structure. And why is it so addictive? The common explanation is that many of us are addicted by it because of the clever usage of “tap & drag” to sling birds, and the cute resulting effects. Its success is the result of luck, of getting the right effect at the right time – this is what I heard developers say, last time a few days ago at a lunch with a couple of iOS developers.
I think instead that the addictiveness of the game is rooted not just in the clever artillery physics, and is not a result of chance. I am unconvinced that it lacks a narrative logic, and here try to articulate myself. Read the rest of this entry »