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Experimental Gameplay session is mega full, so instead I've ducked into @joningold (80 Days) talking about narrative design for Heaven's Vault #GDC18
Ingold argues "player freedom" in single player story games follows a sort of axis / spectrum, from "where do I go now" to "yikes what have I done" (systemic games making your plans go wrong) #GDC18
to design for "yikes what have I done" player feelings, you have to maintain pacing and make choices seem meaningful... Ingold argues most adventure games fail to do any of this #GDC18
Read 13 tweets
At #GDC18 @danctheduck is talking about how so many naively-implemented social systems (like say, twitter dot com) are deeply dehumanizing, and that we could do so much better at creating spaces to foster friendship
He’s presenting a framework, based on psych and sociology research, on how games could do better at helping players make friends.
First, proximity: people have to be able to bump into each other in unplanned, serendipitous ways, repeatedly. Density makes a huge difference to allow you to bump into the same people again and slowly move towards friendship
Read 30 tweets
Six steps to creative recovery: 1. Acknowledge what is happening to you. Trauma/emotional distress - cause feeling of fundamentally being lost and broken. If you feel broken, your work is broken. @Laralyn #gdc18
Trauma robs you of the ability to focus on anything but the trauma. Creative symptoms: thoughts just don’t flow. Can’t make decisions. No confidence in decisions. Impostor syndrome.
It’s not you. Requirements for creativity: look at heirarchy of needs. Your foundation of fundamental needs is wrecked; how can creativity, at the top, escape intact?
Read 18 tweets
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Next up: #gdc18 microtalks hosted, as every year, by the ever-kindly @rich_lem . This year’s theme, “playing with 🔥”
Opening question from Rich: why are the people in charge of running this world so terrible at running it, and at endangering marginalized people? “Yes, it’s a shitshow, but we have opportunities to spread hope.”
First up @michelle_clough saying the game industry is overdue for a 50 Shades of Grey—not the bad parts, but an acknowledgement that hey, women and queer people like sex too. We could be exploring new potential at the juncture of erotica+gameplay.
Read 43 tweets
At #gdc18 @flantz is about to give one of his high-minded talks... about brains. Inappropriate use of expanding brain spotted?
The subject of the talk: “do games have a significant impact on how we think?” And also: should we care? Having reviewed neuroscience studies, he doesn’t find low-level empirical evidence that useful for answering the question. Instead, looking at: culture, habits, norms, values.
Pointing out two very different positive takes on what games do: Jane McGonigal’s unqualified yes, it’s our duty to apply games to real problems. And Eric Zimmerman’s “this question is somewhat inappropriate,” art needs no justification, it’s an end in itself.
Read 38 tweets
#gdc18 About to start: Narrative Design of Reigns Her Majesty
Planning a co-op Reigns mode on Switch. Something about needing consensus between players.
The original Reigns was successful; players wanted a queen mode. (Author starts by apologizing for the gender-binaryness of the game tropes.)
Read 16 tweets
At Hisashi Nogami's GDC session! "'Splatoon' and 'Splatoon 2': How to Invent a Stylish Franchise with Global Appeal." Starts in 15 minutes. Will be livetweeting a bit. #GDC18
Starting now!
Introduced himself as Hisashi Nogami for the Squid Research Lab, then re-introduced himself as from Nintendo. Nogami joined Nintendo in 1994 and worked as artist for the NES and Yoshi's Island.
Read 36 tweets
After just 2 days, I'm leaving #GDC18 pretty energized! So, I started thinking about what a non-dystopic AR future could look like (are there any?)

{{ THREAD 👇🙄👇}}
It seems to me that the rise of AR could treat ~physical spaces~ like we do platforms like iOS/Android as well as Xbox/PS4/etc.
For decades, technology has fought to tear down limitations brought upon by geography. It brought us the internet, remote work, social networks, etc.
Read 15 tweets
Today, @joshscherr is talking about @Naughty_Dog’s Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and the art of character development in non-linear spaces. Helpful slides to follow!
Starting point: @joshscherr talks about a need for companion characters to help drive character interactions. “If an Uncharted hero is alone in the game, it’s usually because they [morally] screwed up.”
Lost Legacy open world was built on top of Uncharted 4’s non-linear levels, which were large, but still signposted and with linear paths through. #GDC18
Read 9 tweets
#gdc18 Gorogoa!
Gorogoa is pronounced “Go-ro-GO-a”, I discover.
Gorogoa took a long time, more than five years. You can’t skip the learning process. Gorogoa was ambitious and inexperience added years to the project.
Read 48 tweets
#gdc18 Level design in Tacoma. Tacoma was one of the really interesting design problems of last year, and by “design problems” I mean “I wanted to fix it but I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to fix.”
“everyone in the business has heard of a level designer but the term is really poorly defined.”
a first-person three-d exploration game. The game is about finding out what happened. It’s communicated in multiple ways.
Read 29 tweets
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