Courses Projects

Human Computer Interaction 2010

Focus on just one thing 

Our most successful games grew out of specific themes or “toys”, like “gravity” or “swarming” or “make a game targeted towards a predominantly female casual gamer demographic”. Somehow, it became easier to be creative when there were restrictions in place.

And Yet It Moves gives you a simple task: walk to the end of the level. But to achieve that goal, you have to literally make your world spin.


How to Prototype a Game in Under 7 Days by Shalin Shodhan, Matt Kucic, Kyle Gray, Kyle Gabler

Just One Thing - A lesson from Game Design by Joshua Clanton

Experimental Gameplay Project

Some of the themes we explored were: “gravity”, “springs”, “evolution”, “sound”, “predator and prey”, “addictive games”, “drawing”, “exponential growth”, “vegetation”, “balance”, and a few others individually.

In Mimeo and the Kleptopus King you have to find various powerups to complete your quest. But instead of the powerups affecting your character, they affect the entire world, gradually evolving it from 2 bit to 16 bit.

In Braid, you are given control over time itself (similar concept to Prince of Persia — “Time is your enemy. Time is your weapon.”)

We discovered quite accidentally that the games with the greatest replay value were the ones that had some sort of creation or customization aspect. For instance, “make a creepy tree out of hands and umbrellas”, or “draw your own house”, or “build your own tower”, or “evolve your own race of mutated creatures”.

World of Goo is about dragging trash-talkin' gobs of goo to build a giant tower higher and higher. They squirm and giggle and climb upward over the backs of their brothers, but be careful! A constant battle against gravity, if you build a tower that's too unstable, it will all fall down.

Thoughts about your game 

  • T1. What's making them enjoy your game?
  • T2. What emotion are they feeling?
  • T3. What is happening in the game to make them feel that way?
  • T4. What experience do I want the player to have?
  • T5. What is essential to the experience?
  • T6. How can my game capture that essence?
  • T7. What parts of my game are fun?
  • T8. What is valuable to players in my game?
  • T9. What is the relationship between value in the game and the player's motivations?
  • T10. What problems does my game ask the player to solve?
  • T11. Am I using every means possible to reinforce my game's theme?
  • Game Qualities
    • Q1. Games are entered willfully.
    • Q2. Games have goals.
    • Q3. Games have conflict.
    • Q4. Games have rules.
    • Q5. Games can be won and lost.
    • Q6. Games are interactive.
    • Q7. Games have challenge.
    • Q8. Games can create their own internal value.
    • Q9. Games engage players.
    • Q10. Games are closed, formal systems.

From The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell

evalica 2010