PHASEgaming

Jason Pook's Games Design Blog


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Gamification- Research and My Ideas

Last week i was absent from the session in which Paul delivered a brief for gamification. The brief is the gamificate something that hasn’t been gamified before, we have to research ideas on gamification in everyday life to see if it has been done before then try come up with an individual idea to make a game from. If it has been done before or the overarching theme (example working) has been over done then it will be denied by Paul and we will have to find another idea.

With missing the session I have also missed any videos or examples that was shown in session. Therefore im going to research into gamification myself to get up to speed.

What is gamification:

The application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service: ‘gamification is exciting because it promises to make the hard stuff in life fun’ – Oxford dictionary definition

That being the definition the key in that would be the example quote

“Gamification is exciting because it promises to make the hard stuff in life fun”

This should immediately spring loads of ideas to mind as surely everything can be gamified in some way or other. One example of this I found was a game called HabitRPG this game basically makes your life a game in order to create habits, it rewards you for meeting targets and punishes you for missing them. The idea is to form working habits so that could be do the ironing at 8pm every Tuesday, you can set this in a to-do which if you meet it a reward can be redeemed using in game coin to have say 1hour of video games.

Layout of HabitRPG on laptop and phone

Layout of HabitRPG on laptop and phone

This is a fairly simple idea but with rewards and graphs showing you your productivity progress it gives purpose to those boring household chores. Something similar to this targeted at children is the app ChoreMonster its a childs version and when they meet the chores they get a ticket to the monster carnival to earn random monsters to help them on their journey. Simple things like this really help people engage in what they are doing as it gives purpose, especially for children it adds fun to the dreaded clear your toys away as they get rewarded for it.

ChoreMonster multiple levels, design, layout, platforms.

ChoreMonster multiple levels, design, layout, platforms.

This was what i intended to do on first thought before research was a chore game so that when you ticked off chores done in a day you gained points to earn relax time, but as it has been clearly done for adults and children this can be ruled out as my tutor will most likely deny it.

My other idea I had was a waste/recycling game where if I made sure i partitioned recycling and rubbish waste i would be rewarded and shown a healthier planet. This could be a good app where you swipe the food on the screen into either the blue recycle bin or the green waste bin. It would make people more aware of what goes in which bin and reward them for it by maybe showing a field if you do wrong trees are lost as less recycling is done but if recycle more trees are saved.

With a bit of research I found out this is also done, not in the same style at what i was thinking but on a more global scale and has been running for a while called Recycle Bank and here is a article on it at mashable. Here is a video on it showing some really inspiring stuff to bring a wider community together to benefit the planet and reward them for it:

This may have been done in a professional manner but as a little mini game/app im sure i should be able to proceed with this idea. I was thinking due to the tutors and cleaners constantly mentioning about tidying up in the studio a cartoon style game where you need to clear the studio of litter as fast as possible but swiping the litter into the bin. This would be good on the app store as currently i haven’t found anything of the sort.

The best idea i felt I had though was a walking to work or shopping or anything you need to be at, the idea you set your track using a  map of your area and then you are time trialed to get there as fast as you can walking. This then would be saved into a leaderboard of times to compete with yourself and colleagues, when loading up you could choose previous tracks done named appropriately by yourself so try beat your last time or friends time. This would then give you points dependent on speed, beating others, beating your own time, arriving early to work and so on. The funny side of it I would like implemented but its unrealistic due to technical restraints would be walking down a road your phone connects to another if headphones are connected to ask another person to race on a set track, this would then show the other persons statistics, win ratio, average speed etc. It would look rather odd seeing two people busting a gut to out walk another from McDonald’s to city hall but it gamifies your standard journey. I know that walking races are an actual sport and profession for trained professionals but applied in a daily life journey I don’t believe has been done. How I would go about this i have no idea as of yet but if accepted i would have to research into custom tracks on a map that are timed and tracked by your phones location sort of like a sat nav in a car.

So these are my ideas I can propose there are many other things i have considered but dont feel them to be as strong as ones mentioned, but if none are accepted i can possibly fall back on other ideas. I think the key is to apply gamification to something that is boring, something you dont like to do so that it gives it a goal at the end of it. There are plenty of day to day life tasks that this can be applied to such as brushing your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day or more.

Once doing some research and actually thinking about it alot of things are now gamified in some shape or form, WordPress tracks your statistics and has little achievements for amount of blog posts, Snapchat has a points system dependent on your use, Tesco’s has club card points for purchasing products as do most shops on and offline now. The list goes on some seem dull but in many ways life is a game and everything is permitted to be made a game. Finding that unique idea though is the harder task in this.


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Self Initiated- Research Gran Turismo

To follow on from my Need for Speed research i decided to look into the Gran Turismo series of racing games. Gran turismo is the highest selling video game on all playstation systems selling over 70million copies being exclusive to the playstation console. They currently have 6 games that have been released on one playstation console or another starting with Gran turismo in 1997 on the playstation 1, the game was well appraised winning best simulator game and then on it evolved into “the real driving simulator”. Gran turismo focuses on pure real life driving in races, mainly on a track circuit course but occasionally a rally event just to switch things up. GT3 was the highest selling of the gran turismo franchise selling over 14million copies and being labelled “the best of the bunch” of the series according to fans.

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My experience of Gran turismo growing up was first on the playstation 1 with the original which was one of my favourite games i just loved all sorts of racing games but gran turismo had to be my favourite, i didnt really have any of the other competitiors until need for speed underground so gran turismo was a favourite for me. One of my favourites had to be GT3 purely because i used to race head to head against my dad on the rally tracks, being quite a competitive gamer i always knew where best to ram him off the track was to win me the race and thats what its all about really competitive racing.

Features i like in Gran turismo especially the newer versions are the menu system its very relaxed calm music with slide select navigation and iconic selection noise youd instantly know it was gran turismo if you are a gamer. As shown below i like the garage feature you can view any of your cars and dont have to be in a race to do so, and the car in the background of the game navigation. Basic Race, garage, controls will all i feel necessary for my game at this time but this is good reference for layout ideas. This is perhaps too elegant of a look for a drag racer game as id like to have a street feel to it like a tornament vibe as of yet im not sure how ill go about doing that but gathering what i can for ideas will be helpful. Then again the tuning option is a nice touch so it adds that personlised feel to your car that its not just standard anymore you have made it better to be better.

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Moving on from that my favourite feature is the range of cars, in the most recent gran turismo you have 1197 cars to choose from in game. That is a huge amount of cars which give the game a vast range from classic to modern to concept/prototype cars. This is something id like to implement as a range of cars tend to mean up in performance, speed, difficulty this not being the case for all as you can have a classic car like a jaguar e-type against a modern citreon saxo. But for the racing scene going from a classic mini up to a nissan skyline would work well as an upgrade and still provide range.

Gran turismo despite not being the style of racing game im going for will be valuable to my research as it has gained over the years that balance of a real feel for driving the realism in gran turismo is definately there its not all speed and blurred lines its control handling and skill something that could be neglected in my game due to the drag straight line race but speed and feel for realism is a factor i cant overlook.


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Self initiated- Background research Need for Speed

With my game i proposed to do a racing game, its vital i look into who my competitors would be if i was to launch my game.

The racing scene in games is a huge area that has been done for many years going all the way back to what is consider the first racing game in Gran Trak 10

So this was 40years ago, meaning i have 40 years of racing games to look into to try and figure out how these games work and what makes them sell well. I wont be covering every single game ever but i will raise the main competitiors.

Starting off with Need For Speed:

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Thats a fairly extensive video showing footage of each game breifly through need for speeds history but ill sum it up my way. Starting with the first in 1994 need for speed has been a constant game in the racing genre since then spanning 23 games in total and now 1 film based on the game. The introduction of the police in Need for speed 3: hot pursuit was one well recieved so much they have revistied it several times in there game to the point where you race as a cop to take down other drivers. Personally the best need for speed games was the undergrounds 1 and 2, these games featured fully modifiable cars which would be classed as “tuned” or “street racing cars”, the turn away from track racing to being in the city racing at night was much more immersive. Also the fully customisable vehicles from paint jobs to decals/ vinyls gave the car a feel of thats my car thats my work of art and we are going to win this race together, there was times id be angry with myself for scratching my new pearlescent paint job on my tuned hyundai coupe (not sure why but as i kid i liked that look) this really ignited my passion for cars and love of racing games. Carbon was one of my favourites the slow motion tension of drifting round mountains with lack of barriers to keep you on in a 1on1 battle to own a section of the city was intense, they really used Roger Caillios theories of play well particulary in Agon (competition) and Illinx (disorientation), agon is an obvious one it was all about competition every race is a battle against the other driver/ drivers to win, not only that it was a “who has the best car?” rivalry with modifications. Illinx was the blurring of the screen or the speed lines using the car lights to show speed and make you feel like wow im going fast here, as well as impact, weather and dirt having effect.

All that aside Need for Speed is the most successful racing video game series in the world, and one of the most successful video game franchises of all time. Over 140 million copies of games in the series have been sold to date. Making it the biggest contender id have to compete against if i was to launch my game, with that highlighted some playing of the game will be nessecery to perhaps emulate what works well and try implement that into my game with it being drag racing its different but the players sense of speed will be vital getting the balance right.

I am going to re purchase some of these games and have a play through to give myself some insight into features i like and dont like, aswell as some possible inspiration for the hud and menu navigation.

 


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Self initiated proposal- CarBeat

So for one of the modules of this year we are required to do a self initiated project where we make a game that we want to make. To do this we had to make a 15 second pitch to one of our tutors first off to sell our game as we would to any industry leaders in a interview. Then a proposal document which will be filled out over the year whilst doing this project.

My pitch was simple for me i want to model cars. So it seemed logical to make a racing game of my own so that i can understand the mechanics behind how a racing game works and how my models will work in a racing game. The pitch i proposed was: A drag racing game with manual gear changes, done on a mpink slip basis to collect and become the ultimate petrol head owning all the cars. This realtes to Roger Caillios Theory of Play with Agon which is competition. I intend it to span of 2nd and 3rd year self initiated so that i have a more polish and complete portfolio piece to take away with me at the end of the course.

That was just the selling point some of this was alot briefer to fit into the 15seconds but to get the message across to you readers i elaborated a bit.

Then to hand my proposal abstract in, the game i have called CarBeat the idea behind this is that people who have a unrivalled passion for cars i consider to have a car beat instead of a heart beat so on the monitior it would show a beat of a car in hospital. When your racing the idea is that all is just a zone its you and the finish line trying to get there as fast as you can, all you can hear is your heart beat and the engine so a CarBeat. This ties in to the put adrenaline of wanted to win a race but then the crushing defeat of losing your car, so be in flow it requires ultimate skill focus and to be one with your car to win all. Initially i had the name PetrolHead this was purely down to the pink slips aspect of my game becoming the ultimate petrol head by collecting all the cars of the tornament “you can judge a man by his shoes” sort of thing with “judge a man by his car collection”.

here is my abstract proposal:

CarBeat is a modern day set racing game in which the player races to obtain cars to add to their collection. The range of vehicles varies in age, rarity and speed from classic cars to exotic hyper cars. The race itself will be drag racing on a quarter mile and half mile basis (varies distance), all cars will be run on a manual gear shift basis so that the player will have to shift gears at the correct time to keep up the speed. You become the ultimate Petrol Head on a pink slip basis you win the car is added to your garage you lose your car is lost so the element of risk is there. Friendly races will be there to upskill before gambling all on the slips race. Players can race head to head in single player career mode or split screen 2 players. Implementation of difficulty level will give a rank system of player’s skill also replay-ability on a higher level.

CarBeat is based on a racing tournament which you race to become the ultimate petrol head, only people who race with true passion and skill are considered to have a CarBeat (instead of a heartbeat). That passion and level of competition increases as every race goes by you can win it all or lose it all. With it being manual gear changes its all down to skill and car choice with different stats of acceleration, top speed and weight.

I have chosen to have an optional view of racing, Behind car so you can see all what is going on and also catch a glimpse of the opponent next to you, side on so you can see how close or far you are from your opponent so edging in front then behind idea to the finish (single player only), and super first person where you see from the front of your car (only the track and the HUD).

The game relates to game theory Roger Caillois Theory of Play. Illinx as the player will feel pressure and disorientation when they get faster the screen will blur, Agon as it’s a competition in several different ways PVP, P V AI and collection car levels especially with the slips mode where if you lose you lose the car you have raced in resulting in a smaller petrol head collection; and alea as there is a chance your opponent doesn’t shift at the right time allowing you back into the race. It also links into Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of flow as if you concentrate and focus you will be able to shift gears at the correct time but if you fail to shift at the right times you will over rev your engine causing it to blowout also slowing you down before blowout.

With all that down it got me excited to get going. i have already started sketching down ideas for the games navigation and logo design which ill upload when completed.

the navigation breifly described for the idea i have now is below:

Step to step:

  1. Game start, Menu screen “START GAME”
  1. Contents page menu, options “single player” “split screen” “practice mode” “controls”
    • 2.1. if single player clicked “enter race- choose car” “my collection” “difficulty” “screenshots”
    • 2.2. If split screen clicked “enter race –choose cars”
    • 2.3. If practice mode clicked Thrown straight into a race with a random car with help tutorials.
    • 2.4. If controls clicked, show controls of game.
  1. When “enter race” clicked, choose car on a carousel basis showing statistics of car and colour selection.
  1. RACE!
  1. After race (you win/lose)

5.1. If slips race take to garage to show won car appear or lost car disappear

5.2. Takes you back to mode you’re on loops back to 2.1 2.2 or 2.3

5.3. If completed collection ultimate petrol head show credits or show reel of some race gameplay.

I believe that outlines how it would work fairly well but i will draw up a blueprint navigation to give visual aid to this.

Ultimately this project is a building block for me to test myself to the limits and improve in many fields of work. The main one being automotive modelling, it really is a thing ive found im pretty good at so i feel by pushing myself to pursue it and learn everything i can ill only get better at it every day. Then there is the blueprints side of things making my game work will help so much in industry when handing work down the pipeline if i have taken into consideration aspects of my work so the next person knows exactly where to start there work, or if i can say well its a this and that you need to do to make the car drift better with the rigging. All things that add to becoming a better professional towards industry.

The next step will be research into my area of work so research can be everything from who my competitors will be if i was to launch my game, to playing around in unreal engine 4 blueprints to figure how to get the racing mechanics and game working.


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Client Project- Session 5

Previous (1/2,3,4)

In this session it was about getting down to the grit and pushing forward, the was some suspicions of certain people lacking in work so we decided to address that and ask for all work so far to be handed in, and any research such as images to be printed off to stick on the wall. This was all done and it was evident some had done more than others but at this stage it wasnt so crucial but the issue of raising the bar needed to be pointed out now before the problem later down the line.

With that beign said Myself, James and Viktor had produced several concept art pieces in collaboration with the block out, this was to develop ideas for the streets blocking volumes. The blocking volumes are essentially invisible walls that prevent the player from further advancing to a part of the level that they should not be able to enter, we have these purely because out project is a certain area and we do not want the player to be able to go beyong this area otherwise we have to model more and more or they see blank nothingless space which kills the realism. So instead of having an invisible wall we thought it was better design to have some form of realistic blocking in relation to the area. Ideas that myself and James discussed was things like furniture vans delivering and carrying stuff across the road, a broken down bus holding up traffic or a parade of celbrations of the world cup and so on. To make these concepts we used reference images that were photographs we had taken of the area then by putting it into photoshop we created a basic greyscale concept of our ideas.

block progress 2 This is my first concept piece, this is down trinity house lane. I have place the blocking just after the indoor market so that the indoor market will be accessible, the blocking contains a market delivery van that is dropping off goods for the market such as a stall to go inside with like fruit and vegetables. The idea i had was that one of the boxes had been spilt and apples or vegetables could be spilled across the road with collisions on so you can kick them about. This gives the concept idea a place in the environment its not like ive just randomly slammed a piece of scaffolding there or something, the blocking has meaning. I go by the idea that in a game every object should have a bio to it or a story behind it, for example: who put it there, was it put there for a reason or convienience, when was it put there, why was it put there and where might it come from. If you follow that and can answer that in every asset you place and create your onto a winner. Back to the concept i have placed some silouhuettes of people to represent scale and how it will look with life in the street too.

 

 

concept parliament4

My second concept is on parliament street i was much more pleased with this concept idea as it could be used as a general overall concept theme for blocking in the area due to an event theme with the world cup celebrations in 1966. I placed a few banners here and there to give the concept height and decoration, the idea of policemen patrolling and overlooking the area to make sure that everything is under control fills out the area better. Research was put into this concept with the police car using reference of what cars were used for police cars, in this case the classic mini also the policemans outfit style is in relevance to the time period. I also added a tad of colour to this one just to make it pop a bit more than a basic different grey tone.

 

The purpose behind these concepts were not only to get ideas for the blocking volumes for the grey block, it was to up my skills in photoshop. Personally i know that my photoshop skills were not up to scratch purely because it was an alien program to me that i only briefly went into with the adaptation year 1 project, so with being on the blocking out team i didnt really have any involvement in the concepts side of stuff originally but personal drive wanted me to move into the concept side of thinks due to my creative thinking behind the ideas. So i did both not neglecting the block out though, phillip decided to take full focus on it with the measurements we had gathered over the weekend whilst i worked with the concept guys and also went into the research team reading “memories of hull” book which had been ignored when taken out from the library 2 weeks ago by the research team. Then when we returned to uni on monday i continues to finish the block out with phil gathering further measurements of the alleyways we had missed, then moving onto adding basic colour schemed bsp (basic standard primitives) to fill out the level with the blocking concepts in basic form.

here is a video myself and phil did to outline what had been done by us over the last week and what our ideas are going forward with the block out:

We apologise for the poor videoing method through my phone but we didnt have screen video capture software at this time so this was the first method we had to hand at the time. We outline issues we came up with along the process of the blocking out such as the FOV (field of view) not feeling right with the street size and the scale having to measure out all week with a meter wheel due to the map we had not being accurate enough to made a block out from. Our ideas going forward was a day cycle so having 2 alternate settings day/night so have triggered lighting of streetlamps to show nightlife as well as daytime. The rest is in the video i dont need to elaborate as we covered it fairly well. I clocked around 50hours over the last week on client work with working on the block out and all the other areas aswell. Everyone has now been allocated buildings my buildings are Marks and Spencers and what currently is Crawshaws, over reading week we have set a target of a basic model to scale and snapped to grid of your buildings with possible texture considerations, so nothing overnight and too much as of yet but a test to see if work is done.

I have now set up us a work in progress online presence for our client project:

Hotmail- HeritageHull60s@outlook.com

Youtube – Heritage Hull https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBggxbowlU24GJvQVSM2NtQ

Twitter – @heritagehull60s https://twitter.com/HeritageHull60s

Facebook Page- https://www.facebook.com/HeritageHull60s

so give us a like, a tweet or an email if you have any email in related to hull in the 1960s or the 1960s in general like fashion or transport etc.

Keep an eye out for us on Thursday 30th october as we are on the radio promoting our project!