Monday, September 30, 2013


Playing and learning while others were doing the same as me was an experience with little stress. When one plays a game with others whom are known to have avid skills in the game, one usually find the easiest quickest way to fight, or defend. With others learning while I was learning, it took the stress of needing to survive away, and gave me the opportunity to learn side or special techniques, or in this game, special upgrades. This game is one of the games which draws players in with its simplicity, not its graphics or animations. The flow and the ability to learn how to play the game is what made me enjoy the game, as well as its flawless ability to let players play against each other. The idea of controlling an army is also appealing, as many people now don't even have the ability or the respect of anyone. The pros and cons of each race also added to the effect of how your base was simply your base, and you decide how to control it.


Starcraft was a game at first that seemed a little complex but once you get hands on experience with the game its a lot easier than you think. You just need to come up with a good strategy to win. Although throwing people who have never played the game before straight into the who have never played before seemed like a bad idea it was more rewarding in the long run. The one thing the player learns quickly is that workers are the key to success. But don't build too many because eventually it will be time to attack and you don't want to be defenseless. This was a decent game but nothing to get to dramatically excited about. Its got some replay value but gets boring very quickly.

From a developers point of view I can see why this game is so addicting to many and boring to others. It keeps the player guessing and they never know when the enemy is going to attack. It also involves a lot of strategy as well as making sure that you don't make the same mistakes over and over. Why it may be difficult to enjoy for some. People may not be interested in a strategy game that involves you act quickly or just don't like strategy games in general. Overall this is a great game to learn from buts get quite repetitive really fast.

Star Craft

           I heard of Star Craft before but never played it before. Friday in class was the first time that I ever played Star Craft and I sucked at it. I didn't really know what to do but I knew that I need to build things to build my army. On Friday I played as the terrain and I was figuring things out like how to move the people by clicking on a person and then right click on where you want to move him. Then today we played it again and I had a much more pleasant time playing because I knew what to do. I played as the protoss and I was doing pretty good I felt confident with my army and when we fought other people I wasn't doing to bad. Star craft to me is a okay game but other people tend to enjoy it very much.    

The Starcraft experience and Nick Beaulieu

Jacob Shaker
The Starcraft experience and Nick Beaulieu

I began playing starcraft last friday with a quick game with several people among them Nick Beaulieu, we both decided that we found the game enjoyable and agreed to play later during our free periods.  After we finished our first game I researched an effective method of rushing the opponent called a “Zerg Rush”.  I was well prepared and was able to thoroughly crush my opponent later that day in two successive matches.  Over the weekend I did little research and expected to Rush the next day as well, I joined up with Nick again on monday to smash two other poor souls. We both quickly set up to rush and smashed them in less than five minutes, afterwards we decided that we should all set up and play protoss, we started up another game and disabled the other two people but then we found ourselves at a stalemate exh continually making cannons until the period ended.  Starcraft is a very fun game that forces you to learn on your feet or fall to your opponents waves of forces.  It is a great social game that allows short or long games.  
My starcraft experience: Friday morning when we first started up starcraft in first period, I was kind of disappointed, but try keep an open mind. I was very impressed with how much fun starcraft is. The strategic part of the game keeps you thinking and thinking ahead, not just rushing through killing everything in sight. Upon research over the weekend and a lot of practice, I learned new techniques, like “Zerg rushing” and building up photon cannons. Overall, i think Starcraft is a game that is going to hold my interest for the next several weeks at least.

My Experience with Starcraft

Playing Starcraft was a fun experience. I learned after my first match that my opponents made the mistake of not building enough workers. Already having some experience with RTS games, I adapted to the new game quickly. I slowly built up my units without attacking until I had a sizable army. Called "turtling," this proved to be an effective strategy for me.

My opponents weren't well equipped enough to deal with my army. In my first game, I stalemated with another experienced player. In the second, I learned to build my base better and won. Playing with an experienced player in my first game helped me learn.


This was the first week playing a game that I was actually somewhat familiar with. I myself did not get to play against other players, as I could not connect correctly. Instead, I played my own single player version on my laptop. I too am still learning to play this game, as I have only been playing it for a few weeks. Starcraft is the first RTS game I have ever played, and it is certainly different then what I am used to playing. I was excited to learn to play for that reason, I had never played an RTS before and I wanted to see what it was like. Now that I know what I am doing I really enjoy the game. Having the ability to play against other players in an RTS or Real Time Strategy was certainly a wake up call. I do play games online but this was certainly a bit different then running around and shooting people. I had to build up my base, upgrade my weapons and armor, collect minerals, protect my base, as well as fighting the enemy. There is a lot to think about and do at once and it is a game that certainly keeps you on your toes.

Playing a game with others can greatly improve you're skill especially if you are teamed with a partner. You can back you're friends if they're having trouble and you can be that guy who messes with everything they do. Playing with friends not only is for fun but it adds a competitive side to the game like call of duty. There are mlg teams that constantly compete with their friends for thousands of dollars. Playing with friends you can discuss game plans to help you play better. Now for starcraft im not a fan of that game and atleast my friends would turn against me. The game isn't very fun in my opinion even when I do play with friends.

answer to questions

Playing against other people made me feel good because they knew just as much as I did. I feel like learning through playing is very difficult for me because I was too busy actually playing the game then watching all the details. I like that every one was noobs. I now know how to play it but I am still learning. I hate how there is so much to do and while you're doing that you get attacked by someone that is better than you are then you get defeated.

Crafting Stars: Lesson One: How to not die.

Last week we played a game of Starcraft, a game many people are not familiar with. Starcraft is still one of the most popular games in professional multiplayer gaming, an attribute typically associated with it's complexity and propensity for varied tactics. We intentionally had thrown everyone in against each other without playing the tutorial so players might try to discern how to defeat each other organically.

Think on how learning a game by playing against other players who are also learning impacted your learning experience, and interject your thoughts on the game as a whole. Then write a short missive on your response to these questions and post it to the blog.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Scratch Video game Questions

Game Debrief

What was your game, describe it?
My game is the space invaders, its about a space ship shooting at an enemy flying at it. If you kill the enemy you win the game but if that enemy hits you its game over.

What were the mechanics what were the aesthetics?

Some mechanics I used were that if you hit the left arrow you move to the left, if you hit the right arrow you move right. If you hit the space bar you shoot the enemy. I made it that the game controls were easily understandable.

What if any were the problems with your game?
There were no bugs or anything with my game that I'm aware of I tested the game about 50 times by myself and it worked perfectly fine when I was playing it.

How would you make it better?
I would make it better by having more enemys fly at you to try and kill you. I would also make it better by putting sound in the game so when ever the space ship shoots it will make a sound. I could also make it so you want to dodge and kill the enemy instead of just moving left and right you can move up and down.

How did the audience Wednesday respond to your game?
The audience on Wednesday didn't respond to my game because they were focused on the Maze Game, the Mario game and the others. I had my game up for a little bit and no one came I tried talking to people to see if they would play it but no one did, so that's how they responded to my game.

Who’s game besides your own was your favorite?
My favorite game is Matts game. I like it because it makes you think and if you choose the wrong option you loose a skill point making it a 50/50 chance at getting the questions right or wrong. I like when I have to actually think about what I'm doing in the games not just go and already know what to do.

What did you like/ dislike about the Scratch program, list at least one like and one dislike?
What I dislike about Scratch is that the screen is to dim and small. It was difficult to see the game all that well. One like I have about scratch is that it was a fun and easy way to make a Video game. It was a fun experiences to play with controls and make a working game.
Game Debrief
Nic Beaulieu

What was your game, describe it?
My game was “Dat Fro Doe” . My game consisted of avoiding chris roberge’s head that bounced around the screen, while collecting red balls. Name made by Nick Haidari

What were the mechanics what were the aesthetics?
My mechanics included jumping, running left and right across the screen, and bouncing off of chris’s afro to reach red balls that were high in the air. The aesthetics included standard clip art with a cartoon looking background, and use of mine and chris’s heads.

What if any were the problems with your game?
The major bug i found in game game is that if you were damaged but also touched chris’s afro you were lifted into the sky, and stayed there without the affect of my gravity variable.

How would you make it better?
I would try to fix a few of the smaller bugs. Maybe better controls.

How did the audience Wednesday respond to your game?
The audience liked my game, it had a lot of players. They liked the name and characters in my game, and was pretty easy to understand.

Who’s game besides your own was your favorite?
I liked Jacob shakers and Nick Haidari’s games.

What did you like/ dislike about the Scratch the program(list at least one like and one dislike.)?
I like the fact that Scratch is a basis to pretty much all programming we might have to do in the future.I also like that i was pretty easy to learn, and i feel like i have a better understanding about programming in general. I dislike the fact that you can't make as complicated a game as another software.

The first video game I ever fell in love with had no graphics whatsoever. It was all text, and text alone: dim green, amber, or white characters on a dark background—that’s all the earliest monitors could handle. It was a game from the mid-eighties, based on the Douglas Adams novel, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
To play, you’d just type instructions in response to prompts: a terrifically frustrating and tantalizing ordeal.
go east
You can’t.
get towel
There’s no towel here.
But eventually, in the middle of a fit of weird semantic rage, you’d hit on the right phrase.
turn on the light
The bedroom is a mess.
It is a small bedroom with a faded carpet and old wallpaper.
There is a washbasin, a chair with a tatty dressing gown slung over it, and a window with the curtains drawn. Near the exit leading south is a phone.
Your reward: the treasure of glowing new sentences—sometimes even a long scroll of paragraphs—to read.
By such halting, wonderfully infuriating means you advanced through the game—a game full of jokes! Splendidly goofy, yes, but also a game that would cheerfully annihilate you and return you to the starting point with the cruelty of an affectless, chomping, yellow Pac-Man. (There are many browser-based versions of these old games online if you’d like to try.)
As matters progressed through the eighties and early nineties, the pleasures of controlling moving images on a screen, of bewitching sound effects and saturated colors, came to video games, and these were seductive in a new and different way. But, so far as wild graphics and kinetic surprises were concerned, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and even my beloved Crystal Castles (“Get the gems, Bentley Bear!”) really had very little on the powerful thrills of a state-of-the-art pinball machine. I wonder whether even a modern video game has equalled the satisfying visceral chunk of a pinball table delivering a hard-earned (or fortuitous) replay—a sensation that coursed straight through one’s keyed-up paws to light the whole prefrontal cortex with a corresponding bong of pleasure. The delights of video games, from the first, were something altogether more inward, more purely intellectual, than those of pinball, however bellicose and violent the setting. The scale, intricacy, and richness of today’s games would have stunned the table-rattling pinball wizards of yore. And now, modern video games are showing signs of morphing into other, still more subtle and complicated forms; among other things, they’re becoming an increasingly sophisticated vehicle for storytelling.
The narrative pleasures once provided by my first video-game love came to mind some weeks ago, when I happened upon an interview with Tom Bissell and Rob Auten about their experiences writing Gears of War: Judgment, the fourth installment of the massively popular Gears shooter franchise from Epic Games, which comes out today. In this chapter of the saga, a group of comrades-in-arms faces a war-crimes tribunal, and their story is revealed to the player in flashback. The description given by Bissell and Auten of this writing gig, so complexly interwoven with the efforts of designers, actors, and artists, struck me as the possible sign of a simmering new direction not only for video games but for literature. For the first time, it seemed to me like video games might hold possibilities for the telling of stories in a newly sophisticated way. It turns out that the evolution of storytelling in video games is substantially more complicated than I imagined.
Tom Bissell has a history with the Gears franchise. He wrote a 2011 book, “The Art and Design of Gears of War,” that could only be obtained as part of a special release of the game, the Gears of War 3: Epic Edition. I am no big fan of violent shooter games, but was sorely tempted by the excerpt of the book that appeared on Grantland. Here, Bissell expounds on the charm of “conceptual contrast” in Gears.
Gears is a science fiction game that grounds its weapons in the technology of the Vietnam era and draws its architecture from Regency Britain.… Marcus and Dom are huge, ostensibly indestructible giants, and yet the vast majority of the game finds them diving toward cover with Nureyevian grace and cowering behind it like boys playing hide-and-seek. Finally, there is no conceptual contrast more Gearsian than getting blown into bloody pork chops by a Locust fragmentation grenade only to hear, during the failure screen, a lilting, plangent version of the Gears of War theme played on, of all things, a piano. Amazingly, none of these elements ever seems dissonant or self-negating; most barely become the object of conscious notice. This is because much in the world of Gears has an important video game quality that Chris Perna, Epic’s Art Director, described to me in this way: “It just is.” Isness is a large part of what makes Gears of War effective.
The theme of conceptual contrast in Gears is echoed by Bissell’s involvement in the process. He is a well-known writer whose recent essay collection, “Magic Hours,” contains a fine piece on his efforts as an editor at W. W. Norton to republish the Paula Fox novel, “Desperate Characters,” and a corking appreciation of the novelist Jim Harrison. Bissell is equally well known as a gaming aficionado who documented his obsessive attachment to the Grand Theft Auto series in the Guardian in 2010.
I contacted Bissell to ask him what he thought about the potentialities of video games as literature, and began by telling him how much I’d loved the literary quality of the Hitchhiker’s Guide game.
What I felt about Hitchhiker’s Guide was, this is fun in the way that the sense of discovery in reading is fun, except that I am interactively making it happen; I’ve unlocked this revelation. And seeing you talk about this game reminded me of that feeling, something I hadn’t thought about in a long time.
People are doing genuinely cool stuff with games as a storytelling medium right now. There’s this eerily affecting game out from Telltale Games called The Walking Dead—the game version of the TV series. Obviously it’s got zombies, and so it’s both incredibly violent and upsetting, but, unlike most zombie games, you’re not just constantly pulling the trigger. It’s not a shooter. It’s not a shooter. In fact, it’s using the devices of one of the purer, more literary game genres out there: the old-school, point-and-click adventure game. You walk around static environments, looking at stuff, picking stuff up, and talking to people. That’s really what the game is about: talking to people, forming relationships. The relationship between the two main characters (a disgraced black academic and a little girl) is genuinely affecting. I wouldn’t put it on the same level of affecting-ness that you’d find in a really good literary novel, but there are times when it comes tantalizingly close to that. So it’s a writer’s game, in that sense. It’s a game that manages to create high drama out of deciding whether or not to cut a little girl’s hair, believe it or not, because if he keeps her hair long, a zombie will be able to grab it. And you have to have this conversation with her, and sort of allow her to see why she needs to get her hair cut without really telling her why, because you don’t want to alarm her. It must sound like pulpy nonsense described in this way, but the way the game humanizes these people really pays emotional dividends.
More and more, I’m seeing that games are mining good, old-fashioned human anxieties for their drama, and that’s really promising. Games, more and more, are not just about shooting and fighting, and for that reason I’m optimistic and heartened about where the medium is heading, because I think game designers are getting more interested in making games that explore what it means to be alive. It’s one of the reasons I’m happy to be doing this, and hope I can keep doing it.
How long will it take before we see a game that has the quality of a literary novel? That pushes the same buttons, as it were.
It depends what you mean by “quality.” There’s never going to be a direct one-to-one ratio here, you know. But there have already been a few games that approach something akin to the “literary,” at least for me. One of the games that I’m really looking forward to—a game that I actually worked on a little bit—is called The Witness, which a game designer named Jonathan Blow is going to release in the fall. Jon is a member of the game world’s genuinely provocative advance guard. I feel no hesitation in calling him a genius. I wrote a little bit for an earlier version of the game, and so have had the privilege to play it quite a bit. I can say it’s really going to be a special, and possibly even groundbreaking, experience. It’s an incredibly personal, strange, and moving work of art. It’s a first-person walker, I would say, in that you have the typical first-person viewpoint but you don’t have any tools or items. You have only your virtual eyes and your non-virtual brain to help you out. All over the island are these amazing interactive puzzles, which start off seeming fairly simple but, by the end, become impressively complicated and elaborate. But they always make sense. Jon’s goal in the game is nonverbal communication. It’s how his puzzles teach you to pay attention to what’s around you without using any words. It’s also kind of about physics, insofar as I can tell! The first time I played it, I looked at Jon and said, “This is the next step.” It might be the game that finally moves people who think games are a waste of time to say, “I get why this medium is important, and why people are so fascinated by the possibilities here.”
Right? And if games become a thing like, “Oh! They tell really good stories in these now!” Oh my god, there will be a total stampede.
Sure, but now that I’ve worked on a few games, I’ve grappled with the degree to which games are not really a writer’s medium. Film’s not really a writer’s medium, either. Good writing certainly doesn’t hurt, but it’s not the thing that saves the day. I’ve been quietly lobbying for games that are smart and intelligent, even if they’re about blowing lots of shit up. At the same time, though, pure storytelling is never going to be the thing that games do better than anything. Games are primarily about a connection between the player, the game world, and the central mechanic of the game. They’re about creating a space for the player to engage with that mechanic and have the world react in a way that feels interesting and absorbing but also creates a sense of agency. So writing, in games, is about creating mood and establishing a basic sense of intent. The player has some vague notion of what the intent of the so-called author is, but the power of authorship is ultimately for the player to seize for him or herself. This goes for any kind of game. I think good game writing is a process of getting out of the player’s way. You give him or her just enough to work with narratively, but ultimately you let the player tell his or her own story.
A kinetic, direct element that you wouldn’t have in a novel.
Yeah, or a film, for that matter.
A hands-on-ness.
“Immersion” is the big watchword that game people use all the time. But to me it’s not a matter of being “immersed” so much as it is simply being interested. (A game designer and academic named Richard Lemarchand made this argument beautifully at the G.D.C. [the Game Developers Conference] a couple years ago.) And you can be interested in all sorts of ways. One of the frustrating things for me in the last few weeks has been seeing the “video-game violence” debate. There’s been a dispiriting lack of recognition of the sheer number of games out there that aren’t violent, that are thoughtful.
I’ve been asked a few times to weigh in on the “violent video games” debate, but I hesitate to because I feel like the N.R.A. set a trap by shining a spotlight on video games. Which isn’t to say that I think that games are entirely blameless. Games, generally speaking, are probably way too violent.
As a parent I’ve always thought it’s the unmixed-ness that could become a problem, with any particular toy, medium, or game. I wouldn’t mind a kid in my care experiencing such a thing once, or once in a while, mixed with all the other stuff. O.K., play this game, but also see “The Little Mermaid,” read “The Phantom Tollbooth,” go see “Jules et Jim.”
As long as games are part of a thinking person’s culturally balanced diet, I don’t worry too much.
So back to narrative questions. In novels now, we have partisans of, say, Jonathan Franzen—subscribers to the nineteenth-century idea of fiction; then we have the po-mo, post-Beckett side of it: open-ended stories, experiments of all kinds. Can the technology of games further the project of fiction in some way that we haven’t foreseen, or could it maybe even amplify the nineteenth-century style, or the experimental one? (Like “The Diamond Age”! Are we going to see a game that is “The Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer”? Because sign me up.) What’s going to happen?
I used to think that games were a great storytelling medium, potentially, and that idiot writers were fucking it up. I don’t believe that any more. I now believe that whatever the purpose of this medium is, it’s not quite to tell stories.
What were the first games? Space Invaders, Pac-Man. These were goal-oriented activities that had a vague overlay of story. So now we fast-forward thirty years, and games are primarily story-like experiences organized around the successful achievement of goals. And so the balance has flipped. The storytelling game and the purer, more traditional type of video game are, I think, on a path of divergence right now: whatever is happening in video games is going to split these two kinds of games off from each other, and so storytelling games are, eventually, going to become their own thing.
Increasingly, I think entertainment in general is going to have more interactive element to it. I know that that sounds horrifying, because most entertainment that has tried to incorporate some kind of interactive element has been so miserably terrible. But the generation coming of age right now is taking it for granted that the things they watch and read have some type of input/output aspect to them. How that’s going to manifest itself in a broader cultural sense I don’t know.
Consider the difference between an ordinary movie and, like, “Synecdoche.” It’s almost not the same thing, like James Bond vs. “Synecdoche.” You might watch a Bond film in order to escape your thoughts, and “Synecdoche” in order to enter into them more deeply. Much as I love James Bond, I don’t think of it as literary in any way, but I think of Charlie Kaufman’s work as absolutely literature. What made me so excited about your work was seeing you do this for games.
You might rethink that after playing Gears! Which is a bananas game—in a way I love and respond to, but still bananas. The thing that most excited me about the process of seeing a game through from beginning to end was the magical confluence of a bunch of super-talented, super-dedicated people, from the artists to the programmers to the actors to the concept and environment artists—everyone seeing the same light at the end of the same tunnel and working together to create a world and a vision. For the Gears game, I barely even met most of the people who worked on it, but I’m now intimately familiar with their work, having played the game through so many times.
That was fascinating. My wonderful co-writer, Rob Auten, and I would take these empty-vessel characters—who didn’t have any dialogue assigned to them yet—and run through exceedingly primitive versions of the game world, figuring out, inch by inch, what the “story” was supposed to be about. It was like writing a script after all the sets and costumes had been designed!
It involves so many disciplines, so many different kinds of people and artists. It was invigorating, and fascinating.
When I saw the video of you and Rob, I thought, Is this maybe the next step in fiction, in certain ways? You have all these multiple ways the story can come out; a new thing that could be made really serious, right? Am I making this up?
No, you’re not, though I must say that Gears isn’t quite that kind of a game. There are various kinds of storytelling avenues a game can take. Some have multiple, various paths but wind up at the same destination; some plunge straight ahead in a linear path, so that the story is pretty much the same for every person who plays it; and some are fearsomely, awesomely variable.
Like Skyrim? (Skyrim being a wildly popular “open-world” game, in which the player can wander freely rather than having to stick to a predetermined narrative path.)
Indeed. The point is that there’s no such thing, really, as “video-game storytelling.” Different kinds of games have different kinds of storytelling methods. Writing Gears has more in common with action-movie screenwriting than writing something like Skyrim does. But what’s interesting about writing a game like Gears is that there’s just so much procedural dialogue you wind up having to write. By that I mean dialogue that’s totally dependent on what the player’s doing: shooting, killing, blowing stuff up, reloading, taking cover, all of that.
What do you have to write for someone when you’re blowing something up?
Gears is very over the top, very cartoonish. It has a sense of humor about itself, so you’re allowed to have a little bit of fun. If, say, you knock an enemy down on the ground and the enemy’s crawling around, you can then go and pick him up and use him as a shield while other people are shooting at you. One of my favorite lines that we wrote for that particularly grim contingency was “Let’s see how popular you are.” Obviously, that stuff’s hugely fun to write. In the end, we wound up writing something like twelve thousand lines of purely procedural dialogue. At a certain point, when you’re trying to think of literally the forty-seventh different way to say, “I’m reloading,” it gets a little mind-numbing. It’s only when you’re actually playing the game, and hearing this stuff, that you see what variety and a sense of humor does to lighten the experience.
When you are writing prose, you’re very carefully withholding and handing out information, revelations, in a way that you feel is going to be entertaining to the reader. A lot of what you’ve just been saying makes me think you’re sensitive to that with respect to writing a game, as well. But these revelations, in a game, might come about in the course of dozens or hundreds of interactions with this text you’ve written. So how much does that come into play when you are structuring the narrative?
This is the really tricky thing with game writing: you have very limited control over the pace of the player’s experience. A movie or a TV show is designed to be finished in one sitting, so the stories structure themselves around the reasonable expectation that the person watching isn’t going to stop in the middle of it. Games tend to be, what? Seven hours, sometimes even thirty-five hours long? That makes the stories much harder to structure because you can’t control the way the player is going to experience them. A lot of game studios rely on three-act structures, rising tension, character arcs—all these engrained Hollywood story ideas that I’m not convinced have a hell of a lot of applicability to games.
Think about this, though: What other kind of other storytelling experiences does what I describe above remind you of? It reminds me, at least, of how we read books. You read for a while, but then your subway stop comes, and you stop. Or you read before you sleep. Or read in the waiting room at the orthopedist’s. There’s a grab-it-while-you-can story imperative with both books and games. Also, both have to be interesting on a moment-to-moment basis. However, game stories, unlike the kinds of stories you find in books, need to be a lot simpler. Video games generally don’t reward narrative complexity, because most of them are about going somewhere and doing something, and then going to another, similar place and doing a similar thing. In that sense, the story is sort of there to make you forget that what you’re doing is actually incredibly repetitive.
So many games give us the opportunity to play from the perspective of “the good guy”: on the one hand the explicitly violent ones might create a lot of moral ambiguity—that we’re entertained by the carnage—but on the other hand most games provide opportunities for players to experience a really Manichean narrative assumption of good vs. evil. Where do you fall on the John Gardner spectrum of morality in storytelling?
Gardner has a quote in “On Becoming A Novelist” that I love, even if I don’t fully agree with it: the purpose of art, he says, is to show people the proper beliefs and impulses. Or something like that. I think I kind of, sort of, still believe that to some degree. You certainly wouldn’t want to write a book extolling the virtues of serial murder, would you, even if it were really well written.
Well, “Lolita” extols something pretty terrible.
I guess I think the highest purpose of fiction is to show that all people are fundamentally worthy of mercy. Carrying that imperative over into a game like Gears is a harder project, to say the least, because it’s a game about pushing forward and shooting as many living things as possible. Now, these living things are these silly monsters that, you know, aren’t “real,” so the moral considerations are slightly different. Walking the line between honoring the fictional reality of what the game’s characters are going through, which is horrifying, but also allowing the gamer to have fun while doing horrifying things—yeah, that was a bit of a tonal challenge, and it took us a while to get it right. Tone is such a massively important part of how the story stuff in games gets processed. It’s important to get it right, or else everything falls apart.
If combat has any positive attributes, it’s that, for a lot of people, it forms the most intense emotional relationships they will ever have with human beings for the rest of their lives. So I think a shooter, which is what Gears is, can awaken some of those borderline—I don’t want to say positive attributes of combat, but it does touch on some of the exhilaration of combat. I’m not the first person to suggest that, within the horror of combat, there is something beautiful and exhilarating. The reason shooters are so popular, I think, is that we all want to touch that fire. We want to put our hands in just far enough to feel the heat without actually burning ourselves. In that sense, I’m not entirely sure how different playing video games is from playing Cops and Robbers.
Maria Bustillos is a writer living in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to Page-Turner.
Credit: Microsoft Corporation.

Game Debrief

Game Debrief

What was your game, describe it?
My game was called the defender. You play as a miniature gun defending yourself from the incoming villain. You must shoot to defend and if the villain hits its immediate game over.

What were the mechanics what were the aesthetics?
The mechanics of this game were to press the arrow keys to move and press the spacebar to shoot. The villain would bounce off the walls trying to get to you. The game looks like a first grader drew it but it looks better then the standard graphics.

What if any were the problems with your game?
Too short and too boring. Basic gameplay with a easy learning curve.

How would you make it better?
Make longer and more interesting with more than one level. Also would
make the sprites smaller for longer gameplay.

How did the audience Wednesday respond to your game?
Absolutely no one played because it looks boring and no one wants to play a boring game. Also they said that the game needed to be longer and a lot more interesting.

Who’s game besides your own was your favorite?
No ones because I was helping Matt fix his buggy mess of a game.

What did you like/ dislike about the Scratch program(list at least one like and one dislike.)?
I like how you can make basic games that don't take too long to make. I dislike the limitations of the programs, the size of the screen and the lack of coding.

Game Debrief

Game Debrief

What was your game, describe it?

-In my game you were a dragon, and you had to shoot fire at the fairy princesses before they turned you into a butterfly.

What were the mechanics what were the aesthetics?

-My game was similar to space invaders, moving side to side with arrow keys and space bar to shoot a target before it hit you.

What if any were the problems with your game?

-There was only one princess to kill, and the rest of them wouldn't work.

How would you make it better?

-Make more princess to kill so that the game was a little more challenging, and went on longer.

How did the audience Wednesday respond to your game?

- "That's it?"

Who’s game besides your own was your favorite?

-I didn't really see what other games there were.

What did you like/ dislike about the Scratch the program(list at least one like and one dislike.)?

-It was fairly simple to learn how to use, but it was so simple that it was confusing, and kind of annoying.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mega Man X gameplay

While playing Mega man X I found it really easy, in the tutorial level it taught you the object of the game. It also taught you how to move and kill and maneuver around objects picking up health boost so you don't die. While observing the design of Mega Man it was very simple and easy the background was easily seen all the objects of the game including enemies and your character and the vehicles they were fairly easy to see. In mega man I felt as if the game was easily understandable although tkeys you had to use were pretty spred out for one hand so I would have to get used to the feel of my hand while using the keys. I realized that at times when I jumped I could shoot making it much easier to play and less frustratinghe hold down the shoot button to shoot. This is what I feel is important to the mega man X theme and textures.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Playing Mega Man X like a designer

1. At what point did the design of the first level force you to learn a new skill to progress through the game?

2. Was it difficult to observe the design of the game while playing it?

 3. What mechanics were important enough to be used as the primary commands? What mechanics were less valuable, and could be pushed to less accessible buttons?

     At the very beginning. You are forced to learn a couple of things. You need to learn how the controls feel and what they do. You also need to learn the strategy in order to progress through the level so you can progress to the next one. Each level requires you to adapt and learn the new items and character moves in order to become better at the level and game.

    No because it was pretty simple. Jump and shoot, pick up health packs and kill enemy's. Also the level designs were pretty basic so there wasn't much to see. Granted the designers were limited to the amount of items able to be in the game it was still a little dry. It was good for its time but now there are better games of mega man and those are the ones a person should play.

The buttons of jump, shoot and move around were all in the first level. These were the commands that were the most valuable and used, as well as moving around. The other buttons that were a little less valuable were the start and select buttons. You really don't need start and select passed the start menu so they are placed in places that aren't bothersome.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Playing like a Designer

1. At what point did the design of the first level force you to learn a new skill to progress through the game?

2. Was it difficult to observe the design of the game while playing it?

3. What mechanics were important enough to be used as the primary commands? What mechanics were less valuable, and could be pushed to less accessible buttons?

Designer Megaman X

          Megaman X starts out with no instruction and leaves you on a road, fending for yourself. You have only the controls, but not what each button actually makes Megaman do. Right off the gecko, this game forces you to learn a new skill, as objects move toward you, which cause you to lose health. You must quickly learn how to jump, and soon after, shoot, as a larger enemy stands in your way of advancing in the game. 
          Playing this game and taking in the details about it was a small challenge, as for me it is easy to make notes of things made in the game, and more importantly, what isn't there. This may be because I start a game with a certain bias, which in this case helps me to comprehend the game. It makes me look for small things that one might not notice in a flawless game, but does in a poorly created game. Once I had understood how the gameplay was going to be, I suspended my bias to try to see how this game was going to force me to think. In some situations, the game made me think it was straightforward, when in fact, it was an out of the box concept that was the answer to the puzzle.
          During this game, there were some mechanics that indeed were used more than others. Jumping and shooting were the only to moves that I had discovered yet, and were equally important in the gameplay. I think these were important enough to be considered primary commands, as the gameplay centered around my ability to manipulate Megaman with these controls. From where I had gotten in the game, I had not gotten to a point where other controls were introduced, making there be no need to push controls to less accessible buttons. 
          In all, this game had a quality introduction to the gameplay, had a solidly pieced together structure, and had chosen a easy to get used to control frame, with the most dominant controls in accessible locations.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Playing Like a Designer

      In Mega Man X, there was a part in the first level that required you to figure out how to jump up the wall to get out of the hole you were in. This was one example of being forced to learn a new skill on order to progress. You're in the middle of a fight, and the floor beneath you drops down and you are forced to figure out how to get out and continue on with the level. In order to get out you must jump repeatedly up the wall in order to get back up to ground level, so that you may continue to play the game and progress.
       At first, yes it was a little difficult to observe while I was playing because I was still trying to figure out the game. As I progressed it was easier to notice the game mechanics and the actual design of the game. Some enemies only took a few shots to kill, others took some more. With the game itself, the effect that it was trying to act 3D was rather interesting. The cars the drove in front of you and behind you, but didn't hit you or were untouchable to you.
       All the functions that were necessary were all placed on accessible buttons. The arrow keys moved the player left and right, D was jump and W was shoot. The less accessible button (C) paused the game, and is a necessary function, but not for game play. Other then C, there weren't really any unnecessary functions or buttons required for game play that were harder to access.

Playing like a designer: Megaman by Jacob Shaker

Playing like a Designer: Megaman
Jacob Shaker

1.  On the first level I was forced to learn how to wall jump and shoot at the same time.
2.  Not too difficult because Megaman is a very linear and simple game.
3.  Fire, Movement and Jumping
     Start (Enter)
1. At what point did the design of the first level force you to learn a new skill to progress through the game?

2. Was it difficult to observe the design of the game while playing it?

3. What mechanics were important enough to be used as the primary commands? What mechanics were less valuable, and could be pushed to less accessible buttons?

1. When you had to jump in order to get past a hole in the map.

2. Not really because the game was simple and I could tell how the creators put it together, for the players use.

3. Move forward, backwards, shoot, and jump were primary commands. Moving up, and down were secondary commands.

Playing Like a designer: Megaman X

Answer these specific questions based off of your experience playing through Megaman X with the new skills you've learned from playing like a designer.

1. At what point did the design of the first level force you to learn a new skill to progress through the game?

2. Was it difficult to observe the design of the game while playing it?

3. What mechanics were important enough to be used as the primary commands? What mechanics were less valuable, and could be pushed to less accessible buttons?