As I began my research for the gaming module I just clicked on the links provided, as I had no previous gaming experience and didn’t know where to look other than Google. I first read Ian Schreiber’s Fundamentals of Game Design. Going back through all his posts made me realize that analyzing and creating games is more complex than I first thought. The first question “what is a game?” caught me off guard because I had never thought of that simple question before. I immediately thought “a game is something fun” and further reading made me realize that was far too simple. For one, games aren’t always fun and can be frustrating. Secondly, I never knew how many different definitions of “game” there are. Each new definition I read made sense to me, and I couldn’t pick a favorite. This made me think up my own definition of gaming which was “something interesting, fun, and interactive.” After reading Schreiber’s list of definitions I should add that games are outside of real life and that they have set rules. Those were the big takeaways I had from my first impression with gaming.
One thing I found interesting is the debate whether you have to be able to win or lose for something to be classified as a game. Schreiber brought up role playing games and I thought of games I used to play where you could build and grow a civilization. There was no winning or losing, there was just playing, and I consider that a game. Another gaming aspect that was included in Schreiber’s definition was that games involve conflict. I was first surprised when I read this and then I thought of any game I had ever played and realized that no matter how juvenile or easy a game is, there is always a conflict against something. (Mario vs. Waluigi, you vs. the other team/ player, etc.)
After learning a small amount of what a game actually is, I dove into the process of creating them. I first used sploder.com and was just making things up as I went and realized maybe I needed more information on how to create a game first. I decided to look at genres and fundamental gaming concepts before continuing to make my game.
The main concepts that stood out to me were that all games must have a strong core. In other words, what is the purpose of the game and what is it trying to make you feel. The mechanics (rules) of a game must support the core in making sure that everything helps to point to the core and meaning of a game. When these mechanics are put into motion, aka playing the game, it leads to the dynamics and aesthetic of a game. These are the mental and emotional impacts of a game on the payers. Each piece of the game must be intimately connected to produce a quality game. The core must be well thought out and supported by the mechanics, and that will lead to the player experiencing the dynamics of a game how they were intended. The core and subsequent game all point to a genre as well.
It was at this point in my research that I realized I had no core for my game. I then decided that my purpose was to create an easy and fun game similar to Mario Bros. I chose a core like this because I thought it would be easier to make than other games. That may be so, but easy it was not.