Game Analytics on Narrative based Video Games ... ¢â‚¬¢ The Narrative devices considered for Formal Analysis

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  • Game Analytics on Narrative based Video Games – COMP6470

    Name – Vinayak Ravi (u6561524)

    Supervisor – Dr. Penny Kyburz

  • What is a Video Game and its components ?.

    2

    • The ‘vertical ties’ in the outer side of the model

    indicates the link between the conceptual ends

    and the means to link them to achieve results

    in ‘Narrative and Immersion’.

    • The ‘horizontal ties’ connects the ongoing

    vertical ties, in an attempt to reach

    ‘equilibrium’.

    https://altugi.wordpress.com/articles/video-games-a-frame-model/

    https://altugi.wordpress.com/articles/video-games-a-frame-model/

  • 3

    What is Narrative in Video Games ?

    • Helps the player get more involved and

    helps in immersing into the story.

    • Gives the game a meaning and guides

    the player in the actions to perform.

    Unlike other forms of narrative, in video games, the ‘PLAYER’ is part of the ‘STORY’.

  • What is Gameplay ?

    4

    • Gameplay constitutes elements that determine the playable character’s ‘mobility constraints, game-

    level’s structural design, response/event triggers, game state dynamics and decision responses’.

    [1] http://www.oecd.org/education/ceri/39414829.pdf.

    http://www.oecd.org/education/ceri/39414829.pdf

  • What is the problem ?

    5

    • Each element (Narrative, Gameplay, Player) are

    viewed as separate entities.

    • The Developers and Gaming companies are trying

    to bridge/minimize this gap (Ludo-narrative

    dissonance), to attain emergence.

    LUDO-NARRATIVE

    DISSONANCE

    Narrative (Story) Gameplay

    (Engagement)

    Immersion (Addictiveness)

  • Approach towards solving the problem

    6

    • Study on the emergent elements utilized in Narrative-based Video game (Uncharted 4), to visualize on its impact

    to minimize the Ludo-narrative dissonance [2].

    [2] https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/16d8/5efe47da804e9be1dbd99fed5d389a76fbb2.pdf

    Case Study:

    In-depth analysis on

    the narrative/gameplay

    content in the game,

    understanding its

    intricate connections

    Formal Analysis:

    Narratological

    research method

    (Fernandez-vara,

    2015) studying on

    game’s ‘artefacts’

    and its relation with

    its corresponding

    ‘game mechanics’

    Close Reading:

    Understanding on

    the decision

    making context,

    which is

    governing each

    artefact.

  • Study on Narrative Structure incorporated in Uncharted 4

    • Majewski proposed four narrative

    architectural models ‘String of Pearls,

    branching narrative, amusement park and

    building blocks’

    • Further, since Uncharted series follows a

    linear-adaptable storyline, String of Pearls

    model approach is what connects the

    sequence of events (pearls) by strings

    (narrative devices)

    7

    [2] https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/16d8/5efe47da804e9be1dbd99fed5d389a76fbb2.pdf

    String of pearls model

  • Narrative architecture deployed in Uncharted 4

    8

    • Uncharted 4 follows ‘4-act architecture’,

    which consists of [4]:

    – Act One: Setup and complication

    o Inciting Incident

    o First Plot Point

    – Act two: Conflict and rising action

    o Pinch Point

    o Context shifting point

    – Act three: Crisis

    o Second Pinch point

    o Second Plot Point

    – Act four: Climax

    o Confrontation and falling point

    [4] "Following A Four Act Structure: How To Keep It Fresh", Medium, 2019. [Online]. Available:

    https://medium.com/@miamanns/following-a-four-act-structure-how-to-keep-it-fresh-b0a454a92575.

    [Accessed: 01- Oct- 2019].

    [3] https://ayakhan.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/the-4-act-strucutre/

  • Narrative Architecture and scope

    9

  • Narrative Devices used in Research

    10

    • Narrative devices help in communicating the

    story/plot to the player, acting as an illustrator

    linking the goals, mechanics and decisions made

    in the game.

    • The Narrative devices considered for Formal

    Analysis are (Dialogues, Cutscenes and point of

    View).

    • Research methodology used are Searle’s

    Speech Act theory [5] and Jarvinen’s six types of

    game rhetoric [6].

    ‘Searle’s Speech Act Theory’

    • Assertive

    • Commissive

    • Directive

    • Declarative

    • Expressive

    ‘Jarvinen’s Six type rhetoric Theory’

    • Gratification

    • Motivation

    • Goal

    • Means

    • Feedback

    • Outcome

    [5]https://www.thoughtco.com/speech-act-theory-1691986

    [6] Järvinen, A. (2008). Games without Frontiers: Theories and Methods for Game Studies and

    Design (Doctoral dissertation). Tampere University Press.

    Kim

    https://www.thoughtco.com/speech-act-theory-1691986

  • Narrative Devices Research on Dialogues and Cutscenes

    (Artefact)

    11

  • Gameplay Devices used in Research

    12

    Salen and Zimmerman [7] define, rules, goals

    and mechanics, as the primary gameplay (ludic)

    components to be studied in comparison with

    narrative elements.

    • Rules: defining boundaries of in-game behaviors of

    characters/agents.

    • Goals: Help players in deriving a sense of purpose from

    the plot.

    • Mechanics: Primary elements receiving physical

    feedback from the player manipulating the

    character/environment/ agents inside the game

    [7] K. Salen , K. S. Tekinbaş, E. Zimmerman, “Rules of play: Game design fundamentals”, MIT

    press, 2004.

  • Gameplay devices research on Rules and Goals (Artefacts)

    13

  • Gameplay devices research on Mechanics(Artefact)

    14

    Strategy:

    • Stealth:

    • Offensive:

    • Avoidance:

    • Navigate:

    Interactive Mechanism:

    • Distance:

    • Hand-to-hand:

    • Vehicle:

    • Puzzle:

    Utilities:

    • Guns:

    • Bombs:

    • Journal:

  • Achieving balance between story and gameplay (Immersion)

    15

    • Immersion is the perceptive involvement of the

    player, engulfed into the constructed narrative and

    gameplay mechanics.

    • From Tanskanen’s Immersion Venn Diagram [8],

    we can deduce that immersion occurs when the

    player blends their psychology, the game’s story

    and design together.

    [8] S. Tanskanen, “Player immersion in video game: Designing an immersive game project”, 2018.

  • Emergent coding of the ‘Chapter:11 Uncharted 4’ (Artefact)

    16

    UNCHARTED 4 ( Chapter 11: Hidden in Plane Sight)

    1. MinCs

    2. N, swD, Ex

    3. AC

    4. gpD, MajCs, N, VJ, Ex, MinCs, Ex, MinCs, Ex,

    swD, Ex,

    MinCs, swD, Ex, MinCs, N, AC, MajCs

    5. swD, gpD, MinCs, Pz, Ex, VJ, Pz, gpD, Ex,

    gpD, swD, gpD, VJ, Pz, swD, gpD, VJ, Pz,

    swD, gpD, AC, MajCs,

    6. N, gpD, O, G, A, MinCs, V, swD, gpD, AC,

    MajCs

    7. MajCs, O, (V,G - loop), MinCs, G, AC, MajCs

    8. MajCs

    9. Macro Goal

  • Integrated Narrative and Gameplay Structure

    17

    • The coding system utilized documents the way narrative and gameplay components are

    combined with each pearl in narrative architecture.

    • This integrated system forms the “framework of immersion”, which embodies all the elements

    in the chapter and the entire game, thereby, giving the player the choice to utilize various

    mechanics to reach the goals.

    • In the research conducted, it was understood that the player is given a constricted goal-

    guided linearly built world, where the player gets an ‘illusion of a open-world scenario’. If

    immersion is achieved properly (by minimizing the Ludo-narrative dissonance), it will induce

    ‘repeatability’ in audience.

  • References

    18

    [1]Oecd.org, 2019. [Online]. Available: http://www.oecd.org/education/ceri/39414829.pdf. [Accessed: 15- Oct- 2019].

    [2]Pdfs.semanticscholar.org, 2019. [Online]. Available: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/16d8/5efe47da804e9be1dbd99fed5d389a76fbb2.pdf. [Accessed: 15- Oct- 2019].

    [3] https://ayakhan.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/the-4-act-strucutre/

    [4] "Following A Four Act Structure: How To Keep It Fresh", Medium, 2019. [Online]. Available: https://medium.com/@miamanns/following-a-four-act-structure-how-to-keep-it-

    fresh-b0a454a92575. [Accessed: 01- Oct- 2019].

    [5]"Speech Act Theory: Definition and Examples", ThoughtCo, 2019. [Online]. Available: https://www.thoughtco.com/speech-act-theory-1691986. [Accessed: 15- Oct- 2019].

    [6] Järvinen, A. (2008). Games without Frontiers: Theories and Methods for Game Studies and Design (Doctoral dissertation). Tampere University Press.

    [7] K. Salen , K. S. Tekinbaş, E. Zimmerman, “Rules of play: Game design fundamentals”, MIT press, 2004.

    [8]