Meaningful play 2014 chris yap slides pd fv_01

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(Presented at the International Academic Conference on Meaningful Play 2014, Michigan State Univ. Oct 17, 2014) The concept of emergence--that a certain thing may emerge from several distinct (and not necessarily related) parts, which is different, larger in scope, and mostly originally unintended or expected--exists in many fields such as Philosophy, Information Science, and biology. With respect to the modern video game, emergence can potentially manifest as emergent narrative and/or emergent gameplay. Furthermore, emergence in games can potentially manifest through true technological, procedurally-generated gameplay and/or a game design which encourages emergence from the game elements within the mind of the player. In this paper, we engage in a critical discussion about what it means for an interactive video game to have emergence. Firstly, we will be briefly discussing what emergence means to other scientific disciplines, and in doing so delineate specifically how we will be using the term "Emergent" in reference to interactive video games. We then frame the discussion of Emergence in games by considering a range of recent video game examples, and a close critical look at the indie games Papers, Please and Gone Home. From these analyses, we propose a concept of "Player-side emergence in games," in which emergence in the form of narrative is expressible and observable in games as the result of the current technological capabilities of games, which relies not on the game software itself, but rather upon the complex system of the human mind for reconstruction of the game experience and a subsequent expression of emergence. In this proposed concept, the constituent narrative pieces offered by a game can be expressed emergently as a unified, overall game narrative experience by the player mind. Based on this concept, we propose that emergence in a game need not wait or rely upon the advent of a truly, technology-based procedurally-generated platform, but rather can be an expression of player-side experiential reconstruction. We conclude that emergent narrative between video game and player can manifest so long as a human player can be encouraged via the game's mechanics towards an overall narrative reconstruction whose blueprint does not wholly originate from the source game, and we also contend that such an emergent design consideration can be potentially useful for designers who are trying to deal with the trade-off of Ludo-Narrative Dissonance in their games.

Text of Meaningful play 2014 chris yap slides pd fv_01

  • 1. Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games: Between Hardcoded Software and the Human Mind in Papers, Please and Gone HomeChristopher Michael YapYouki KadobayashiSuguru YamaguchiNara Institute of Science and TechnologyMeaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.

2. 2AcknowledgementsC. YapConceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive GamesMeaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.This research has been crowdfunded on IndieGoGohttp://igg.me/at/gamestudies/x/8379762 3. 3C. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.Alessandro Arena-DerosaTom BlessingtonAmar HusejicDan ParedesLuiz SampaioDr. Daisuke MiyamotoKevin NelsonJason BaguioIimura TakujiJon HoodPrometheusAnthony GalloMajor Contributors to Video Game StudiesThe Patriots! 4. OutlineC. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.41.What is emergence?2.How might emergence occur in games?3.Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence1.Papers, Please2.Gone Home4.Discussion5.Conclusion 5. emergence is the idea that a surprising and novel thing can "emerge" from a complex system1. What is Emergence?5C. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.Results often do not exhibit those characteristicsResults difficult to predictComputer ScienceBiologyPhilosophy 6. Biological example of the concept of emergence:1. Whats Emergence?6C. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014. 7. sufficiently- wide state spacesufficiently- intricate; many moving partsKey Factors for emergence1. Whats Emergence?7C. YapConceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive GamesMeaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.ComplexityAmbiguous Design 8. 8C. YapConceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive GamesMeaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.2. How might emergence occur in games?Two non-mutually-exclusive approaches TechArtificialIntelligenceProcedural Generation DesignAmbiguityNon- interference 9. 9C. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.2. How might emergence occur in games?Tech Approach:Graphical PhotorealismComputer Dungeon MasterWere not there yetWeve come pretty close, but arguably game innovation stagnates 10. 10C. YapConceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive GamesMeaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.2. How might emergence occur in games?Design Approach:Indicate/guide player indirectlySleight of handCurrent examples indicate that a kind of emergent experience can still be rendered 11. 11C. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.3. Conceptualizing Player-side EmergenceKey factors for emergence in gamessufficiently- wide state spacesufficiently- intricate; many moving partsComplexityAmbiguous DesignFixed elements from the game software:CharactersEventsAudio/visualArrangement of elements to indicate or suggest an experience or interpretation 12. 12C. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.3. Conceptualizing Player-side EmergenceThe need for a complex system:Emergence is encouraged if the system is complex.Current Industry tech cannot render emergence in the essential senseThrough careful balance of tech and design, we can invoke another system, extraneous to the game software 13. 13C. YapConceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive GamesMeaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.3. Conceptualizing Player-side EmergenceI can do that!Invoke a complex system, extraneous to the game software 14. 14C. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.3. Conceptualizing Player-side EmergenceThe brain is always looking for patterns 15. 15C. YapConceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive GamesMeaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.3. Conceptualizing Player-side EmergenceSometimes the brain contextualizes things for you 16. 16C. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.3. Conceptualizing Player-side EmergencePlayer-side Emergence Concept:Game Elements + Ambiguous DesignSoftware-sideEmergent ExperiencePlayer-side 17. 17C. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.3.1 Player-side Emergence in Papers, PleaseLucas Pope 2013 (PC)Paperwork SimulatorHighly-acclaimedInteractions are morally-implicitEffects/Outcomes are stated as simple facts with little to no emotional indication 18. 18C. YapConceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive GamesMeaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.3.1 Player-side Emergence in Papers, Please 19. 19C. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.3.1 Player-side Emergence in Papers, Please 20. 20C. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.3.2 Player-side Emergence in Gone HomeThe Fullbright Company2013 (PC)Story ExplorationHighly-acclaimedExplore an empty housefind out where your sister wentStory construction is free-form, but the end is unified 21. 21C. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.3.2 Player-side Emergence in Gone Home 22. 22C. YapConceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive GamesMeaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.3.2 Player-side Emergence in Gone Home 23. 23C. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.3.2 Player-side Emergence in Gone Home 24. 24C. YapConceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive GamesMeaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.3.1 Player-side Emergence in Gone Home 25. 25BUT,The game is not a horror story.Rather, this is how the game encourages/suggests the construction/interpretation of its narrativeEmpty HouseGhost StoryBloody BathtubHorror Story3.2 Player-side Emergence in Gone Home 26. Player-side emergence, as a design consideration/principle, can potentially be helpful in addressing Ludo-Narrative DissonanceAllows the players own mind to account for discrepancies in mechanics and narrativeDesigning towards Player-side emergence also allows players to interpret centralized, directed/embedded game narratives with their own subjective tones/inflections264. Discussion (1)C. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014. 27. However, the balance between reliance on tech vs. reliance on design, as well as the degree to which designers can be ambiguous with their designs while retaining the integrity of the overall gaming experience is still being investigated in terms of Player-side emergence.As games become increasingly more sophisticated, immersive, and interactive, considerations for Player-side emergence will also change significantly.274. Discussion (2)C. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014. 28. The examples of Gone Home and Papers, Please show that a kind of Player-side Emergence which invokes the complex system of the player mind to render the emergence can be crafted utilizing current technology if the design space is sufficiently ambiguous and the contextual direction is effective.Future work:Test and select an appropriate theoretical framework for this conceptAnalyze other games to see how this concept applies/doesnt apply (ARGs)Devise and experiment with ways to both observe and show Player-side emergence in action285. ConclusionC. Yap Conceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive Games Meaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014. 29. 29Lets talksmartbad@gmail.comhttps://www.facebook.com/smartbad80@Smart_BadC. YapConceptualizing Player-side Emergence in Interactive GamesMeaningful Play 2014, Oct. 17th, 2014.www.chris-yap.com