I spent part of the second day of the DiGRA conference madly dashing between sessions in a futile attempt to catch all that I found interesting. The notes I took in the sessions I only heard parts of doesn’t make sense to me, but I post them here anyway, giving into my obsessive documentalist side and in the unrealistic hope they may make sense to someone else.
Petri Lankoski and Staffan Björk:
Gameplay Design Patterns for Believable Non-Player Characters
Pattern example //photo
Emotional Attachment. An example from the paper.
//sentiment. Must remember to ref this.
Conclusion: different games need different stuff.
Jose Zagal: but believable characters and narrative?
Guy in green t-shirt: prioritising of goals for NPCs? Could take oblivion and add that, see what happen?
Petri: hmm. Events in past doesn’t affect the NPCs in oblivion.
Green: annoying they don’t have individual memory of player.
Staffan: we looked at the shopkeepers in the different games and also looked at what they didn’t do.
//….session clashed with:
Deborah A. Fields and Yasmin B. Kafai:
Stealing from Grandma or Generating Cultural Knowledge? Contestations and Effects of Cheats in a Tween Virtual World
//loved the title’s ref to Turkle’s stuff, but only saw a few minutes of the end of the QA.
Martin Pichlmair and Fares Kayali
Levels of Sound: On the Principles of Interactivity in Music Video Games
//missed largest part of the talk again.
Lots of games based on music, ddr, guitarhero singstar, various DS games. The guitar hero controller. Not about making music, rather letting the music continue. Guitar freaks (Japanese original). Synaesthesia. Kandinsky. Electroplankton.
Real-Time Sweetspot: The Multiple Meanings of Game Company Playtests
QA //I missed out the actual talk
Q: differences in the testing of single-and multiplayer?
SN: in the sweet spot test there were to teams of four.
Q: one can read it in two ways. Using it as part of game design, and also demonstration to publishers marketers etc. Designer might want to keep it private in certain stages.
SN: There is definitely that kind of tension. Big awareness about this. Scepticism of the rating of the success of the test.
TL Taylor: you said testing facilities were moved off site: effects?
SN: security issue, good question, not sure.
Clara: What about focus tests, other kinds of test? What about testing levels, smaller tests?
SN: no in-house test except everyone playing it.
Q: what perspective did the designers have on the play testers? Did they tell the players what to look for?
SN: testing now in this company’s culture. Didn’t tell the testers, just listening. New for them.
William Huber: Unit values, behaviours, was the UI fixed after this testing?
SN: they had it quite far at the test for the level, almost finished, more a test bed for trying the other features. No big changes in UI. No deliberate usability testing.
Q: Other genres of play testing? The halo 3 play testing. Millions into it. And players saying its “too tested”.
Panel Session : Women in Games 2007
Suzanne de Castell, Jennifer Jenson, Helen W. Kennedy, Doris C. Rusch, Marianne Selsjord, Emma Westecott
// I missed out the presentations but heard the discussion.
Emma W: Future directions?
Jennifer Jenson: What happens if we don’t ask what women and girls want? What if we do it in another way? Players constrained by work, family regulations? Guilty pleasure taking time for playing? Inverse promise?
Helen Kennedy: Emerging now girls do do. Engendered taste. Keyed to understand. Is girls play novice play?
Susanne de Castel: Maybe stop being surprised. A feeling of repetition. What prosthetic devices to use to see world differently. Leftoutness. Trap.
Marianne Selsjord. Both men and women. Share same future. Concerning aesthetics. The trend of production in same aesthetics. TV show were discussion was that the more realistic characters are, the more zombie like that Are: aerie, corpses. Now to make people cry, to really feel. Only emotions fear and aggression. What about sympathy and love? Maybe an awakening now?
Barry: as a father of daughters. Not the male gamer I used to be. To what extent has the industry surprised us? Particularly Nintendo. No need to say what if anymore.
Jennifer Jenson: Tournament, girls playing with boys, girl outplayed the boys on guitar hero. The controller made it possible.
Susanne de Castell: Jenkins said digital games more important since we don’t have the space. The 50 hour games not available for girls that are constantly interrupted and don’t have the option to say no.
Emma W: play of a lifetime. Times, as when adolescent. Patterns in lifetime, generational difference.
Q: if girls and boys play different, how does it apply to you and your work?
JJ: Range of behaviour for cooperation for example. Attributions of novice play.
SdC: configurations depending of year one two three. Not paid enough attention to the conditions of people. Not just how ppl “are”. Different behaviours dependent on conditions.
Celia Pearce: Space, rotation… “girls not good at space” Not what the data says, rather which tasks they prefer in games. Alzheimer’s test on men and women, finding the same thing. Baby boomer gamers. Differences go away after a certain age. Big differences in adolescence, but they lessen.
Emma W: industry efforts to involve women. Women put in positions of power at publishing companies. Wider work force. Attract and retain.
Jason Della Rocca, John Abrehamson, Dylan Cuthbert, Robert Ota Dieterich, Kees Gajentaan, Bart Sekura, Colin Williamson
Male domination in comparison?
- DS has changed a lot. A game for girls and their moms. Team at Sega who makes it is mostly women.
- Going to siggraph and gdc.
- Industry and government. Rating system. Cero. Restrictions on violence.
- Decapitation of limbs. Ninja Gaiden. Soul and body as one.
- Psp konami game…
- Lots of educational titles for the ds.
- Glass ceilings?
- No reward of success, instead punishment of failure.