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Old 09-21-2008, 02:12 PM   #1
SoApBoX
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Default The basic fundamentals of a game

Hey,

I've been curious about something for a very long time and I needed it answered. What, exactly, makes up a game? What are the elements of a game? I remember reading an article awhile back showing a really in-depth look at how to analyze and create the basis for level designs, but I don't remember where it is. I've made it both a personal and external goal to figure this out because I plan to go into the industry when I'm older(I'm 16 right now).

I'm a level designer working on a 3D Sonic game called Sonic Revolution, which is gaining some popularity but is still in early development. I need to make a first level by October the 1st and I've had awhile to do it, but never could really nail it. I've also tried to figure out some techniques in my head, but they weren't really as effective as I hoped they would be.

Can someone help me out, please? Thank you.
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:30 PM   #2
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Wow, 40 views and no replies >_>
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:12 PM   #3
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Well, to put it simply, that is because I have a hard time understanding what you are saying.
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:23 PM   #4
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I'm not sure if you're asking about level design in particular, or if you're trying to determine the elements of game design in general, or the elements of game development in general. Each topic has a very wide scope.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:00 PM   #5
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Yeah, sorry, I guess I wasn't very specific there. I'm having a difficult time explaining this, and yeah, I haven't replied to this in over a month. Guess I forgot about it, but let's see if I can put my question better this time...

What makes a video game a video game? They're not like toys where you simply just play with them a little and get a short hitch out of them...games require a goal to reach, obstacles that you must face as you get there and the way you must interact to do so. I guess this goes under the elements of game design in particular, but my problem is trying to make a working formula out of it.

So far, I've come up with a formula, but only take it with a grain of salt because it may confuse you. It consists of "Interaction, Obstacle, Goal". Take for example, Ping Pong. The goal would be getting the dot into the opposite side of the screen, the interaction would be the bar(s) you move up and down and the obstacle would be the other bar moving up and down trying to make you lose. It's not a very sufficient system because it doesn't seem to have a wide and universal way to apply to many other games(or I may just not know how), but it still seems to have a little ground to it, regardless.

I'm dying to find a more well developed formula than mine out there which would explain this in greater detail, and this site seems to be a good target. If I'm still not making any sense, just tell me, but please help me out here

Last edited by SoApBoX : 10-22-2008 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:14 PM   #6
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http://phillips.personal.nccu.edu.tw/games/nowords.html
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:04 AM   #7
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If you read Raph Koster's book "A Theory of Fun", I believe he compares games to the ability of humans to recognise and manipulate patterns (amoung others).
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Old 10-30-2008, 03:28 PM   #8
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According to "Rules of play", a game is a system in which a player engages in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome.

It really is a great book, I highly suggest you pick it up if you'r interested in game design theology.
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:15 PM   #9
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Thanks, guys. I appreciate the help.

But if I had to pick one book, which one should I really pick? "A Theory of Fun" and "Rules of Play" I've both heard of, but I don't know what one I need to pick.
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Old 11-01-2008, 07:39 PM   #10
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Rules of Play is the first game design book I'm reading and I'm about 100 of 600 pages in. I really can't think of anything negative to say about it but if you do decide to pick it up, be aware of the fact that it is not under any cirumstance a "how to" book.
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