VR Game Design & Development Class

The Aesthetics of Play Homework

In class, one of your classmates presented a video on the Aesthetics of Play. For each one (listed below) please come up with one game you know that delivers on that aesthetic. Then explain why that game delivers on that aesthetic in 1-3 sentences. Descriptions cannot just be “because it uses X,” explain yourself fully. In the end you should have 9 bullet points with a game and sentences for each bullet point.

If you want more of an explanation on any of them, you can check out the Extra Credits video linked below.

Note: You may not use any of the examples either of the videos use.

Aesthetics of Play

  • Sense pleasure
  • Fantasy
  • Narrative
  • Challenge
  • Fellowship
  • Competition
  • Discovery
  • Expression
  • Abnegation
VR Game Design & Development Class

Pre-Development Homework

Watch this video and learn about why it’s so important to plan before you begin you start building your game.

Then, think of a game you played that disappointed you in some way:
  • unclear instructions
  • bad pay-off at the end of the story
  • confusing mechanics introduced at the end of the game
Name the game, and talk about what this disappointment was. Then suggest how this could have been fixed in the pre-development phase.
VR Game Design & Development Class

Remember Last Semester?

(Honors refresher assignment.)

Welcome back! It’s time to see if you guys remember anything you learned from last semester! And the best way to show you know something is to teach it! Right? At least I hope that’s what professional game designers think when they see me…

Anyway, select an intro topic all the students in the regular section of the class will need to know and teach it to them. The topics are:

  • Design
    • Elevator Pitches
    • Aesthetics of play
  •  Development
    • Unreal Basics (moving objects, making blueprints, etc.)
    • Prototyping 3D models in unreal
    • Collisions
    • Intro to AI
  • Visual Art
    • Color Theory
    • 3D modeling in blender

You can lecture, do a power point presentation, make a video/animation, or anything else! Cover the topic at sufficient depth, but don’t take more than 20 minutes.

Rough drafts are due on Tuesday (nothing to submit, but we’ll go over them together) and you’ll start presenting on Thursday (although not all of you will go that day).

And have fun with this!

VR Game Design & Development Class

Bartle’s Taxonomy Homework

Pick a game you like and classify what type of player you are according to Bartle’s Taxonomy. Explain why in 2-3 sentences.

If you want a more detailed explanation than what we went over in class, please check out the video below.

Branch about Gamers

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A fun chatbot to help you figure out what type of player you are!

Courtesy of Dr. Joanne Barrett.

VR Game Design & Development Class

Homework 4: Off To The Races!

It’s finally time to start our first project! You were assigned groups today, so talk with your partner this weekend to get 3 unique fleshed out ideas ready for Tuesday. Know what the core play aesthetics each idea will deliver on, and make sure your idea is something you can finish in 2 weeks. No submission needed, but make sure you’re ready to present in class.

Part 2 of your homework is to play a game you’ve never played before! Figure out what core play aesthetics the game tries to delivers on, explain how the game attempts to deliver on those aesthetics, and tell me if you think the game did so effectively (don’t just say it did or didn’t, explain your reasoning). Submissions are due before next class.

VR Game Design & Development Class

Homework 3: Color Palettes

  1. Make 3 color palettes and submit screenshots of them (with the specific hex value for the color).
    1. Use to make them.
  2. Also include written descriptions of your color pallets to explain their purpose in a game and why they look good together (Are they complementary? Are they similar in tone? Are they all a bit washed out like in hollow knight?). Each one must be made for a specific purpose such as…
    1. Setting moods
      1. gloomy
      2. happy
      3. confused
      4. hungry
    2. Specific environments/scenes
      1. Lava (like in Mario)
      2. Underwater
      3. Forrest
      4. The Moon
    3. You can say “because the colors look good” for only one of your palettes.
      1. If you use this as your justification, you must explain why they look good.
  3. Look up examples for inspiration.
    1. Use those research skills we talked about!
  4. Be creative! I don’t want to see everyone doing a happy color palettes that’s just a bunch of yellows.

Grading Rubric:
– 2 point for each of 3 color palettes (6 points total)
– 2 point for each description (6 points)
– 2 points for not using more than one of my examples (2 points)

*As always, half off for late assignments.

VR Game Design & Development Class

Homework 2: Aesthetics Of Play

Due 27 January 2020

  1. Watch the video by Extra Credits ‘Aesthetics of Play – Redefining Genres in Gaming’ (linked below).
  2. Think of a game you enjoy (it can’t be one of the ones referenced in the video or from last class).
  3. List the core play aesthetics of that game and describe why the game delivers on each of those aesthetics.
    1. Descriptions cannot just be “because it uses X,” explain yourself fully.
    2. The game you pick must include 2 or more core play aesthetics.

Superstar Submissions:

The main aesthetics of the game “Snipperclips” on the Nintendo Switch is Fellowship and Sense Pleasure. The game requires you to cooperate with a friend or AI, and you must work together in order to form the right shape, or achieve the goal. It plays on a sense of togetherness with a friend, since you have to discuss with that friend while you are playing the game because it is a puzzle game. It also plays on Sense Pleasure, because the graphics of the game are unique in that they are shaped like paper and are cute and have faces on them. The cute expressions on the characters keep you coming back to replay the game because it’s fun making the characters make different faces.

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild’s core game aesthetics are fantasy, discovery, and narrative. Link is a brave knight trying to rescue Princess Zelda from the great threat known as Calamity Gannon in order to save Hyrule from destruction. That definitely isn’t something that happens in our everyday lives. And with all the amazing races and environments to explore, it makes it feel that much more immersive. That leads to the discovery. I can’t even begin to list the enormous amount of freedom and experimentation in this game. For example, using the boulder damaging mechanic and mixing it with the time freezing mechanic, I was able to launch a boulder at monsters in order to clear a path. And the exploration mechanics also tie into the narrative. Discovering new villages, items, and NPCs help show you a bigger picture of the situation that you are in. You can see how the people of Hyrule feel about the dark presence, and how it now affects their everyday lives. Traveling also allows you to discover secret cutscenes that explain the events that lead to the Calamity Gannon awakening. I felt emotionally invested into this world and story, and it drove me to keep on playing and see what else I could discover in this massive map full of magic and adventure.

VR Game Design & Development Class

Homework 1: Video Game Ideas

Due 16 January 2020

Think of 3 distinct (very different from each other) ideas for video games that you and your partner could flesh out for the pre-development assignment on Thursday. These do not have to be VR game ideas.

You must submit your 3 ideas before class on Thursday. The assignment closes at 10:40am. You need these ideas to do your work in class.

Each idea must include a 3 sentence description. You need to submit a total of 9 sentences to me. No more, no less. In game design you must give thorough descriptions without being too word-y.