Before you could fight dragons, sail the seven seas, experience war, or transport yourself to another world in the comfort of your living room, there were amusement arcade games, one of the biggest successes in 1970s and 1980s pop culture.Rebecca Northfield
The basics of starting a search can sometimes be a bit complicated, either because you don’t know where to start or you don’t know WHAT to look for, because you’re not clear.
I have to choose a design principle that we have worked on before, take 1 set Retro Arcade and another Classic adventure. And look for that design principle in these games. And compare their meaning.
After looking for information about them I have to do it with my own, My Restro game, and my Story Game.
After a while, and take a look at WorkShop 0003 Design Principles , I discovered that a principle was missing in it! Rhythm! Somehow I forget to write it in my homework… I think this is a se;ar to dedicate more time to this principle, so my Research will be based on…
How to get player’s attention
we must not confuse: immersion and attention.
An immersive game makes you feel like you’re there, but the attention makes you want to be there. So our goal is attention, but… how do we get this attention? The two most vital aspects to keep in mind to achieve this goal are to have a good flowchart and to properly follow the design structures of our game.
Which Game to Choose!
After dedicating a few hours to the search of which game I would like to do the research, I have not found yet a clear objective, nevertheless I have learned enough about the history of the retro games and of the coin-operated Games.
Everything started with the creation of a Submarine Emulator.
This is when American businessmen Martin Bromley, Irving Bromberg and James Humpert formed Standard Games (now Sega) in Hawaii and made coin-operated amusement machines for US military bases.
It is said that from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s was the “golden age” of arcade games, when this type of entertainment was a superpower in popular culture. Space Invaders (1978), Vector-based Asteroids (1979) and Pac-Man (1980) were the highlights of this period.
I’ve read about different old titles, classic arcade, I’ve been watching Game Plays videos, and reading a bit about their History, creative process… But I couldn’t decide for any of them. Among the ones I’ve been reading are. Dungeon Master, Labyrinth: The Computer Game, Space Invaders, Tron, and Lemmings.
As principle of the design that I have chosen is the Rhythm, observing some of these previous ones, Some of them lack totally of it as it is the Case of Dungeon Master and Labyrinth. Where I suppose that for the time would be a novelty and quite entertaining when developing an interactive story, but on the other hand I think they could have made more effort in the sound, or some music to accompany the game. Honestly I saw the GamePlays of these previous directly I was sleeping.
On the other hand I’ve been looking at Tron, This however regarding sound and rhythm has enough. Although, from my point of view, it seems to me a little garbage and an attempt by Disney to make money from different sides. A game with 4 apparently meaningless minigames based on the movie. Anyway, I didn’t want to dedicate any more time to it. I didn’t like it.
So I finally decided on Space Invaders and The Lemmings.
Rhythm on Space Invaders and Lemmings
In space invader I feel like I have to be playing, I have to be attentive, the game keeps me there. The movement patterns of the invaders keep the attention, a rhythm, that the player can foresee after having played for a while. The sound also accompanies it, which helps with the immersion. There is action! Reflexes!
As we kill the invaders, their speed will increase, making reaching phase 5 quite complicated. It’s a classic to be left with just one invader, who goes from corner to corner watching as you miss shot after shot and is gaining ground, something that coupled with the music of the game, creates an atmosphere of increasing anguish at all times. Perhaps, to say music is to say too much, because during the whole game we only hear four tones that are repeated again and again, and faster each time.
What causes ships to go down faster was produced by a glitch but it was kept because the programmer considered it “made the game more interesting”.
The success of this video game is legendary, in Japan there began to be a great shortage of coins, since they were used in video game rooms. The government had to increase the number of coins to cope with the emergency.
In Lemming, the rhythm of the game is also managed very well, they use music to accompany the movement of the Sprites. The lemings when activated always go to the rhythm of the music.
Both games try to combine the Elapsed Time, with the movement of the sprites and the Sound. It is obvious that no matter how good a game is, if it doesn’t have rhythm, it gets tired and boring before. It is more difficult to submerge in it.
My Own Games
Umai and Roots
In my games, both in Maze and in the story, I think the rhythm is conspicuous by its absence… Maybe the game Umai has more rhythm thanks to the Sounds, the direct interaction with enemies, the deaths and the coins. I tried to give it some more life also with the music but, somehow, I have the feeling that they are not in harmony. I feel that they are not really synchronized music/movement/effects. I don’t know exactly how I could do that to synchronize them in a more accurate way.
I finally found a solution! speedup the BPM of the song! And that’s it!
Although for being the first game I have to say that I am quite happy with the pace of the game. I would also have to put more levels and movements to our enemies for a bigger immersion. The first music is hidden, and you only discover it if you press a specific button. So only the curious will be able to hear music and discover the story!
On the other hand my game StoryTelling (Roots), totally lacks Ritmo, was not created for it. I honestly didn’t think about any of the principles of design when developing it. I focused more on trying to create a story and learn a little how to play with the possibilities that Twine gave me. That the story would follow a flow… so to speak… organic! I think that if the interactive stories, just text, must have a lot of rhythm that must come from the Narration because clearly the player if you do not sleep … You should play several times and see at what points the time feels slow, or in which places there is too much information followed and try to split it into steps that make the player think and interact more.
All this research has made me see how the world of video games emerged and how they have evolved in so many aspects. Video games have changed a lot until today. But in a certain way They are attempting to get back to what happened in the days of the Coin-Games. Play for micro payments. In the past it was done mechanically and now little by little the same, but in a virtual way. It is ironic.
Regarding the principle of the design I have chosen, I feel from my point of view, which is one of the most important. It may be that other design principles are not so well used, if your game has rhythm! Will have attention!
And finally I want to share a Retro game that I have found looking for the concept of Rhythm in video games in which you only have to press a button to follow the Rhythm of different songs!
One Button Game about Rhythm
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Gamesupm.com. (2019). Seminario sobre la estructura y ritmo en el videojuego. [online]
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