WorkShop 0006 Research Task

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

Research task

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.

Rhythm


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”.

GamePlay Space Invaders

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.

Conclusions

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
http://rhythmdr.com/presskit/rhythm_doctor/index.html

References

Arcade-history.com. (2019). Space Invaders arcade video game by Taito (1978). [online] Available at: https://www.arcade-history.com/?n=space-invaders&page=detail&id=2537 [Accessed 9 Oct. 2019].

Eandt.theiet.org. (2019). Gaming’s golden age: top 10 retro-vintage arcade classics.[online]
Available at: https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2018/07/gaming-s-golden-age-top-10-retro-vintage-arcade-classics/ [Accessed 9 Oct. 2019].

En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Tron (video game). [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tron_(video_game) [Accessed 9 Oct. 2019].

Gamesupm.com. (2019). Seminario sobre la estructura y ritmo en el videojuego. [online]
Available at: http://www.gamesupm.com/noticias/45/seminario-sobre-la-estructura-y-ritmo-en-el-videojuego.html [Accessed 10 Oct. 2019].

Javalemmings.com. (2019). The Lemmings Story – Part1. [online] Available at: http://www.javalemmings.com/DMA/Lem_1.htm [Accessed 9 Oct. 2019].

Maher, J. (2019). » Dungeon Master, Part 1: The Making of The Digital Antiquarian. [online] Filfre.net. Available at: https://www.filfre.net/2015/12/dungeon-master-part-1-the-making-of/ [Accessed 9 Oct. 2019].

Space-invaders.publijuegos.com. (2019). Space Invaders. Todo sobre el juego clasico Space Invaders.. [online] Available at: http://space-invaders.publijuegos.com/ [Accessed 10 Oct. 2019].

TAITO Corporation. (2019). SPACE INVADERS IS BACK!| TAITO Corporation. [online] Available at: https://www.taito.com/si-attraction [Accessed 10 Oct. 2019].





Workshop 0004 Retro Game Challenge

// From Bomberman To Umai. ^^


I decided to make Bomberman, a game that reminds me of my childhood and was apparently easy to create with the naked eye.

But it turned out to be much more complex than I expected, collision mechanics that don’t work or can’t be done in arcade.makecode.

I felt very frustrated in not having anything solid finished, the basic mechanics of the game I could not create.

Since I didn’t know exactly how to get the exact collisions I used a way to trace my character’s position in real time.

I found on the internet that precisely in arcade.makecode there is a bug, where exactly was my problem. And apparently nobody has been able to solve it. The problem comes from the collision between Sprites(Projectiles) and Tales(Wall). When a Sprite is emitted from the player position, if the player is near Tale(wall), the projectile is not generated. Although the Wall Function is Off.

https://github.com/microsoft/pxt-arcade/issues/1104

Why is this a problem?
Because bomberman has to put bombs close to the walls to break them. but when put close they are not generated.

Another problem I found was how to edit the walls when the explosion touches them.

BreakingNews!

After hours and hours of trying to put the game mechanics to work I have to say that I have surrendered… but here we welcome Umai. A small and intrepid adventurer with a mission!

I created a simple game, in which I distribute the objects through several loops depending on the colors of the Tile map, I have achieved that the player can not jump eternally putting a “If Sprite = Not in wall“, to code because it did not allow me the puzzle.

The function that I have taught the most time I could say that it is “to kill and not be killed” by the puppies.

Simple if to dont permit our character fly.

After all this I think I’ll start to understand better how maps and characters are generated in a game in a more automated way thanks to Loops and Arrays, this way I can generate many different maps with the same material.

And thas also to kill the player if go down the holes in the map, And the Win condition.

Conclusion

As a lesson from this work I have come to the conclusion that not everything is as easy as it seems. And it takes a lot of time and clarity to create a game in a decent and effective way. Sometimes it’s better to change your objective if you’re not solving it than to frustrate yourself in something that will cost you too much time and energy. Equally everything is learned. And I take with me many constructions of learned mechanics.

Workshop 0002 Playtesting

The goal is gather information about the game thats you can not get from your point of view as developer

I have some troubles from the beginin with the homeworks and the posts, so i didnt make this workshop propely. That’s because im goin to remake together with the Retrogame Workshop.

There are the results, while she was playing I could see at first that at first she felt a little frustrated by not getting things easier, but at the same time I have seen how she became more nervous and euphoric as she progressed and achieved more goals.

Questionary

  • Did You have Fun?

Yes of course!

  • Did You understand the rules?

Yes but i had some troubles with controls at first time

  • Did you feel the game was fair?

Close enough

  • It was to hard or too easy?

Seems to be easy but have some hard spots

  • How much time did you feel like you were playing?

15 minutes i think but i wanted to continue more time!

  • What was your strategy?

Try not going so fast and pay attention to gaps!

  • To what extent did you feel like you were in control of the outcome of the game?

I think i had most of control

  • Any suggestions?

More levels please, id like to have enemies in movement and improve of movements of the character, like super mario , having the skill to take any added stuff and win some hability to beat the enemies.


Conclusions

I have to say that from the begining i was thinking that te game is really easy, but when the person started to play. I saw that was harder thats my espectations. I discorvered and Fix diferent Problems also. And she gift me to many ideas that how to improve my game.