Cycle 3 Activity 2: Game Look and Feel

Having Sam as the primary target audience of the prototype, the game’s aesthetic will be based on his preferences and gaming background. Sticking with studio player experience goal which is stated in the quote below, and looking at Sam as the youth who is actively engaged to catch pokemons outside, the mood of the game prototype is made to be cheerful, happy, optimistic, excitement, and energetic. The style of the game will mainly be based on his favourite game PokemonGo, which appears to be cartoonish, colorful, and have many tiny characters.

Players will feel a sense of excitement and tension navigating around obstacles using their reflexes and agility

Style and Mood of the Game

Mood: Cheerful, Happy, Optimistic, Excitement, Energetic
Style: PokemonGo (Cartoonish, Colorful, Tiny Characters)

Fundamental Shape Structures

A post by Chris Solarski in Gamasutra relating to the aesthetics of game art and game design has given insights that most people grew up bringing the aesthetic concepts of the world around them by many senses. [1] Through sense of touch to the textures, people tend to automatically generate a mental to visually assess objects through their shapes to define the characteristics. In addition, people also generate that automatic visual assessment through sensing how different shapes respond differently to certain condition, for example cubes tend to stay balance in the table when it is shaken, but spheres will roll. So, people perceive the characteristics of each object based on its shape’s dynamics and attributes.

It is stated in the blog that circle represents innocence, youth, energy, and feminity. Cheese and Crackers is a game that is developed to bring excitement and some tension feeling to the studio’s selected player demographics. Sam, is a 12 years old boy that enjoy games that is friendly and less-punishing, and therefore characters that are designed from circle will psychologically satisfy his needs. The team decided to use circle shapes as the design foundation in this game to bring aesthetics feeling of non-aggressiveness and friendliness. The main character will be in a form of a ball which can only roll and jump, while the environment would be also made circle to create a harmony. The enemy characters, mousetraps, cheese and crackers would be designed using circle shape as the base to illustrate that they are less harmful and less punishing.

Spatial Dimensions, Size, and Boundary

Cheese and Crackers will be made in a 2.5D side scroller game environment. The boundary of the entire game world will generally be designed to be within a small rectangle, but still big enough for the player to move around and perform some jumps. The game scale requires scaling as long as it makes a clear sense to the players, but it does not necessarily to completely reflect the exact size.

The picture below illustrates how the game world of Cheese and Crackers is bounded.

Game Setting

The background of Cheese and Crackers is that player will play as a mouse who is under certain experiments in the lab to test how agile he is to collect crackers and cheese when is put inside a ball. The game setting is based on the future lab’s experiment box, which contains many metal platforms, pipes and panels that create a maze for the mouse. Most of the furnishings will depict sci-fi theme to bring the futuristic look of the world, which can be metal boxes, portals, metal buttons, etc. The only character in the game is the mouse in a ball which shows friendliness, unharmfulness, and quick-wittedness. The sound effects and background music will be made friendly and cartoonish to reflect the visual style of the game. The game will also display the score board under the experiment result background showing how many crackers players managed to collect. This is one insidious trend in modern game direction to convince players that a meaningless action (collecting the crackers) is meaningful by giving a psychological reward. [2] Human naturally likes to win, and when they have accomplished something, they want rewards. Showing a score board with a number of crackers players have managed to collect will give players a sense of achievements, which they crave.

Representation

 The Character The Cheese

 The Crackers The Mousetrap

Target Audience Analysis

The studio team believe that Sam, a twelve years old boy who played Mario Carts as his first game, is a long time fan of Minecraft and spent a lot of time playing PokemonGo with his parents, would love the Cheese and Crackers game prototype’s look and feel. Such designs that applies an appropriate metaphor to the game would not necessarily change how the game would function, or modify any contexts of the prototype. [3] With a game mechanic that reflects excitement and moment of tensions, the characters appearance and the world design can be made suitable to what Sam really likes. Looking at Mario Carts, Minecraft and PokemonGo, the game contexts show innocence, friendliness, and youth. Refering back to shape structures, Cheese and Crackers would be designed to be based on circle shape structure, which would best represent those elements shown in Sam’s favourite games. The mouse in the prototype would also be designed to be tiny and cartoonish, just as the characters in any of Sam’s favourite games. Moreover, the achievement score board look and feel will reflect collection and reward system which Sam is really interested in.

References

  1. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/185676/the_aesthetics_of_game_art_and_.php?print=1
  2. http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/DaveWilliams/20131030/202147/Designing_the_Design_the_Semiotics_of_Choice.php
  3. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/130734/game_feel_the_secret_ingredient.php?print=1
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One thought on “Cycle 3 Activity 2: Game Look and Feel

  1. csolarski

    Hi there! Very happy to find my shape concepts are useful for your project’s development. Not wishing to sound like salesman, I thought you may be interested to hear that I recently published a new book titled, ‘Interactive Stories and Video Game Art,’ which significantly evolves the concept of dynamic composition with the addition of storytelling techniques specifically for games. Either way, thanks for taking an interest in my work!

    Like

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