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Games Design @ Hull School of Art and Design

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December 2016

Game Theory – 1.3 – Flow Within Games – PC Games

For three of our game theory lessons we have been split into groups of three. Each group will spend one lesson playing either board games, PC games or console games then in the next lesson the groups will swap roles. My group is listed below along with a link to their blog:

Kelly-Ann Bright: https://brightkellyann.wordpress.com/

Laura Skipworth: https://queenavorwordpresscom.wordpress.com/

Harry Javan: https://harryjavan.wordpress.com/

Mark George: https://markgeorge26.wordpress.com/

Our group played PC games first.

DinoRun played by Kelly-Ann

Kelly-Ann played a game called DinoRun  which is in fact a game that was made purely to entertain computer users when their internet is either being slow or not responding. The game is really fun and addictive and gets it game mechanics from games retro arcade games in the fact of avoiding enemies and objects as your character runs. The game features a dinosaur in which you press the space bar to make him jump; the dinosaur runs automatically (all you need to do is jump to avoid things). Also the art style is very simple and computer based, it looks 8 bit.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was the founder of Flow Theory and when incorporating flow theory into this game I would probably say this game gives you the feeling of either boredom or relaxation. I say boredom because of the repetitiveness of the game and relaxation because of the fact of the game is trying to prevent you from being bored whilst waiting for your internet to load up.

It features Agon (competition) from Roger Callois categories of play however I don’t feel like it features Alea, Illinx or Mimicry.

Also there are no achievements, no violence, no change of environment yet I do believe it could fit into the socializers section of Richard Bartles theory of player types as when trying to get a high score we try to compete and we socialize with others to find out their high score.

Fitting this game into the 8 categories of fun by Marc Leblanc I would say challenge as once the game goes on it can be quite challenging; without this aspect the game would not be able to end and it would get rather boring.

I wouldn’t really say the game relates to Maslows Hierarchy of Needs, however when Kelly played the game she had a sense of love/belonging as she really liked the little cute dinosaur character.

Here is the link to the game, if you have any thoughts or opinions on the matter please feel free to comment below on my blog post: http://apps.thecodepost.org/trex/trex.html

DinoRun.jpg

Pokémon Revolution Online played by Laura

Laura plays a game called ‘Pokemon Revolution Online’ which is a fan made Pokemon Multiplayer Online game in which players can talk to each other, trade Pokemon and battle just like the original Pokemon games.

I would say there is a level of boredom in my opinion yet sometimes a state of flow. The game is rather large and can play different depending on which way you play it and which starter Pokemon you pick; also if you are new to the game it may be rather exciting whereas if you have played the games for so long and collected all of the Pokemon you may be lost with what to do next and therefore get bored. However, many people have found this game to put them in a state of flow as it links in with so many other game theories as seen below.

There is definitely some Agon (competition) when it comes to Pokemon as the game features the chance to collect creature called Pokemon and the more you have means you are a better Pokemon Trainer, Alea (Chance) is also included as you don’t know when or where you will come across a Pokemon. Illinx (Disorientation) could be featured in the game as when in a battle certain attacks can affect your Pokemon and the screen may move or icons may appear above the characters head to show disorientation. Mimicry is another feature as many people like to cosplay as these characters within the game also you get to create your character.

When looking at Richard Bartle’s Player Types I wouldn’t say Killer as a player type within this game as when you are in a battle characters don’t die and there isn’t really much violence; however I would say achiever, socializer and explorer player types can be found playing this game as the game is open world, achievement is when you collect Pokemon or win battles and socializer would be for when players talk to each other and trade.

Looking at the 8 categories of fun I would say all of them fit into this game and that is why this game can easily fit into the theory of flow.

Sensation – The game is so immersive and fun to play.

Fantasy – The Pokemon are fantasy as they don’t exist in real life (however I feel a lot of people wish they did) also the world you play in could exist in real life although it still has its little elements of fantasy throughout the game.

Narrative – There is always a story to be told with the Pokemon games, however I don’t think that narrative is the most important part of the game series as most people just play the game to catch Pokemon and take no interest in the story itself. As well the game has a television series in which narrative is more important.

Challenge – It certainly is a challenge as some areas are not accessible and Pokemon can be hard to find and hard to catch. I find trying to remember everything a task as you need to keep track of your Pokemon health, inventory as well as your tasks and quests.

Fellowship – People who like Pokemon definitely get along as a group. On our course I know that the first year group all get along through their knowledge of Pokemon because they can venture together, battle and trade. It is a great way to add socialization to a game.

Discovery – Within this game you discover items to keep in your inventory for future use, Pokemon is obviously the key point of discovery and also uncovering all of the islands and areas for you to explore. Discovery plays a large part in most games and especially this one.

Expression – The game features expression in the fact that you can prioritize which Pokemon you level up and fight with.

Submission –  The game gives you much freedom and some tasks so simple that you feel relaxed. You can do battles to level up your Pokemon and even do pageants in which you enter your Pokemon for their personality and appearance.

Within Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs I would say that Pokemon could fit in the self-actualisation stage of the hierarchy of needs as there are senses of morality, problem solving and acceptance. A lot of players love this game so much that they try to bring it to their everyday life and now they can with the Pokemon Go app.

Operant Conditioning is within this game as when the player achieves something they gain positive reinforcement as they get XP (experience points). When they lose a battle they can’t use downed Pokemon which would be negative reinforcement.

Here is the link for this game: https://pokemon-revolution-online.net/

pokemon-revolution-online-001pokemon-revolution-online-002

Happy Wheels played by Harry Javan

This game was very popular when it came out especially as a youtuber (known to be quite famous now) named Pewdiepie advertised the game even more by posting a gameplay video. The game is most popular for its funny ragdoll features and chance for creation.

I think the game differs depending on the environment and the character as some characters drive different vehicles which may have different effects such as driving faster or being bulky to get past obstacles. I played the game and felt a sense of boredom as the game doesn’t always work successfully. Some of the games have been made by other players. At times I felt anxiety because I knew what I had to do but I just couldn’t do it and had to restart the level all the way back to the beginning.

There is Agon (competition) within this game as your task is to get to the end of the level and some do better than others, we then get competitive and try to complete as many levels as possible. There isn’t any Alea (chance), Illinx (Disorientation) or Mimicry.

I believe that all player types are mentioned as there is a lot of cartoon gore as your player and even NPC’s can die gruesome deaths (Killer), Achiever is when the player completes a level, socializers is when players make gameplay videos and socialize with members of the public to give feedback on the levels and explorers is testing out all of the given levels.

I feel that out of all of the categories of fun there are only two that fit with this game. These categories are Challenge and Discovery. The main reason people play this game is to discover all of the levels. To discover the levels you have to get to the end to see what happens. This makes this tough though as the challenge can be highly difficult.

I feel that the hierarchy of needs comes into place when safety is involved. A lot of the game is based on morals, some of the characters are elderly or children and when a challenge is failed they an die a gruesome death, some question if it is morally wrong to place this game.

The game features a lot of positive and negative reinforcement. When in a level you might replay it lots of times just to succeed and get to the end, positive and negative reinforcement help us get to the end for example if you was to fall down a hole you would replay the level and jump over that hole.

Here is the game if you want to play it. Please again feel free to give any feedback you have down in the comments below: http://www.totaljerkface.com/happy_wheels.tjf

Image result for happy wheels gameplay

League of Legends played by Mark George

This game is a top down game in which you create a team, fight and level up. As a team you compete in battles that can last over an hour and complete objectives and achievements. The game competes against the World of Warcraft franchise as they have their similarities.

I have never played the game as even though it is free there are so many add-ons that are in need of getting to make the game interesting. I’m not much of a PC gamer but I know that a lot of people get into so much flow that they will play the game continuously for hours. It goes to show that being in a state of flow can be dangerous as there has been numerous reports of people getting injured and even death has occurred due to too much gaming. One guy had a heart attack from lack of sleep, food and water as well as gaining stress throughout gaming also another person passed away after completing a gaming marathon due to a blood clot. Although gaming may not be the main cause it still contributes when you play games way too much. (Read the full article here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/man-dies-after-playing-league-747660)

These categories of play fit into this game as Agon (competition) is obviously the battles that take place, Alea (Chance) the items you come across and the enemies you meet, Illinx (Disorientation) isn’t in the game as far as I know but Mimicry is a large part of this franchise as many people choose to cosplay as characters from the game.

All player types work with the game as you kill enemies, achieve objectives, socialise with other players and explore an immersive world.

The game features most of the categories of fun including sensation, fantasy, challenge, fellowship, discovery, expression and submission, however I’m not too sure on the narrative but it is known to have characters that have a great character background to make the game even more immersive.

To sign up to the game ‘League of Legends’ follow this link: https://signup.euw.leagueoflegends.com/en/signup/index?ref=en_uk_goos&gclid=Cj0KEQiAv4jDBRCC1IvzqqDnkYYBEiQA89utoozG0keUVuoFcKZnKN-YEbvuhZI4jxh7e3ksgcecFRwaArxY8P8HAQ&realm_key=euw

Image result for league of legends

Life is Strange played by Hannah Bales (Me)

This game is a Role Playing Game and Puzzle Game. You play as a girl named Max Caufield (an 18 year old student) who has just arrived back in her home town. She keeps having visions of a storm that is going to happen and doesn’t know what to do. She ends up discovering a power in which she can reverse time ever so slightly to alter actions gone wrong. Throughout this game you have to choose between the rights and wrongs and depict the games true ending.

I find the game quite fun to play as I like to play third person RPG games because you get to relate to the characters and feel all sorts of emotions that your player also feels. The game can be so immersive because when you have the choice of a certain way to end the game you somehow feel a sense of determination in which you feel the need to end the game correctly (even though there can be many endings and possibly no right or wrong answers). There are many characters you get to know and the game also turns into a detective game when you try to uncover different personalities.

I think the game definitely uses Skinners Operant Conditioning as a bad choice could lead to a bad consequence whereas a good option will lead to a good result. Also I feel like the game does appear on the flow theory chart a lot as the game can put you in a state of flow, but you can get bored as it can be quite repetitive, however, we continue to play the game as we are curious to how the game will end and what happens next; this is achieved by the game being made episode by episode.

To play the game login to ‘Steam’ and download it from the ‘Steam Store’.

life-is-strange

Game Theory – Easter Egg

The game theory online brief via the New Media site is very easy to read and understand, however part 2 section 2.4 just says ‘Easter Egg (TBA)’. Today we found out what the easter egg was, our teacher wanted us to act as if he was a client and he delivered us a task to complete within our 3 hour lesson. The task was to create a kiosk to fit a scene created by Doug Chiang, it was required that we design a kiosk that would fit well with the scene, one that would be of relative size and it was recommended that we just design it however we also had the choice to create in 3D also. Below is the image of Doug Chiang’s Spaceship concept art.

doug-chiang

Doug Chiang – Spaceship Cockpit

Image Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/ff/06/62/ff0662e63e717c06d39352ec89d9fa7e.jpg

After looking at this image I did some more research on other concept art within spaceships and I also looked at other work by Doug Chiang.

research-001

Doug Chiang – Star Wars Concept

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/tonyswann12/?redirected=1

research-002

Spaceship Cockpit Design

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/victou/ideas-for-a-spaceship/

research-003

3D Spaceship Concept

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/terrencedrumm/spaceship-interior/

research-004

Alien Spaceship Cockpit Concept

Image Source: http://mhofever.deviantart.com/art/Spaceship-Interior-WIP-153459977

I really like the look of some of these images because of the shapes and the great amount of detail. Also the ones with colour in them look so bright and futuristic. As we were to behave like this was a client project we asked all the questions before the task began and then afterwards no questions could be asked. There was a lot of free rein within this task and after completing the task there was a lot of questions I would have like to have asked, however under the pressure I didn’t have any thoughts. I would have asked questions about colour, shapes and possible use of the kiosk.

After doing the research I started drawing some quick concepts. As shown below.

ideas-sketches-001

Above I mocked up some quick sketches of a computer kiosk thinking about the shapes that were used within Doug Chiang’s concept art. I made the screens square as well as the keyboard and base but then I used pipe work and cylinders as I noticed some pipes and compression systems were amongst the chosen scene. I do like the bottom right image as it is rather neat and square; it would fit nicely within the scene, I also like the way in which the screen is designed on the bottom left side.

ideas-sketches-002

Looking at the last image of research I tried to use that as inspiration for the screen. I created a circle screen, however I wasn’t to certain that it would blend in with the scene. I then decided that instead of making it circle I should make it curved (just like modern television screens are like today), I would like to model a curved screen also as I am fond of the idea. I then thought about desktops and created one in which had different trays and files as an organised kiosk but with this design I thought it would be too bulky. I even looked at a hologram table as the client did say futuristic, however it would be rather large to fit into the spaceship cockpit. I then finally came up with the wheel idea. Looking at Chiang’s work on the Star Wars concepts I liked the one with the wheel so I incooperated that into a computer.

ideas-sketches-003final-design

The computer features a wheel for transport, a block mechanism to stop it from rolling about when on board the ship, springs for comfort, a moveable keyboard and 3 screens for immersion and workspace.

final-design

Above is my final concept with a touch of colour. I would have liked to have added more colour but I didn’t manage my time as well as I could have. I spent a lot of time on concept art which isn’t too much of a bad thing as it provides me with ideas and variety.

I am not happy with my final renders as I struggled to get the lighting right even though I was happy with the final model. I would maybe make the wheel a bit bigger so it was more realistic and I really want to work on my rendering and lighting so I don’t struggle when my hand in dates arrive. Overall I really enjoyed the project as I proved to myself that if I put my mind to it I can get lots o work done within the given time limit.

Game Theory – Feminist Frequency

When viewing videos by Anita Sarkeesian I feel she can be quite biased against games and how they portray women. Although I don’t agree with most things she discusses she does have some valid points of interest so I decided to analyse 2 of her videos.

Video 1 – All the Slender Ladies: Body Diversity in Video Games.

Character Diversity

  • Male characters have many variations in body type whereas female characters always have similar slim figures. E.g. Overwatch, Street Fighter, League of Legends.

“A slender figure with prominent breasts is viewed as the standard design”. – Anita Sarkeesian

Game Examples – Batman Games, Dishonored, Enslaved, Remember Me, Heavenly Sword, Final Fantasy, The 3rd Birthday, The Devil May Cry, SplatterHouse, Dead or Alive Xtreme 2, Lollipop Chainsaw, Blades of Time, Bayonetta, Wet, Star Wars, Primal.

She believes female characters would show more personality if the body types varied.

  • If women do have a different body type it is usually exaggerated. E.g. Fat Princess, Dead Rising.
  • Taking age into consideration, men vary in age – women are usually npc’s and sometimes not important.

Video 2 – Strategic Butt Coverings

  • How camera angles and clothing can alter the way we look at the characters.
  • Game cases /covers. E.g. Wet, Remember Me.
  • Tomb Raider games are third person and show the whole body and clothing which is quite revealing.
  • Batman Arkham City players focus is directed to Catwomens butt due to camera angles and rule of thirds. Catwomen also has revealing, tight clothes and an exaggerated hip sway.
  • During a scene in Enslaved the camera pans down the characters body and views the enemies through the characters legs.
  • Tomb Raider: Underworld – Clip scenes and gameplay camera pivots around butt. similar to Xblades and Lollipop Chainsaw.

Mens Butts hidden with clothing or having no emphasis or definition:

Prince of Persia, Gears of War, Kane & Lynch, Binary Domain, Alan Wake, Assassin’s Creed, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Watchdogs, The Saboteur, The Devil May Cry, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Dantes Inferno, Batman Arkham Series .

Advertisements and game covers: Life is Strange “protagonists butt isn’t emphasized or centralized. The  camera angles work in conjunction with the story so we can identify her as a human being” – Anita Sarkeesian.

 

I do agree with what Anita Sarkeesian has to say with some characters however she only mentions certain games. There are many other games out there that show women in a more realistic fashion especially when looking at games being released now such as the new Tomb Raider that was purposely less over exaggerated as many women complain about how women are portrayed within games.

Interactive Environments and Level Design – Lesson Notes

 

Part 1 – Discuss game interaction within society. E.g. Harry Potter tour, people had tours using tech devices and headphones. Research into levels.

Part 2 – Teamwork – Heritage Project – Split into games design sectors. Research what makes games interesting and history of area. Go to museums and history center etc.

  • Research, presentation sheets/portfolio of all findings via interim presentations, group meeting, shared project management resources and creative blogs.
  • Use the Oculus Rift if possible but also make a secondary output.
  • If you don’t want to use your blog you can create a professional project design document which is expected to be professionally printed and bound, should be 100 pages plus.
  • Paul will manage first Semester.
  • Teams to be split equally. Not joining via friendships. Learn to manage the project, no complaining.
  • Don’t just consider the environment, consider people, vehicles, animals.
  • CreativeSkills.org – Games Designer.
  • Ask 3rd years for advice.

1930’s Queen Victoria Square

1642 Beverly Gate

Games Design Sectors – Research, 3D, Game Engine.

Maritime Museum, Barclay’s Bank, Empty Building/used for music sessions, Cafe Nero, Princes Quay, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull City Hall, Statues.

C.A.T.S – Notes, Ethics (19/09/16)

Semester 3

Ethics Essay = 30%

2 X Seminar Reports

Ethics within the gaming industry

Submit notes from class

Need to reference and have a bibliography

 

Words to think about

  • Good – Having the right or desired qualities.
  • Moral – Concerned with the goodness or badness of human characters or behavior.
  • Ethics – A set of moral principles.

Personal or Society?

Controlled by the church, the state, medical establishment, the law, philosophy, the individual.

Game Theory – Discuss Flow, Categories of Play and Hierarchy of Needs in Relation to your Favourite Game

Introduction

Learning about the theory of flow within our game theory classes we have been tasked with answering the question above. The question requires us to choose our favorite game and discuss it using the methods from Mahaly Csikszentmihalyi, Roger Caillois and Abraham Maslow. My chosen game is Bioshock, for many reasons, I have decided to discuss the game series as a whole as all of the games have reasonable links to these famous theories.

All three of these theories are quite different but yet still share some similarities; these theories are quite unnoticeable whilst playing the game as you start to engage in the state of flow, however, when thinking about each theory it is quite noticeable as you progress further in your chosen game. I believe that some games may not have some features such as vertigo and competition when speaking about the categories of play whereas when talking about the hierarchy of needs it is incredibly difficult to get to the self-actualization stage and only you can know for yourself when you have reached that stage. Also before I knew about flow theory I was unaware of what was keeping me so interested in certain games whereas I had less interest in others.

Flow Theory

“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile” – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/mihaly-csikszentmihalyi/

The quote above really helped me to understand flow theory as you look at the flow theory chart he made you can see that being in the state of flow is when we are truly happy. We are not happy when the challenge is too high as our anxiety becomes a problem and we then start to feel alert as well as stressed, we don’t like to be too skilled as we like a bit of a challenge so that we don’t become bored or depressed. Being in a state of flow is what keeps us interested in playing a game. When we become so immersed in a game that we ignore the world/reality around us. Mahaly Csikszentmihalyi is a pioneer of the scientific study of happiness; when he was younger he was intrigued by a lecture presented by a man by the name of Carl Jung, after World War II Csikszentmihalyi searched for the answer to how people managed to find happiness after the war and what causes happiness so he looked at religion, art and philosophy. When you are in a state of flow you engage with your creativity and you are completely focused on the activity present.

To test this state of flow Csikszentmihalyi used students as test subjects by giving them a beeping device; this device would beep randomly throughout the day and the student would have to record their current state, thoughts and feelings. He discovered that when students became mainly focused on one task they happened to be happy and in a state of flow, whereas when they had no activity and no one to speak to they became bored, relaxed or in a state of worry or anxiety.  This was named the Experience Sampling Study (also known as the beeper study). Csikszentmihalyi was a strong believer of our consciousness being a part of this theory; he thinks that if we learn to control our consciousness that we have more of a chance of being in a state of flow also he believes that power and judgements can have a negative impact on the state of flow. Many people react different to the state of flow; some people are almost always in a state of flow which can depend on religion and their way of life. Buddhism and Taoism are two religions in which feature being at peace and finding enlightenment (also known as being an ‘Autotelic Self’).

Placing Bioshock into the theory of flow chart is my opinion, other people may not enjoy the game for unknown reasons, however, I feel that flow is very opinionated because each person has their own game style and favour other games. I believe that Bioshock is along the top of the flow chart as I can be in a state of flow at times, however, I get very stressed at times because when playing the game on normal difficulty you have unlimited respawns but when you play it on the hardest difficulty you have to start the game again. Flow is dynamic and not static (the state of flow will change). The story is mainly what gets me into a state of flow as it is so mind-blowing and the characters are greatly interesting. Being in flow is amazing as I get to forget about the bad things that may have happened around me in reality and I get to be immersed in an amazing, interactive underwater city. Games that feature fantasy elements allow me to become so interested as it is something we don’t see every day and the environments are incredible to look at. When people get angry in reality they tend to smoke or drink whereas I can play Bioshock and virtually take out my stress by smoking and drinking for health/power and also killing enemies and completing questlines.

Below are some elements of flow from http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/mihaly-csikszentmihalyi/ notice how they all fit perfectly into the Bioshock game (almost as if the game developers did it on purpose).

  1. There are clear goals every step of the way – The game has a slight free roam feature, however the quest lines guide you a lot and there is always a quest to keep you busy.
  2. There is immediate feedback to one’s actions – Once a quest is finished you will get a notification, achievement or story/character interaction.
  3. There is a balance between challenge and skills – Although the game can be quite difficult, having the chance to respawn so frequently gives the player hope and they can keep on trying.
  4. Action and awareness are merged – There are incredible amounts of action within the game and you have to be aware of what is going on so that you can understand the plot and enjoy the game.
  5. Distractions are excluded from consciousness – I ignore reality when playing this game because I need the challenge and skill to be balanced I become completely focused.
  6. There is no worry of failure – I don’t worry about failure because I know I have a chance to respawn close by and maybe collect items I missed previously by respawning to a separate point.

Categories of Play

Roger Caillois has a theory which mentions four categories of play and two types of play. The two types of play are ‘Padia’ and ‘Ludus’; Padia means without rules and Ludus means with rules. To understand this you also have to understand the four categories of play which are ‘Agon’, ‘Alea’, ‘Illinx’ and ‘Mimicry’. Agon is all related to being competitive, over the years most games have been competitive as an example Pong was one of the first games released and trying to beat your friend at that was competitive enough. We play games to win and to be rewarded, as much as we do also play for fun we all would much rather appreciate a game that offers rewards as well as fun. Many game mechanics can make a game competitive such as levels, achievement, reward systems and cascading information. When I have a friend that plays the same game as me we will most likely have a discussion on what level we are currently at or how many achievements have we earned; even when playing a one player game that isn’t supposed to be competitive we still find a way to beat each other at it, such as Skyrim in which I always try to have better armor or weaponry compared to my friends. In my chosen game Bioshock you can go online and compete against other players from around the world in mini games that slightly relate to certain aspects of the game. I also use the difficulty settings as a way to be competitive as it is incredibly difficult on the hardest mode and currently nor me or my friends have completed it on any of the games from the series.

Alea isn’t featured in as many games however when it is in a game it is either really obvious or unnoticeable.  Alea means chance and that means the game will most probably be addictive. When a game features any sort of gambling we still become addicted so it is a great feature. An example would be lottery on Super Mario Party 8 or visiting the casino in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. My chosen game has chance elements when gathering supplies. When hacking vending machines or turrets you have small chances to hack successfully or gain a special bonus during the hack. You can increase the chance of getting a special bonus by enhancing your characters abilities throughout the game.

Illinx is disorientation, dizziness or illusions. I suppose you can talk about this in and out of game as now that we have virtual reality there has been many reports of it causing nausea and illness when played for too long. We also have 4D rides that make us feel like we are in that world. Within games we get many ways of being disorientated, drinking/drugs make the screen go blurry and the character is harder to control, blood on the screen when we are nearly dead can affect our gameplay therefore making our skills weaker in game and reality and even having crazy quest lines such as the Fallout 4 Nuka World expansion in which you can visit a funhouse. In the Bioshock game series I have been disorientated many times. In Bioshock 1 & 2 water pours from the outside in broken areas of the city (as the city is underwater) and when going through this water the screen goes incredibly blurry and the screen has a water effect so that it makes it difficult to see for 2-3 seconds which especially makes it difficult within combat. Bioshock Infinite however is set in a city based in the sky and when jumping from one building to another using a device called the skyhook the vision can become quite blurry because of the fast movement. The effect isn’t as bad in Bioshock Infinite as you can choose how fast to go whereas in the first two Bioshock games it is hard to avoid water at times.

When talking about mimicry within games it can be quite difficult as there is such a range of ways to use this category of play. We see mimicry of games in reality when we go to comic conventions or live action role play conventions as people like to cosplay as their favourite characters. Cosplaying is dressing up as your favourite character in real life, many people have different opinions on this as it can be strange to some extent, however if you really like that character and want to be immersed in a game even further then why not dress as someone you love. I previously cosplayed as Harley Quinn because she is a well-known character and she looks great as well as having such a fun-loving personality. I saw a girl at comic con dressed as a Bioshock character and I loved the outfit so I complimented it and we became friends all just because of the process of mimicry. Mimicry can occur during games, such as when you enter character creation and create someone you want to look like during the gameplay.

Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is made up of five stages and these five stages are split into 3 groups in a pyramid diagram. ‘Physiological Needs’ and ‘Safety Needs’ are both in the Basic Needs group; physiological needs include the need for food, water, shelter, warmth, sleep etc. whereas safety needs explains itself with needing safety and security. ‘Belongingness and Love Needs’ and ‘Esteem Needs’ are in the group named physiological needs. Belongingness and Love Needs are social related whereas Esteem needs are senses of achievement and accomplishment. Finally there is the ‘Self-Actualization Need’ which is in its own group of Self-Fullfilment Needs; this stage is the hardest to reach as it is at the top of the pyramid and consists of gaining full knowledge on your given potential and you as a person.

This hierarchy of needs can relate to reality and in-game just like most of the other possible theories around flow.  When we are in a state of flow (in-game) we can be so immersed in the virtual world that we forget about our everyday life. Some cases around the world have led to malnourishment and lack of sleep due to being so immersed within gameplay that we forgot our own basic needs. When applying basic needs in game you think about your status bars, health, power and other elements such as sleep and weather make effect our playable character. When playing survival games we need to consider our basic needs as our character won’t survive without them. ‘The Long Dark’ is a game set in a cold environment in which the player has to consider how cold the character is as well as focusing on food, water and sleep. ‘The Forest’ game makes the player empty their backpack contents on the ground so they feel more vulnerable towards the enemies when wanting to look at the inventory. My chosen game ‘Bioshock’ has health items and pickups to help the player throughout the game.  The player collects ADAM which is a form of power that can then be spent at a Gatherer’s Garden vending machine, also money can be collected to spend at normal vending machines and consumables are collected throughout the game such as cigarettes, bandages and potato crisps to increase the players health and power.

When playing Bioshock my safety needs are at a high standard. I hack as many robots and turrets as possible to help me survive longer and be my security. Even when a Big Daddy is in the room I know that if a splicer hits him by accident he can kill them for me (a Big Daddy won’t attack me unless I harm him or a little sister). Also when playing the first Bioshock I enjoy having Atlas as my company throughout the beginning of the game just as much as when I play Bioshock Infinite and I have the company of the amazing character Elizabeth who will help to keep me safe as she will throw me first aid kits, salts and ammo when needed. As well as protagonists helping me I also have characters that are nor protagonists or antagonists such as the Big Daddy or Songbird. They will choose to help me depending on how I treat them and how the storyline/ quest falls into place. This then links to belongingness and love needs as the characters are amazingly placed and presented. Elizabeth was one of the first characters to use surround sound, when Elizabeth is behind you it sounds like she is behind you and when she is far away you can’t hear her as much compared to when she is stood right next to you therefore making the character feel even more interactive and making us more immersed in the game. Also making us believe that Big Daddy and Songbird are the antagonists however it turns out that they just seem to be trying to help us or protect others.

Esteem Needs, I feel like I have accomplished the game once it is over. The game is so mind blowing that when you complete it you have to take a deep breath and think about the plot in more detail and depth. I feel a sense of achievement when finishing the game because I can earn a good or bad ending, obviously my aim is to earn the good ending and I then look forward to the game developers possibly making another game. I like earning achievements on this game, even though some can be quite tricky but I am mainly focused on finishing the story and helping the characters that need help to be free. Little sisters and Elizabeth want their freedom and when you complete the game and win their freedom you feel happy.

I am unsure to whether I have reached the full self-actualization, however I feel like I might have touched upon it slightly, when I fully level up a character by the end of a game and feel more confident than I did at the start, that is when I feel I have reached self-actualization. Unlocking all of the achievements and completing the game makes me feel successful and gives me confidence in reality as well because when I first started playing Bioshock I struggled incredibly but the more and more I played it then made me better at first person shooters.

Conclusion

In conclusion I believe that the theories brought forward have such an impact within the gaming world/environment. It was incredibly interesting to learn about and throughout this essay I have definitely been in a state of flow. Although there are other theories that link well with my chosen game I believe these three theorists have so much knowledge on achieving happiness and enlightenment as well as making us aware of the elements that can decrease or affect our state of flow.  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs taught me to keep track of my own needs as well as my in game characters needs, Caillois helped me to understand the four categories of play and how they can keep us immersed or interested in a game and Csikszentmihalyi taught me the theory of flow and how much depth you can go into when talking or even experience such a subject.

 

Images and References

Bioshock.jpg

Source: http://www.globoforce.com/gfblog/2013/happiness-flow-and-how-to-be-a-better-leader/

And my edit via photoshop

AgonAleaIllinxMimicry.jpg

https://dredtabletop.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/callois-and-theorytypes-of-game-players/

HiearchyOfNeeds.jpg

http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

References/Bibliography

http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/mihaly-csikszentmihalyi/

https://www.verywell.com/mihaly-csikszentmihalyi-biography-2795517

http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/Chinese_Customs/taoism_ancestor_worship.htm

http://onlyagame.typepad.com/only_a_game/2006/05/roger_caillois_.html

http://www.psychologistanywhereanytime.com/famous_psychologist_and_psychologists/psychologist_famous_b_f_skinner.htm

http://8kindsoffun.com/

http://gamemasterfel.deviantart.com/journal/Marc-LeBlanc-s-8-Kinds-of-Play-542196982

http://bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/BioShock_Items

Man, Play and Games – Rodger Caillois

Csikszentmihali, M 2002 Flow

 

Interactive Environments and Level Design – Heritage Project – Building Progress/Stages

Firstly our group task was to research Queen Victoria Square, it also just so happened that we could split the work equally by having a building each and one person working on both the statue and the monument. Below is the list in which buildings were designated:

Hannah Bales: Hull City Hall

Kyle Agnew: Maritime Museum

Harry Javan: Currently Vacant Building (in-between Cafe Nero and Barclays Bank)

Sam Akester: Prudential Tower

Matty Britchford: Ferens Art Gallery

Harry Langdon: Punch Hotel

Sam McNeil: Cafe Nero

John Ovington: Statue & Monument

(On a previous blog post I have posted links/directories to my group members personal blogs for their own university projects, from there you can view their progress on this heritage project).

My research is also on my blog however this blog post is going to about my 3D work and the first step in our 3D process was Greyblocking below are a few of my greyblocks:

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My first attempt at the GreyBlock is the model on the left. It is simple and I made it rather quickly. The model on the right is my current model that now differs in size as when we put the first GreyBlock into Unreal Engine the building looked rather small so I have now made the height of the building bigger and also made the balcony a little longer.

greyblock-001greyblock-002

I am now happy with the detail I have added to my building, however I do feel like am I quite far behind. I should have all of the model done by now and have started on texturing, however the other day I had a very good discussion with my teacher Paul and friend Kyle on how to texture and now that I feel more confident I am willing to work harder on this project. I am happy with my building and I am grateful that I have learnt many techniques throughout this tough challenge.

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Above is my first attempt at some of the details on my building. As much as I thought it was going well at first it really wasn’t as nothing was symmetric like it should have been. I am happy with the curl yet I feel like there needed to be some improvement.

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Above is the improved version. It may be rather high in polys but it is all symmetrical as most of it was mirrored and most objects were moved by the correct pivot point and I also learnt about using the modifier FFD (box) which helped me to mold the cylinder in the middle to fit inside my detailed model.

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Here is the dome which sits on top of my building. The spire bit at the top is rather detailed and I have also deleted back polys that the player will not be able to see.

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As you can see from this image you can see I have deleted polys that the player won’t be able to see. This is the Balcony, so far we have decided that the player won’t be able to gain access to the balcony but if so I will just re adjust the model.

 

 

 

 

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