The Gamester Entertainment

Analiza Davidson

Game Programming

Gamester’s mission is to develop fun engaging games while promoting a healthy lifestyle in the gaming community. Using emerging technology, we will deliver a ground-breaking game that will impact gamers world-wide. Our success will not only be measured through profits, fame and popularity but most importantly from our contribution to society. Players will interact through social media and real-life events. In this game, players will complete puzzles and quests to earn status and gold. They will make families and provide for their needs while also contributing to their community by volunteering in various ways. The more tasks they complete, the higher level they attain. When they reach a certain level, they can join a team doing essentially the same thing in the real world. Teams will meet, plan their agenda and record themselves doing their project and then upload the video to our server to gain points and recognition. This game will help guide people to find their true calling and live their purpose by helping others. Some examples of proposed tasks are; befriending a stranger, volunteering for food drives, helping wounded veterans, cleaning disabled persons homes or working for charities. The more points they’ve earned the more influential they’ll become in the virtual world and in social media. People will recognize their teams character and achievements throughout the social platform. We will develop a game using the best procedures and practices within the video game industry. These are research studies, MDA analysis, team creating, phases of game development and design techniques including audio language.

Researchers have proven that games with Ecstasy moments have huge health benefits. Endorphins are released during those moments that combat a myriad of symptoms like anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide and other illnesses. One such researcher/game designer believes that happiness derived from playing video games leads to a longer and healthier life (Jane McGonigal). We will also be incorporating the use of emotional analogies to convey passion, friendship, attachment, appreciation, character and charity into the game, all of which has been proven to positively affect people’s lives. This method is tested and proven by the video game evangelist who created the video game Journey, Jenova Chan.

The three phases of game development that we will incorporate in our platform are Pre-production, Production and Post-production. Pre-production is all about planning, brain storming and coming up with compelling ideas. Proper organization here is vital for a successful production. Planning the production schedule, budget, crews, materials, written concepts and the documents is crucial at this stage because everything must be laid out and discussed. The production phase is where the game comes to life. It is broken up into several milestones. The first one is called Alpha, where all the functionality built into the game is completed but is not content complete. The feature is done without special effects and graphical content. This is called vertical slice because it focuses on feature not on completeness. The second milestone is called Beta, the game is running at this stage and all the features and content are complete, but it needs a lot of adjustments. The third one is Released Candidate, which is necessary prior to launch. This needs meticulous planning to avoid unexpected interface modifications and redesigning in the future and to make sure that all components needed in the game are present. Lastly, MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is an important aspect in the production phase because a game can be adjusted according to consumer’s demands and can grow with the community at the same time, which insures a great platform. This approach is a very popular strategy in the video game industry.

When choosing our production team, we know experienced teams are much more likely to succeed because they can overcome bad design decisions and any of a myriad of problems that naturally occur during the completion of a game.  They come ready to work in a professional manner and are used to working in a team environment. They know the final product will be better when the team works together to overcome any obstacles that arise. As professionals they can work in their natural flow which creates a smooth process. Another thing is they work at an acceptable rate. We also know from research that the best financial incentives are individual compensation. Often developers feel a sense of helplessness when dealing with problems that arise beyond their control. Perhaps they feel their individual efforts will be noticed and rewarded even if the project is affected by problems. We will hire a Producer to act as the project manager, making sure that all the different contributors on the team are able to complete a quality game on time and within budget. Our Game Designer will define the style and ensure consistency of the game’s look and feel while also coming up with an exciting story line that will produce good gameplay. The Scriptwriter will construct compelling scenarios and dialogue for the video game’s cutscenes and gameplay. The goal is to create a story that draws you in, with escalating action that gamers will find compelling. The game programmer will realize the vision of the game designer by integrating the art and sounds assets into a playable game. A video game artist creates the graphical elements of the game, from the background to the characters. The game artist uses various computer-based tools, including paint programs and 3D modeling packages to create richly textured elements that programmers can integrate into the game. Our Testers will verify that programming is free of bugs and complies with requirements for certification on the game device. This can be done by repeated playing of the game’s different levels, but also by using automation tools to recreate different scenarios systematically and repeatedly.

Our company will use Unity as our game engine because it gives us the ability to construct a long term sustainable game. It enables us to create a balance of pragmatic Engineering that focuses on the game without creating a mess. Within Unity, we can utilize Dependency Injection which allows us to flow seamlessly while writing the code. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says that flow is when you can step aside from your reality and immerse yourself into your creation. Talented developers do this all the time while writing code. The best creators need that flow to be inspired. We also feel that working with the ZBrush engine in conjunction with Unity will give us the opportunity to do near perfect work. It is detail oriented and polished and will save us a lot of time and money.
We will be utilizing the MDA framework. MDA stands for the three main areas of game development, Mechanics, Dynamics and Aesthetics. In broad terms it is a framework to integrate different aspects of the game production systematically to enable all developers from the creative to the scholarly a standard method of production. It is a system that understands that at some point in the process of development, everyone regardless of their expertise, must consider issues outside of their area. Moreover, Systematic coherence happens when all aspects of the game relate to each other. Understanding and creating this coherence requires fast and easy movement between all aspects of the game, from systems and code to content and play experience and the MDA framework enables this.

When considering Aesthetics, we use terms like; Sensation, Fantasy, Narrative, Challenge, Fellowship, Discovery, Expression and Submission. Every game pursues multiple Aesthetic goals in varying degrees.  While there is no universal formula to make fun games, using these as a guide will allow us to determine why different actions and reactions appeal to different players. Dynamics work to create aesthetic experiences. Listing two as examples; Challenge for instance, is created by time pressure and opponent play, while Fellowship is encouraged by sharing information between certain players, which often makes winning easer as a team than alone. When each is broken down to action and result, it is much easier to build a fun game. Mechanics are the many actions, behaviors and control mechanisms the player uses within a game. When fine tuning the game, situations and dialogue can be designed to target certain age groups.  We understand how MDA allows us to evaluate individual goals and anticipate how even the smallest change in one aspect of the game requires us to revisit the other aspects and add, delete or adjust as necessary.
Game Design speaks to the ingredients of making games that capture players imagination and loyalty. In single mode and team mode, Mechanics create satisfaction. Game design is all about creating satisfaction because that is the key to good game design. We constantly ask ourselves: Does this game mechanic create more game play? Let me break it down like this: COUNTERPLAY and TEAMPLAY both create satisfaction if they follow this formula. Does each action or response meet the following points?  A. Possible, B. Clear and C. Interesting. Are there multiple responses possible for each action? Is it clear a response is needed or expected? Is the variety of responses varied and nuanced? Is there opportunity to respond? By keeping these key questions in mind when designing each action and all possible reactions, the action stays exciting and satisfying. For a given ability a response must be Possible, Clear and Interesting. Our goal is to deliver Satisfaction in every action and reaction in single-play or teamplay, because anytime a player makes an action and gets a synchronized action from a team player and have a good result they credit teamwork. So anytime we can offer these situations to players they will be much happier and engaged.
When developing our audio landscape, our focus will be to get as much information from the game to the player as possible through the audio in the game. To accomplish this, we will use the following criteria as a standard map to follow: Clearmix, Pinpoint Accuracy, Gameplay Information, Important Hero Vo, and Palovian Response. Always hear what’s important. Don’t let the mash up of sound muddle the game so much that the important things get lost. The player should know at each moment which object or enemy is the most important or in some instances which object presents the most danger. Using headphones is the best way to experience audio in any game because sounds can be modified to show if it is coming from inside, outside or even behind an obstruction or an occlusion. We will give each character in the game a unique sound, from their voice, their walk and even the way their clothes rustles. By differentiating these sounds, gameplay delivers a lot of information all working together to give players a Pavlovian response to broaden players engagement in the game.

Overall, Gamester Entertainment is eager to deliver a game design aimed at making the world a brighter, healthier, wiser, safer and friendlier place, while hopefully increasing life expectancy. We feel confident that our team is ready to create one hell of a game. Our research that shows players receive health benefits from playing and designing video games has been an inspiration to us. Like Jane McGonigal, we want to produce ecstatic pleasure in our players which in turn produces healthy hormones in their body. Also, Jenova Chen’s design techniques will be our guideline to fulfill the emotional analogy of our design. Furthermore, the MDA framework will allow us to pay attention to every little detail in our project. Our good teamwork will be the byproduct of the game development guidelines we use, pre-production, production and post-production. We believe that good planning with inspired execution will allow us to bring a great game to the market. There are many reasons why video games fail. Often a developer will start a company with a great idea but doesn’t have the necessary business acumen to run a successful business or he hires a poor management team to guide the production. Possibly his funding is insufficient to produce a quality product, or he had bad marketing strategies. We will not make those mistakes. As game designers, it’s our goal to connect and communicate with the consumers on an emotional level. We want to produce a game design that will move and inspire people and with a great audio landscape that will be possible. We all know that people around the world are posting their day to day lives on social media like it is their diary. They’re documenting their day to day lives on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and many more. We will use these same platforms to alter and redirect our moral compass by encouraging community service and giving of one’s self in the service of others. We want them to post selfies and videos about helping others. We will promote this type of social platform to reshape the world and make it friendlier and safer place for everybody. Our design may not be recognized as fast as we want, but we are patient and confident. Tesla said, “The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up… His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come and point the way.”  That’s what we hope to accomplish.

Works Cited
TedTalk: “Flow, the secret to happiness.” Ted, www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow?language=en. Recorded Feb.2004.
TedTalk: “The game that give you 10 extra years of life.” Ted, www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_the_game_that_can_give_you_extra_years_of_life. Record June 2012.
Variety. Journey Game Creator Jenova Chen “Theories Behind Journey.” Youtube, www.youtube.com/watch?=s684RQHzmGA. Published, 8 Feb.2013.
AllComputerSchools. Explore the variety of careers in game design. Google, www.all-computer-schools.com/computercareers/video-game/game-design/.
Robin Hunicke, Marc LeBlanc, Robert Zubek. MDA: “A Formal Approach To Game Research.” CSNU, www.cs.northwestern.edu/~hunicke/MDA.pdf. Hunicke, R.2004. LeBlanc, M.,2004a-2004b.
Finley, James. ProductionLecture.mp4. rccd, rccd.opencampus.blackboard.com/weapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_40083_1&content_id=3196293-1&mode=reset.
GDC. Riot’s Counterplay and Teamplay in Multiplayer Game Design. Youtube, www.youtube.com/watch?v=DePjQJaZpqg. Published, 9 Oct. 2015.
Anthony Ferrara. Dependency Injection. Youtube, www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKD2-MAkXyQ. Published 9 Jan. 2013.
TODAYINSCI. “Today in science history.” Google, www.todayinsci.com/T/Tesla_Nikola/TeslaNikola-Quotations.htm