Friday, October 21, 2011

US vs IT

"It is not frustrating to be where one is, it is only frustrating to wish one were somewhere else."
                                                                                               -John Cage (possibly quoting someone else)


1. Rotate - in direction of nearest tank in a straight line from it
2. Move - once per turn
3. Fist - if tank within one space, one damage in front and in back of robot and those corners, two directly to the right and left of robot (damage grid = 111, 2 robot 2, 111)
4. Mine - if tank within two spaces, drops directly in front of robot, cannot drop if tank is directly in front
              Mine explodes if tank or robot moves onto the spot or the next turn for robot (damage grid = 222,                        232, 222)
5. Laser eye - if tank is within 7 spaces (damage grid = 1112223)
6. Rotate - counter clockwise away from mine
7. Move - after rotating
8. Rotate - towards goal line if not facing it
9. Fist - if tank within one space, one damage in front and in back of robot and those corners, two directly to the right and left of robot (damage grid = 111, 2 robot 2, 111)
10. Laser eye - if tank is within 7 spaces (damage grid = 1112223)

Max. 4 actions per turn

Friday, September 30, 2011

Results from the HERO MACHINE

Csípőprotézis is Hungarian for hip replacement and the name of our hero who has so much personality that he's toned down the clothes to soften his impact. Csípőprotézis exudes extroversion far beyond necessity. Thus he must tone it down because he has the unfortunate occupation of process server. He is well known in the business district as the delivery chariot of horrible news---'You have been sued'. 

His eyeglasses reduce the landscape to a single tone range, the only thing that remains in it's original color palette is the client. Help avoid Csípőprotézis from getting distracted. Csípőprotézis loves small talk, loves to drag on and on about nothing in particular. He loves to talk to people like they've known each other for years.....All the while the client will notice him and make a run for it.

Stanovené is Slovak for specified, our faceless heroine. Through a series of carefully chosen masks she will attempt to communicate. The player chooses masks, all of which are abstractions or have strange emotive imagery painted onto them. Stanovené appears to be a street performer, but is actually on an extended and now unwanted vacation. She has completely lost her face. It's so absurd that everyone thinks it's an act. It doesn't help that she's in Venice either. She is trying to communicate this problem to others, with great difficulty.

This is the team jersey for the Department of Disruption. They hate sports and they abhor stadium architecture. Their only form of organization is in the disruption of team sports. Each member of the team will enter a sports event, dressed as if they belong there hence the uniform. Each team member independently forms disruption strategies. 

For example, one may enter the locker rooms and kidnap key players, hide them away, and then dress up in their uniforms, wear their jewelry, even reenact pregame superstitions. Then go out onto the play field and stop the game from progressing forward until they are eventually chased out by security. Another may enter the bleachers and constantly change seats, fidget, annoy, and ask concessions workers to serve them from unreasonable distances. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Crippling Fines

Rapid Prototyping


You are on your merry way to Boston city hall to pay up for enormous fines regarding parking tickets, minor infractions, other behaviors you're being charged for. You're kind of a sensational person but that's only because you think life is a bit absurd, and you just can't get away with shit. Angry and irrational, you're cursing, spilling coffee, snapping at people, while walking up gratuitous stairwells to the main entrance. Breath a sigh...

You walk into the building--inside is a convoluted geometric nightmare. Not only are there multiple departments with similar names, but they are physically demanding to get to. Adding insult to injury, the space inside the building is obviously larger then the building outside. A clear distortion of reality, which really unnerves you.

The goal of the game is to pay these stupid fines. But every office has the same words in their names mixed around with different suffixes thrown in. On top of that, they give you forms which are incomprehensible and send you back and forth through the obstacle course of stairs, corridors, ambiguous offices, not to mention the many departments.

Attempt to achieve this insurmountable task before your temper goes, otherwise you'll be politely ordered to calm down and start the filing process over because you have caused a disruption, and that is unfair to the other people in line. Who aren't there. I'm being serious. A little bureaucratic humor mixed in with adventure and plat-former elements. It's like Mario except he's been fined for plumbing without a license.

I say this game should be made for children. Have posters inside:

"Tooth fairy stipends, (Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Eid-anything) presents are income, add to item 11 or be audited."

Friday, September 9, 2011


FIRST: listen to this
Iannis Xenakis' - Syrmos

THEN: Take a look at this
A proposal for a game featuring artwork by Lebbeus Woods

More Details:

1) Write a high concept statement: a few sentences that give a general flavor of the game. You can make references to other games, movies, book, or any other media if your game contains similar characters actions or ideas

The game is sim city in hell. You are the urban planner or rather dictator of an overworked FEMA. You are tasked with managing a basket case of a city which is subjected to environmental disasters, war, and unmitigated population and resource swings.

2) What is the player’s role? Is the player pretending to be someone or something, and if so what? Is there more than one? How does the player’s role help to define the gameplay?

The player’s role is to continually rebuild structures and reestablish infrastructure/vital services. The player is givin map data and statistics about current “events” which will give indications about where building need to be built (or not built) where services are vitally needed, etc.

3) Does the game have an avatar or other key character? Describe him/her/it

The game is more of a topdown RTS kind of view. You direct, but you are not visible as an actor.

4) What is the nature of the gameplay, in general terms? What kinds of challenges will the player face? What kinds of actions will the player take to overcome them?
The gameplay will move in two phases:

“Relative Calm”
Is a time for resource allocation, analyzing data on the conditions of surroundings (weather patterns, enemies--ala other cities in similar situations...) building the necessarry structures to move out of the way of impending doom.

Is when a disaster happens. This is the time when you direct the actions that are necessarry to mitigate the damage: Population losses, resource losses, structure lossess, etc. Different disasters will have different implications for the current location- hence you are essentially always on the move.

5) What is the player’s interaction model? Omnipresent? Through an avatar? Something else? Some combination?

Player is omnipresent

6) What is the game’s primary camera model? How will the player view the game’s world on the screen? Will there be more than one perspective?

The game is top down with a good view of the larger picture, and allows for zooming in on the details.

7) Does the game fall into an existing genre? If so, which one?

This would fall in-between RTS and simulator

8) Is the game competitive, cooperative, team-based or single player? If multiple players are allowed are they using the same machine with separate controls or different machines over a network?

The game could work as either single player or multiplayer.
In multiplayer mode: Both will be in control of the same city but as different departments who are squabbling over control. Depending on circumstances players may have to cooperate or sabotage each other.

9) Why would anyone want to play this game? Who is the game’s target audience? What characteristics distinguish them from the mass of players in general?

People who would enjoy it probably have a dark sense of humour.

10) What machine or machines is the game intended to run on? Can it make use of or will it require any particular hardware such as dance mats or a camera?

I see this as a more intense experience, close to a screen with the good speakers or headphones.

11) What is the game’s setting? Where does it take place?

In the future, not specifically earth, but indicative of impending real world issues: climate change, resource wars, overpopulation.

12) Will the game be broken into levels? What might be the victory condition for a typical level?

The game will be one continuous map where all events take place. Victory conditions are to reach higher ground and stabalizing conditions for your city.

13) Does the game have a narrative or story as it goes along? Summarize the plot in a sentence or two.

Climate change, causing natural disasters, causing resource wars, causing trouble.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

This is a pinball machine that was actually manufactured.

Sonic Spinball 

This is an example of a very basic pinball type game that was a mini-game inside of Sonic Spinball. Very simple: There are four targets. In the middle of the playfield a character moves in a linear fashion from one left to right. When the ball hits the character it bounces back in the opposite direction.

Friday, August 26, 2011

anthrophobic chess piece

King's Cross 

This is a two player game where the object is to trap the King before he eats all of your pawns.  The two players take turns moving four defending pieces and eight pawns, while the King moves around by the use of two die rolls.

The game begins set up like so:

The white King starts in one of the four center squares, while two pawns and one defender stem from each of the four corners.  The King can only move North, South, East, and West (board either says which side is which or players agree on the directions); same with the pawns.  There are two knight defenders, and two rook defenders, and they retain their range of movement from the original game of chess, except that they can also move backward. The movement of all pieces, including the king, can go off the side of the board and continue on the opposite side, as long as there is nothing blocking the move.  For example, if a player moved North from the top left corner, the next space it would enter would be the bottom left corner.  If it moved West from the top left corner, it would move to the top right corner, and so on.

The game starts with the King's move, which is two dice rolls or two die.  One roll determines the number of squares it can move (1-6), and the other roll determines the direction it moves (1=N, 2=S, 3=W, 4=E or any agreed upon arrangement).  Then one player moves, and they move first their defender and then a pawn (if they so choose).  The object of the movement is to either block the King from eating a pawn, or to try to trap the King by surrounding it on all four sides.  The other player then moves; they can move the same pieces as the first player if they wish.  Then the King moves again in the same manner.  

If the King runs into a defender, it's turn ends in that spot.  Neither piece is otherwise affected, they just can't move past the other.  In the below example, if the King rolled to move 6 spaces West, it would only be able to move one square before it's movement was stopped.

The game continues on in this way until the King encounters a pawn. In the example below, the King would encounter a pawn if it was moving West as it made this move.  The King only eats a pawn if it is in the path of its movement.

When the King hits a pawn, it eats it and the pawn is gone from the board.  After it eats a pawn, the King earns a new roll.  After the first pawn it eats, it then has two moves per turn (two separate rolls of the two die).  When it eats another pawn, it earns a third move per turn.  The King will continue to move three times per turn until the game is over, even if it eats more pawns.

If the King is blocked on any side at the beginning of its turn, it can't complete a move in that direction.  If it has more than one roll per turn, it has another chance or two to move in another direction. Thus, if it is surrounded on three sides, it has to wait until it gets a roll in the one direction it can move in. 

The game ends when the four defenders successfully surround the King and it can no longer move.  This can appear a number of different ways, since movement can go off the board. All the examples below show a winning board.

Anthrophobic Ball

2 player game similar to Labyrinth.

There is a maze with multiple paths that have player controlled "gates" which stop the ball from rolling down a certain path.

Both players are trying to manipulate the paths (through gate closures) so that the ball ends up in the player's space/hole/void, while Attempting to circumvent each other. In this picture, the light-blue/teal colored blips represent the gates. The white lines represent the different paths.
The white fog at the bottom is a game over condition, I'll explain that further on.

The maze is a plane on a central axis, which tilts randomly and suddenly.
The shapes and sizes of the mazes could be varied, but there is always at least one edge where the ball could fall off the map completely --a losing condition for both players. So both will have to coordinate gate closures, in this circumstance, until the axis tilts again. It's a sudden cooperate or die mode.

Different points and angles where the axis could shift:

The image that comes to my mind is of a somewhat slow, very large, sagging-bloated mass. Like a semi deflated plastic ball. Which at steep tilts could be tumbling and rolling, and flatter slopes could be sort of sliding along...

Other Variables: (Just brainstorming)


-another idea; the map could be dynamically reorganizing itself. A difficulty increase.
It could also have a topographical surface coupled to some physics, to complicate
the balls movement. In this picture, the lines represent paths, the intersections of the lines are a bit more bold--this is where the gate closures would be, one for each path radiating from the intersection:

tilt of the axis.
-or a player could control the change in axis through some gameplay mechanism.
-one player could exclusively control gates while another controls the axis only.

The End

Friday, August 19, 2011

PONG appraisal


Student Name Kevin Roth

Today’s Date 8.18.2011

Game Title Examined PONG

Year of Publication 1972

Game Publisher ATARI

Game Developer ATARI

Game Genre (e.g. shoot-em-up, racing, sports, puzzle, MMORPG, ‘sandbox’, music sequence following game (e.g. DDR, guitar hero)

Table Tennis Simulation. I suppose that makes this a sports game...

Type of game ‘world’ or environment (e.g. flat environment, puzzle/maze space, 3D world?)

Flat environment with oblivion on left and right edges

Perspective taken by player (e.g first person, third person perspective, top down, isometric) in relation to main player controlled character.

Top Down

Gameplay – what does the player have to do?

First there is a black flat plane divided left and right evenly where two white paddles bounce off a white ball. The paddles can be moved up and down along the y axis only. The ball is in constant motion from the left to the right on both x and y axis. The ball’s diagonal movement can be manipulated via the positions that the paddles receive it. Any time a paddle does not receive the ball, a score is gained for the opposing side. The goal is to reach 10 points, then the game is won.

Is the gameplay intuitive? (i.e. is it easy to understand what to do without instructions?) describe.

The game is easily understood, almost instantly. The simplicity of the visuals makes the physical relationships between objects unmistakeably clear. Before the game is actually played there is a demo mode running which demonstrates the gameplay mechanics.

Is the gameplay patterned (game does the same thing over & over) or is it random (happens differently every time?)

The game is different every time, only in the sense that the ball is moving in a set of predetermined directions. The player’s “paddling style” controls the directional movements. In this sense, no two games could be entirely alike.

What does the type of graphic approach used as well as the audio tell you about the limits of the technology at the time the game was published?

The limits were a pixel based graphics system which left little room for any visual expansion on the idea. Programming must have been done from the bottom up. As opposed to having engines or specialized languages today. Which would mean that all the content on screen had to be programmed without any precedents for the physics, or even syncing audio to onscreen action. In short it must have taken a great deal of effort just to accomplish simple things. (simple in retrospect)

Describe your views about the game from the point of view of

  1. ease of play
    The game is easy to understand but can still be very challenging. It exemplifies one type of an ideal game mechanics balance.

2. enjoyability
I could say that I do not enjoy the thought of playing pong. But when playing, it takes some effort to disconnect from game. So there is an addictive stimulus working on my brain.

3. level of engagement/immersion
It has an instantaneous immersion, the gameplay is unambiguous and the goals are clear. But to achieve them your attention has to be on the movement of the ball. The success in the game with a distracted player is I would guess somewhat similar to texting and driving simultaneously.

Had you played this game prior to this time? If so, when?

I played it early in my childhood and other variations on it since then. I cannot remember a time when I was not aware of it’s existence.

Describe other games it reminds you of. How does it do this?

It reminds me of tennis. It also reminds me of tossing a ball against a wall and having it bounce it back but in a different direction depending on how I threw it. Pong really reminds me of actual physically interactive games as a youngster. More so then other electronic games.