GDC 2013 Day 2

Sorry for not posting this sooner. I was tired from walking from the party to the hotel room.

To start off, I spent a whole day attending the Game Design Workshop Day 2. Since I signed up for it in advance, I get to go in ahead of others in line. For our first exercise, we formed teams so each can do a paper simulation of an existing digital game. I proposed Super Smash Bros. because I thought it would be easier to do in paper (or cards).

In order to build a paper version of a digital game, you have to identify your game’s play aesthetics first. Aesthetics are emotional responses that the player makes when playing the game. Next, you choose one aesthetic element you intend to capture in your paper version. You should write it down (on a card) and place it in the middle of your table so your team will be constantly reminded that while making the game. For my team’s key aesthetic, it was frenzy.

While you are making the paper simulation, you shouldn’t worry about the details of the original game. Also, don’t try to duplicate the whole digital game. Just try to invoke a key emotional response from your players in your paper version. In the end, my team has managed to make the game very frenzy or chaotic. However, we made it less Super Smash Brothers. Somebody in my team said it was more like Tekken.

At this point, I have realized that making paper prototypes makes it easier to design your game. It also helps you understand existing games even more. It is also very quick and cheap. I will try doing this so often when I get back home.

After finishing the prototype, I went to attend an elective called Three Musketeers. I chose it because it seemed simpler and easier of all the other electives. I never play the game before so I paired with another person and played it for a while.

After that, we formed a team with another pair to modify the orignal game into a 3-player and 4-player game. For a 3-player game, we replaced one of the cardinal’s men in the corner with a new piece called captain of the cardinal’s men. This piece was obviously controlled by the third player. Unlike cardinal’s men, it can move to another space by switching places with its adjacent cardinal’s man orthogonally and diagonally. If I remember the new rule correctly, the captain wins the game by killing two of the three musketeers. In the 4-player version, the rules from the 3-player remain the same. However, we replaced the remaining cardinal’s man in the corner with d’Artagnon. The player that controls this piece wins the game by lining with the three musketeers orthogonally or diagonally or killing the captain of cardinal’s man. These modifications I believe made our game more fun.

While I learned a lot from this workshop, I also exchanged business cards with people I met there. It seems I made a good start in networking.

Our speakers at the workshop said they will post the materials on their website after GDC. I will post those links when they are available.

I better get ready for day 3! I’m still deciding whether I should attend Hideo Kojima’s panel or Overview of PS4 for Developers panel.