Book

Ludotronics: A Comprehensive Game Design Methodology From First Ideas to Spectacular Pitches and Proposals

Authors:
  • Mediadesign Hochschule für Design und Informatik
Book

Ludotronics: A Comprehensive Game Design Methodology From First Ideas to Spectacular Pitches and Proposals

Abstract

BUILDING BETTER WORLDS - Ludotronics is a conceptually complete paradigm and, building on that core, a comprehensive design methodology for intermediate and advanced game designers. - Ludotronics is about concept development, that path from coming up with a raw idea for a game to greenlighting a refined version of that idea for pre-production and later development. - Ludotronics is a methodology that will help you whip ideas into shape until they are strong and sturdy enough to qualify for a killer proposal and become the beating heart of your game design document.
... One solution to this can be found in games that, while inviting bonding with individual NPCs, also give the player the possibility to engage with a group of varying size, thus possibly also leading to community-need satisfaction, as described by Martin (2019). A few of the best received examples of recent years would be titles like the XCOM -series (Firaxis Games, 2012;, Darkest Dungeon (Red Hook Studios, 2016), and especially RimWorld (Ludeon Studios, 2018). ...
... The problem is exacerbated, as making the game too difficult might drive away players from the experience altogether. In that case, efforts to enhance relatedness/community (Martin, 2019) need satisfaction come into conflict with the player's desire to feel competence (Rigby & Ryan, 2011). Alex Jaffe, game designer at Riot Games, explains in their talk that " human beings feel like a game is fair if they win 70% of the time " (2018, timecode: 36:40) and according to Csíkszentmihályi (1996) a balance must be struck in difficulty to maintain a constant flow-state for players. ...
... These results also have implications for the use of intergroup empathy bias as a tool to cause and/or enhance empathetic responses towards in-group and counter-empathetic responses towards out-group NPCs. This should be useful as a tool for game development to strengthen the affective component of parasocial interaction (Hartmann et al., 2004), which in turn should lead to a more effective relatedness/community (Martin, 2019) need satisfaction. Finally, a better understanding of how to satisfy these player-needs in a gaming context should result in more player retention and enjoyment of the games (Rigby & Ryan, 2011) in which this knowledge is utilized. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
This thesis explores whether intergroup empathy bias manifests itself within a gaming context towards Non-Player-Characters in a way that is comparable to previous research (Cikara et al., 2014; Hudson et al., 2019). Its desired goal is to find out whether differences exist and whether the phenomenon can be applied to video game design to strengthen the affective component of parasocial interaction (Hartmann et al., 2004), in order to achieve stronger relatedness/community (Martin, 2019) need satisfaction. To answer this research question, Cikara et al. and Hudson et al.’s experiment setups were replicated and modified to fit a video game context. Sessions of short, tactical gameplay challenges in a cartoony 2D-style were alternated with rounds of questions, involving the same Non-Player-Characters. 116 participants were asked to indicate how good and how bad they felt about positive and negative scenarios happening to in- and out-group members. Analysis of the gained data via t-tests of independent samples yielded similar results to previous studies. Participants consistently displayed higher empathy ratings towards the in-group than the out-group, while also showing more counter-empathy towards the out-group. It was also observed that the strength of empathy and counter-empathy could be modulated in the second set of scenarios by how well participants did in the two rounds of gameplay before that. This research establishes the similarities between empathetic reactions to fictional groups of characters, as well as towards groups of real people. It also indicates the use of intergroup empathy bias to be a useful design tool in the gaming industry, but cautions its application where the player needs to take a side in a fictional display of intergroup conflict from the real world.
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