I was admittedly quite fortunate to fall into a group with fellow epic memer lad boys James Zahra and Josh Crawley. Within their respective hyperlinks you can find their contributions to the ‘Big Rip’ group project, where Josh is covering the game’s fundamentals in terms of mechanics, rules and overall experience, while James delves into the theme, narrative and story of ‘Big Rip’.
In the lead up to our pitch presentation we have worked together to decide on game mechanics and storyline elements we like, ensuring we each have some form of input in the final idea. For the pitch itself however, we decided with my approval that I would focus on the relevant background research and comparable products, while also having some sort of video element to accompany my segment of the presentation.
When creating ‘Big Rip’, ‘Rhino Hero’ was a game from which we took a lot of inspiration, particularly in relation to mechanics. The tower and card stacking aspect of Rhino Hero makes it a predecessor to ‘Big Rip’ as we largely looked to improve on that game and its concepts when crafting our game’s structure. From there, we have also been looking at ‘Exploding Kittens’ as a game with interesting card mechanics, specifically the element of special cards that have a significant impact on gameplay, while ‘Jenga’ is also a popular game from which we could not only draw comparisons to our product, but also learn from its branding and marketing to understand what has made it so successful.
As seen in the above screenshots, I have been putting together some brief notes on each of these popular games, focusing on the mechanics of the game that we have incorporated into ‘Big Rip’, as well as its marketing, manufacturing and pricing, concluding my notes with possible ideas on how we can learn from these games and incorporate some aspects and lines of thinking into our own game development. These notes haven’t been made solely for me, but also for Josh to use when creating the game’s mechanics, and for James to use when thinking of its story, wherever they find them relevant.
I have also been engaging with relevant industry research to bolster my part of the presentation, using online sources to work alongside Josh and James’ contextual research and subject materials. These too have been shared in our Google document, allowing us to work on the ideas I have shared with them to develop our game further. I intend for these sources not merely to be relevant to my work on comparable products, but also to the development of the game as a whole, with my hope being to tie them to relevant parts of the presentation in order to further improve all of our work.
Looking at a source targeted at game design students, I have shared the quote, ““A game is a system in which players engage in artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome,” (Salen & Zimmerman, 2012). This will be used in my segment of the presentation, but has also been useful in establishing a mindset and line of thinking on game production. It is an interesting antithesis to a quote from the week 1 lecture (which I’m currently unable to find the year for due to moodle issues), “If we understand games to be a system of rules… we risk obscuring the way games tell stories. We have to be attentive to the ways that games are both systems and stories,” (Simon Egenfeldt-Nielson et al.) Juxtaposing these we came to our own balance of structural rules and freedom in gameplay to try and create an idea that is coherent and sensical but also fun and engaging.
Further resources on gamification and game mechanics will also be referenced in the final presentation as instrumental works to the development of both our idea and our general understanding of game development. Gamification acting as a foundation for our real world story within the game, with further reading into mechanics allowing us to flesh out and progress our idea, these sources rounded out my written contribution. This work will be developed in a video essay-style visual, in which I’ll incorporate relevant visuals, and a voice over covering my work, to finalise my work on the project in preparation for what is sure to be a memorable presentation.
After all, we are Epic Memer Lad Boys.