Motion-Based Game Design

Motion-Based Game Design : How to Design Quality Movement Games for Wii, Kinect, and Move

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Description

Everyday gameplay was already revolutionized by the introduction of the Wii, and in the last year, the rapid growth of multi-touch platforms, and the introduction of the Sony Move and the Xbox Kinect, have brought movement-based games into the limelight as a growing market opportunity. Yet, there is little or no information circulating for developers and designers about how best to design movement-based mechanics. Each team goes through expensive trial and error, as they work to adapt existing properties and genres and/or to invent new ones. There is a great need for a book that brings together what is already known about movement design, both in general, and for the specific target platforms, to help reduce risk and increase the likelihood of successful design. The book will include interviews with developers who have faced the challenges outlined in the book, and who have developed commercially successful and award winning titles. The companion web site will include video clips of play of the movement game examples from the book, to better illustrate the concepts.
--Author, Katherine Isbister is uniquely qualified to write this book. She studies movement mechanics and their effects on players in her lab, presents this work at GDC and Human Computer Interaction conferences. Her lab's work has been featured in Wired.com and National Public Radio's Science Friday show. --No books available yet on movement-based games. We will be first to market on this growing and important emerging category of games. --Practical advice for designers on what work well in movement game design, based on real-world social science research and lab work. The book demonstrates a perfect mix of lab tested, practical advice, combined with case studies across many genres and platforms. --Companion web site offers video clips of play of the movement game examples from the book, to better illustrate the concepts.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 250 pages
  • United States
  • English
  • 0124158706
  • 9780124158702

Table of contents

Moving Players: A Guide to Designing Better Motion-based Games

I. Introduction: The Approach (~5 pages)

Why working from social science basics can give you an advantage in making design decisions in this exciting new terrain. Because there is a lot known about how we prefer to use our bodies, how we interpret bodily cues, and how movement affects our emotions, social connections, and other important states. The importance of applying this knowledge to your own design/development practice.

How to use this book: foundational information in Chapters 1-4; platform specific information in Chapters 5-7; interesting future directions in Chapter 8.

II. Chapter One: What's Different About Movement? (~20 pages)

Rethinking design assumptions to take better advantage of the unique nature of movement mechanics.

Physical feedback loop: feeling good (or angry, or powerful, or whatever!) Emotional contagion (mainlining over-the-shoulder effects) Social connection (closeness, contact, synchrony all work in your favor) A different kind of flow (loose and loopy versus tight and heady) Interview (Perhaps Robin about Nintendo Wii design when the platform was new. Maybe an iphone developer?)

III. Chapter Two: Designing Great Movement Mechanics (~20 pages)

Some general advice based on observation of gameplay in the lab.

Focus on the core fun (applying the research from Chapter One) Don't get hung up on kinesthetic mimicry Hybrid design is fine (the button will never go away, and that's okay) You may want to rethink scoring mechanisms (depending upon your audience) Be ready to teach your player what to do! (next chapter) Interview (people who did the hybrid light saber game and perhaps also the star wars game. Or a newer example. Maybe a kinect game)

IV. Chapter Three: Getting up to Speed: Effective Ways to Teach Movement Mechanics (~20 pages)

Practical advice for training players on how to move in your game.

Don't be afraid of the old-fashioned way (mirroring and imitating; illustration and narration). Scaffolding and pacing movement training; using rewards. Being really obvious with scoring and cue-ing to combat overly realistic expectations. Remembering how little pre-existing training there is for most players for most genres of movement game. But also being ready to deal with genre specific movement expectations. Interview (Robomodo and the Tony Hawk skateboard hardware/game mechanic design).

V. Chapter Four: Playtesting Movement Mechanics (~20 pages)

Ensuring you've got a successful movement game through playtesting.

Testing for the kind of fun you're really after: how to set up tests, what to measure, what kinds of prototypes are necessary when Examining the learning curve and reward structure-making sure players get up to speed the way you want, and enjoy the goals and rewards you've set up. Testing in social groups-the importance of the social factors in determining the fun of movement mechanics. How to test with groups. Interview (Kinect and Nintendo core teams who tested release titles?)

VI. Chapter Five: Focus on handheld controllers (Wii and PS3 Move) (~20 pages)

Revisiting hybrid button/movement design, focusing on issues of accuracy and genre and platform expectations Using the unique properties of movement games (Chapter One) within the platform-specific constraints. Best of category game examples, with detailed analysis. Interview (Red Steel for the PS3 Move?)

VII. Chapter Six: Focus on camera-based systems (Kinect, Sony's Eyetoy) (~20 pages)

Inventing a controller-free paradigm for game interface Issues of accuracy and genre and platform expectations Using the unique properties of movement games (Chapter One) within the platform-specific constraints. Best of category game examples, with detailed analysis Interview (recent successful Kinect title developer. Find at GDC)

VIII. Chapter Seven: Focus on multi-touch (smart phones, iPad) (~20 pages)

Blending keyboard/buttons with touch Using the unique properties of movement games (Chapter One) within the platform-specific constraints. Best of category game examples, with detailed analysis Interview (an iPad game developer)

IX. Chapter Eight: Future Directions (~20 pages)

Moving away from screens entirely Cross-device design (different scales; platforms; target user populations) Bringing playful movement outside games themselves Interviews (experimental game developers.)
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