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What do we do?


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#1 justin2020   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 13 August 1999 - 08:45 PM

I think that, given the nature of this forum's title, it's fair to assume that the universally accepted term for this subject is "Game Design".

However, in Geoff's recent quest to define the term "game" itself, some people have obviously brought up discrepancies with some products that call themselves "games". SimCity is one such example, potentially better termed as a "toy" or "simulation".

While this is all well and good for definitions, software such as SimCity still manages to creep into discussions of "Game Design". Is this valid? Can the people who built SimCity still be called "Game Developers", or do we need to come up with a better, more general term?

In essence, do we need to create a broader definition of the software we design? Why or why not?

Justin Martenstein

(You have one hour to write a full essay on the topic, at which time all essays must be turned in. All answers will be scored on the same scale and you will receive your scores in the mail in 6-8 weeks)


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#2 ghowland   Members   -  Reputation: 134

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Posted 11 August 1999 - 03:25 PM

(Arent these little icons cool? heh)

While I think that SimCity (the original) was really a toy, and not a game, it is definitely RIGHT there with game development. In fact there is only very small things that have to be done to make it a game, which they could have done, and apparently did do in later versions of SimCity.

I think some things are better left to being classified as "interactive entertainment software" type things, such as the product Dogz and Catz (by the Petz people). These products have a lot less structure to them than SimCity and dont seem to have many overt rules. The rules they do have are all behavioral modification rules, which seem a lot less game like.

Granted, this is being a bit arbitrary sounding, but I think its the proper separation. Maybe there are specific elements which we havent separated and are fairly subtle that will help to clearly define why a software toy like the original SimCity should be classified as a toy, but only one step away from a game, whereas a product like Dogz seems fairly separated from what a game is...

Any ideas on this?

-Geoff

[This message has been edited by ghowland (edited August 11, 1999).]


#3 justin2020   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 13 August 1999 - 03:41 AM

Let me refine my point a bit further. I believe what I was basically trying to say, and this is probably getting ahead of the point we are at now, is that in addition to defining a "game", we need to get a better definition of the specifics of "non-games"...

Toys
Competetions
Sports

And once these are defined, how do they tie into the field of game design? What are the similarities and differences? I think the scope here is a bit broad, but it would be good to understand how these "peripheral games" fit into the industry and into game design - what can we take from them and incorporate to make our games better?

Justin Martenstein


#4 ghowland   Members   -  Reputation: 134

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Posted 13 August 1999 - 08:45 PM

You may want to check out:
http://www.vancouver.wsu.edu/fac/peabody/game-book/Coverpage.html

The Art of Computer Game Design by Chris Crawford. It goes into comparisons between games and other things.

I also agree that its important to understand things that are not games but are similar, since defining something is often just a matter separating all the pieces out so they dont overlap (or at least only overlap where appropriate).

-Geoff





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