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Chatper 4 - Game Worlds Presented by: Andrew Raudys
What Is a Game World • Artificial universe in which game events occur. • Creates the overall presentation/look and feel of a game.
Purpose of a Game World • Offer the player a place to explore and an environment to interact with. • Portray an emotion/aesthetic to enhance the game experience.
Dimensions of a Game World • To put a game world into measurable criteria, we separate it into the physical dimension and the temporal dimension. • The perspective of viewing the space plays an important role, as a certain space can be made to appear larger or smaller based on the camera.
Phsyical Dimension • Broken down into the categories of spatial dimensionality, scale and boundaries.
Physical Dimension • 2D
• 2 dimensions correspond to dimensions of monitor screen • Platformers (braid, super meat boy, super Mario bros) • Puzzle games (osmos)
• 2.5D • Appear 3D but are a combination of 2D layers • Isometric view • RTSes, point & clicks • Project zomboid, starcraft (plateaus, air layer)
• Give a true sense of being INSIDE a space • With a 2D world, it’s like the player is viewing the space, • A 3D world can make you feel like you’re in it, depending on the perspective. • Broad but includes almost all modern games
• The author refers to this as having multiple 3D worlds overlapping in the same game. • Legacy of Kain provides 2 versions of the same 3D world • Spectral realm/material realm • Actions available in each realm different
Scale • Absolute size measured in meaningful units in the game world (meters, miles, lightyears etc) • The size of the world depends on the context of the objects in the game.
Scale Continued • For example, it is easy to measure the size of a map in GTA because everything is based on real world objects. • On the other hand, the size of objects in Osmos is relative. • Sometimes scale is distorted to suit the game’s space requirements • People are as tall as buildings in some RTS.
Boundaries • Edge of the gam eworld • Invisible walls • Fallout 3 /skyrim walking up a mountain only to run into an invisible wall • Warps • Some games warp you if you go out of bound (Mario kart)
Boundaries continued • Sports games • Boundary is the game area, if the ball/puck/whatever leaves another state is entered
Temporal Dimension • The way time is treated in the world, and how it differs from the real world • Turn based games don’t have time passing until the next turn, which may signify a period of time.
Variable Time • Time usually moves faster in games than in real life
• Minecraft day/night cycle comes and goes quickly • Have to have shelter before nightfall
Anomalous Time • Different aspects of a game take different amounts of time
• In settlers, a tree grows as fast as it takes an iron foundry to smelt four/five bars of iron • In RTS’s workers can build an entire house/castle in mere minutes
Letting Player Adjust Time • Some games allow the player to speed up slow down the game in case of uninteresting events.
• Arma often involves a lot of waiting/moving, and speeding up can reduce boring unnecessary wait time.
Letting Player Adjust Time cont. • Braid integrates time adjustment as a core game mechanic. • Players can go backwards in time at any moment, and use this skill to solve mind bending puzzles.
Environmental Dimensions • World’s appearance/atmosphere • Art/audio • Cultural Context • Culture in anthropological sense
Environmental Dimensions continued • Beliefs/attitude of people in the game • In Skyrim the Nine Divines are the prominent religion, with a chapel located in every major city. • In addition, everyone in Skyrim has an attitude/opinion of things going on around in the world. • Backstory of the game. • History of warfare. •`
• Physical Surroundings • What the game actually looks like • In the early stages, concept art is usually created for every game object/character/scene. • Transformed into real object • Sights, music, ambient sounds.
Emotional Dimension • Thrill of Victory, agony of defeat. • Construction management simulations • Ambition, greed, desire for power • Tycoon games • Horror games can create a sense of suspense/fear • Amnesia
Emotional Dimension Cont. • Interactions between characters that the player identifies with • Love, grief, shame, jealousy, longing • Zelda ocarina of time
Ethical Dimension • Moral Decision Making • Battle realms faction choosing • Violence in games • Does it make children into serial killers?