Game Culture Club

musings and discussions on game design and development from a drunk and enthusiastic bunch of German game developers.

GCC Stammtisch 018 - Games and Horror | Facebook

The next meeting is scheduled for the coming thursday and our topic is Games and Horror. We’ll look at the reasons for horror stories, what kinds of horror there are and how games can instill fear and terror in their players. Join us for some creepy times.

More info on the Facebook event

Slenderman

GCC #015 Double Feature - 29 March, 20:00 - Karlsruhe, Germany
The Game Culture Club invites to its 15th event. This time it’s a special, double-feature: Mimicry and Bigotry. We have a small anniversary to celebrate and we hope to use this occassion to grow the club a bit. So if you’re in or near Karlsruhe, Germany and you’re interested in discussing games and game culture, come join us. If you just want to facilitate some quality discussion, feel free to share this.
To join, please RSVP:
Facebook Event
Meetup Event
(image credit: Derek Bridges)
howtonotsuckatgamedesign:

New article in response to the lates reveal by Paul Dini on why marketing execs don’t want girls in their audiences for super hero shows.Sounds horrible right? People are shocked! Yeah, well, it’s worse then you think. 
I explore the reasoning, that drive execs and marketers to pro-actively exclude women from their audiences and to pro-actively encourage a culture in which women do not feel welcome.
This is why we can’t have nice things… or can we?Read more here: link

howtonotsuckatgamedesign:

New article in response to the lates reveal by Paul Dini on why marketing execs don’t want girls in their audiences for super hero shows.
Sounds horrible right? People are shocked! Yeah, well, it’s worse then you think. 

I explore the reasoning, that drive execs and marketers to pro-actively exclude women from their audiences and to pro-actively encourage a culture in which women do not feel welcome.

This is why we can’t have nice things… or can we?

Read more here: link

Games and Interfaces, Part 2: Usability vs. Challenge

Read part 1 of this series here.

So after the look at the different ways in which the classic hardware interface dissolves, let’s peek at what makes game interfaces work.

Games and Handicaps

An often mentioned part of games is that within a game we submit ourselves to rules that make reaching the goal harder. Like we may only hit the ball with the foot for example. It’s not efficient, but it’s what makes games fun.

These rules of course also always define the interface. In this case the foot, or the club in golf for example. And one thing that can be clearly seen in these cases: The interface is a big part of this inefficiency. It doesn’t help in making things easier for the user. Quite the opposite.

Considering that the goal of many interface designers is usability this seems terribly counterintuitive, doesn’t it?

A Conflict of Interest

So assuming that a good interface makes the users job as easy as possible while a good game make the players’ job harder, then that leaves us with a conflict of interest of sorts.

If the interface is too efficient, it can destroy the gameplay. Simply carrying the golf ball into the hole would simply kill the game. If the interface is too inefficient then there is no challenge. The experience would be disappointing.

On the other hand if the interface is too inefficient, it will just make for frustrating gameplay. Imagine playing golf with a flyswatter.

Busywork

And when interface design goes wrong we have something like “pixel-bitching”. In the adventure games of yore it was neccessary to find the interactive elements in complex scenes, yet these were very small.

Or think of a classic RTS game. Now imagine you had to select each unit individually to issue commands. The game would turn into a chore filled with busywork.

A bad interface creates tasks that require little to no challenge to the player yet take up lots of time. I’d imagine only very few people would consider that enjoyable. (Which is, of course, something that you can monetize if you’re into that F2P thing…)

So with game interfaces we’re caught somewhere between challenge and usability. Usually we want the interface to support and enable the actions of the player. That means, among other things: clear feedback, providing the neccesary information to the player so he can make his decisions, and understandable relationship between input and outout.

- Martin

Hipster Zombies Postmortem | Sharkbomb Studios

mnerurkar:

I did a little blog on the development process of Hipster Zombies. Have a look see and laugh at our mistakes. And celebrate our successes. 

An article from one of our members.

howtonotsuckatgamedesign:

sexyandgeeky:

gamersagainstbigotry:

Had another fantastic time at this month’s #GABhangsout, as a crack team of gamers and devs were gathered to discuss the Horror Genre.

It’s potentials, it’s cliques - and what things we want to see, or would recommend you play.

Genuinely good fun, and seriously insightful :)
gamersagainstbigotry.org

#GABhangsout - the highlight of my month :)

Check out the great hangout we had today. Thanks again to gamersagainstbigotry.org for inviting me and for the other participant for a great chat. 

Check it out.

Maybe we need to do a Games and Horror or a Games and Bigotry session sometime…

(Source: youtube.com)

Games and Interfaces, Part 1: Dissolution of Hardware

image

In the 12th session of the Game Culture Club we got together to discuss the topic of Games and Interfaces. Since it was a purposefully broad topic we had much to discuss and a lot of interesting points. Let’s try to break it down, shall we?

Read More

Games and Violence, Part 2: War and Pain

image 

Shells, gas clouds, and flotillas of tanks - shattering, corroding, death.

Dysentery, influenza, typhus - scalding, choking, death.

Trenches, hospitals, the common grave - there are no other possibilities.

- Erich Maria Remarque: All quiet on the western front. P. 133.

Read More

5 Things Video Games Do Better Than Any Other Forms of Art

mnerurkar:

OOOH OOOH. DADDY LIKE

Game and Violence, Part 1: Why all this blood?

We met again in July for 12th GCC. And over barbecue and beers we talked about games and violence. Two things that so often seem intertwined. We had an excellent discussion and have decided to seperate the writeup into three parts.

image

(Wolfenstein 3d screenshot)

So let’s start with a look at the reasons for violence in games.

Read More