Framework – first draft

Since our tests we have been trying to come up with a structures for our findings. The structure will be the backbone of our framework. Main categories in our framework is based on our two statements: Social and constraints.

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From the two main categories we have defined three approaches. Under social: “Collective Interaction”, “Common Goal Cooperation” and “One Do – One Analyze”. Under constraints: “Limited Resources”, “Constrained Goal” and “Timeboxed Planning”.

For each one of the approach we have identified examples in current games, benefits of use the approach and the liabilities.

The intent is to develop some kind of supporting material, which can help explorer the framework and inject the approach into gamedesign.

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The last testing

The final test have now been completed. We looked at both constraints and evaluation between people, using the game, Scribblenatus. In the game you have different task which you need to solve using objects you spawn into the world or addjectives that can be applied.

For both tests they were presented with 6 tasks where an ambulance dropped off some patients in need of help.

For the first test, two test subjects, each playing alone and at different times, they needed to go through all 6 tasks as you normally would in the game. Next they had to go through the tasks again, but now using the opposite options. If they completed the task using an object before they now have to use an addjective instead.

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For the second test, four test subjects, playing together two and two, needed to go through all 6 tasks while agreeing on what to write.

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Prototyping games workshop

We attended the workshop about creating games, that where held by Licinio Roque, from the University of Coimbra. We got a “getting-started-guide” to his approach to creating exciting games.

His framework is build on top of six games categories:

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The screengrap is from Licinio’s paper: Understanding the videogames medium…

We worked with his model, where there are three questions under each category.

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We answered the questions, and found that some made more sans to our intent to make a game that fosters creativity. Licinio’s advice was, that the most succesfull games mainly focus on one category. Our game ended up focusing on embodiment. We wanted to explorer moving the world around the player. And we ended up challenging the way you interacted with the game, where we made up the controllers. They were mainly controlled with movement, and some simple buttons.

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We’ve got a jump-start to work with prototyping a relevant game.

 

Third and fourth test

Today we performed a third and fourth test. For the third we had two contestant (not at the same time) and for the fourth we had one. These tests were about our hypothesis “Clear constraints or limitations can help people be creative” and performed in Minecraft. 

The third test

In this the contestant will first be introduced to the game and how it works. They are playing in “creative mode” which means they get all tools and materials available in the game. First the contestant has to build “something”, it doesn’t matter what… it could be whatever they want. Here creative mode is on. Next the contestant is asked to build, again “something”, using certain materials. Finally we will perform an interview.

First contestant have tried Minecraft before so he went with a strategy he usually would do. He started by building a very simple squared house without any doors and then began diggin down to build a mine. For the test with constraint he instead built upwards using materials that kinda took his attention and he knew what was just by looking at the picture.

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Second contestant wanted to make a trafficpole. In the “with constraint” he started out by wanting to do the same thing just using the materials we provided for him. Then he discovered that there were no yellow. He then went on to make a see-through-pole with all the different elements were inside. You had grass, water, lava, fire.

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The fourth test

Same introduction as previously. This time there is a end-goal constraint where the contestant have to build in whatever way. Afterwards another constraint applied where he was asked to build a house his mother would like.

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Some of the findings for this test showed that the limitation made him think of it in a new context. Not only how it looked, but also how it was placed. In this case he wanted to give his mother a nice view and therefore went looking on the map after a nice hilltop. The resulting houses and observations shows that these constraints might also have a negative affect. In this case he wasn’t too sure of what kind of house his mother wanted and ended up focusing only on the view and making a terrace, resulting in a very basic square house.

The testing continues

Today we performed two tests, both exploring the hypothesis of “evaluation with other people provides better qualified ideas”. The two test are very similar but have been divided into two with a group of 2 in each test, so that the contestants are not effected by the previous test.

In the first test we wish to explore:

  • The two contestants playing alone trying to build a house
  • The two contestants playing on each their computer in the same game trying to build a house in collaboration.

In the second test we wish to explore:

  •  (for a new pair of contestants)
  • The two contestants playing alone tring to build a house
  • The two contestants plauing on the same computer in the same game trying to build a house in collaboration

These were the results of houses they made:

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Some of the findings

  • In test1 the contestants were kinda in the way of eachother resulting in them splitting up and doing different parts of the house, but still while discussing what elements they wanted on the house.
  • In test2 since one was controlling the keyboard and the other the mouse they had to discuss what to build and how before actually doing it, resulting in discussions on ways they could construct the house.

An element that could be included in the framework is a forced dependency on another person that ensures the element of discussing things before they can progress.

Narrowed down our focus

Our latest feedback from Sarah and Susanne resulted in trying to narrow our focus. And we wanted to narrow the numbers of hypothesis, because we wanted to test the hypothesis’ properly. So our six hypothesis had to be reexamined.

The criteria which we looked at the hypothesis with, was:

  • If the hypothesis had potential to strengthen creativity outside the game
  • If the hypothesis was able to be tested with users

 

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The two hypothesis which we find with the most potential was:

  • Clear constraints or limitations can help people be creative.
  • Evaluation with other people provides better qualified ideas.

 

First test done

The first test was done on hypothesis #5 and #6.

  • Hypothesis 5: Timeboxing enables a conscious creative process that can be repeated.
  • Hypothesis 6: Evaluation with other people provides better qualified ideas.

The structure of our test is as following.

  1. A short intro
  2. The player gets to play the first couple of levels to get a feel of the game
  3. The player sees the third level
  4. He is then asked to step away, to think and plan on a provided overview of the level.
  5. A retrospective interview will be performed
  6. The above steps will then be repeated with a second contestestant
  7. Both players will now work together to complete level 4
  8. A second and final retrospective interview will be performed.

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In generel some challenges were that we as designers of the game, had a tendency of wanting to try and explain the concepts of the game some more though it does give alot of flexibility in regards to changing the game to our needs.

For hypothesis 5 somes isues are that the number of possible solutions were, at a certain degree, kinda limited. Some interesting findings from this test were that contestant 1 we defined as a “do’er” whereas contestant 2 a “thinker”. By this the first contestant wanted to try the strategies and learn while doing whereas the second spent the first 10-15 second at every level and tried to figure out how to reach the end.

For hypothesis 6 there seemed to be a bit more positivity towards the approach. When one of the contestant were playing the other one spent his time looking ahead and analyzing the situation. At two incidents the one analyzing(not playing) found a solution at a place where they got stuck.