Contemporary Game Assignment

CC Image Candy Crush Saga Hack Updates July 16, 2017 at 06:29AM by Clue Hack at Flickr

Part 1

  • Provide a detailed overview of the object of the game.

The object of the game Candy Crush is to achieve a certain amount of points in a certain amount of moves, and to pass each level with the highest score possible. To do this the player must get 3 to 4 matching candies in a row, or form different patterns like an L or a T pattern, and by doing this must accumulate as many points as possible.

  • List 3 or more things you like about the game. Why?

I like the simple design of the candies because it doesn’t distract the player from the game, but also adds a good amount of visual qualities. I also like the different levels and their structures because as you progress in the game the levels become harder but not too hard to the point where it’s frustrating, and the game also provides you with more options to accumulate points as you progress. Lastly, I like the matching idea of the game because the concept is very simple but when incorporated correctly in the game it can become quite challenging, which makes it fun to play because it’s easy to learn the concept and harder to play the actual game.

  • List 3 or more things you do not like about the game. Why?

I don’t like the story behind the game as it is very plain and boring, and there isn’t a conflict or anything that explains why the player is “crushing candies”. I also don’t like that the restraint given to players is the amount of moves they are given, as I think it makes the game too easy. Finally, I don’t like that the object of the game is based so much on your own score and only barely touches on competing with others.

  • List 3 or more reasons you think the game you are reviewing is successful.

I think the game is successful because it is so easy to learn how to play, you can play it almost anywhere and at anytime, and it is very fun to play because almost all of the time you are successful in passing the levels but each level in turn is still challenging.

Part 2

  • Create a revised object of the game based on your ideas and recommendations to improve it.
  • List 3 or more specific changes you would make to the game. Why and how will these changes improve the game?

I would change the restraint given to players from amount of moves to a time limit to make the game harder and more intense. In this way the game would keep players playing for longer amounts of time on each level, because a time limit makes the game harder and adds a larger element of pressure. Next, I would change the story behind the game. The current story doesn’t provide a conflict or reason to be playing the game, and it would be so much more interesting with a story motive. With an added conflict such as a villain is chasing you, so you need to get through the candy crush levels as fast as possible so you don’t get caught would make the game much more interesting. This plays into the first change I would make to the game which was to change the restriction to time limit instead of amount of moves. Finally, I would change the game so it is more interactive with other players like a multi-player game. For each level you can have the option to compete against someone else for the most amount of points accumulated in the given amount of time. This would make the game more competitive and fun to play, but also more difficult.

  • List 3 or more reasons why the original designers did not choose these changes and ideas you identified.

The designers probably did not make the restriction a time limit because the game is designed to be a puzzle game you can take your time on when you are bored. A time limit would make the game too intense and difficult, and would change the audience the game designers were trying to target. They probably didn’t make the story line too in depth because the purpose of the game is to be a game you don’t dive too deep into, and one of its best qualities is the fact the game is so easy to understand. A complicated backstory would have messed with this objective. Finally, they probably didn’t make it more competition based because it is a simple, non-intense game and competition would make it less of an individual game.

  • List 3 or more reasons why these changes may be difficult to include if the game were revised.

These changes might be difficult to include because it changes the entire basis the game was built on, which is playing individually and simplicity. It would also be hard to add the multiplayer function because of the way the game is built, as not a lot of puzzle games are multiplayer. Finally, these changes would change how the game is being advertised, which is as something you play when you are bored at work or in the car. The game would now be something you play competitively with your friends or against strangers, not as much something you play simply when you’re bored.

  • Briefly explain why you would like to make these changes.

I would like to make these changes because it would change the object of the game to something more immersive, and would change the object of the game to be to beat your opponent instead of your own score. This would make the game less individually based, and would allow for more competition as a motive to play.

MDA Framework and Genre


  • rules and systems
  • Mechanics are the base components of the game – its rules, every basic action the player can take in the game, the algorithms and data structures in the game engine etc.


  • actual dynamics/mechanics
  • Dynamics are the run-time behavior of the mechanics acting on player input and “cooperating” with other mechanics.


  • emotional responses/total experience of game
  • Aesthetics are the emotional responses evoked in the player.

 Eight Type of Aesthetics

  • Sensation (Game as sense-pleasure): Player experiences something completely unfamiliar.
    • play it for the music or the visuals
  • Fantasy (Game as make-believe): Imaginary world.
    • based off of fiction
  • Narrative (Game as drama): A story that drives the player to keep coming back
    • about the stories and human drama
  • Challenge (Game as obstacle course): Urge to master something. Boosts a game’s replayability.
    • engagement in overcoming obstacles
  • Fellowship (Game as social framework): A community where the player is an active part of it. Almost exclusive for multiplayer games.
    • focuses on social aspects
  • Discovery (Game as uncharted territory): Urge to explore game world.
    • uncovering hte new
    • findin ghwat there is left ot find
  • Expression (Game as self-discovery): Own creativity. For example, creating character resembling player’s own avatar.
    • let you express yourself through games
  • Submission (Game as pastime): Connection to the game, as a whole, despite of constraints.
    • lets you zone out, take away from real world
  • Competition
    • demonstrate our superiority over others
  • knowing and delivering on core aesthetics helps sell good games


Extra Notes

  • ask yourself why should people play your game
  • combine genres to reinforce core aesthetic
  • find genres that you like that have similar cores
  • combine genres by looking for things in one genre had and the other one doesn’t
  • make sure you know how genres fit together, don’t combine according to personal preference

Making Your First Game Advice


  • Scope
    • Many people want to make games like the ones they play
    • Not possible and made by lots over lots of time
    • Goal should be to get something built that’s playable
  • Don’t go into game with specific idea
    • Learn what you can do and design around that
    • Watch tutorials
    • Don’t be afraid of coding
    • Understand your resources
    • Use asset store
  • Don’t give up
    • Most things worth doing are a struggle


  • Don’t plan a project that will take longer than a month
    • It’ll take longer than a month, but don’t worry
  • Don’t worry too much about design of game
    • Experience gained is more valuable than end product
  • Set milestones
  • Take big milestones and break them down further
  • Send yourself producer emails
  • Review game at least once a week
  • Don’t worry about production values
  • Don’t spend more than one hour on anything by yourself
    • Use tutorials and ask others for help
  • Make people play your game
    • You learn a lot by letting people play it


  • Minimum viable product: the smallest thing you can possibly make that will still give useful data once released
  • Find the absolute minimum amount of features that when cut won’t affect core of the game
    • Without a good core, game will die
  • Don’t get caught up in the gameplay/dialogue
  • Game genres in order of difficulty to produce a minimum viable product
  • Cut your game down to only the necessary, slowly add content so that you don’t overload your game
    • If you start with too much content and the game isn’t good, it’s harder to figure out what needs to be changed

Essay: Aspirational Play – Adding a Sense of Wonder to Game Design


Aspirational game elements are a great add-on to any fundamentally strong game, and are worth the extra money and time used to make them because the possibility found in those aspects motivates and inspires players to continue playing.


  • Adding secret levels/stuff to your game may take extra time/money but is worth it
  • People don’t just experience what is given to them in the game, but the internet shares with them other things
  • Aspirational play: the idea of being able to experience something in the future


  • When creating aspirational game elements they should focus on a sense of possibility to make players want to start/continue playing
  • Players will experience the mystery elements of your game/want to find them, and will help make the money back to the effort that was put in to make the hidden stuff in the first place


  • Core game can’t be boring or people won’t care about finding hidden things
  • Aspirational aspects inspire people to pick up the game and/or keep them playing the game

5 Capstone Project Ideas

CC Image Miniature Video Game Floristry by Donna at Flickr

Idea #1
A group of blind people must team up to protect the Earth and the non-blind people from invading aliens.
Genre: 2D Adventure/Futuristic, side-scroller (?)
Objective: Kill the aliens and the boss alien, save the dying Earth
Story: The Earth is dying because of global warming, is really a bunch of aliens basically toastering the world. Only blind people can see the aliens, but nothing else. Must figure out how to kill the aliens to save the Earth but also get around basic obstacles because they are blind (couches, how to drive a car, etc.) Dumb things like stubbing their toes are how they lose life points. Simple formatted game, sort of complicated story line. Fun and light aesthetic, bright colored aliens with everything else dark to put emphsasis on blind factor.
Mechanics: Running, jumping, shooting, crouching, punching

Idea #2
A private investigator must race to find the kidnapper and save the girl by solving a quick series of problems before the time runs out.
Genre: Mystery/Adventure, Top Down Shooter
Objective: Find the kidnapper, save the girl
Story: Private investigator is hired to locate a girl, game is all about the story leading up to finding the girl before she is murdered. Lots of clues, kind of like the clue board game. Time limit is the enemy. Kind of a brain game. Dark and evil aesthetic, maybe black and white to make it seem older.
Mechanics: Searching, running

Idea #3
The player has to pilot his rocket to the given star (varies in each level) before the other players and has to avoid a series of obstacles.
Genre: 2D Action, Racing game
Objective: Pilot your rocket to the given star before other players
Story: Every player is given a certain “star” to fly to before the other players 10 seconds before the race. Must find the quickest route for each level. Obstacles such as planets, blackholes, space stations, etc. Fun, colorful and happy aesthetic. Lots of neon colors and bright, eye-catching things.
Mechanics: Steering/piloting, shooting

Idea #4
You are the chosen one and you have been dropped, with no memory, in the middle of a civil war and you must help save the rebellion from demolition.
Genre: Dystopian Adventure, War, Top Down Shooter
Objective: Find out why you are the chosen one, use this information to win the war and save 5 stars
Story: There is a solar system with 5 very small stars, all of different colors (blue, red, orange, yellow, green) and civilizations are built around them. Civilizations are based off of their star, like green people are nature oriented, red people are the nobility, blue people run the government, orange people handle military operations, etc. For each star the people have different super powers. The people can’t travel from one star to the other because of different environments, require certain lights from stars, except the outcast portion of people who can go to all planets and have variations of all superpowers. They run the rebellion against the government that has banished them. Girl is sent to 5 stars with no memories except her name, and she doesn’t know her superpower but can travel to all 5 stars. There is a prophecy surrounding her and that she is the “chosen one” so she must find out why to save the world and help rebellion win the war. (This was an idea for a book I wanted to write.) Dark and war-like aesthetic, lots of blood and gore.
Mechanics: Shooting, running, jumping, punching, crawling, swimming, digging

Idea #5
The giant octopus alien thing must throw each planet into it’s designated position before the time runs out or the universe won’t be created in time. 
Genre: 2D Outer space action (?), Platformer (?)
Objective: Throw all the planets into their designated places before the time runs out
Story: The Big Bang Theory wasn’t a bunch of atoms suddenly exploding, but instead this giant octopus monster thing wanted to create his own universe so he created ours. Puts weird perspective on the universe and that our universe was created by a different species in their own universe like as an art project. The game is based around the octopus “throwing” the planets at a “canvas” in correct spots based on their number, color, and symbol. Sort of like a matching game and you have to be quick as levels increase. Colorful aesthetic, very low-key and not intense, sort of peaceful mood.
Mechanics: Throwing


Building a Slideshow in Premiere Pro CC


  • 0:52 – Create new sequence
  • 1:37 – Dragging pictures
  • 2:03 – Adjusting window
  • 2:53 – Scrolling through vid tracks
  • 3:06 – Adding all images at once
  • 3:30 – Adjusting all pic times
  • 5:17 – Scale to frame size
  • 5:40 – Zoom in window
  • 5:47 – Adding transitions
  • 6:17 – Lengthening transition
  • 6:32 – Setting transition time
  • 7:25 – Applying transition to all slides
  • 7:56 – Setting default transition
  • 9:14 – Blending music tracks
  • 11:03 – Increasing audio volume
  • 12:38 – Adding animation
  • 14:47 – Adding a title
  • 15:52 – Adding transitions on all titles
  • 16:30 – In and out points
  • 17:45 – Exporting video
  • 17:51 – Exporting presets

Video Essay: The Blue Shell


  • How does the blue shell work?
    • Homing missile that searches out the player currently winning the race
    • Basically ruins people’s days
  • Objective of game: Get to the front, stay in first, win the race
    • Once you are ahead though, there’s no interaction with other players and the race becomes more boring
  • Purposes:
    • Catch-up mechanism
    • Only people far behind receive the blue shell, helps them catch up
    • Makes race more interesting and close for the people in the front
  • Designers addressed problem that a close race is much more fun
  • Sacrifices a little difficulty to make races more fun for those who just want to play the game
  • For those who wanted to master the game, the designers gave very technical ways to escape the blue shell and to outsmart it
  • All in all, blue shell is there because being way behind is almost just as bad as being way ahead

Video Essay: Villains of Video Games


  • If your game is fun and lighthearted, make villain comical
  • If game is more dark and serious, make villain more serious so player feels more accomplished when they beat them
  • Two types of game villains:
    • Mechanical
      • “Big boss”
      • There for the purpose of the game
      • Something to shoot, punch, kill, etc
      • When player reaches mechanical villain they should have to use all the skills they have been learning in past parts of the game
      • Villain should have a justification as to why player can’t just fight them in the beginning and get it over with
    • Narrative
      • Purpose is to drive the story
      • Motivates main character
      • Aren’t there to be just an end boss
      • There to make the world the player is inhabiting more immersive
      • Conflict and drama of story
      • Lots of games use mechanical villains where there should be narrative villains, messes up games
    • To make a good narrative villain:
      • Ask what’s their motivation?
        • Worst dictators and criminals have reasons to doing what their doing
        • Ex. greed, philosophy, idealogy
      • How do you communicate your villains motives?
        • Actions speak volumes about who they are and what they want
        • No forced super-villain monologues
        • Narrative villains should be somewhat sympathetic
        • Makes player think about whether or not they are on the right side of things
      • Consider the protagonist
        • Should push against each others ideas, make each other question themselves
      • Villain should be “shown” not “told”
        • More actions, less dialogue
      • Know what’s essential to the game and to the plot
        • Plot is prioritized over character
  • Lots of great stories don’t need a antagonist
    • Some stories just have a large obstacle to overcome
    • Some have 2 protagonists that have different ideals and get in eachothers way
    • Some have a hero who ultimately turns into the villain
    • Some are about a person trying to decide which side is the bad or the good
  • If your story has drama, then a narrative villain is neccessary