Game Analysis Worksheet: TEMPLATE

Summary

  • IN ONE TO TWO SENTENCES, DESCRIBE WHAT GAME YOU ANALYZED FOR THIS PROJECT AND WHY YOU CHOSE IT
  • DELETE ALL OF MR. LE DUC’s ALL UPPERCASE INSTRUCTIONS ABOVE

Game Play Analysis

Formal Elements

The Basics

REMINDER: PLACE YOUR RESPONSES IN THIS COLUMN (DELETE THIS MESSAGE BEFORE YOU WRITE)

Name of the game
The platform
Time played (should be at least 30 minutes)
If you could work on this game (change it), what would you change and why?

Players

NOTES
How many players are supported?
Does it need to be an exact number?
How does this affect play?
Some types of player frameworks:

  • Single Player – like Solitare.
  • Head-to-head – 1 vs. 1, Chess.
  • PvE – Player vs. Environment, or multiple players vs. the game. Common in MMOs like World of Warcraft.
  • One against Many – Single-player vs. multiple (obvy).
  • Free-for-all – Every man for himself (1 vs. 1 vs. 1 vs. 1..). Most common for multiplayer games, from Monopoly to Modern Warfare.
  • Individuals Against the System – Like Blackjack, where the Dealer is playing against multiple players, but those players have no effect on each other.
  • Team Competition – Multiple vs. multiple, i.e. sports.
  • Predator-prey – Players form a circle and everyone’s goal is to attack the player on their left and defend themselves from the player on their right.
  • Five-pointed Star – Eliminate both players who are not on either side of you.

Objectives/Goals

NOTES
What are the players trying to do?
Some common objectives include:

  • Capture/Destroy – Eliminate all your opponents pieces (Chess).
  • Territorial Acquisition – Control as much territory as you can, not necessarily harming other players (RISK).
  • Collection – Collect a certain number of objects throughout the game (Pokemon).
  • Solve – Solve a puzzle or crime (Clue).
  • Chase/race/escape – Anything where you are running towards or away from something (playground game Tag).
  • Spatial Alignment – Anything involving the positioning of elements (Tetris or Tic-Tac-Toe or that game at Cracker Barrel).
  • Build – Advance your characters or build your resources to a certain point (The Sims).
  • Negation of another goal – The game ends if you perform an act that is forbidden by the rules (Jenga or Twister).

Rules/Mechanics

There are three categories of (what the book Rules of Play calls) operational rules:

  • Setup – the things you do at the beginning of a game.
  • Progression of Play – what happens during the game.
  • Resolution – How an outcome is determined based on the game state.

Controls

NOTES
What controls are used?
Was there a clear introductory tutorial?
Were they easy to understand or did you find yourself spamming the controller?

Resources & Resource Management

NOTES
What kinds of resources do players control?
How are they maintained during play?
What is their role?
A resource is everything under the control of a single player. Could be the money in Monopoly or health in WoW. Other examples are:

  • Territory in RISK The number of questions remaining in 20 Questions Objects picked up during videogames (guns, health packs, etc.)
  • Time (game time, real-time, or both)
  • Known information (like suspects in Clue)

Game State

NOTES
How much information in the game state is visible to the player?
A snapshot of the game at a single point is the game state. The resources you have, the un-owned properties in Monopoly, your opponent’s Archery skill all count towards the game state. Some example information structures are:

  • Total Information – Nothing is hidden, like Chess.
  • Info per player – Your hand of cards is only visible to you.
  • One player has privileged info – Like a Dungeon Master.
  • The game hides info from all players – Like Clue, where no one knows the victory condition.
  • Fog of War – In video games, where certain sections of the map are concealed if you do not have a unit in sight range of that area. You also cannot see other players’ screens, so each player is unaware of the other’s information.

Sequencing

NOTES
In what order do players take their actions?
How does play flow from one action to another?
Some structures include:

  • Turn-based – Standard board game technique.
  • Turn-based with simultaneous play – where everyone takes their turn at the same time (like writing something down or putting a card down in War).
  • Real-time – Actions happen as fast as players can make them. Action-based video games.
  • Turn-based and time limits – You have this long to take your turn.

Player Interaction

Some examples:

  • Direct Conflict – I attack you.
  • Negotiation – If you support me here, I’ll help you there.
  • Trading – I’ll give you this for that.
  • Information Sharing – If you go there, I’m warning you, a trap will go off.

Theme & Narrative

NOTES
Does it have an actual story structure?
Is it based on a historical event (or similar)?
Does the theme or narrative help you know how to play?
Does it have emotional impacts?
Also, look for en media res (does it start in the middle of the game)?

The Elements in Motion

NOTES
How do the different elements interact?
What is the gameplay like?
Is it effective?
Are there any points where the design choices break down?

Design Critique

NOTES
Why did the designer make these particular choices?
Why this set of resources?
What if they made different decisions?
Does the design break down at any point?

Graphics & Sound

NOTES
Does the game art pair well with the mechanics?
Did you find any bugs or glitches?
What about sound?
Can you spot any technical shortcuts?

Various Stages of the Game

NOTES
To wrap up, some things to keep in mind (as if there aren’t enough already) as you play:
What challenges do you face, and how do you overcome them?
Is the game fair?
Is it replayable? Are there multiple paths to victory or optional rules that can change the experience?
What is the intended audience?
What is the core, the one thing you do over and over, and is it fun?

This analysis form was adapted from https://notlaura.com/a-template-for-analyzing-game-design/

Resources

Books

Mr. Le Duc’s Game Analysis Resources

Game Design – Week 13 – Changes

COPY AND PASTE ALL THE CONTENT BELOW

“The successful free to play games are selling positive emotions. Not content.” – Nicholas Lovell

“It should be the experience, that is touching. What I strive for is to make the person playing the game the director.” – Shigeru Miyamoto

SUMMARY

  • Write your weekly summary here, last, at the end of the week…
    • Only one to two sentences of WHAT YOU DID
  • DELETE ALL OF MR. LE DUC’s INSTRUCTIONS, AFTER YOU ARE DONE

PRACTICE ROOM (TUTORIALS)

Screenshot from Sololearn.com
  • Set a timer for 30 minutes in this ‘room’
    • Continue with either ONE of the scripting languages below, Javascript (Construct 3 / PlayCanvas) or C# (Unity)  (NOT BOTH)

Construct 3 – Javascript

Unity – C#

CLASSROOM (THEORY & ANALYSIS)

Screenshot from Extra Credits Channel
MDA image from Wikipedia

MDA Notes

  • Mechanics
  • Dynamics
  • Aesthetics

LAB (THEORY PRACTICED)

  • Set a timer
  • Spend up to 15 minutes
  • According to Wikipedia:
    • 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.
    • Dynamics are the run-time behavior of the mechanics acting on player input and “cooperating” with other mechanics.
    • Aesthetics are the emotional responses evoked in the player.

Brainstorm Ideas for Each of the Eight Categories

  • At least one idea per category, but feel free to add more you your favorite categories
  • Write a short sentence for each idea with these three elements included in each description
    • Someone or thing fighting/struggling against Someone or thing for Someone or thing

DELETE ALL OF MR. LE DUC’s INSTRUCTIONS, AFTER YOU ARE DONE

  1. Sensation (Game as sense-pleasure): The player enjoys memorable audio-visual effects.
    • Place idea here…
  2. Fantasy (Game as make-believe): Imaginary world.
    • Place idea here…
  3. Narrative (Game as drama): A story that drives the player to keep coming back
    • Place idea here…
  4. Challenge (Game as obstacle course): Urge to master something. Boosts a game’s replayability.
    • Place idea here…
  5. Fellowship (Game as social framework): A community where the player is an active part of it. Almost exclusive for multiplayer games.
    • Place idea here…
  6. Discovery (Game as uncharted territory): Urge to explore the game world.
    • Place idea here…
  7. Expression (Game as self-discovery): Own creativity. For example, creating a character resembling player’s own avatar.
    • Place idea here…
  8. Submission (Game as pastime): Connection to the game, as a whole, despite of constraints.
    • Place idea here…

OUTSIDE (CREATIVITY, PRODUCTIVITY & THE BRAIN)

 

  • Set a timer
  • Spend 30 minutes in this ‘room’
Worksheet from bananatreelog.com

  • Go for a 10-minute walk, if it is safe to do so 
    • Reflect on this simple way to overcome negative automatic thinking by challenging and reframing the thoughts in a positive way.’
  • Writing a small paragraph reflection for 10 minutes
  • DELETE ALL OF MR. LE DUC’s INSTRUCTIONS, AFTER YOU ARE DONE

STUDIO (CREATIVITY)

Screenshot from Construct.net
  • Set a timer
  • Spend 30 minutes in this ‘room’
    • Read the Construct Manual Sections
      • Home
      • Getting started
      • Overview
      • Interface
      • Project primitives
      • Tips & guides
      • Behavior reference
      • Plugin reference
      • System reference
      • Scripting
  • Write a couple sentence description of what you learned
  • DELETE ALL OF MR. LE DUC’s INSTRUCTIONS, AFTER YOU ARE DONE

CONTROL ROOM (PRODUCTION)

Screenshot from Construct.net

WHAT I LEARNED and PROBLEMS I SOLVED

  • Write only a few sentences of WHAT YOU LEARNED
  • In one or two sentences, describe a PROBLEM YOU SOLVED
  • DELETE ALL OF MR. LE DUC’s INSTRUCTIONS, AFTER YOU ARE DONE

WEEKLY ACTIVITY EVALUATION

  • Give feedback on this week’s class Content and Process
  • DELETE THIS WHOLE SECTION, AFTER YOU ARE DONE

Game Design – Week 11 – Updating Workflow – Mind Like Water

COPY AND PASTE ALL THE CONTENT BELOW

“‘Be shapeless and formless.. like water’ (Bruce Lee)” by Akinini.com is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

“Have a mind like water.”

― David Allen,  GTD

SUMMARY

  • Write your weekly summary here, last, at the end of the week…
    • Only one to two sentences of WHAT YOU DID
  • DELETE ALL OF MR. LE DUC’s INSTRUCTIONS, AFTER YOU ARE DONE

PRACTICE ROOM (TUTORIALS)

  • Set a timer for 30 minutes in this ‘room’
    • Continue with either ONE of the scripting languages below, Javascript (Construct 3 / PlayCanvas) or C# (Unity)  (NOT BOTH)

Construct 3 / PlayCanvas – Javascript

Unity – C#

CLASSROOM (THEORY & ANALYSIS)

Screenshot from Construct.net
  • Set a timer
  • Spend 15 minutes in this ‘room’
  • Read Why Use Construct?
  • Explore some games made with Construct 3 at The Showcase Page
  • Read this page: Contruct.net
    • Learn about the basics of Construct 3
  • Write a couple sentence description of what you learned
  • DELETE ALL OF MR. LE DUC’s INSTRUCTIONS, AFTER YOU ARE DONE

LAB (THEORY PRACTICED)

Screenshot from editor.construct.net
  • Set a timer
  • Spend up to 15 minutes
  • Take the guided tour
  • DELETE ALL OF MR. LE DUC’s INSTRUCTIONS, AFTER YOU ARE DONE

OUTSIDE (PRODUCTIVITY & THE BRAIN)

  • Set a timer
  • Spend 30 minutes in this ‘room’
Image from bananatreelog.com

  • Go for a 15-minute walk, if it is safe to do so 
    • Reflect on how you structure your day to maximize your production of the  D.O.S.E. happiness brain chemicals
  • Writing a small paragraph reflection for 10 minutes
  • DELETE ALL OF MR. LE DUC’s INSTRUCTIONS, AFTER YOU ARE DONE

STUDIO (CREATIVITY)

Screenshot from Construct Begginer’s Guide
  • Set a timer
  • Spend up to 45 minutes
  • Make something to share on Thursday (3rd Period) or Friday (4th Period)
  • Write a couple sentence description of what you made
  • DELETE ALL OF MR. LE DUC’s INSTRUCTIONS, AFTER YOU ARE DONE

CONTROL ROOM (PRODUCTION)

  • Set a timer
  • Spend up to 15 minutes in this ‘room’
  • Publish your work from Construct.net to our Schoology Construct 3 Discussion Board
  • DELETE THIS WHOLE SECTION, AFTER YOU ARE DONE

WHAT I LEARNED and PROBLEMS I SOLVED

  • Write only a few sentences of WHAT YOU LEARNED
  • In one or two sentences, describe a PROBLEM YOU SOLVED
  • DELETE ALL OF MR. LE DUC’s INSTRUCTIONS, AFTER YOU ARE DONE

WEEKLY ACTIVITY EVALUATION

  • Give feedback on this week’s class Content and Process
  • DELETE THIS WHOLE SECTION, AFTER YOU ARE DONE