14 ◾ HTML5 Game Development from the Ground Up
mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics.
eir groundbreaking work also
served as an inspiration for dierent methodologies, including one that
has been successfully used both by myself in my own work and by my
students, the AGE framework (standing for actions, gameplay, and experi-
ence), which I will present in this chapter.
As with the MDA, the main idea behind the AGE model is to oer a
reliable approach to understanding how games work by breaking them
down into dierent levels of abstraction and then analyze how they relate
and integrate with each other.
In the case of the AGE framework, the levels we focus on are as follows:
• Actions: e core, atomic actions that a player can perform in a
game, which can usually be described in terms of verbs: for example,
moving, jumping, kicking a ball, punching, shooting, taking cover,
shiing tiles, etc. (see Figure2.1).
• Gameplay: e result that players achieve by using and combining
the available actions, which can be described either in terms of verbs
or higher-level concepts: for example, ghting, race to an end, ter-
ritorial acquisition, etc. (see Figure2.2).
• Experience: e emotional experience that engages players during
e interested reader can check their original paper, “MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design
and Game Research,” available online at http://www.cs.northwestern.edu/~hunicke/MDA.pdf.
FIGURE 2.1 Jumping is a typical action characteristic of most platform games:
here, Super Mario Bros. Wii. (© 2009 Nintendo.)