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Making Deep Games

Book Description

Like movies, television, and other preceding forms of media, video games are undergoing a dynamic shift in its content and perception. While the medium can still be considered in its infancy, the mark of true artistry and conceptual depth is detectable in the evolving styles, various genres and game themes. Doris C. Rusch’s, Making Deep Games, combines this insight along with the discussion of the expressive nature of games, various case studies, and hands-on design exercises. This book offers a perspective into how to make games that tackle the whole bandwidth of the human experience; games that teach us something about ourselves, enable thought-provoking, emotionally rich experiences and promote personal and social change. Grounded in cognitive linguistics, game studies and the reflective practice of game design, Making Deep Games explores systematic approaches for how to approach complex abstract concepts, inner processes, and emotions through the specific means of the medium. It aims to shed light on how to make the multifaceted aspects of the human condition tangible through gameplay experiences.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Dedication
  6. Table of Contents
  7. List of Figures
  8. Preface
  9. Author
  10. Introduction
  11. 1 Diving for Deep Game Ideas
    1. 1.1 Becoming a Mind Reader
      1. 1.1.1 Morning Pages
      2. 1.1.2 Artist Date
      3. 1.1.3 Conversing with the Inner Game Designer
    2. 1.2 Tracing the Human Experience in Art—Finding the Theme
    3. 1.3 Become a Sucker for Other People’s Experiences
    4. References
  12. 2 Games as an Expressive Medium
    1. 2.1 Introduction
    2. 2.2 What Are Games?
    3. 2.3 How Can Games Be about Something?
      1. 2.3.1 Representation, Abstraction, Fiction, and Rules
      2. 2.3.2 Representational Hierarchy in Games: Rules before Fiction
      3. 2.3.3 Games as Simulations
    4. References
  13. 3 Modeling the Human Experience—Or the Art of Nailing a Pudding to the Wall
    1. 3.1 Introduction
    2. 3.2 Making Sense of Our Experiences
    3. 3.3 Making Sense of Abstract Experiences—The Role of Metaphors
      1. 3.3.1 Understanding Our Inner Lives through Structural Metaphors—Symbolic Modeling in Psychotherapy
    4. 3.4 Applying Theory to Practice: Case Study Akrasia
      1. 3.4.1 Case Study: Akrasia
      2. 3.4.2 Conception Phase
      3. 3.4.3 The Iterative Process of Modeling the Addiction Gestalt
      4. 3.4.4 Conclusion
    5. References
  14. 4 Experiential Metaphors—Or What Breaking Up, Getting a Tattoo, and Playing God of War Have in Common
    1. 4.1 Gameplay as Embodied Experience
    2. 4.2 Experiential Metaphors—Modeling What It Feels Like
      1. 4.2.1 Case Study: God of War II, Grappling Hook Sequence—Enacting the Art of Letting Go
    3. 4.3 Modeling What It Feels Like versus How It Works
      1. 4.3.1 Case Study: The Marriage
    4. 4.4 Impact of Experiential Metaphors on Meaning Generation—Potentials and Pitfalls
      1. 4.4.1 Case Study: Angry Birds—Mechanics of Vengeance
      2. 4.4.2 Case Study: American McGee’s Grimm: Little Red Riding Hood—Mechanics of Cleaning
      3. 4.4.3 Case Study: Left Behind: Eternal Forces—Mechanics of Cleaning Contextualized as Religious Purge
    5. References
  15. 5 Allegorical Games—Or the Monster Isn’t a Monster Isn’t a Monster
    1. 5.1 Introduction
    2. 5.2 Potentials of Allegorical Games
      1. 5.2.1 Reason 1: Making Inner Processes Tangible
      2. 5.2.2 Reason 2: Creating a “Magic Door” to a Deeper Theme
      3. 5.2.3 Reason 3: The Theme and Nothing but the Theme
      4. 5.2.4 Reason 4: Allegories Make You Think
    3. 5.3 Metaphor as Mystery, Message, and Muse—Three Ways to Make You Think
      1. 5.3.1 Approach 1: Metaphor as Mystery—Stimulating Curiosity
      2. 5.3.2 Approach 2: Metaphor as Message—Achieving a Communicative Goal
      3. 5.3.3 Approach 3: Metaphor as Muse—What Does It Mean to “Me”?
    4. 5.4 Designing Allegorical Games
      1. 5.4.1 From Theme to Story
      2. 5.4.2 Define the Communicative Goal and Playtest to Achieve It
    5. References
  16. 6 Designing with Purpose and Meaning—Nine Questions to Define Where You’re Going and Make Sure You Get There
    1. 6.1 Introduction
    2. 6.2 Question 1: What’s It About?
      1. 6.2.1 Based on Another Medium
      2. 6.2.2 Based on (Somebody’s) Personal Experience
      3. 6.2.3 For a Cause
    3. 6.3 Question 2: What Is the Purpose/Communicative Goal of Your Game?
      1. 6.3.1 Personal Games for Self-Expression
      2. 6.3.2 Raising Awareness
      3. 6.3.3 Object to Think With
      4. 6.3.4 Changing Behavior/Perception
      5. 6.3.5 What You Do Is What You Get
    4. 6.4 Question 3: Literal or Metaphorical Approach?
    5. 6.5 Question 4: The Right Metaphor for the Experiential Gestalt?
    6. 6.6 Question 5: How It Works versus What It Feels Like?
    7. 6.7 Question 6: Zooming In versus Zooming Out—How Much Shall Be Modeled?
    8. 6.8 Question 7: From Which Perspective Shall the Player Interact with the System?
    9. 6.9 Question 8: Do Core Mechanics Reinforce Meaning?
    10. 6.10 Question 9: Player–Avatar Alignment?
    11. References
  17. 7 It’s Not Always about You!—Lessons Learned from Participatory Deep Game Design
    1. 7.1 Introduction
    2. 7.2 Participatory Game Design
    3. 7.3 Case Study: For the Records—Potentials and Pitfalls of Participatory Game Design
      1. 7.3.1 Game Synopses
      2. 7.3.2 Participatory Design with SMEs
      3. 7.3.3 Final Thoughts about Participatory Deep Game Design
    4. References
  18. 8 The Same New Kid in Yet Another Hood—Deep Game Design as Creative Arts Therapy?
    1. 8.1 Introduction
    2. 8.2 An Introduction to Basic Concepts and Criteria of Creative Arts Therapies
      1. 8.2.1 Criteria for Consumer Safety and Optimal Health Outcomes in Creative Arts Therapies
      2. 8.2.2 Fundamental Mechanisms
    3. 8.3 Comparative Case Studies
      1. 8.3.1 Dance and Movement Therapy Case Study
      2. 8.3.2 Game Design Therapy Case Study
    4. References
  19. Index