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46  Creation / Notgames design / Re: Engagement in notgames on: April 01, 2010, 05:41:16 AM
The way I'd put it is that there are two kinds of activities which we label as "play".

The first is playing a game- Halo, basketball, and so on. The activity here is working to overcome an interesting challenge. It's worth pointing out that this is a much broader definition of "game" than the one referred to by the "notgame" label, as far as I can tell; it can apply to any case where the act of trying to do something is inherently rewarding (a sensation we typically refer to as "interesting" or "fun").

The second is playing like a child plays with toys.  The activity here is exploring possibilities through interaction. The psychological drive is curiosity, which I'd describe as wanting to see everything there is to see. When you search obsessively for all 100 Green Stars because you've heard that unlocks a secret ending, curiosity is what's motivating you.

(Of course, this isn't to say that every case of 'play' has to be only one of these two types. Human beings rarely have only one motivation to be doing something.)

So what's the practical takeaway? Curiosity will keep a player engaged if they believe their interactions will yield something they want to see. They'll participate because they want to see the consequences of that participation.
47  General / Introductions / Re: Hey, all! on: April 01, 2010, 02:28:42 AM
Understood. I think that in practice I'll be on the same page.
48  Creation / Reference / Re: Books! on: April 01, 2010, 12:09:08 AM
Erik, the "Hobby Games" book also covers a variety of other tabletop games- RPGs, collectible card games, etc.

Michael, I definitely don't think he's trying to say that the "fun" he's identifying is the only good/enjoyable thing can people get out of playing a game. There's a hundred other aspects that combine to produce the end experience, he's just focusing on the one that's actually an inherent part of what a game is.

(I am already completely in love with this forum, just based on this thread)
49  General / Introductions / Hey, all! on: March 31, 2010, 11:03:22 PM
Having browsed the forum, I'm happy to have found a community of like-minded individuals.

Then, having read the (not a) manifesto, I'm realizing that I might actually be a devil's advocate of sorts. This ought to be interesting.

See, I'm very much on board with the whole "creative passion" thing, very much excited to be a part of burgeoning movement that's working to explore the unique potential of games, to use the medium for more than just simple entertainment. The catch is that when I say "games", I'm not referring to interactive virtual experiences. I'm talking about the other side of the venn diagram, the game itself.

As for who I am: 21-year-old college student, majoring in psychology, located in the USA's pacific northwest. I don't consider myself an artist (to me art can be defined as abstract self-expression, with an artist being someone who Has Something To Say), but I would consider myself a craftsman and a storyteller.

Hi, I'm Dagda. And I seem to have done this introduction in reverse order.
50  Creation / Reference / Re: Books! on: March 31, 2010, 10:23:45 PM
The only book on game design itself that I've found helpful is Raph Koster's "A Theory Of Fun." (That's not a condemnation of anything posted so far in this thread, haven't read any of them) When it comes to books that weren't written with games in mind but still proved helpful, I'll second "Understanding Comics" and also recommend Robert McKee's "Story".

Oh! There's also "Hobby Games: The 100 Best"; a hundred different game developers and writers (including tons of big names like Gary Gygax and Warren Spector) gushing about their favorite non-electronic games. What makes it such an invaluable reference is how substantive these descriptions are; each 3 to 4-page piece involves a overview of the game's mechanics (especially any innovative elements), as well as an in-depth examination of how and why the game is so amazing to play. Seriously, this is a gold mine for any game designer, even if you're someone who focuses on making video games- in fact, that'll probably make this book even more helpful. If you're going to get one book, get this one.
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