shoffman's GameLogBlogging the experience of gameplay 3 (360) - Wed, 05 Mar 2008 23:29:19 During the second session, I was if anything, more focused and involved with what was going on in the game. Competition got tougher and enemies in the levels improved in accuracy, damage, and health. The characters in the game continue to progress throughout in terms of their personality and their interactions with other characters. The storyline eventually became even more complex as the situation for the various groups of characters became more dire. The overall gameplay during the second session was much more advanced as the people I was playing with became more adept at controlling their characters. Battles lasted longer, people started to be more comfortable trying new things, and everyone began to get to know the levels better. As people got more into the game, their reactions changed for grimaces and dirty looks to full on yelling at each other. People watching were also booing and cheering when someone would do something impressive. I experienced flow during the second session of gameplay again due to the smooth play and intricate movements people would engage in while fighting. Design: I felt Halo 3 displayed some innovative design elements in that you weren't always limited to the one path provided on the ground. There are also certain places in the game where you can climb on top of buildings and other objects in order to find new paths. The large worlds, difficult enemies, and good graphics where some of the most prominent positive design elements. I also liked having a selection of weapons and vehicles to choose from when combating enemies. The levels in the game varied not only in appearance, but also in the the planet they are set on, and what enemies may be present. The challenges the game presents come in the form of things like cliffs you can fall off of, intelligent enemies whose actions are unpredictable, and killing the bad guys before they kill you. The variety of challenges present in the game help to hold the players interest as well as make it interesting for others to watch. The game creates conflict by forcing the players to engage in intense fighting with both other players and computers in order to win games and finish levels. The game makes good use of the space in the gameworld by putting in a series of large levels that take a lot of time to work through and are full of enemies. Some parts of the game were frustrating because they were so hard that you would have to repeat certain spots several times and often you would be sent back through large chunks of the level. The game doesn't present emergent complexity because it provides only one option for the player to continue the game, and there aren't really any choices you can make. The games reward structure of achievement points, skulls that have effects on certain aspects of the game, and a new title for online play were effective motivators for me, and they were fun to achieve. Halo 3 didn't provide very many new ideas for my game, but it was definitely an enjoyable experience to play it.Wed, 05 Mar 2008 23:29:19 CDT 3 (360) - Wed, 05 Mar 2008 22:42:32 Halo 3 is a space age first person shooter where you are the last of an elite group of cyborg warriors called Spartans(aka Mark V). In the game, you run around killing aliens and completing various tasks in an effort to avoid the extermination of all human life. Gameplay: During both the multi-player and single player modes of this game, I was completely focused on fighting the enemy and avoiding various grenades and other projectiles. The main characters in the game were only given personality through the cinematics, but the characters were each interesting and they all had some kind of background story behind them. I also really liked how the marines have line throughout the game that give them a personality of sorts as well. The story progresses as a fairly fast pace which is an important quality for a shooter to have in my opinion. The narration added a real sense of being told an exciting story which was a definite plus during play. The gameplay was very smooth and the players actions when in combat almost looked like a dance. The game stayed interesting because there was a near constant change in scenery and you were able to progress through levels in pursuit of a later goal. During the multi-player and co-operative portions of play, players were able to compete with one another by trash talking, but they were also able to communicate about what was going on in the game. I experienced flow in this game probably more than in any other game that I have played this year due to the constant action, and the need to adapt to situations and challenges.Wed, 05 Mar 2008 22:42:32 CDT Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64) - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 19:49:49 My emotional state during the second second session was even more focused on the game than the first. Enemies and other challenges got harder and harder as the player leaves the first area in the forest and moves on to other, larger levels. As the game progresses, the main story starts to come together, and what you're supposed to be doing starts to get a little easier to figure out. This element of story progression, when it makes sense, is one of my favorite thing about Zelda-type games. It helps to keep people interested and allows the story to actually make sense. The gameplay in the sense of controlling my character got easier as I was able to practice by just moving around and working on doing some quests. I like how you need different tools in order to kill certain enemies and get through specific areas. The changes in area and objective both played a factor in keeping the game interesting. I always had something different to do, so I was rarely bored during play. The second session drew less of a crowd than the first, but people were still able to discuss and suggest what should be done next in the game along with me. I didn't experience the same level of flow in the second session as i did in the first. There was a definite increase in the amount of actual walking time which made it harder for me to stay in the flow of things. Design: For its time, I thought that the game had a lot of advances elements that really predated the time in which this game was made. The graphics are great for an N64 game and the scale of the gameworld is impressive. Some of the controls were for a lack of a better description "sticky" and I had a hard time in certain situations because the character would get stuck looking at one thing. The levels in the game all had unique qualities that set them apart from one another. The different levels were set in forested areas, inside a giant tree, and just out in a big open area which made for a large and interesting world to play in. The puzzles and enemies you had to deal with created conflict in the game and made it hard to get from one area to the next. The variety of enemies, NPC's, and other creatures in the game made the fighting more interesting because there were certain methods you have to use to kill each type. The game keeps things interesting by changing your surroundings, the quest you're on, and the enemies you're fighting. This keeps the player on their toes and makes it so they have to have a variety of methods for dealing with situations. It seemed to me that the game didn't make very good use of the space in the world because there was so much empty space that could have been filled with extra things. I did however enjoy how the designers had each level have a different tone to it. Using things like lighting, effects, and the placement of monsters that randomly pop up and jump on you, the levels could have a mood ranging between dark and scary, and happy areas full of sunshine. The game somewhat fosters social activity in that other people have the opportunity to give input on what's going on in the game and helping to solve the challenges the player has to face. Unfortunately, this only lasts for so long as is pretty standard when people are watching rather than playing. I responded well to the game's reward structure because I enjoy games where as you progress your character gets more powerful, and you get better weapons. Over all, the game was good and kept me interested even after I don't have to play it anymore. The only things that I would change about it are certain quarks in the way the controls are set up. (This entry has been edited1 time. It was last edited on Wed, 20 Feb 2008 20:28:35.)Wed, 20 Feb 2008 19:49:49 CDT Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64) - Wed, 20 Feb 2008 15:43:09 The Legend of Zelda is a single player game where the player controls the main character, Link, and moves through the gameworld completing quests and collecting rupees. The object of the game is to make your way through different areas completing tasks and getting through various puzzles and obstacles in order to reach the end of the level. Gameplay: My emotional state during the game was both intensely concentrated, and genuinely interested. I actually enjoyed it enough to play a good deal longer than the set 45 minutes. I thought the characters in the game were adequately developed although there were a few instances of lack of explanation that irritated me. The games story was both simple enough to understand without spending too much time on it, and complicated enough to keep people interested in it which was one of the things I enjoyed most. The designers were able to convey a good amount of conflict by putting a few movies that each added a new aspect to the game. I found the overall gameplay to be enjoyable, but some of the obstacles and puzzles were irritating because they involved repeating a certain task several times due to their level of difficulty. One aspect of the gameplay that I did enjoy was the puzzle solving that was necessary in order to complete different areas. By the end of the first 15 minutes or so, I had an audience of three or four people who were helping me solve the puzzles and telling me what they thought I should do. The game was fun for everyone because they were able to actively participate to a certain extent. I experienced flow during the game because the game kept me busy for the most part at all times. I always had something to do whether it was fighting enemies or going to the store to resupply which is also an important quality for a game in my opinion.Wed, 20 Feb 2008 15:43:09 CDT of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PC) - Sat, 09 Feb 2008 23:28:16 During the second session, my emotional state was a little more relaxed, and I started to experiment with doing new things and fighting in different ways. I started being able to use the different weapons to more of their full potential and recognize enemies when they hid in obscure spots. I enjoyed trying different game types and levels this time around, and creating custom weapon classes was interesting too. The game was just as exciting to play a second time, especially after trying different guns and figuring out what types I was best at. As I got better, people got somewhat more interested in watching me, but again only for short periods of time. The main source of flow the second time through came from multiple kills, and successfully rooting people out of rooms they were in. Design: The good graphics and realistic aspects of the game make it interesting and desirable. The number of hits it takes to kill a person in the game were much more realistic than in a lot of other games. I liked the wide choice of levels and the way you could vary the size, intricacy, and even the weather. A few of the main challenges of the game is finding cover that the enemy can't shoot through, and counterbalancing the effects of the various gun's kick. The game makes use of the space provided in the levels by allowing players to climb ladders onto certain roofs, go into the basements of buildings, and lob high grenades over buildings to hit other players. The game actually hinders social interaction by forcing the players to focus on the game, and not being varied enough to hold spectators attention for long periods of time. If I could change anything about the game, it would be to increase the number of places there are to take cover on certain maps. The games reward structure was very appealing to me because I enjoyed reaching new levels, and learning how to use the new guns that I got. This game didn't really give me any new ideas for my game, but it was definitely fun to play.Sat, 09 Feb 2008 23:28:16 CDT of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PC) - Sat, 09 Feb 2008 22:55:09 COD 4 is a fast paced multi-player game where two teams fight to complete various objectives. Gameplay: My emotional state during the first session was focused and very involved in the outcome of the game. I enjoyed the way you could customize your characters weapons to fit certain level types and certain situations. I also thought it was cool how your character's outfit would change depending on what gun you are holding. There isn't much of a story in the multi-player mode other than the basic instructions for each game type, but it was fun to try to figure out where players on the opposing team were hiding or might be waiting for you. The gameplay was intense and really captivating which made it so my attention was on it for the whole time. The sense of real competition made every kill a huge victory, and every death want to hit the monitor. Trying to stay alive as well as put up a fight was an interesting part of the game because at any moment, a grenade could drop on you and explode. The game didn't allow for much social interaction, although people enjoyed watching it for certain amounts of time. I experienced flow in the game in the sense that after every death, you have to run right back into the action in order to contribute to your team, and win the game.Sat, 09 Feb 2008 22:55:09 CDT Smash Brothers (N64) - Sat, 26 Jan 2008 01:02:33 # 2 Gameplay: The mood of the game was again a relaxed environment where everyone could have fun. As I played more, I found that I preferred certain characters over the rest. I generally rotated play between two or three characters who's abilities I liked the most. The only real progression in the game was when people improved and were more challenging to play against. The series of random battles that occurred during the session didn't allow for a complicated plot or story. The game remained fun to play all through the second session and we were able to discover all kinds of new ways to play the second time around. The game environment allowed for a group of people to come together and take turns playing and watching and have fun doing both. Bystanders were able to watch and give input on how everyone was playing and make fun of anyone who got beaten. There was again a distinct feeling of flow while playing the game that came from it's continual increase in difficulty and the new aspects being introduced. Design: One of my favorite elements of this game was how the creators took characters from a bunch of different games and threw them all together in one to battle each other. The quality of the graphics weren't anything spectacular, but their cartoonish qualities made up for anything that was lacking by being original. The different levels in the game provided different scenery and different challenges built into the levels. One level might have a tree that tried to blow you over the edge, or space ships might try to blow you up with their lasers. The game creates conflict by throwing the players into intense and energetic head to head battles that forced them to be each others enemies. The game makes use of the space in it's environment by making players capable of moving a certain distance either way off the sides of the map and both above and below it. The tone of the game is happy and energetic to a point where it changes the mood of the players to fit the music. If there was one thing I could change about the game, it would be to change how easy it is for a character to be juggled. I found it annoying when another player would just repeatedly kick me into the air until i had so much damage that I shot off the map. This game helped me see how effective a tool the ability to set a mood for the players is. If the mood is right, it changes the whole gaming experience for everyone playing. Overall, I didn't feel the game exhibited emergence complexity due to it's lack of progression. There was no story progression and in all reality, the goals set for each game type was similar. I responded well to the game's reward system because I like out scoring everyone else and having the game clap for me. (This entry has been edited6 times. It was last edited on Sat, 26 Jan 2008 01:29:34.)Sat, 26 Jan 2008 01:02:33 CDT Smash Brothers (N64) - Sat, 26 Jan 2008 00:46:33 #1 Summary: Super Smash Brothers is a 1-4 player fighting game where the person who gets the most kills is the winner. There are a variety of characters available and several different game types. Gameplay: My emotional state during the game was happy and completely relaxed which made for a great game environment. I really liked how there was a selection of characters that actual had different useful moves and their own strengths and weaknesses. There wasn't any real set plot to speak of. The game is more of an arena type series of battles with various opponents. The gameplay was fun and enjoyable regardless of skill level. It was almost hard not to have fun while playing the game, especially because you didn't have to be serious while playing it. The game was fun to both play and watch because so much was going on all the time. You were also able to play team matches where you could share lives and fight together. I definitely experienced flow throughout the course of the game due both to it's fast pace nature, and the exciting and fun environment it generated.Sat, 26 Jan 2008 00:46:33 CDT Theft Auto: Vice City (PS2) - Fri, 25 Jan 2008 02:27:03 In game, you play a criminal fresh out of jail that has just botched a drug deal, and now must find out who wrecked the deal. You go around town doing various jobs and trying to find out who betrayed you. Gameplay: This game kept me interested and amused the entire time I was playing it. The various characters each had their own amusing lines that helped keep things interesting, and the story was fun to go along with. The overall gameplay was very enjoyable because not only did you have specific missions you could carry out, but you could also do things on the side like going and just driving around. The game stayed interesting because of its general fast pace and the introduction of new areas, weapons and tasks. Other people were also able to find the game enjoyable by laughing at me when I'd hit something or go flying off a bridge while driving. I was also able to get their input on what I should do. I experienced flow during the whole period I was playing. The only thing that was able to disrupt it was how easy it is for your character to die. Fri, 25 Jan 2008 02:27:03 CDT Theft Auto: Vice City (PS2) - Fri, 25 Jan 2008 02:15:24 The second hour I played, the story progressed much in the same way only your character gets more money and more power. The difficulty of each task you have to complete also increases as time goes on. I stayed interested for the most part for the whole span of the time, and even if i got stuck it was interesting trying to solve a problem a different way. The introduction of new accessories and options kept things fresh and allowed many opportunities to have fun just messing around. It was exciting to get a new weapon or find a new place to try and to tricks in cars. I also thought it was cool how there were little mini games thrown in randomly. Design: This game stayed interesting for me because it not only had a set storyline, but you also had the option to just go off and explore. I thought that the large levels provided a great environment to just drive a car around in trying to avoid accidents, or aiming for them on purpose. They also allowed for locations for missions to be well spread out. The game helps to generate a social environment by being a fast paced storyline that doesn't require you to be too involved if you're just watching. The game also helped me to decide that when I make mine, it's going to be fast pace to keep the player interested. I liked the rewards system in this game because you received them at a fast rate and they kept things from getting repetitive and dull. The game also used cutscenes very effectively in order to provide a background story and continually add new elements as it went along.Fri, 25 Jan 2008 02:15:24 CDT