Wednesday, 29 October 2014


In out lecture with Rob, we were set the task of playing the well known game Battleships (seems simple enough,) the only request that he had was that we focused on what we were getting enjoyment from, which mechanic led the FUN (sorry Dave, i said it!)

So, my partner and I played a game and i found that there was a degree of "tension and relief" in the game, when you have survived until the end of the game and you are both clinging onto your final ship. The Two-space ship (which i shall refer to as the 'two-er'). Being the smallest ship on the playing field, it is usually the last ship to be found and throughout our game there were many near misses which were slowly building up tension until i finally found my enemy's ship and sunk it just in the nick of time. The Two-er was the thing that i saw the most fun in, this ship is what i focused on.

After our first game, we were then asked to make a change and iterate the game further. Seeing that the smallest ship was hardest to find, naturally I decided to enhance the enjoyment with more small ships. I decided to add three One-ers, these would be even harder to find, yes, but there would be an abundance of them, giving a release of joy in the player when they hit one.

The game-play however disproved my theory, the game just seemed to play the same way that it did previous to iteration. These ships were too hard to hit, my theory of getting more joy relied on them being sunk, which just wasn't happening and the game was just lasting much longer.

I would like to play around with this idea a bit more however, possibly adding more two-ers or linking the one-ers together so that you only need to hit one to sink them all. This is however a task for another day. Rob's task opened my eyes to the possibilities and potential in many games to be more fun and offer different emotions by changing the rules. Even old games can be changed and improved by iteration.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


  • Moles, A. (1998) "Design and Immateriality: What of it in a Post Industrial Society?" in Brady, D and Clark, H (eds) Design Studies: A Reader. New York, Berg. pp 376-382.
  • Bussby, J, Parrish, Z and Wilson, J (2010) Mastering Unreal Technology Volume 1: Introduction to level design with Unreal Engine 3. Indiana, Sams Publishing.
  • Parsons, S. (2010). "Critical Play: Radical Game Design by Mary Flanagan", MIT Press, 353 pp.,  The Knowledge Engineering Review, [online] 25(03), pp.353-354.
  • Murray, H J R. "A History Of Board-Games Other Than Chess". Oxford: Clarendon, 1952. Print.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

An Introductory Post

What is the title of the book (fiction) you are currently reading, or what is the title of the last fiction book you read?

In the summer I read a novel called Bec, by Darren Shan. Bec is the fourth book in Shan's Demonata series, which take place in Celtic Ireland. I was introduced to the Demonata series after finishing the "Darren Shan" saga (An earlier series by Shan about vampires). A friend of mine lent me signed copies of the first two books in the series and I instantly loved them. Having thoroughly enjoyed Bec I am Looking foreword to reading the next instalment in the series.

What is the Title/Topic of the book (non-fiction) you are reading?

I started to read Challenges for game designers, one of the recommended texts for this year. I am really enjoying it so far; it is very informative and the challenges look interesting and would like to do some of them.

What is the last live performance you attended?

I saw a performance of Oklahoma at the Wolsey theatre in Ipswich in the summer, performed by the Appeal Theatre group, a group which my family is heavily involved. The performance was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am proud of all of my friends who were involved.

What is the title of the last film you saw at the cinema?

A few weeks ago I saw Guardians of the Galaxy at Cine-world. It is hard to describe my experience because it was so excellent that my words fail me. If it is possible to imagine a cross between Star Wars and Firefly, you have Guardians of the Galaxy. All I can really say is that it is a must see film for everyone.

How often do you read a newspaper?

I don't really read newspapers, I used to read them at school but only really to browse through them and I never payed much attention to them other than to laugh with my friends over the infamous Daily Mail horoscopes.

Which art gallery did you last visit?

I last visited the Tate Modern on a GCSE Photography trip and even though I was studying art at the time, many of the exhibitions went over my head apart from the occasional gem which made sense to me in some way or maybe I thought looked "cool".

How many hours a week do you spend playing video games?

Far too many. I spend a lot of time playing games such as CS:GO and Diablo 3, either grinding for hours looking for gear for my level 70 monk or failing miserably, getting killed round after round in competitive Counter-Strike.

How many hours a week do you spend playing non digital games?

I have been taking part in a few board games in the Games Society here and have enjoyed most of the new games that i have been introduced to and i would like to spend more time playing non digital games as they are in some ways more social than video games and I believe I could learn a lot from their mechanics.