Author Archive for Petri Lankoski

30
Sep
14

CFP: DiGRA 2015

Diversity of play: Games – Cultures – Identities
14-17 May 2015, Lüneburg, Germany

www.digra2015.org

Video game culture has had a self-image of being a distinct cultural form united by participants identifying themselves as ‘gamers’ for many years. Variations in this identity have been perceived either in relation to preferred platform or level of commitment and skill (newbie, casual, core, pro, etc.). Today the popularity of games has increased dramatically, games have become more specialized and gaming is taking place in a number of divergent practices, from e-sport to gamification. In addition, the gamer position includes a number of roles and identities such as: players, learners, time-fillers, users, fans, roleplayers, theory crafters, speed runners, etc. Furthermore, techniques like gamification and game-based learning, as well as the playful use of computer simulation for training purposes, is making it difficult to distinguish games from non-games.

Additionally, video game culture is merging with other forms of popular culture and new mobile technologies are making distinctions between digital and non-digital gaming blurred. Yet, whilst the forms of play seem to have become more diverse, the content of games is often only challenged by independent titles. This is the case despite a maturing audience, some of whom now seem to urge for more diverse themes and representations within games. In the light of increasing criticism of the representations and practices that have dominated much of games culture, it seems that the relationship between the identity of the ‘gamer’ and the content of games is undergoing a change.

Traditionally, game studies has tried to find common ground, seeking shared definitions and epistemologies. DiGRA 2015 seeks to encourage questions about the ‘Diversity of play’, with a focus on the multiple different forms, practices and identities labeled as games and/or game culture. The conference aims to address the challenge of studying and documenting games, gaming and gamers, in a time when these categories are becoming so general and/or contested, that they might risk losing all meaning. Given this, what concepts do we need to develop in order for our research to be cumulative and how do we give justice to the diverse forms of play found in different games and game cultures?

As in the previous year, DiGRA 2015 will accept submissions in five categories: full papers, abstracts, panel, workshops, and events. All submissions will be peer-reviewed using double blind reviewing. In addition, all submissions will receive a meta review and authors of rejected full papers will have the possibility to send a rebuttal if they perceive they have been given biased or uninformed reviewers. The conference welcomes submissions on a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to, the following:

Game cultures
Games and intersections with other cultural forms
Online gaming and communication in game worlds
Gender and gaming
Games as representation
Minority groups and gaming
Childhood and gaming
The gaming industry and independent games
Game journalism
Gaming in non-leisure settings
Applications of game studies in other domains
Gamification
System perspectives and mathematical game theory
Hybrid games and non-digital games
Game design characteristics
Technological systems
Simulations

Deadlines
Submission deadlines 22 January (hard deadline)
Acceptance/rejection notification 16 March
Rebuttal deadline 19 March
Camera ready deadline 14 April

Location & Date
14-17 May 2015
Lüneburg, Germany
At Campus of Leuphana University of Lüneburg
Scharnhorststr. 1
D-21335 Lüneburg

For more information and the latest updates regarding the DiGRA 2015 conference, see http://www.digra2015.org

Program Chairs
Staffan Björk
Jonas Linderoth

Continue reading ‘CFP: DiGRA 2015′

21
Sep
14

Colliders and Different Methods of Moving Objects in Unity

One problem with students starting to work with Unity is to understand when colliders work and when they do not work. This very simple demonstration shows how Physics::AddForce(), CharacterController:: SimpleMove() and Translate.Transform() behaves with colliders. Moving a GameObject using Physics and CharacterController based methods interacts with collisions whereas Transform::Translate() does not as seen in the video. Moreover, Translate does not work with MonoBehavior::OnTriggerEnter().


Physics::AddForce():

public class PhysicMove : MonoBehaviour {

	void Start () {
		rigidbody.AddForce (new Vector3 (100, 0, 0));
	}
}

CharacterController::SimpleMove()

public class Move : MonoBehaviour {

	public float speed;

	private CharacterController controller;

	void Start () {
		controller = GetComponent ();
	}
	
	void Update () {
		controller.SimpleMove (new Vector3 (1, 0, 0) * Time.deltaTime * speed);
	}
}

Transform::Translate()

public class MoveTranslate : MonoBehaviour {

	public float speed;

	void Start () {
		enabled = false;
	}

	void Update () {
		transform.Translate (new Vector3 (1, 0, 0) * Time.deltaTime * speed);
	}
}
19
Jun
14

Research on game characters

Schröter & Thon, Video Game Characters: Theory and Analysis, Diegesis 3, 2014, https://diegesis.uni-wuppertal.de/index.php/diegesis/article/view/151/194

Abstract: This essay develops a method for the analysis of video game characters based on a theoretical understanding of their medium-specific representation and the mental processes involved in their intersubjective construction by video game players. We propose to distinguish, first, between narration, simulation, and communication as three modes of representation particularly salient for contemporary video games and the characters they represent, second, between narrative, ludic, and social experience as three ways in which players perceive video game characters and their representations, and, third, between three dimensions of video game characters as ‘intersubjective constructs’, which usually are to be analyzed not only as fictional beings with certain diegetic properties but also as game pieces with certain ludic properties and, in those cases in which they function as avatars in the social space of a multiplayer game, as representations of other players. Having established these basic distinctions, we proceed to analyze their realization and interrelation by reference to the character of Martin Walker from the third-person shooter Spec Ops: The Line (Yager Development 2012), the highly customizable player-controlled characters from the role-playing game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda 2011), and the complex multidimensional characters in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare 2011-2014).

Vella, Player and Figure: An Analysis of a Scene in Kentucky Route Zero in Nordic Digra 2014, http://www.digra.org/wp-content/uploads/digital-library/nordicdigra2014_submission_2.pdf

Abstract: Discussions of the relation between the player and the figure under her control have identified a duality between the figure as ‘avatar’ and ‘character’. This paper argues that two separate dualities are being conflated: an ontological duality in the figure, by which it is both self and other for the player, and a duality in the player’s relation to it, which can be both subjective and objective. This insight is used as the basis for developing a two-axis model that identifies four aspects to the player-figure relation. This model is then put to work on a close analysis of a scene in Kentucky Route Zero (Cardboard Computer 2013), which will serve to demonstrate the dimensions of the player-figure relation.

Johansson, Strååt, Warpefelt & Verhagen, Analyzing the Social Dynamics of Non-Player Characters, Frontiers in Gaming Simulation, http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-04954-0_21

Abstract: Much of the current research into artificial intelligence (AI) for computer games has been focused on simple actions performed by the characters in games (such as moving between points or shooting at a target, and other simple strategic actions), or on the overarching structure of the game story. However, we claim that these two separate approaches need to be bridged in order to fully realize the potential of enjoyment in computer games. As such, we have explored the middle ground between the individual action and the story – the type of behavior that occurs in a “scene” within the game. To this end we have established a new model for that can be used to discover in what ways a non-player character acts in ways that break the player’s feeling of immersion in the world.

05
Jun
14

The First Graduates…

The first students in bachelors programs Computer Game Programme: Game Design and Production and Computer Game Programme: Game Graphics. A group of graduating students also just got their first game A Story About My Uncle released on Steam.

In addition, the first students are graduating from the  Game design and production masters program at Aalto University (was establishing that program and teaching there during the first year of the program). The first students get their masters degree this spring.

A Story About My Uncle Launch trailer by the Gone North Games.

12
Mar
14

An Experiment in Teaching Level Design

I wanted to introduce some unconventional design approaching while teaching level design. I have had an idea to do a game with using a surrealist  approach. For that I designed a game stub and coded the base functionality on the top of Unity. The student are tasked to do level design using that design, code, created prefabs.

My slides for the course intro (http://www.slideshare.net/lankoski/level-designintro)

03
Mar
14

Game System Design Lecture Slides

(http://www.slideshare.net/lankoski/game-system-design)

25
Feb
14

Both Parts of the Finland Symposium Special in Simulation and Gaming is Out

Symposium: Development of a Finnish Community of Game Scholars (in December 2013, 44:6 and February 3014, 45:1 issues)

  • J. Tuomas Harviainen,  Timo Lainema,  Jaakko Suominen, and Erno Soinila. Development of a Finnish Community of Game Scholars (available free, DOI=10.1177/1046878113513533)
  • Kimmo Oksanen. Subjective Experience and Sociability in a Collaborative Serious Game
  • Janne Paavilainen, Juho Hamari, Jaakko Stenros, and Jani Kinnunen. Social Network Games: Players’ Perspectives
  •  Carolina Islas Sedano, Verona Leendertz, Mikko Vinni, Erkki Sutinen,  and Suria Ellis. Hypercontextualized Learning Games: Fantasy, Motivation, and Engagement in Reality
  • Lauri-Matti Palmunen, Elina Pelto, Anni Paalumäki, and Timo Lainema.
    Formation of Novice Business Students’ Mental Models Through Simulation Gaming
  • Simo Järvelä, J. Matias Kivikangas, Jari Kätsyri, and Niklas Ravaja. Physiological Linkage of Dyadic Gaming Experience
  • Benjamin Cowley, Ilkka Kosunen, Petri Lankoski, J. Matias Kivikangas, Simo Järvelä, Inger Ekman, Jaakko Kemppainen, and Niklas Ravaja. Experience Assessment and Design in the Analysis of Gameplay
  • Hanna Wirman. Gender and Identity in Game-Modifying Communities



Categories

Archives

Petri Lankoski

Books

Character-Driven Game Design

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 203 other followers