Week 3: 10/10/2020
Unfortunately, I did not have time to further develop my mechanic this week, but I spent some time thinking about how my mechanic from last week fits into the analytical frameworks covered in this week’s lecture.
My mechanic is a gun which is used to alter the size of game objects, to be used in the context of a fast paced puzzle game (see last week's post for more)
MDA – Mechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics (Hunicke, LeBlanc, Zubek, 2004) - This framework breaks games down into 3 design components, with Mechanics being the core rules and interactions, which are combined to create a gameplay Dynamic, which generates the game's Aesthetic.
Using this framework, the base Mechanic for my project will be the previously mentioned size gun, combined with the player's ability to run and jump. I have yet to decide on any other mechanics, but I aim to create a puzzle-solving Dynamic, to generate an Aesthetic of Challenge, Sensation, Discovery, and possibly Narrative.
This framework creates an effective tool to analyse games, but the strong focus on mechanics is Flawed when used to analyse narrative driven games, where story can be just as important as game mechanics. The framework suggests that narrative is an Aesthetic generated by Dynamics and Mechanics, but many narrative based games exist which do the opposite, where mechanics are designed to suit the game's story, putting the story as the core component.
In my opinion, Jesse Schell's Elemental Tetrad (The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Schell, 2008) is a more effective framework, which proposes that Story is equally important component, alongside Mechanics, Aesthetics, and Technology.
Hunicke, R., LeBlanc., M, Zubek., R. (2004) MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research. [online] Available at: https://www.aaai.org/Papers/Workshops/2004/WS-04-04/WS04-04-001.pdf
Schell, J. (2008) The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses. Amsterdam/Boston: Morgan Kaufhann Publishers.