Over the past twelve days, I've been wrestling with all sorts of issues - in fact, I have pretty much deconstructed myself and then, when the screaming in my head subsided, put myself back together again. There are a few bits that I couldn't work out where they belonged, so I've put those in a drawer along with some old keys and a book of matches. It's always like that when I try and take things apart.
While rebuilding my psyche, I came to the question of what I want to do when I grow up. I'm thirtysomething, but still...
I came to the unimpressive conclusion that I want to make games. That seemed insufficient, so I explored what happens when I put 'that' on the end of the sentence. This led to: I want to make games that people enjoy playing. When your subconscious is vomiting concepts that look like tautologies, you have to wonder.
Anyway, here's the content of my blog nebula (also known as the scrap of paper which lives under the laptop), which may or may not be a glimpse into the future:
- The Rituals of Alea: I still plan to write on all six of Caillois' core concepts. We've only just begun to explore these concepts in a modern context, and I'm finding it fascinating. So far I've only written on Ilinx. I think Alea is likely to be next, as it seems to be quite misunderstood.
- Game Tests (DGD2): I will definitely be exploring ideas for simple games to test people's play style and play needs at some point in the future, although when remains to be seen. Although the "game tests" will likely be inspired by Temperament Theory, the research (if and when it happens) will doubtless show something completely different - good scientists love being wrong!
- TV Structure in Games: I thought I'd written about this before, but apparently not. Why do we tend to structure commercial games (which are 8-40 hours long) like films (which are 1-3 hours long) when we could structure them like a TV season (which is 12-24 hours long)?
- The Flow Channel and Play Styles (Difficulty): this is about why some players are comfortable near the top of the flow channel (e.g. Hard Fun, Type 1 Conqueror) and some are comfortable near the bottom (e.g. Easy Fun, Type 3 Wanderer) and whether or not dynamic difficulty is desirable - and whether it is achievable.
- Beyond Clusters: Direct Game Design: we've used cluster analysis, because it's one of the few tools we have for examining the gaming audience. But in the future, will we be able to create games which tailor themselves (automatically, or by player action) to the individual players' needs?
- Pure Speculation: Neural Brain Functions: I've been putting this one off, because it's pure speculation. I studied neural networks as an undergraduate, and I have fragmentary ideas as to how this relates to the activities of the brain that I'd like to share (this is not, I should stress, about consciousness).
Well, we'll just have to see what riots out of my fingers...