Great Dane Games

Great Dane Games

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This weblog is the digital playground for Anders Højsted. I'm a philosopher, indie gamedeveloper, writer & all-round renaissance man.

Gameplay Verbs

Game DesignPosted by Anders Højsted Mon, December 14, 2009 11:02
It's been a bit quiet in here; I've been busy with the Nordic Game Jam 2010, looking for jobs and making games.

On top of all of this, there's the COP15 meeting in Copenhagen, so there's demonstrations and events all over town and some of the public transportation is not working (I couldn't get a bus saturday, - they were full of people going to the big demonstration, - 100.000 people). And my leftwing friends are getting arrested for participating in peacefull demonstrations. Life is a bit crazy in Copenhagen these days; there's people from all over the world here which is amazing and wonderfull, - all we need to do is to keep the demonstrations peacefull.

Now about the games:
Evolution: Fitness has been a bit on hold. Chris Hecker's talk about the "why in games" (as in "why do I want to make this game") made me think about a lot of stuff. So I got an idea for a different game (called Try/Fail), that I just wanted to make. Unfortunally I underestimated the effort required to make it, so I've been working on it for a while now. It's a really small game but some of the gameplay seems to go against what GameMaker can do, so I'm struggling with it.

However, I've had a dream. I've had this vague idea about a game about reality for a while. It's partly inspired by the concept of consensus reality. Consensus reality is the idea that the reality(:what is real) is based on what we can agree on. This is epistemologically & ontologically false; reality doesn't care about what we think about it. Well, physical reality doesn't. In social sciences you have the concept of socially constructed reality; - that our perception of the world (and according actions) are based on a socially constructed language that shapes or perception. Right?

(Ok, here's a funny exercise: find 3 words that describes the same behaviour, but with different values attached. Examples could be terrorist, rebel, freedomfighter or stingy, parsimonious, thrifty (you can find a lot of inspiration in thesaurusses). Each word changes your perception of how the person is).

Now, the idea for the consensus reality game is that you handle the challenges in the game by changing your perception of reality in the game.

I wrote the idea into X and realized that I used the verb "shifting" (as in "shifting reality") for the basic gameplay-mechanism in the game. Somebody (either Chris Crawford or Greg Costikyan) pionered that concept of gameplay-verbs; verbs that describe the gameplay. I haven't seen any other games that uses the verb "shifting" to describe the gameplay.

Which leeds me to the interesting: can we reverse engineer this process and come up with new forms of gameplay by using new verbs? (After all: there's plenty to take from; go now, - innovate!)

Love all,

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