Assignment #3

  1. After reading Poole’s article I felt like that his idea of video games was more based around the idea of a job rather then something we would just play and have fun. He assumes that work and play are separate and can’t be the same. Though I disagree with his thoughts on the matter he does bring a good point that some games do feel like chore, but that blame should be put on the designer not the player. If a game is well designed and alot of work was put into not making it feel like a job then for the player it will feel less of a job, but rather an enjoyable experience.

2. I believe that a good playground design mostly addresses Poole’s concerns. Poole believed that games were essentially rigid and tells the player that they are in a set bound of rules of what they can or cannot do. Playground design though does have some ideas like a slide you go down or you climb on the monkey bars, but that is not always the case. With a playground it is something physical, which you can in this case break the rules by going up the slide or climbing above the monkey bars. Though we are still bound to a set of “rules” or a job there are ways we can still manipulate it to give us some control.

3. What works well is are the points of kid stuff, young designers, beyond accessibility. Why this works is that kid stuff in a virtual playground is that you can still create a area that helps with coordination and many other skills children need (well to a point), but you can make that playground fun and even something that could be unrealistic to create in real life.  Young designers work is because children can in some games create their own playground that them and their friends can play in, which changes the dynamic or a playground being static and once it’s build that’s it. Beyond accessibility works as well because it gives children especially with disabilities to play in a playground without being bound to the physical aspects of a playground.

Why the other three do not work is because for highs and lows  and safety talk about problems with children getting hurt in playgrounds. The nice thing with virtual playgrounds is that the danger to themselves is much less, but still can be just as fun. Free play is also something that would not work because things like vives or rifts are not always accessible to children, but physical places like playgrounds are easy to get and use.

6 key virtual playground designs for adults.

  1. Interesting design/structure
  2. Easy to use
  3. Can interact with many things
  4. Toys or interactives are different and designed well
  5. Able to be enjoyed by different audiences
  6. Able to use 3D well

Assignment #3

  1. From what I read, it sounds like the author holds that stance that games are like a job. You kill enemies or complete tasks to get currency to buy new weapons/skills/items in order to kill enemies/complete tasks and so on and so forth. The author argues that this is menial, and does not fit the definitions of play and “fun”, so rather than games being fun and for leisure, they are more of an employer/employee relationship.

    I sort of have to disagree. I can understand that certain genres of games can have such an effect (like MMOs, RPGs, where grinding is key), but I cannot say that I have felt like I was “working” when I play most games.

    It seems to me that the author assumes one key thing, and that is that a job cannot be fun. I mean, we all want to eventually work somewhere where work isn’t really work anymore, right? It’s fun to do that job, or at least it’s usually enjoyable.

    When writing out a game cycle like “complete task -> money -> buy stuff -> complete task ….” it does SEEM pretty crappy, but if a game is well designed, it doesn’t feel that way.

  2. Does good playground design address the previous article’s concerns? Yes and no. The author from the article says that games are very rigid in what can and cannot be done. You essentially follow the actions that the developers wanted you to in order to complete the game.

    Since a playground is a real life object, it allows for more ways to manipulated in ways that were not originally intended. For instance, a slide is made to go down, right? But as kids, we probably all climbed UP the slide instead. That is a way of play that was probably not intended for in the design of a slide. BUT! Even so, the way of manipulating the design of a playground still only goes so far. We can’t detach a slide and flip it or whatever; we’re still bound by the “engine”.

  3. Would work: “Kid stuff”, “Young designers”, “Beyond accessibility”,
    Don’t work: “Highs and lows”, “free play”, “safety”,

    1. Interesting structures
    2. High color contrasts
    3. Accessibility for many
    4. Design good toys first
    5. Adjust to the audience
    6. Make use of the 3rd dimension

Assignment 2, prep for Project 2


SoundSelf was definitely trippy to look at, and while I’ve never taken LSD before, I’ll just take their word for it. The visuals are certainly interesting and cool to look at, but when they started flashing rapidly, I had to take a break—this could be a problem for people who actually do experience epilepsy or something similar. The voice input was great and I liked how players are encouraged to go at their own pace, though if they wanted to go for a more meditative and relaxing experience, having the visuals be a bit slow and pulsating more to match that experience would’ve been better.

(video here)


Classroom Aquatic was somewhat similar to Accounting, so I decided to try out Disunion, Guillotine simulator instead. Although the game was short, the blade zooming down towards you was very effective, as was the jarring experience of being a bouncing head on the cobblestones. To make the experience more provocative, I think it would’ve helped if there was a little more buildup to before the player opens their eyes already positioned at the guillotine. Cutting off the player’s sense of sight—in-story this would be the bag over the condemned’s head—and amplifying their hearing—breathing, footsteps, crowd murmuring—as they’re led to the scaffold could be a nice touch in building up anticipation.

(video here)

Novel/Dramatic experience

Since Global Game Jam took place over the weekend, I didn’t have much time or freedom to find a really novel or dramatic experience. However, this was my first GGJ, so I suppose this could count to some degree. I’ve stayed up late before, but I’ve never stayed awake for more than 24 hours. My sense of control began to slip as time went on, so perhaps a new game experience could be that increasing lack of control, almost like a drunk simulator the longer the game goes.

Baby Not Want Prototype

Name: Baby Not Want


Gage O’Connor – Programming

Thom Cote – Programming

Jackson DeVinny – 3D Modeling / Sound Fx

Rob Gonzalez –

Dan Hammond – 3D Modeling

Instructions: Use head movements to control your arms to accept or reject food or harmful objects being thrown at you.




Postmortem: Progressing as planned; there is now a health system where each type of object has its own health value (+ or -).  We have plans for a 3-stage progression.

Gyro Games – Achilles the Space Pirate


Name: Achilles the Space Pirate

Team Members:
Cason Jolly – 3D Modeling – Created assets for the scene
Greg Mendez-Weeks – Programming – got our prototype and main mechanic working
Alex Scheithauer – Concept Art – created our team logo
Sam Nguyen – 3D Modeling – Created assets for the scene
Amanda Bonacorso – Production – Kept us on track
Francisco Carmona – ???

Instructions: Hold down the spacebar and move the headset to tilt the scene. Objects in the room, including the player character, will fall in that direction due to gravity physics.

Link to the build: AchillesV0.2 executable



Postmortem: We got the main mechanic working in a very short time. However, the game still induces motion sickness if used for long periods of time. We are still working on a solution for this, but we have ideas. We just need to implement them. In the long run, we do wish to keep working on this project for the rest of the quarter.

Two Johns – Onenism

This week we developed a basic prototype & got our feet wet in the Vive development environment. This prototype is Much Too External but our next iteration should involve more physicality in the interactions provided. During discussions in class we began to move more towards an abstract representation of the body rather than a literal, identity based representation.