Game designing is the art of applying design and aesthetics for the creation of a game for entertainment or for educational, exercise, or experimental purposes. The elements and principles of game design increasingly are also applicable to various other interactions, particularly virtual ones. Game design crafts goals, rules and challenges for defining a board game, dice game, card game, casino game, sport, role-playing game, video game, simulation or war game that produces desirable interactions among its participants and, possibly, spectators.
Game design is a part of game studies academically, while game theory focuses on strategic decision making. Games have historically inspired seminal research in the fields of probability, artificial intelligence, optimization theory, and economics. Applying game design to itself is a current research topic in metal design.
Game studies or gaming theory is a discipline which deals with the critical study of games, game design, players, and their dedicated role in society and culture. Before the late-twentieth century, the academic study of games was very rare and was limited to certain fields like history and anthropology. As the video game revolution took off in the early 1980s, so did the academic interest in games which resulted in a field that draws on diverse methodologies and schools of thought. These influences are characterized broadly in three ways: the social science approach, the humanities approach, and the industry and engineering approach.
The social scientific approach has concerned itself with the question of "What do games do to people?" Using various tools and methods like surveys and controlled laboratory experiments, ethnography researchers have investigated both the positive and negative impacts which playing games could have on people. More sociologically informed research has sought to move away from the simplistic ideas of gaming as either 'negative' or 'positive', but rather seeking to know and understand its role and location in the complexities of everyday life. Generally, the humanities approach has focused itself on the question of "What meanings are made through games?" Using many tools and methods like interviews, ethnographies and participant observation, researchers have come up with the various roles that video games play in people's lives, mind, and activities together with the meaning they give to their experiences.
A lot of game studies research from an industry perspective can be seen as the academic response to the video game industry's questions regarding the products it designs and sells. The main question with which this approach deals with can be summarized as "How can we create better games?" accompanying "What makes a game good?" Now, good can be understood with many different things, including an entertaining and engaging experience, being simple to learn and play, and being innovative and having novel experiences. Different approaches to studying this problem have included looking at describing how to design games and extraction of various guidelines and thumb rules for making better games.
A study of strategic decision making is known as a Game theory. Specifically, it is "the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers". An alternative term used "as a more descriptive name for the discipline" is interactive decision theory. The subject primarily addressed zero-sum games, such that one person's gains exactly equal net losses of the other participant or participants. Today, however, game theory applies to a wide range of behavioral relations and has developed into an umbrella term for the logical side of decision science.
The games studied in game theory are well-explained mathematical objects. To be fully defined, a game must define the following elements: the players of the game, the information, and actions available to each player at each decision point, and also the payoffs for each outcome. A game theorist typically utilizes these elements in addition to a solution concept of their choosing, to deduce a set of equilibrium strategies for each player such that, when these strategies are employed, no player can gain by unilaterally deviating from their strategy. These equilibrium strategies define an equilibrium to the game—a stable state in which either one outcome occurs or a set of outcomes occur with a known probability.
Elements of Game Design
Tools of the game: Games are often divided by the components which are required to play them. In places where the use of leather is well established, the ball has been a famous and well-known game piece throughout recorded history, resulting in worldwide popularity of ball games like rugby, football, basketball, tennis, cricket, and volleyball. Many countries in Europe, for example, have unique standard decks of playing cards. Other games like chess can be traced primarily through the development and evolution of its game pieces.
Development of Rules: Games are often characterized by their tools and are defined by their rules. While rules are subject to variations and changes, enough change in the rules usually results in a new game. There are exceptions to this in which some games involve the changing of their own rules, but even then there are often immutable meta-rules.
Victory conditions: Common winning conditions are being first to amass a certain quota of points or tokens. If you have the greatest number of tokens at the end of the game, some relationship of one's game tokens to those of one's opponent or reaching a certain point in a storyline, you are declared as a winner.
Single or multiplayer: Most games require multiple players. Single-player games are unique in respect to the type of challenges a player faces. Unlike a game with multiple players competing with or against each other to reach the goal of the game, a single-player game is against an element of the environment, against time, against oneself, or against chance. This is also true of cooperative games, in which multiple players share a common goal and win or lose together.
Storyline and plot: Stories told in games may focus on narrative elements which can be communicated via the use of mechanics and player choice. Narrative plots in games generally have a clearly defined and simple structure. Mechanical choices often drastically affect the narrative elements in the game. Due to a lack of unified and standardized teaching and understanding of narrative elements in games, methods, individual interpretations, and terminology vary wildly. Because of this, most narrative elements in games are created unconsciously and intuitively.
Luck and strategy: Tools and rules of a game result in its requiring skill, strategy, luck, or a combination thereof, and are classified accordingly. Many cards and board games combine all the elements like most trick-taking games involve mental skill, strategy, and an element of chance, as do many strategic board games like Risk, Settlers of Catan, and Carcassonne.
By: Preeti Narula
Posted By - Assistant Editor