software

You are here

So-Called Social Games

[The following text is part of my upcoming master’s thesis on the use of game mechanics in therapy games for children. This is just a rough first draft, and I gladly welcome all critique and suggestions – be it on a content level or regarding my use of language.

After having analysed some of the most-played Facebook games in previous instalments of this series (Candy Crush Saga, FarmVille 2, Puzzle Bobble Clones, Diamond Dash and Pet Rescue Saga), this final chapter looks at what is so “social” about these “social games” – if at all.]

It is a common assumption that games that are part of the Facebook platform are inherently more “social” than other games, since that platform offers the possibility to developers to tap into the social graph.

English

Pet Rescue Saga: Mix and Match

[The following text is part of my upcoming master’s thesis on the use of game mechanics in therapy games for children. As part of my master’s thesis I am analysing already existing games that are commonly known to be addictive. A lot of those games are Facebook games.]

Pet Rescue Saga by King is probably one of the best examples of how certain game mechanics are not unique to a game, but can be adapted to other games. Pet Rescue Saga is basically a mixture between Diamond Dash and Candy Crush Saga, yet works surprisingly well.

English

FarmVille 2: Crop Circles

[The following text is part of my upcoming master’s thesis on the use of game mechanics in therapy games for children.]

FarmVille by Zynga is probably one of the best known Facebook games to date, both because of players that cannot seem to quit the game and their Facebook friends that are annoyed by the game’s ceaseless stream of pleas for help, designed to suck in even more players. FarmVille 2 has several tightly interwoven game mechanics that manage to keep the player glued to the game. The most important among them are the tight feedback loops, where finishing one task has an immediate effect on the next task at hand; a constant stream of quests that provide temporary “winning” conditions in an otherwise endless game; the possibility of self-expression through decoration, even if severely limited and finally the integration of Facebook friends that “ask for help”, cleverly exploiting social norms that result in players returning to the game again and again.

English

Candy Crush Saga: Fun for the whole family

[The following text is part of my upcoming master’s thesis on the use of game mechanics in therapy games for children. This is just a rough first draft, and I gladly welcome all critique and suggestions – be it on a content level or regarding my use of language.]

Candy Crush Saga by King.com is a classic casual game (as most Facebook games are), that caters to different player types at once: the puzzler, the explorer as well as the competitive player. Candy Crush Saga is a Bejeweled clone, a simple matching tile game. Candy Crush Saga combines various basic game mechanics and feedback methods in order to attract a diverse set of player types. The basic game allows players to recognise patterns and create order (a common theme with many casual games, which is quite rewarding in itself), the level map caters to the explorer type, while the constant feedback of how well the player’s peers did eggs on competitive players. By catering to all those different player types alike, the producers of the game manage to capture an audience as large as possible, something a therapy game would likely have to achieve as well.

English

How to paint a seamless texture in Photoshop

This requires Photoshop Extended, since the 3D tools are only available in the Extended Version of Photoshop. It also has (at least in my current version, CS5) some serious shortcomings, i. e. forget about layers. Kiss them goodbye. Also, performance-wise, this is not something that works without waiting between every second brush stroke.

English

How to assign more than one material to a mesh in Blender 2.5 and up

You occasionally want to assign more than one material to a mesh in blender. You might need different textures on the same mesh, and don’t want to break up the mesh into different objects.

English

Digging Holes into Unity3D Terrains

That’s gonna be a short post, because all you need to know is over on Robert’s1 blog:

Say you’re making a Unity game that takes place in a large landscape dotted with windmills, and some of these windmills have tunnels that lead underground. But in Unity, the terrain collider is generated from heightmap data: it’s essentially one giant bumpy plane. You can’t punch holes in it.

English