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Gaming Influences

Collin Hover, Graduate Thesis: Kaiopua

List of Games that may have influenced the project
1. alphabetical game name (with genre)
2. one sentence description
3. why I played
4. what we may learn from the game (intentional or not)

Summary

I tend to play games more for the aspect of interaction with others through gaming, with a preference for playing with friends as opposed to alone. Unique core mechanics, i.e. something I haven't experienced before, is the other major reason I seem to play games, as I am always seeking out new challenges. Exploration is another driving force for why I play any game, though it is not as common as the others and is most prominent in games with non-linear gameplay.

Aion (MMORPG)

  • One: Persistent world in which two factions battle each other for survival on a dying world
  • Why: Visual Experience
  • Learn: Players learn that in order to reach goals they may have to spend a lot of time doing repetitive activities, which promotes the idea of blissful productivity
  • Learn: Players experience a large, well crafted and aesthetically stunning world, and are never offered insight into how / why the visuals look that way

Alien Swarm (Indie Action)

  • One: Science fiction team based tactical survival against an alien race
  • Why: Unique core mechanics and social interaction
  • Learn: A player cannot play by themselves, but the reliance on other players is only to have enough power to overcome enemies
  • Learn: Players learn to be aware of their surroundings, but do not need teamwork to win

Amnesia: The Dark Descent (Indie Survival Horror)

  • One: Psychological survival horror set in a European castle in the 1800s, in which a man recovers his lost memories
  • Why: Unique core mechanics, narrative, and awareness of problems
  • Learn: Players learn to be highly observant and aware of problems and possible solutions in their environments
  • Learn: Throughout the game, players learn many aspects of the human experience and human nature that are not necessarily pleasant

Assassin's Creed 1, 2 (Action Adventure)

  • One: Historical science fiction of the battle between persian Assassins and the Knights Templar
  • Why: Narrative and the exploration of historical events and places
  • Learn: Though it is a game about an assassin, the player is not rewarded for subtlety or deception as would be expected
  • Learn: Historical places are very convincingly made and the events of the narrative are highly memorable

Audiosurf (Indie Rhythm)

  • One: Music driven racing game
  • Why: Unique core mechanic
  • Learn: Players learn to visualize sound through traversing digital environments created by an interpretation of music

Batman Arkham Asylum/City (Action Adventure)

  • One: Superhero saves city threatened by villans
  • Why: Narrative
  • Learn: Players learn to observe and predict patterns of behavior in logical elements such as AI

Bioshock 1, 2 (FPS RPG)

  • One: Lost survivor explores underwater city that was once a paradise but has since turned evil
  • Why: Narrative
  • Learn: Players are rewarded for searching everything, and this may help improve curiosity

BIT.TRIP BEAT (Indie Rhythm)

  • One: Music driven fast paced pong
  • Why: Unique core mechanic
  • Learn: Players learn to become aware of and use more than just visual stimuli to understand and react to a situation

Braid (Indie Strategy)

  • One: Hero uses control of time to save princess from monster
  • Why: Unique core mechanic
  • Learn: Players become aware of how an entire system works, as well as how each part functions and is affected within that system

Civilization 4 (Strategy)

  • One: Start with primitive humankind and build technologically advanced empire
  • Why: Quantitative design gameplay
  • Learn: Players learn to design optimal solutions for both immediate and future situations by getting instant and quantitative feedback for each choice

Deathspank (Indie Action)

  • One: Hero searches for mystical artifact
  • Why: Fast paced activity and unique visual experience
  • Learn: to assess a situation with many moving parts and be able to dynamically rank by positive or negative influence

Defense Grid (Indie Strategy)

  • One: Defend military objectives from invading aliens using guard towers
  • Why: Quantitative design gameplay
  • Learn: Players are rewarded for design that understands context and learn to value factors unique to each situation

Defense of the Ancients (Indie MOBA)

  • One: Teams of players battle to destroy the other's base first in a tug of war style environment
  • Why: Social interaction
  • Learn: Players learn to evaluate risk & reward in fast-paced, dynamic setting
  • Learn: Players need teammates to play, but are not forced to learn teamwork as a single player can clearly win an individual game for his/her team

Desktop Dungeons (Indie Roguelike)

  • One: Randomly generated adventures with permanent death of player characters as the risk.
  • Why: Unique core mechanic
  • Learn: Players learn to assess a situation given limited information and unknown elements, with a high risk factor giving high value to good planning

Everquest (MMORPG)

  • One: Persistent fantasy world in which the adventure continues endlessly
  • Why: Fantasy roleplaying and social interaction
  • Learn: Most players could not do anything without other players, so players responded by creating strong in-game communities and friendships
  • Learn: A player was conditioned through unforgiving, dangerous gameplay to work very hard to achieve a goal

Fallout 1, 2, 3 (RPG)

  • One: The stories of the survivors of a post-apocalyptic earth
  • Why: Exploration and sandbox style adventuring
  • Learn: A player learns to be self directed and understands quickly that his/her choices are very important

Final Fantasy (RPG)

  • One: Band of heroes saves world from supervillian
  • Why: Fantasy roleplaying
  • Learn: Players learn that their choices are very important
  • Learn: Players learn value exploration and trial and error

Half Life 1, 2 (Action)

  • One: Scientist fights to survive in a world threatened by both aliens and a multidimensional empire
  • Why: Unique storytelling methods and narrative
  • Learn: Players learn to synthesize a story from limited pieces aquired through both traditional and non-traditional ways

League of Legends (MOBA)

  • One: Teams of players battle to destroy the other's base first in a tug of war style environment
  • Why: Social interaction
  • Learn: Players learn to evaluate risk & reward in fast-paced, dynamic setting
  • Learn: Players need teammates to play, but are not forced to learn teamwork as a single player can clearly win an individual game for his/her team

Left 4 Dead 1, 2 (FPS)

  • One: Team survival in the midst of a zombie apocalypse
  • Why: Survival horror and social interaction
  • Learn: A player cannot play without relying on his/her teammates, which may have built strong connections if it were not for the ability to join and leave any individual game situation at will
  • Learn: Players do, however, learn teamwork and an awareness of their surroundings

Legend of Zelda (Action Adventure)

  • One: Hero saves princess by unlocking a series of temples or elements through puzzle solving and melee combat
  • Why: Narrative and exploration
  • Learn: Players learn to make connections of functionality between objects to solve puzzles
  • Learn: Players learn that analyzing environments often reveals hidden elements

Machinarium (Indie Adventure)

  • One: Out of luck robot foils villain's plans and saves girlfriend
  • Why: Narrative
  • Learn: Players learn to be highly observant of their environments
  • Learn: Players learn to make connections of functionality between objects to solve puzzles

Mass Effect 1, 2 (RPG)

  • One: Human military commander saves universe from race of supermachines trying to reset reality to the beginning
  • Why: Narrative and team based tactical mechanics
  • Learn: Players learn to multitask and be aware of multiple paths of activity in parallel
  • Learn: Players learn about an entire science fiction universe naturally through the game

Minecraft (Indie Builder)

  • One: Procedurally generated world that can serve as an environment for an infinite amount of narratives and buildings
  • Why: Unique core mechanic and exploration in a sandbox world
  • Learn: A player learns to be self directed and understands quickly that his/her choices are very important
  • Learn: Emergent gameplay evolves from a freedom to go anywhere and solve problems with high variability
  • Learn: Players learn to visualize design in three dimensions

Mortal Kombat (Fighting)

  • One: Martial artists duel for the opportunity to fight an evil sorcerer and save the world
  • Why: Social interaction
  • Learn: Players learn predict behavior and to evaluate risk & reward in fast-paced setting

Osmos (Indie Puzzle)

  • One: Absorb other single celled organisms to become the largest
  • Why: Unique core mechanic
  • Learn: Players learn to visually evaluate size and scale relationships

Polynomial (Indie Action)

  • One: Procedurally generated space environments for flight combat simulation
  • Why: Unique core mechanic
  • Learn: Players understand pattern and possible implementations of it in creating a gaming experience

Portal 1, 2 (Action Adventure)

  • One: Scientific testing subject is challenged by robot overseer to attempt to solve puzzles using a set of movable portals
  • Why: Unique core game mechanic and puzzle solving
  • Learn: A player learns to observe and understand all parts of a system (puzzle) and how the parts work together as a whole
  • Learn: A player learns creativity in applying a simple mechanic to very different situations

Revenge of the Titans (Indie Strategy)

  • One: Human military group rids galaxy of evil alien race through defensive structure building
  • Why: Quantitative design gameplay
  • Learn: Players are rewarded for design that understands context and learn to value factors unique to each situation

Rift (MMORPG)

  • One: Adventurer seeks to save world from interdimensional rifts allowing demons to pass through
  • Why: Fantasy roleplaying and exploration of a virtual world
  • Learn: Players are encouraged to explore the world in parallel to following a linear progression path
  • Learn: Much of the game forces players to rely on others, which may help build player community, but there is no follow up initiated after players solve problems together

Sonic the Hedgehog (Platformer)

  • One: Hero stops evil scientist by running very fast
  • Why: Unique core mechanics
  • Learn: to value quick decision making

Starcraft 1,2 (Strategy)

  • One: Three races battle for survival across a galaxy through a series of small army skirmishes
  • Why: Social interaction and quantitative design gameplay
  • Learn: Players learn to assess a situation given limited information and unknown elements, with a high risk factor giving high value to good planning
  • Learn: Players learn to multitask and be aware of multiple paths of activity in parallel

Super Mario Bros (Platformer)

  • One: Hero saves princess by jumping and eating mushrooms to gain power
  • Why: Unique visual experience
  • Learn: linear design thinking
  • Learn: to value bonuses after completing a task

Super Smash Bros (Fighting)

  • One: Heros from many games come together to attempt to knock each other off a series of stages
  • Why: Social interaction and fast paced activity
  • Learn: Players learn predict behavior and to evaluate risk & reward in fast-paced setting

Torchlight (Indie Action)

  • One: Hero explores dungeons through fast paced combat to find why a magical resource is becoming corrupted
  • Why: Fast paced activity
  • Learn: Players learn to predict patterns of behaviour and create locally optimal, but not necessarily globally optimal, reactions
  • Learn: Players learn to multitask and be aware of multiple paths of activity in parallel

Total War: Shogun 2 (Strategy)

  • One: Japanese daimyos fight to become the next Shogun through military, cultural, and political paths
  • Why: Social interaction and quantitative design gameplay
  • Learn: Players learn to account for many variables that could contribute to a given element's strength or danger
  • Learn: Players learn to assess a situation given limited information and unknown elements, with a high risk factor giving high value to good planning

Trine (Indie Platformer)

  • One: Three heroes, bound together, seek freedom from each other and a way to cleanse their kingdom of evil by exploring a series of dungeons
  • Why: Unique core mechanic
  • Learn: Players learn to be aware of unique situational factors and how best to react with the tools available
  • Learn: Players are constantly rewarded for working successfully with other players

VVVVVV (Indie Action)

  • One: A leader of a crashed space expedition uses his ability to swap the direction of gravity to save his crew and ship
  • Why: Unique core mechanic and music
  • Learn: Players learn to approach problems from unconventional perspectives
  • Learn: Players are rewarded for exploration and curiosity

World of Warcraft (MMORPG)

  • One: Persistent world in which two warring factions fight for control through might and magic
  • Why: Fantasy roleplaying, exploration of a virtual world, and social interaction
  • Learn: Players are rewarded much higher for persistance than for critical analysis, which promotes the idea of blissful productivity
  • Learn: Initially, the idea of player community was encouraged, but was later removed when all player communities were joined and players had no consequence for their actions

World of Goo (Indie Puzzle)

  • One: Save the goo by solving a series of physics based building puzzles
  • Why: Unique core mechanic and casual friendly atmosphere
  • Learn: Players learn elements of physics such as mass, velocity, motion, force, and balance
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