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Posts tagged “Jesse Schell

Notes: 27/09/11

Book: product placement

Daniel Swarez – Demon

Visions of the Gamepocalypse – Jesse Schell

CEO of video games studio called Schell Games, Teacher at Carnegie Mellon university, formally with Walt Disney Imagineering, wrote a book called the art of Game Design.

Real life and games have been reaching out and connecting – Facebook games, wii and wii fit, guitar hero etc. Games are leaning towards reality.

Gamepocalypse –  human beings will reach a point where they are playing games every second of their lives in some way. In the future when wi-fi connection will be very cheap (theoretically), doing everything you do daily will be bring you points. For example brushing your teeth could bring you points and brushing it for a longer period of time will give you a bonus point and brushing it twice a day will bring you another bonus point. In the end these points could be used as discount on the toothpaste you buy. This concludes that the people that sell toothpaste would want you to use the toothpaste more, which will mean it will finish faster and the more you will buy them.

Games made to be fun but mainly for you to notice advertisements.

Games Provides:

–         Clear feedback

–         A sense of progress

–         The possibility of success

–         Mental and physical exercise

–         A chance to satisfy your curiosity

–         A chance to solve a problem

–         A feeling of freedom (most defining thing about games)


Book: Finite (win or loss) and infinite (curiosity) games

Singularity is near – is the moment when technologies have advanced so far that it will be difficult to predict what will happen in after the next 5 seconds. A thousand years ago it was easier to make predictions about what the future would be like and as the years go and as technologies advance the future seems harder to predict.

Predictions can be made if they are practiced and if you do practice then the singularity is helping you because if you practice predicting the future you will get feedback faster each time because you will know what prediction is right and wrong, eventually leading you to make correct predictions with practice.



Games are everywhere so if you want to make games you need to look into places they have not gone yet: gap in the market.

–         Audience (who’s playing)

Games will eventually get cheaper (theory), consoles such as ps3, Nintendo wii and xbox charge a lot for their games but game apps on iphones cost 99p or so; this probably is worrying for the leading games consoles because cheaper games with just as much entertaining potential win over games that cost 10 times more.



All products are going to get better over time because people demand it but then people also settle for the cheaper option because it has everything they need and don’t need something that has more than what they need which also costs more.



New sensor = new game

–         Tilting

–         Touch

–         Motion

Nintendo found not enough people are playing games, asking people “How come you don’t play games?”, people would reply saying “Console pads used to have simple buttons and now there’s too many buttons and it has become confusing.” Comparing a console pads and a tv/dvd remote (which has a lot more buttons), it’s clear that it’s not the number of buttons that is the issue, it is simultaneous ambidextrous control (having to use both hand at once to do different things and that is difficult for a lot of people). Nintendo then came up with a motion sensor, which is not for full body motions – just to be used by one hand hence the reduction of the amount of button on a pad to make it easier to use.



Screens are getting cheaper – screens in people pockets (phones), television, computer monitors, ipad, ipod, mp3 player etc.


The Hype Curve – all technologies follow this curve

Graph of visibility:

–         Basic technology trigger

–         Peak of expectations

–         Criticism

–         Enlightenment

–         Plateau of productivity

India – tablet computer for $35 = screens are going to get cheaper.



–         Dreams are immersive

–         Can dreams be controlled?

–         Lucid dreams



–         You can’t take any add and inject it into any game.

–         Games are sometimes based around products. Most products are about sugar.

–         Virtual economies are very powerful. There are codes on slurpies that give you Farm cash for Farmville.

–         Advertising people are very sneaky.

–         TV commercials went from 13%-36%

–         Logo on the corner of the screen is burning it into your brain



–         Telephones were ugly and now mobiles (telephones) are beautiful.

–         Beautiful (architecture) buildings

–         Everything is getting better (trend)

Book: Rational optimist



3D TV – could get boring



–         Big change in video games – making your own character (customise your character)

–         Customization is in almost everything – face on sweets

–         Lego board games, build the board different every time



–         Cameras detect faces (squares)

–         Track facial expressions and map it onto your avatar

–         Recognizr (telling people apart)



–         Curious people have an infinite amount of information.

–         Excitement about one topic and getting better at it.

–         Curiosity should be what education should provide then children would want to learn more about what they are curious about and get better at it.



Social networking (e.g. facebook) is popular because it connects you to the real world.



–         People want their fantasy worlds to feel real

–         How to get to worlds through different media

–         360 deals (music, concert, merchandises, games etc)



–         Is very slowly creeping up

–         Silent films – films that could talk – games – being real emotion into gaming experience (not yet succeeded)

–         Talk ( attack those orces) whilst driving a car



I’m not a nerd I’m an imaginer – people that are very into the fantasy world. There are also people (mundanes) that cannot comprehend with the fantasy world and it is alien to them. The imagineers own the gameplay but the mundanes own real life sport. Geo-track people by bringing the gaming elements into real life sport – weapon can track how fast, how hard and gain points. People can make theme parks that are more immersive.



–         Music

–         Messages

–         Ideas

–         Information

–         Wikipedia (crowning achievement of humanity or the worst encyclopaedia ever)

–         Little big planet can share levels



–         OnLive (sharing options new realm of sharing)

You can play a game on a device that doesn’t have a graphics card which is connected to a wireless graphics card within reasonable distance. There are arguments that this is not going to work… Just like how people would want crisp graphics with the game connected directly with the graphics cards not by network. This is similar to internet connection – stronger signal by being connected directly to the modem/hub rather than having a wireless connection. It is like having wine in a box but some people want it in a bottle. People with less money would settle for a beer, just like that people with less money will settle for games such as Tetris or Bejeweled and would not feel the need for high end machines with graphics cards.



Pulling data off players live; Studying numbers and analysing how people are playing and tuning based on how many people are using a weapon more rather than using gut feel – Zynga.

Great businesses find concrete numbers to judge them by.



–         Perks and rewards out of ordinary things

–         Christopher Alexandra – 15 principles (structure of architecture)

–         If you bribe someone to do something they end up hating it (gold star at school…)

–         Needs to be engaging

–         Effortless

–         Uncheatable

–         Not embarrassing (coupon at the restaurant)



–         Tacking every movement

–         4 sides (persuaders (don’t care about how they make money), fulfillers (satisfy people), artist (need to get the art out for no apparent reason, humanitarians (make people’s lives better)


Gaming Addiction: Sometimes it ruins people’s lives, game designers are blamed for making a game addictive because it is too good but it is like saying the obesity problem is the bakers fault because they make their cakes so very tastey and they should stop – not realistic.

Long-Term Games: Multipler games – World of Warcraft.

Scale of Inustry: 40+ hours have been put into playing games; People earn money for playing video games.

Success of Online Gaming: So much to do; Goals (achievable and tangible); help people with missions to level up.

Alternative to advertising: Games they want you to play that you might not want to play yourself, they figure out what kinds of games to get you to play to buy their product.

Impact on Politics: Games making you understand complex systems (which books aren’t good for).

Book: Ender’s Game (predicts IM, Blogging, Pranking desktops like Fraping on Facebook.