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Keyword: games

Game Idea Game

2016-10-03

Game Idea Game

In the typical game design process, lots and lots of ideas are created, iterated, improved, sometimes fleshed out and developed, sometimes discarded. When searching for that next brilliant game concept, it can be very useful to get a few people together for a brainstorming session and just start pumping out ideas and talking about them. Coming up with a wide variety of game ideas is a skill that does not come naturally to everyone, but it is something that can be practiced and trained.

This set of cards was developed to give aspiring game designers those initial sparks. Staring at a blank page can be daunting, so the cards give keywords from various categories that can foster and steer creativity, to be used in any way that gets the ideas flowing.

I created the Game Idea Game for a student project I led at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in 2015/2016. After that, it sat on my to-do list for a while, but now it's finally available online.

Rapid prototyping of interaction concepts in higher HCI education

2014-10-20, HDI 2014, Freiburg

Rapid prototyping of interaction concepts in higher HCI education

Abstract: In teaching HCI (Human-Computer Interaction), there is the persistent challenge of constructing practical exercises with interesting goals while staying focused on HCI and not getting lost in technical details. In the introductory course "Interaction Design" at the University of Hamburg, students have three weeks to conceptualize and implement prototypical interaction concepts for the game Neverball. In contrast to most other HCI introductory courses, they do not design mock-ups, but produce actual concrete software. To make this possible within the three-week timespan, Neverball has been extended with a TCP-based interface. This renders the costly familiarization with the game's source code unnecessary and the students are able to concentrate on their interaction prototypes. We recount our experiences from several iterations of the project and describe our methods during its execution. The results shall support other teachers and lecturers in the area of HCI in creating similar praxis-oriented exercises with results that "can be touched".

This article was presented at HDI 2014 (6th conference on university didactics of computer science). It is part of the conference proceedings.

uxHH: Sebastian Deterding on Gamification

2012-12-04 00:34:37

Today the User Experience Roundtable Hamburg (in cooperation with the local IxDA) hosted a talk by Sebastian Deterding titled "9.5 Theses on Gamification" (Sebastian has information on earlier iterations of the same talk available online). For me it's been the first uxHH Roundtable for a good couple of months, but this topic with this speaker I couldn't pass up.

So I just got back from there and I'm pretty tired, but I have some unfinished thoughts rummaging around my head that I'd risk losing by going to sleep. They might not be excessively polished (or even necessarily cohesive), but I'm going to take the red pill and embrace the now-famous Edmund Snow Carpenter quote: "[C]lear speaking is generally obsolete thinking. Clear statement is like an art object: it is the afterlife of the process which called it into being. The process itself is the significant step and, especially at the beginning, is often incomplete and uncertain." So please bear with me, this blog entry is not an attempt at a scientific paper.

Ink Wars: Gameplay Prototype Footage and Developer Commentary

2012-08-11, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Ink Wars: Gameplay Prototype Footage and Developer Commentary

This video is a demonstration of the game Ink Wars, developed by a team of five students in 2009 and 2010 at the University of Hamburg. It features in-game footage and an extensive developer commentary by yours truly, detailing game mechanics and network code.

Music: Bastian Ruhrmann - Ink Wars Original Soundtrack, Approaching Nirvana - The Way Home (YouTube), melodysheep - Chasing Infinity (Tiberius), Ason ID - Memories, red3yz - dubby, Blackmill - The Light, machinimasound - After Dark, Andrey Avkhimovich - Back in Time, Approaching Nirvana - So Close (YouTube)

Playful Design

2012-07-27 17:26:51

Last week I was talking to the current professor for HCI at the University of Hamburg in his office, and among the current set of books that he was asked to assess for inclusion in our department's library, something caught my eye. I recognized the cover design of John Ferrara's Playful Design, published very recently by Rosenfeld Media. That was pretty exciting for me, since I had been looking forward to that book for a while, to the extent that I recommended it in a recent talk about gamification, just on the basis of the introductory article at UX Magazine. This occassion presented me with a chance to actually read the whole thing, so here's what came of that.

Interaction Design Project 2012: Neverball

2012-07-20, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Interaction Design Project 2012: Neverball

On July 11th 2012, participants of the Interaction Design course (refer to the HCI group website) at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Hamburg displayed and showcased the results of their projects. They developed concepts and prototypes of input mechanics for the game Neverball. This video is a collection of the results.

Gamification – Where do we stand?

2012-07-02, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Gamification – Where do we stand?

This guest talk took place in the Interaction Design lecture of Prof. Dr. Kindsmüller.

In 15 minutes I gave an overview of the general concept and limitations of gamification. I started out with a general clarification of the term, and continued by showcasing it using a real-world example. Using the Gartner Hype Cycle, I offered a partial explanation for the problems that gamification has been associated with. I concluded with a very brief venture into the area of game design.

Musik: McFarland Beats - Slipped, used under CC-BY

Complexity and Usability 2012

2012-05-10, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Complexity and Usability 2012

There was a time when software couldn't do much and was easily understood in full. What has changed and what has stayed the same? Software is supposed to accomplish more and be easier to use at the same time – is that an irreconcilable contradiction? Is there a "new simplicity", or does the path lead into a jungle of complexity?

From the UNIX philosophy, the personal computer revolution and the Web 2.0 up to recent smartphone apps, I examined the overall development of the interface complexity of software. Especially, I scrutinized the concept of "simplicity" critically. On the basis of these observations and incorporating theoretical knowledge from interaction- as well as game design, recent examples and models for constructively dealing with functional complexity were explained.

This talk took place in the HCI research colloquium.

Interaction Design Project: Neverball

2011-08-16, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Interaction Design Project: Neverball

In the "Interaction Design" course of 2011 at the Dept. of Informatics, University of Hamburg, students for Human Computer Interaction, Informatics and Business Informatics took part in a project centered around the game Neverball. This video presents the results.

University of Hamburg, Dept. of Informatics

Music: Kevin MacLeod, CC-BY 3.0 "Wallpaper", "Cipher", "Slow Burn" (in order of appearance)

Humble Indie Bundle 3 (plus raffle)

2011-08-04 21:58:49

In unregelmäßigen Abständen und gerade zum dritten Mal organisieren die Leute von Wolfire Games ein Projekt, das PC-Spiele aus dem Independent-Bereich zusammenbündelt, die dann zum selbstgewählten Preis gekauft werden können. (Ein Anteil des Betrags, dessen Höhe man auch selbst festlegen kann, geht an wohltätige Zwecke.) Alle enthaltenen Spiele sind frei von DRM-Restriktionen und laufen auf Windows, Linux und MacOS X. Das Ganze nennt sich dann "Humble Indie Bundle 3" und verdient einen genaueren Blick. Außerdem schon mal vorweg: Heute gibt es etwas zu gewinnen!

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