Ed Cotton: Thinking Differently About Game Development

The concept of “Game Seeds” and how it can inspire innovation in gaming.

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Jim Wexler of Brand Games, one of the speakers at our “Meet the Makers” event, recently pointed me to an interesting idea of of the University of Utrecht called Game Seeds. Basically, it’s a way to inspire game designers to think differently about game design by forcing them to think about the actions of the character first, rather than the user.

As they explain..

“Game design usually starts off by defining the actions of the player(s). Christophe Berg at Metagama wondered if the reverse would be possible, and created a new and innovative game where the design of the characters (and their behaviour patterns) is the first step.

The result is a playful card game that confronts players with certain constraints (e.g. they don’t create a character from scratch) in order to foster their creativity, and pushing them out of their comfort zone by having to make do with the given elements.

Each Game Seeds card contains attributes and an action verb. By choosing some actions, the players start to define their characters behaviour… and by doing so create the range of actions that would be available to the end-user.”

It’s another reference to the importance of character in the creation of compelling content, a topic both Frank Rose and Gary Hirsch will be talking about at Influx’s “Meet the Makers” (a “lab for a day”) taking place at Milk Studios in NYC on December 3rd:

Enough talk. Let’s get something done. Let’s flip the podium on its side, turn it into a workbench and actually make something. And let’s ask an amazing mix of people—the doers and the makers, the authors and the artists, the craftsmen and the creators—to let us in on how they do what they do. To show us their “making of” and see what it inspires in us. To give us a day when creation beats criticism and production trumps consumption. Let’s celebrate the resurgence of making.

Information about the event can be found here.

Ed Cotton is the Director of Strategy at BSSP, and is curious about all things relating to brands, marketing and culture. Read more at influx insights

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