Ministry of Games #4: Games as Systems


Matt and Robert discuss systems, the essence of why games make sense as a learning tool. The guys will speak to assigning values to reward behaviors, emergent gameplay, and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker arcade game. Matt also demonstrates the importance of testing your games as he reminisces about his fatally flawed homemade Miami Vice role playing game.

Show Notes:
“A Theory of Fun for Game Design” by Raph Koster
Robert brought up theories found in this book, which “…teach[es] interactive designers how to create and improve their designs to incorporate the highest degree of fun.”

Robotron: 2084
The classic two-joystick arcade game, which is incredibly difficult and designed to eat your quarters. The system in this game allows players to choose whether or not they want to save the family that is under attack. Since saving the family is not required to finish the level, but has an extra point value incentive, the behavior of helping people is encouraged but the game gives players enough space to choose that behavior for themselves.

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