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Exploring in game designs

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

YEAR 2, WEEK 14 - Setting up for exploration

Current thesis thoughts:

I've created for myself a pretty well-rounded idea of what is it I want to do for my thesis. I want to make games that talk about this concept of death and grief, as a way of addressing it from the standpoint of Hispanic Americans.

Reading list:

Why do we have to die in games - This interesting article, talks about the idea of "meaningful death" "Peter Molyneux [...] the developer of Fable, Black & White and The Movies, says: "A fight has to cost the player something, or it loses its meaning. Previously, that cost was time and tedium [in replaying a level]. But is that the right cost?" The idea that dying in a game means that you have to be punished is pretty logical, you have a goal and failed to reach it. but what if you were supposed to die? or more alternatively dying was just a part of playing the game? what if a death in a game was a mechanic that propelled the story further. after that I collected a series,s of games that do this exact mechanic. games like Hades, Phasmophobia do this very interestingly. In hades, the main character has to die in order to progress and log a change in the story, as far as you make it to the end the only way you can move further is if you die. In Phasmophobia a game where you hunt ghosts and have the danger of dying, once it happens you become a ghost yourself, altering the gameplay a little bit, allowing you to continue to play but also lets you become another part of the game that messes with the living players.


I've gathered for myself a collection of work IDEAS meant to inspire myself and create another little piece that lets me explore the ideas surrounding my thesis idea. most of which come into this delivery structure of a game.

  1. develop an AR experience in which participants that move something in a physical space affects something in a digital space. (mixing a board game and a video game)

  2. developing a boardgame about death [the things one has to do in order to ready to die (create a will/sate what you want to be done with your remains/last messages to loved one) ]

  3. create an animatic poem talking about the concept of death from my perspective. (Broken- breaking rules to see your dead relatives)

  4. Creating a board game about being haunted.

  5. take a western myth and rewrite it from my perspective (the Persephone myth for example)

This week I've actually been collecting my work and submitting it online here on my website and ordering it in a timeline to add context to my ideas. I want to create more games I know this now seeing that I only have 2 finished games, one of which is more of an interactive art piece.

Work was done and Choices made:

The only choice I've made so far is getting ready to get feedback on my ideas so I can develop something for the end of the week. I've had this constant issue where I can't seem to visualize scale but having one small conversation about my work lets me see the size of it. While I used to see this as a weakness I've come to understand that this is vital in my process, feedback helps keep me on track as well as accountable.


Current Questions

While I do have a good grasp on what it is I want to do I have to ask myself still where this slots itself in as a matter of need. in terms of this discussion, we've been having in class, about the place of a designer in an area. We may not have the expertise to develop a new regime for taking medication, but we can develop a better pill bottle that helps in what doctors say works. So where do I belong in this area? is it generating media that makes death less scary? that makes grieving easier because it exists? is it enough to just talk about loss?

Likely next steps

I'm just going to focus on looking for where my work might be helpful, I don't particularly know if I'm seeing this question correctly but I know my work has meaning. perhaps it's actually in the way I talk about it that devalues it in my head. I might take some time to look at my writing from last semester and see where my professors said I had good points.

here's actually my current draft of my preamble complete with notes from my professor for reference.

Download • 63KB

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