Special Issue "The Systems and Methods of Game Design"

A special issue of Information (ISSN 2078-2489). This special issue belongs to the section "Information Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021) | Viewed by 4414

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Nelson Zagalo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
DigiMedia, University of Aveiro
Interests: engagement; narrative; game; creativity
Dr. Pedro Pinto Neves
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
HEI-Lab (Digital Human Environment Interaction Lab)
Interests: agency in games; game design; game design conceptual tools

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this Special Issue of the journal Information we want to take advantage of the fact that we are in an Information Science environment to gather strict knowledge regarding methods, techniques, models and modes of designing games. Games are, before any other definition, information systems that allow you to manage data, their design being essentially an information design task. Of course, this design is not intended to just organize or process information, this is only the first part of the process, since information management is carried out here in order to produce very concrete impacts and effects on the agents (humans and non-humans) of the system. Information serves the process, but it is then up to the studies of communication, art and psychology to contribute to the final definition of the design plan for each game. Because games, unlike software applications, do not use replicable systems, each game must be unique in its purpose, in that sense its internal system also needs to be, in some sort, unique.

In this way, we call for the submission of articles that account for game design models in the broadest sense, from analogue to digital, from pure entertainment to applied contexts of education, health or other. We want to bring together a wide range of approaches to game design that can inspire the community, both academic and industrial, and expand horizons for creativity and innovation.

We welcome submissions in the form of empirical, theoretical, and review articles that are focused on the combined area of the following topics:

. Game design methods;
. Game design systems;
. Game design models;
. Game mechanics and patterns;
. Problem-based, challenge-based and creative-based systems;
. Game storytelling models;
. Game interaction models;
. Cognition and game design;
. Aesthetics and game design;
. Communication and game design;
. Modern board-games design;
. Hybrid-games design;
. Gamification design;
. Approaches to game experience design;
. Approaches to game engagement design;
. Reward and punishment systems;
. Players behaviour modelling;
. NPC behaviour and interaction design;
. Choice design and poetic

Dr. Nelson Zagalo
Dr. Pedro Pinto Neves
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Game design
  • Interaction design
  • Patterns
  • Models
  • Systems
  • Methods

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
The Systems and Methods of Game Design
Information 2021, 12(12), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/info12120494 - 27 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1093
Abstract
Even a cursory glance at scholarly literature from over a decade ago related to games can show authors variously prefacing their contributions with explanations of the newness of games, the impressive growth of the digital games industry, and the interdisciplinary nature of games [...] Read more.
Even a cursory glance at scholarly literature from over a decade ago related to games can show authors variously prefacing their contributions with explanations of the newness of games, the impressive growth of the digital games industry, and the interdisciplinary nature of games [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Systems and Methods of Game Design)

Research

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Article
Redefining the MDA Framework—The Pursuit of a Game Design Ontology
Information 2021, 12(10), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/info12100395 - 26 Sep 2021
Viewed by 961
Abstract
In computer science, an ontology is a way of showing the properties of a subject area and how they are related by defining a set of concepts and categories that represent the subject. There have been many attempts to create a widely accepted [...] Read more.
In computer science, an ontology is a way of showing the properties of a subject area and how they are related by defining a set of concepts and categories that represent the subject. There have been many attempts to create a widely accepted ontology for the universe of games. Most of these attempts are defined based on an analytical perspective: few have found frequent use outside universities, as they are not easily translated to the development of games, which is a design perspective. There are some core aspects of the domain that turn this task into a difficult goal to achieve. In addition, game designers tend to refuse a methodology or a structured way of developing a game; the main concern is that it can impair creativity in a field that could not survive without it. A defined ontology would improve and mature the growing industry of digital games, both by enhancing the understanding of the domain and by supporting a structured methodology for designing games. This paper describes the properties of digital games and shows how they make it difficult to create an ontology for that field of study, especially when it comes to a design perspective. It clarifies the closest approach to a unified ontology that there is for the game domain: the mechanics, dynamics and aesthetics framework (MDA). We propose the redefinition of MDA’s taxonomy, calling it Redefining the MDA (RMDA), providing better use for the approach from a designer’s perspective, embracing the design properties of the domain, and overcoming issues found in the literature of the game domain. The main purpose of this paper is to clarify the MDA framework by redefining its main components, mechanics, dynamics and aesthetics, as a way to make the tool more understandable and useful for game designers. Understanding aesthetics and how developers can invoke them by correctly defining mechanics and creating dynamics is the main focus of the paper. Thus, some examples are provided in order to explain the applicability of the RMDA as a methodology to produce games. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Systems and Methods of Game Design)
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Article
Application of Pattern Language for Game Design in Pedagogy and Design Practice
Information 2021, 12(10), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/info12100393 - 23 Sep 2021
Viewed by 899
Abstract
Existing implementations of game design patterns have largely been confined to theoretical or research settings. Weaknesses in these implementations have prevented game design patterns from being properly evaluated as an educational and practical development tool. This paper examines these weaknesses, describes a method [...] Read more.
Existing implementations of game design patterns have largely been confined to theoretical or research settings. Weaknesses in these implementations have prevented game design patterns from being properly evaluated as an educational and practical development tool. This paper examines these weaknesses, describes a method of developing and applying patterns that overcome the weaknesses, and evaluates use of the method for game design education and practice. Weaknesses in existing pattern implementations are: the omission of design problems, presumption of functional completeness at the level of pattern languages, narrow topical focus, and lack of a concise, repeatable method for pattern production. Several features of the proposed method were specifically built to address these weaknesses, namely the pattern template, the process for connecting patterns into a language and assessing the language’s scope, a rubric for assessing pattern confidence and interconnectivity confidence, and pattern-building exercises. This method was applied in a classroom setting. Results as assessed by the evaluation of student work suggest that creating patterns/pattern languages is an effective pedagogical approach. Designs produced using designer-created patterns closely align with existing design theory and are clearly understood by students. The above results may indicate that the path to gaining wider acceptance of pattern theory as a design framework within game design is not to produce a universal pattern language, but to facilitate the creation of case-specific languages by students and professional designers that use a shared ontology, and thus can be combined easily to solve the diverse sets of problems faced by these groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Systems and Methods of Game Design)
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Article
Game Design as an Autonomous Research Subject
Information 2021, 12(9), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/info12090367 - 10 Sep 2021
Viewed by 701
Abstract
This paper examines the methods and systems of game design from the standpoint of existing method proposals failing to establish a common basis for systematizing design knowledge, which this paper aims to help resolve. Game design has often been subsumed by game development [...] Read more.
This paper examines the methods and systems of game design from the standpoint of existing method proposals failing to establish a common basis for systematizing design knowledge, which this paper aims to help resolve. Game design has often been subsumed by game development and associated disciplines, and game design methodology has often been subsumed by game analysis. This paper reviews related work in defining game design as an autonomous research subject and then divides the methods and systems of game design into complementary methods and core methods, with only the latter, consisting chiefly of design patterns, attempting to systematize how game design knowledge is generated. Seminal game patterns have been descriptive rather than -prescriptive and so have failed to find the requisite practitioner adoption to fulfill their role as a living method. One recent pattern approach has sought to resolve this issue by promoting pattern usage generally over the adoption of a particular language. This paper outlines an alternate and possibly complementary approach of a novel, practical basis for game design literacy for helping core methods work as a basis for systematizing game design knowledge. The proposed basis sacrifices descriptiveness to prescriptiveness to shape methods in that direction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Systems and Methods of Game Design)
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