Hey, this is Kee-Won Hong, writing from Seattle where the first day of PAX Dev has just wrapped up. So far – I’ve loved it. The event has been staffed and run flawlessly by the Penny-Arcade enforcer staff, the speakers have been insightful and entertaining and my fellow attendees have been friendly and curious. I’m not allowed to pass on many specifics of the panels or presentations as the organizers of PAX Dev want to keep it an open and safe forum for the developers who present, but I can share my thoughts on the conference in general and share all the details of Jason Vanderberghe’s presentation, as he gave us specific instructions to ‘tweet the sh** out of it’.
All of the presentations I saw today were fantastic. It was great to hear firsthand from the team at Trendy Entertainment about Dungeon Defense, an Android/iPhone game that has over 1.3 million downloads, about their cross platform development experience. I’ve actually followed Dungeon Defense since it was started as a UDK project years ago, so I enjoyed hearing about how the project grew and evolved to the success it has become today.
Scott Rigby’s presentation on designing for sustained engagement was enlightening as it was hilarious, including many references to his utter failure to win at League of Legends (Scott – I been there buddy, I feel ya). Overall, it was a great reminder that game design is also the study of the human mind, and there’s so much we can do as game designers to leverage this.
Of course I couldn’t miss seeing our fellow Barnes and Noble co-stars Rovio talking about bringing their hit Angry Birds to the web. I’d like to thank them and the Google Chrome Angry Birds team for all the helpful pointers on building HTML5 games.
Finally, Jason Vanderberghe’s ‘Four Types of…’ presentation was a fascinating look into game design theory, and his effort to unify those theories together.
Jason hypothesis was that all game design theory can fit into the following design domains, a ‘universal ruleset’. The domains are visualized by the suites in a deck of cards, are are:
- Clubs - The Arena, for battle and challenge
- Spades – The Playground, for exploration
- Diamonds – The Labyrinth, for narration and puzzles
- Hearts – The Lobby, for collaboration
- Openess – Spades
- Contentiousness – Diamond
- Extraversion – Clubs
- Agreeableness – Hearts
- Neuroticism – ??
Update - Jason has posted up the slides for the presentation, you can find them here: http://www.realitypanic.com/archives/476