Category Archives for: Game Design

A Design Strategy for Data

19 September 2014

This was inspired by the first week’s Creativity and Computation class’s lecture by Sven Travis.

A neat way design new media (which may be in the form of a game) is to think of the input and the output, based on the perceptions of humans.

I used this strategy in the past for games, where I’d think about all of the inputs the medium has, often an iPad, then create games using them. However, it only dawned to me during the lecture that data is not limited to mediums. Everything is data. In and out.

design strategy for data

Personal designs:

  • Track the motion of a falcon, whenever it swoops for an attack, output a “falcon punch” sound through a speaker in the public.
  • When a sentence with the word love or hate is said on a social platform, have a speaker in the public output the sentence.
  • Track rats over time, post the results in the form of a transportation transparency and paste it over a transportation map.
  • Put a camera on a bum, output the video in a public square.
  • Each time someone e-mails a government official a letter to appeal something, trigger a catapult to throw a ball of sand approximately at the official’s office window.
  • Each time a human dies from the fault of government, trigger a mechanism to splash blood on the White House.

Leave a comment | Categories: Game Design, Games, New Media, New Media Design

Traditional Music Games

18 September 2014

Connect Taiko No Tatsujin to tablas using Makey Makey at a Gurudwara.

traditional games

Foreigners will have to go to a Gurudwara, take off their shoes, perhaps pray, then play. Perhaps kids who play it will be inspired to learn to play traditional instruments.

Further design:
Perhaps can think of other traditional instrument, game, and place of worship combinations.

Drawing digitally is a waste of time. I thought it would convey designs better, but perhaps paper is better if I can find a good workflow.

Leave a comment | Categories: Game Design, New Media, New Media Design

Japanese Arcades

19 September 2013

9/14/13 written in Japan:

Hahahah. Those girls exist. Yeahp, I’m only staying here for a week. ‘Tis the end.


games that I thought were fun:
– amazing GIF comments

Oh my. Just found this on the internet in related videos:

Otherwise, the arcades are all very similar. So similar that genres are physically separated by floors: CLAW MACHINES and photo booths, technical / RTS (very calculating, army strategy, cards that are read digitally games, simulators), gambling (panchinko, mahjong), music (DDR, the ones I linked), and normal (mario kart racing machines, armored core with dual joysticks, retro, fighters, etc.).

written now:
I went to a few arcades in Tokyo. It was a very odd experience. I guess not too different from entering an arcade in a mall, just larger.

The games were separated in a way that fit the desires of its intended audience.

The first floor often had photo-booths and claw machines. Feminine people went to photo-booths. Couples went to claw machines.

Females and males, perhaps equally, enjoy the rhythm games. It was also perhaps the most social area. People would play a DDR game, watch, and talk.

Males usually enjoy the technical, calculating, statistics-based games. Some of these games were really really in depth. It felt like a weird office. I imagine they make good stock market brokers.

The gambling games floor were full of smoke and old dudes and few dudetts wasting their life away, similar to Panchinko parlors. It was also unbearably loud and smelly. Actually, my Dad plays a lot of FreeCell, so perhaps it also has that meditative feeling of no-brain smartphone games. I never quite understood, but people do enjoy it, especially after a long day of work. Though, those people didn’t seem as if they had work either.

The first floor is where it’s at. In addition to the claw machines and photo-booths, there’s a bunch of random games thrown together. In one arcade, there were two games in the front: a Taiko (drum) rhythm game and a racing game with a pig controller. These two games attracted the most diverse audience, likely hence their placement at the front. Multiplayer Mario Kart is always good too. Anything more complex failed in attracting a diverse audience, including those two joystick robot fighting games.

From my perspective, nearly all of it was odd, and I wanted no part in it. This was quite a surprise as I grew up with games. But here, it really felt a social barrier existed. There wasn’t any couches, or a place for food. It was just games. The designers of Japanese arcades entirely missed the social aspect of arcades.

For the most part, the people who played were really did fit the stereotypes the games were directed toward. The arcade player, the old panchinko dude, young girls at photo-booths, and random passer-byers for the games in the front and claw machines.

There was also a feeling that many people came after work for some time of relief from life. It was apparent at many moments, as they’re still wearing their business clothes. Some even come for lunch break, which I thought is kind of awesome.

Otherwise, as a person who likes games, a disappointment. I believe I only stayed in Tokyo for a week, but from what I experienced, I am glad to not have gone to Japan directly after college, as I had actually thought about. Japan might have games, but they are insular.

I guess the nice Nintendo games are intended for houses, and “arcade games” are intended for arcades.

Arcades in America have nearly died out, especially so in cities. People who like games are saddened by this because games are part of culture, and a space with games was likely a part of their lives. I agree, but these Japanese arcades, which are quite similar to the arcades one finds inside of a mall in an American suburb, failed to progress with time. They are relics. America doesn’t really need these, it needs a new arcade.

Leave a comment | Categories: Game Design, Games, Japan, Thoughts, Travel

Pinkies Up

15 May 2012

Game Files



NOTE: Works for iOS 6, not sure about 7. I’m updating everything right now!

This project is really old, but it still seems to work for me. It’s an Xcode project.
1. unzip
2. Open PinkiesUp.xcodeproj
3. Run
4. Pray
5. Play
– to play it on multiple devices: run the game on each device to install it, start the game on each device, on one device press host game, on the other devices press join game, press at least 2 buttons on each side to have a minimum of 2v2, press ready on each device, press start on the host device.

To see a play through, see the video below.


www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqO_Vyc9a1Q via jonstoked.com/pinkies-up

Design Statement

As Jon often describes the game to others, “it’s basically flip-cup for iPad”.


Two teams race, each team having a quirky physics based character code-named Harold. Each player is assigned one button. Each active player group must press their buttons in sequence to add force to Harold. A button pressed out of sequence causes Harold to physically collapse, stopping him for a moment. First Harold to the finish line, which is at the end of the screen of the last device, wins.


A social extensible-multiplayer iPad game with a simple interface. It’s what Jon and I had been gravitating toward for the previous few months.

We intended to maximize the use of iPad’s features: eleven touches, physics, and networking. Oh the possibilities! A single parallax scrolling background over multiple devices as Harold runs across the screen, UI color palettes and silly sounds for each device.
Personal Contribution
The game is Jon’s idea, which constitutes a large portion of the game design. We collaborated to etch out further game design. I programmed everything except the physics of Harold. Jon also handled visual design.

Lessons Learned

The greatest problem with development was the lack of consistent playtesting. Consistent playtesting is needed to see progress and priority, but also to maintain motivation. A related problem: we were working remotely. Being physically together is important.

I also underestimated the time it takes to write code for Objective-C, Cocos2d, Box2d, and Game Kit. It was at least five times slower than writing code for my previously used game engine: FlashPunk. I also felt that my networking code was poorly written. It takes time.

The lack of feedback caused motivation to wane, and the work sits on my computer, teasing me. Perhaps I just need to bring it out, playtest it to regain motivation, and finish it.

Leave a comment | Categories: Game Design, Game Development, Game Ideas, Games


31 March 2012

Play the game.

This is my entry Experimental Gameplay March 2012. The theme is economy. It is the result of developing a game without thinking about the core game mechanic first. It is a complete failure.

Player 1/Player 2 – description

A/’ – Red
S/; – Green
D/L – Blue
F/K – hold and press RGB to direct military to retreat, halt, and attack
G/J – hold and press RGB to tell workers to get a specific resource (by default it auto-gathers)

Finger mapping:
Player 1, use right hand
Player 2, use left hand

Player 2’s controls mirrors Player 1

A/’ – index finger
S/; – middle finger
D/L – ring finger
F/K – little finger
G/J – little finger

How to play:
It’s just a simple real-time strategy game, except you play with a keyboard. Blue units gather resources, green do nothing as of now [supposed to research/upgrade], red can attack.

Other Notes:
As of now battles are sad due to lack of solid objects and pathfinding. Also, there is no win condition.

Post thoughts:

What was envisioned:
1000s of units, flocking, simple yet competitive gameplay (think Hokra), precise controls (think QWOP), color-collar workers (and a statement against classism), resource renewal (and a statement against resource consumption), map based off of image, able to upload map (MS paint is now a map editor!), large resolution to zoom in and out.

Why it didn’t work:
Decreasing the amount of player input increases the amount of AI programming. Competitive games require more balancing and tuning than non-competitive games. Multiplayer on the the same screen isn’t as fun because it lacks fog of war.

Also, I felt like crap while making this. It was forced. It just didn’t feel right.

I feel like a game could be created with these initial ideas, but I can’t bare to look at it again.

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