A holistic approach to designing for a specific aesthetic experience in digital games

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A holistic approach to designing for a specific aesthetic experience in digital games

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title A holistic approach to designing for a specific aesthetic experience in digital games
Author(s) Ehrndal, Marie
Date 2012
English abstract
This thesis aims to point out characteristics of game aesthetics, and accounts for one possible approach to design for a specific aesthetic experience. The theoretical framework that has been treated includes game design, interaction design, industrial design and aesthetics. Aesthetics have been understood from a classical perspective, where some properties are treated as being inherent of a game as an artifact, and others as sensual, perceptive and cognitive concepts that make out parts of the aesthetic experience of playing a game. The research has been conducted through theoretical studies as well as research through design, where the design process as well as the end artifact itself have made out research tools. It suggests a design process focused on the end material, and emphasizes hi-fi sketching. The process accounted for in this thesis has been focused on the multi-mediated end result, by framing the design or possibility space with themes, experiential goals and a parallelly constructed theoretical base of game aesthetics. The design approach has also been based on ideas of letting objects and concepts within the real world inspire game behaviour by association, within the frame of a chosen theme. Based on game qualities like simplification and coherence, my approach aims at designing aesthetically holistic games. Other aesthetic qualities that are treated in relation to the design process include representation, embodiment, presence, immersion, flow, fun, pliability and pace. The approach is argued to have strengths in the sense that it does not conform to pre-established genres, is more player oriented, can create coherent experiences and aid innovation. The backdraws are that it is not effective and does not guarantee that the outcome is neither pleasurable nor playable.
Swedish abstract
This thesis aims to point out characteristics of game aesthetics, and accounts for one possible approach to design for a specific aesthetic experience. The theoretical framework that has been treated includes game design, interaction design, industrial design and aesthetics. Aesthetics have been understood from a classical perspective, where some properties are treated as being inherent of a game as an artifact, and others as sensual, perceptive and cognitive concepts that make out parts of the aesthetic experience of playing a game. The research has been conducted through theoretical studies as well as research through design, where the design process as well as the end artifact itself have made out research tools. It suggests a design process focused on the end material, and emphasizes hi-fi sketching. The process accounted for in this thesis has been focused on the multi-mediated end result, by framing the design or possibility space with themes, experiential goals and a parallelly constructed theoretical base of game aesthetics. The design approach has also been based on ideas of letting objects and concepts within the real world inspire game behaviour by association, within the frame of a chosen theme. Based on game qualities like simplification and coherence, my approach aims at designing aesthetically holistic games. Other aesthetic qualities that are treated in relation to the design process include representation, embodiment, presence, immersion, flow, fun, pliability and pace. The approach is argued to have strengths in the sense that it does not conform to pre-established genres, is more player oriented, can create coherent experiences and aid innovation. The backdraws are that it is not effective and does not guarantee that the outcome is neither pleasurable nor playable.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 75
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) game
aesthetics
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/13942 (link to this page)

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