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Jackson Faletra Intervention: Post-Game Interview

Initial Ideas

For my project, I had decided that I wanted to something within a game whose community I considered myself a part of. Unfortunately, I don’t play a ton of online multiplayer games, which limited my options to pretty much just Hearthstone. The other problem with this decision was that Hearthstone does not have a built in chat feature to communicate with your random opponents, you can only chat in-game with people on your friends list. There is a feature that allows you to send a friend request to your most recent opponent, but most people who use that do it to trash talk or harass their opponent after a frustrating game. Thinking about that possible roadblock gave me the idea of creating a scenario with that expected/implied interaction, and flipping it on its head to see what would happen. From there, the Post-Game Interview was born.

The Process

The idea was to add my opponent after a game and, if they accepted, I’d ask a small series of questions about our game: “how long have you been playing today?”, “how much did you enjoy our game?”, and “did you feel we ere evenly matched?”. I wanted to be able to discuss our game in a calm, civilized manner, completely counter to what usually happens in this situation. I felt that this premise was simple enough to be able to do many times, but still be able to create a meaningful interaction. It’s a good thing it was so easy to repeat, because, unsurprisingly, not many of my opponents were willing to participate. Of the 20 or so games I played during this stretch, only 5 of my opponents actually accepted my friend request so that I could actually conduct an interview. The low participation was an interesting, albeit expected, point of data, but I was luckily still able to find out some pretty interesting things from the other data I collected.

Results

Firstly, I was only added back by opponents who had beaten me. This was a bit surprising, as I would’ve guessed that most players would expect a losing opponent to send a friend request with hostile intentions, but these 5 seemed to either not expect that to be my intention, or just not care. Another interesting thing I noticed about these opponents had to do with the in-game emotes. I, and many others who play Hearthstone, usually like to give a friendly Greetings to our opponent at the start of a game, but not all players do this. However, all 5 of my interviewees had returned my Greetings which I found interesting. Finally, from the interview questions themselves, most of these players had only been playing 1 or 2 games so far in this session, and they all ranked pretty highly in their enjoyment of our game and felt we were at least somewhat evenly matched. Overall, I would call this Intervention a success. It was fairly difficult to get participants due to the nature of my idea, but I feel that the people who did participate were given a nice experience in a usually hostile situation, which was really my whole goal. On top of all that, I was also able to collect some interesting data about a game I really enjoy, which was a nice added bonus.

 

One of my interviews

Aaron Cai’s Intervention Project – Squid Game in CS:GO

For my intervention project, I decided to intervene in the game of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). The game the way it’s normally played is as follows: players face off against each other in two teams of five, fighting with guns and grenades over objectives. I wanted to turn that convention around by constructing games within the game that mirror the games in the popular Netflix show, Squid Game. Squid Game is a Korean drama about people in enormous debt being recruited to play children’s games for eccentric billionaires’ spectacle with the prize being the equivalent of millions of US dollars and the penalty of losing being death. It is an interesting critique on the failures of capitalism. There are three games I appropriated from Squid Game: Red Light Green Light, Marbles, and Squid Game.

Red light Green Light was played in the show with a giant automaton turning its head towards and away from the players while singing a song that translates to red light green light. When it says green light and the head is turned away, the players are free to move. When it says red light and the head is facing the players, players are not allowed to move. The ones who are caught moving are shot. The players have to reach a line near the automaton, which is some distance away from the starting location, within a time limit. Those who do not make it within that time limit are also shot. For my project, I took on the role of the automaton and would turn away from and turn towards the player while saying red light green light correspondingly. The players started with their backs against a wall and their goal was to reach the wall where I was standing. During the testing, I messed up a bunch of times, saying the wrong thing, like green light when I was facing the players or red light when I was facing away. Thankfully, the testing gave me enough practice that I was able to execute my part without a mistake during the actual thing.

Marbles was played in the show by pairing up the players and giving them ten marbles each. They were told to play whatever game they wanted, but one person had to end up with twenty marbles at the end of a certain time limit. The one without any marbles was shot. One pair in the show did this by betting all ten marbles on one game, they threw a marble at a wall, and whoever got it closest to the wall was the winner. For my project I had the players throw decoy grenades at a wall, and whoever got it closest was the winner. The decoy grenade was a good choice because it stayed around on the ground for a while, unlike the other grenades, so we could see where each one landed clearly. I did not have enough players to have them pair up (there were only three left at this stage) so I had them all do it together as a group. The player with the worst throw was shot.

Squid Game was played in the show on a pattern on the ground shaped vaguely like a squid. One player was the defender and one was the attacker. The attacker had to try to get to the head of the squid, and they would win if they were to do so. The defender has to prevent that from happening and try to get the attacker to step outside the squid. If the attacker stepped outside the squid, they would lose and the defender would win. The two contestants were also given knives and it basically devolved into a knife fight to the death. For my project, I had originally wanted to draw the squid on the ground with bullet holes, but the pattern proved too elaborate for the game system, which would erase bullet holes after a certain number of other bullet holes has been created. I would draw it partially and the first couple of bullet holes would start disappearing. So I figured just a knife fight to the death with no boundary restrictions was close enough to the show.

We played my version of Squid Game in Counter-Strike with four players. One player was eliminated from each game, resulting in a winner being determined by the end. Unfortunately, I had an issue with my recording software and my voice was not captured in the videos.

Video clips from the testing: https://youtu.be/pUd11SJNtK0

Video clips from the final iteration: https://youtu.be/_C9at8Deamk

Nickerson’s Score: Release

Imagine a creation, it does not have to be much, but it must be yours…

Now set to work

Build the spawn of your imagination piece by piece

Little by little witness the result of your focus come to life

Finish

Bask in the work’s glory

Realize that it is temporary

And destroy it

When finished, destroy this Score…”

This idea is stemmed from mainly 2 things. I wanted a score that was in itself, enjoyable to complete. It’s an experimental game design class after all, and games are meant to be fun. I wanted the first 5 steps of the score to make the participant connect to their creation. The final part of the score, is inspired by the Matchbook score meant to destroy art. Just burning any old art is one thing, but destroying your own art is a whole different thing. Now, the score here took the form of a goofy Picture + Video, but that’s just because that was the limit of my skillset. I’d find it more interesting if a person was to spend an even longer time on a piece, maybe music, maybe animation. I would love to see someone fall in love with their work, and then brush it aside like it was nothing. Almost like the sand mandalas that Buddhist monks make:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBrYUlOYK0U&ab_channel=WellcomeCollection

Appropriation show and tell

  I decided to share a meme (at least appropriate for class) that was quite directly an example of appropriation mixing in media from the Spiderman Franchise. The video involved mixing in a few moments from Spiderman 2 movie, taking the famous “Funiculì, Funiculà” which was used in the Spiderman 2 video game when delivering pizzas in the game as a mission. The version of Funiculì, Funiculà that was used was played with an accordion.  It became a very popular meme many years for how derpy the song sounds while played through this instrument. I shall provide the links for each source. I feel memes are the best way to spread information to communicate among one another and by using material we can all relate to or know the references of we can do just that.  

The Main video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpvT-Fciu-4

Funiculì, Funiculà from spiderman 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czTksCF6X8Y

JJJ’s Laugh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFJ6UZ0SkYY

Pizza Time!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRgdA9_FsXM

Pranav Gopan – Artwork #3 News in Runescape

Something that has always fascinated me is bringing the real world into the digital space. Thanks to the many MMORPGs out there, people can communicate via text or voice chat in different game worlds. Some use communication for strictly game purposes, such as completing tasks or missions. Others enjoy the social aspect of it. In worlds meant for slaying dragons and collecting jewels, you may find parties with players dancing and talking leisurely with one another. And of course, there are those who don’t use communication at all. For my project, I wanted to explore an aspect of communication that isn’t frequently used in video games. In the real world, we learn about what happens outside our homes via the news. It’s important to stay updated, as what happens outside can have a direct impact on our own lives. When we play video games, we immerse ourselves in the game world. Despite the joy that comes, it’s important to stay grounded from time to time.

I created a score that involves the following steps.

  1. Choose an MMORPG.
  2. Enter a game world with a decent amount of players.
  3. Customize your avatar so that it is bright and noticeable.
  4. Open a web browser and load different news sites and fact pages.
  5. Go back to the game world and find other players.
  6. Type out different news headlines and facts around them.
  7. Try to relate the topics to what is happening in the game world.
  8. Wait for a response.

As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to find a way to bring the real world into the digital. This score was how I did so. The MMORPG that I chose was Runescape. For an hour, I traveled to different parts of the game world and encountered various people. My main goal was to spark reactions from other players and possibly carry out conversations. At first, I would stand next to players and type out random news headlines. For example, one headline was, “Trump says Ukraine whistleblower must testify, blasts offer of written answers”. However, I did not get many reactions when I did so. Most people would walk away or not reply at all. After some time, I decided to try a different approach. There is a place in the game world with many cows and I found one player slaying them. I began searching for cow facts on my browser and typed them out on Runescape. After saying, “A cow will chew about 50 times in a minute”, I received my first reply. The other player responded, “Nope”. I wanted to keep speaking, so I typed, “Cows have great senses”. The other player responded, “You can’t tell me what to do your not my moo”. For me, this was a win. Though the conversation was simple, I at least received a reply. I continued my journey to an in-game ore field, where I saw a few players mining. I took this as an opportunity to search for real-life facts about fracking. After describing fracking in the game world, one player replied, “Really? Didn’t know that”. I felt happy at this moment. Mainly, it was because someone learned something new through the score.

From what I observed through this experience, players don’t enjoy listening to the news in game worlds. However, when performing long mundane tasks, such as slaying cows or mining ore, players are interested in listening to relevant facts. I can understand seeing how these tasks take up a decent amount of time and can get pretty tiresome. Having someone there to surprise you with knowledge might make the experience a little better.

Link to gameplay:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Mprj5S0Txsr8PJQ9DjQhEu9I06CXQySm

Just Draw – Appropriation Game

I originally intended for this game to be a single player experience, but after playtesting with an improvised multiplayer mode where each player would take a turn drawing, I realized that the multiplayer was the real source of fun for the game. There was a lot of emergent behavior I would never have seen in the single player game. The players began to play cooperatively and began helping each other out with their drawings. Some began to purposefully draw in a certain way as to help the other player with their next drawing. The game turned into this strange dialogue between the players as they were both helping each other turn the same thing into two different things. There were some other emergent behaviors that I didn’t expect for individual players. When I played the game, I drew very minimally to make the next drawing easier. Seeing others play, they added a lot more detail that I would’ve added. People became very attached to their drawings in a way that I didn’t necessarily intend. People overall seemed to want more control over their drawing, so I added the ability to move the camera and zoom in and out as well as undo drawings. 

 

For my appropriation game, the player is given a prompt to draw, which must be drawn by appropriating the previous player’s drawing. After the drawing is complete a new prompt is given to the next player. My original idea with this game was to somehow have the game mechanic be appropriation itself. In my pitch, the game mechanic was for the player to be able to explore their own creations that have been appropriated by the computer. I was inspired by a lot of the more theatrical Dada pieces, especially the earlier Zurich movement where the participation of the audience was a key part of the performance. In this game the player is key in the performance of appropriation. After making the game multiplayer, the form of appropriation transformed so that while the two players had the same object that they were appropriating, they were instructed to appropriate in two seemingly conflicting ways. With this game I saw the use of appropriation as a way to resolve these conflicts. When the players would need to turn a dog into a tree through only additional pencil strokes, there is an immediate conflict that arises. The message I wanted to send through this piece was that only through the act of appropriation by the player do they progress. Another interesting part of my game is scale. I was inspired by the use of scale as a tool for transformation such as the giant joystick or tiny hammer. I forced the player’s drawings to zoom out over time rather than just have them move along the screen.

Just Draw Zoom Out

Ball Painting Score

Take multiple Tennis balls and different color paint cans, put the canvas in the middle of the room. Give the artists multiple gloves to be able to pick up and roll the ball across the canvas of different colors.  If everyone is alright they may bounce the ball to each other assuming they dont mind getting paint on themselves. The idea originally came around when my friend and personal trainer Kevin Brewerton showed me a video of him doing art with his boxing gloves and punching the canvas with paint on his gloves.  I wanted to take a step further and try throwing a baseball or hitting a baseball against the paint however many things can go wrong so quickly with that. Baseballs can deflect and hit someone, not enough space to protect the whole area from getting splashed. I then thought about doing something similar with throwing a tennis ball between two people against the wall but there’s still the potential of breaking the canvas and also dealing with covering up as much ground so we won’t get paint everywhere.  

What is needed for the happening:

  • Tennis Balls (six for this Happening)
  • Tempura Paint (Blue, Orange, Red, Green)
  • Paper plates to hold the paints
  • Disposable Gloves to help handle the tennis balls
  • A giant Tarp to paint on and also prevent the ground or room to be painted on
  • MISSING: (19in x 24in Paper as the canvas)
    • Tarp became the new Canvas

The results of the Happening: Lack of preparation for the Happening resulted in many changes to the final presentation. Didn’t have a place to prepare for the project nor could I get the tarp that I wanted to stay on the wall. The solution to this was to lay the tarp on the ground and instead bounce the tennis balls covered in paint.  The results are shown here:

The tennis balls ended up soaking up the paint and not splashing as much as I wished there would be. I had fun with the idea and it would be a lot of fun to potentially take this idea and reserve a room, get a ball that will splash more, and have the liberty of chucking the balls at full force without worrying about damages.  I find this can be a fun way to relieve stress by doing physical while also making art through your own physical actions.