Minimal Game Suite – Experiments in Gameplay

Minimal Game Suite was a collection of 4 experiments in gameplay made from 2012-2013. It is comprised of:

  • Press When Red
  • Qualia Pong
  • Press When Heard
  • Consequentialist Pong

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Click to play the collection here

Press When Red started off as “Minimal Action Game”, an experiment to recreate the essence of an action game experience with minimal visual and gameplay elements. At their essence, action games are exercises in pressing buttons at the right time (not too early, nor too late) so I made a minimal version of what a game like that would require. Realizing I created a bare essence of a concentration based reflex game, I found that I could create challenge by introducing distractions and that the game could be humor-based. This game by itself was a Finalist in the Stony Brook Game Programming Competition. Trailer below:

Qualia Pong was an experiment in sensory output from a game to the player. After Press When Red, I attempted to make a game that expressed a minimal amount of information about a game while still being playable. I thought about several games until I thought about Pong. The minimal amount of information needed in Pong is the position of the ball relative to the paddle. So I tried to express the horizontal distance and vertical distance in various visual and non-visual ways. The player is able to play the game without needing to see their own paddle or the ball. The name is derived from the philosophical term “qualia” used to describe sensory experiences that could differ from person to person, yet describe the same information.

One of the qualias in "Qualia Pong" that allows the player to play the game essentially blind.

One of the qualias in “Qualia Pong” that allows the player to play the game essentially blind.

Press When Heard was an attempt to make a non-visual version of the Minimal Action Game explored in Press When Red, encouraged by non-visual gameplay in Qualia Pong.  The game attempts to instill auditory conditioning and then pattern break the player to add challenge to the gameplay.

The minimal visual interface in "Press When Heard" lends itself to audio-based gameplay.

The minimal visual interface in “Press When Heard” lends itself to audio-based gameplay.

Consequentialist Pong was spin on the idea of Qualia Pong. Rather than having minimal sensory output from the game, I attempted to make the game about minimal input, with various control schemes only using the mouse and microphone. The name was inspired by the definition of Consequentialist Ethics, in that the game is about using different means to achieve the same ends.

One of the means by which the player may control the paddle in "Consequentialist Pong."

One of the means by which the player may control the paddle in “Consequentialist Pong.”

Note: I’ve heard there have been problems running the game in Firefox.

Click to play the collection here

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