Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 20, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 20, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


Video: Famous designers attempt to make a game about falling in love
lovestorygdc2004.jpg
March 4, 2013 | By GDC Vault Staff

March 4, 2013 | By GDC Vault Staff
Comments
    25 comments
More: Console/PC, Indie, Design, Video, GDC



Industry luminaries Will Wright, Warren Spector, and Raph Koster present their love story game designs based around falling for a virtual character, a Regency romance novel, and a first person kisser, in this free video lecture courtesy of the GDC Vault.

Hosted by Eric Zimmerman, these developers attempt to win the vote of the audience with their designs for the experimental Game Design Challenge at GDC 2004. First up, Raph Koster imagines a multiplayer Regency romance novel experience, where the engine takes players and assigns character flaws. These flaws build into character arcs, and the arcs become set pieces that are played through.

Next, Will Wright envisions a romantic game played in real time with players using their real identities. His solution: a peer-to peer, first-person kisser that takes place as a game inside a game (in his example, Battlefield 1942.)

Finally, Warren Spector does not propose a specific game, but he addresses several design concerns when making a game about falling in love. He suggests making players fall for a virtual character would be more challenging than a real one. For such games to exist and thrive, he says games have to expand to include better characters that experience and express emotions more clearly and that simulate conversations more realistically.

The free video that crowns one of these designers as the winner is available here.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech


Related Jobs

Nintendo of America Inc.
Nintendo of America Inc. — Redmond, Washington, United States
[10.20.14]

Visual Development Artist
Filament Games LLC
Filament Games LLC — Madison, Wisconsin, United States
[10.20.14]

Web & Interaction Designer
Digital Extremes
Digital Extremes — LONDON, Ontario, Canada
[10.17.14]

UI ARTIST/DESIGNER
New York University
New York University — New York, New York, United States
[10.17.14]

Faculty, Department of Game Design










Comments


Benjamin Quintero
profile image
I can't wait until we can record in true 3D, so I can rotate the camera in the video and actually see what everyone is laughing about...

Zack Wood
profile image
"First Person Kisser" has a great ring to it, and reminds me of "Chulip," the action/simulation kisser for PS2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chulip)!

Will Oberleitner
profile image
Is this going to be a flash game on Newgrounds? lol

Sean Monica
profile image
I'm really really glad that I am not the only one who's mind jumped right to those ha.

Jeanne Burch
profile image
I would have REALLY liked to have seen the slides that went along with the talk...

Raph Koster
profile image
My slides are up on my website here:

http://www.raphkoster.com/gaming/lovestory.shtml

Jeanne Burch
profile image
Thanks, Raph. That was very helpful!

Jonathan Barone
profile image
Peter Molyneux already did this. The thing at the center of Curiosity is True Love.

Sean Monica
profile image
Peter "tried" to do a lot of things... Check out some more work these guys have done its really good so far actually.

Raymond Ortgiesen
profile image
Would have been nice of these guys to actually make some sort of prototype to demonstrate their ideas. You can throw this concept at any group of design students and get just as many interesting ideas back, creating one that actually delivers the experience you're intending is something else entirely.

Raph Koster
profile image
This was the very first Game Design Challenge. At later ones, people have shown prototypes. And I did actually build a prototype but didn't show it, the example output in the slides is from it :).

Raymond Ortgiesen
profile image
Well, you got me then. Do you know if Will Wright or Warren Spector had anything as well?

Raph Koster
profile image
Warren basically punted and said the challenge was impossible. So no prototype, not even a design.

Will's game was basically an alternate minigame inside of Battlefield or the like. It would probably be easy to prototype today. Of course, we talked about it at the time, and I said to him "what would stop the actual warring sides from making piles of bystander couples to use as meat shields, etc?" and he said "nothing." We agreed the game was exploitable as hell and probably wouldn't actually work. :)

Sebastian Coman
profile image
Here is a prototype you want to look at:
http://igg.me/at/flirtplanet/x/2309370

Flirt Planet: Laugh. Learn. Love.

Jason Chen
profile image
This kind of genera is nothing new really, the "falling in love" concept has already been widely used in Japan since the age of playstation and saturn, think it is even available in NDS. Japanese developers design these kind of game to satisfy the needs of certain group of males in Japan. I heard they are now making same genera for girls.... somewhere on this planet, someone is really into the virtual world.

Raph Koster
profile image
The rules of this challenge specifically excluded visual novels and interactive story games.

Luis Guimaraes
profile image
Those are about making NPCs fall in love with the player. As it seems the challenge was about making the player fall in romantic love (with NPCs) which is, in fact, impossible (in the realm of healthy entertainment, healthy immersion, healthy escapism, for healthy people). What's possible (an done multiple times) is the player falling in love with the game, the world, or the NPCs, in a non-romantic way (which happens all the time).

Pretty much siding with Warren here: the challenge is impossible. Until we can make games that read minds and hearts (er, neuro-chemical levels), then we'll be past the definition of "love" as something natural and healthy anyway...

Sebastian Coman
profile image
Yes, but it's a shame that these games are kinda threatening and don't include women, or even objectify them. I've seen a lot of "smutty" games like those you mention. A decent game about dating, flirting and love should have a gender balance, don't you think? Lifting up a girl's skirt in an interaction might be a funny time killer, but you would not do this in real life (well, most would not). It's far more valuable to to successfully depict the facial expressions, body language and nuances in dialogue through which us humans communicate.

Here's our idea of a fun, non-threatening and balanced Social Dating Game.

http://igg.me/at/flirtplanet/x/2309370

Looking forward to hearing your views!

Jason Chen
profile image
This kind of genera is nothing new really, the "falling in love" concept has already been widely used in Japan since the age of playstation and saturn, think it is even available in NDS. Japanese developers design these kind of game to satisfy the needs of certain group of males in Japan. I heard they are now making same genera for girls.... somewhere on this planet, someone is really into the virtual world.

Sebastian Coman
profile image
For Flirt Planet we chose to have a mix of both Player to NPC interaction (in the core game) and Player to Player (in the dating service). Interactions take place both synchronously and asynchronously. It's a cross-platform game, with the test version live on facebook.

We overcame the "conversational challenge" by building our own "conversational engine" that ensures dialogues are always appropriate, new and interesting. We incorporated our Dating Science into the different stages of "courtship". We track responses, analyse them and can suggest potential real-life matches to the player in the dating service, based on what type of NPCs he/she is compatible with. To supplement this, we have a unique "matching sauce" for the player to use when evaluating matches.

We overcame the "emotional challenge" by creating NPCs with 3D models that have all those realistic facial expressions (smiling, laughing, frowning, etc.)

Our Flirt Planet is not a game about winning or losing. So points and leader boards are difficult. We overcame this by introducing "HUGS" as the points earned by doing well. The love story within Flirt Planet unfolds differently in a unique way for each player.

Because we teach the players how to interact more effectively in social context, we certainly did not want the player to feel like he or she NEEDS to learn something (or that the player doesn't know anything about flirting or dating). After all we need to make a fun game, rather than an eLearning simulation. To overcome this challenge, our storyline includes some adorable aliens! The alien within the player's avatar is new to human society and learns about social interactions from the start.

If you're interested to learn more just get in touch with me. You can find the game here:
http://bit.ly/WXA1nx

Christopher Thigpen
profile image
I appreciate these designers and love their work. But, this is a ridiculous adventure. There are far too many variables for the human mind and human heart to make this game as realistic as possible.


I see this venture as a waste of time, resources, and money. Improve upon the games that already exist.

(ex- Civ... you ALWAYS will be forced into war...a terrible design flaw for the game) If you can't get that(politics) right, then I don't see success in getting love right.

I respectfully think this is foolish. But, it's not my money.

Raph Koster
profile image
I think you misunderstand the purpose of the session... the Game Designers Challenge isn't for money. It's done to expand designer horizons, and for fun. The topics chosen are ALWAYS "impossible," that's the point.

Duong Nguyen
profile image
Game designers are really not the people to create evocative and moving stories and characters to evoke emotions like love, etc.. not in the West anyway, where designers are way more focus / trained in the technical aspects of games than the emotive and storytelling aspects. You would need a collaboration from great writers, designers and musicians to create games which can evoke those kind of strong emotions. Even then it would take a singular voice to create something "true".

Paul Laroquod
profile image
Pretty much an epic fail all around. Falling in love is urgent and burning and fucking dangerous. It means you are not in control. You can't make a control scheme that captures that, it has to be an out-of-control scheme.

Michael O'Hair
profile image
Love is a two-way street. Was a game character that loves the player character for some reason (any nonsensical reason will do) proposed?

... and then you take them away.


none
 
Comment: