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Adapting Game Mechanics with Micro-Machinations

Abstract : In early game development phases game designers adjust game rules in a rapid, iterative and flexible way. In later phases, when software prototypes are available, play testing provides more detailed feedback about player experience. More often than not, the realized and the intended game-play emerging from game software differ. Unfortunately, ad-justing it is hard because designers lack a means for effi-ciently defining, fine-tuning and balancing game mechanics. The language Machinations provides a graphical notation for expressing the rules of game economies that fits with a designer's understanding and vocabulary, but is limited to design itself. Micro-Machinations (MM) formalizes the meaning of core language elements of Machinations enabling reasoning about alternative behaviors and assessing quality, making it also suitable for software development. We pro-pose an approach for designing, embedding and adapting game mechanics iteratively in game software, and demon-strate how the game mechanics and the gameplay of a tower defense game can be easily changed and promptly play tested. The approach shows that MM enables the adaptability needed to reduce design iteration times, consequently increasing op-portunities for quality improvements and reuse.
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https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01110847
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Riemer van Rozen, Joris Dormans. Adapting Game Mechanics with Micro-Machinations. Foundations of Digital Games, Apr 2014, Aboard Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas, sailing from Ford Lauderdale, Florida, United States. ⟨hal-01110847⟩

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