Catherine, as Described by PGDI – Part II

Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about describing the mechanics of Catherine based on the descriptions of the Player-Game Descriptive Index (PGDI). I had decided to split it up into two parts, the first post looking at the Customization, Progression, and Social categories. There was supposed to be a follow-up post last week that described Catherine via the Immersion, Mastery and Participation categories, but as you may or may not have noticed, that did not happen. Without going into too many details, I decided that I had written enough for the first month of the semester and met with some professors to greatly adjust what I am doing this semester for their class. Basically, the goals for what I was going to do this semester were inadvertently already met within the first month, and we decided that the rest of my work was unnecessary. So I proposed a new semester’s work and now I will be aiming towards something I wasn’t going to touch this early. There will be more details about that in a separate post. For now, let’s just get down to describing the Immersion, Mastery, and Participation categories of Catherine.

Continue reading

Catherine, as Described by PGDI – Part I

In today’s post I will be describing the game Catherine through the framework of my model, the Player-Game Descriptive Index (PGDI). Earlier this month, I described the mechanics present in Catherine, based upon a playthrough I completed. To describe the game, I will be using the descriptions provided by my recent posts on PGDI. This will be the first of two parts, and it will be focused on describing the Social, Customization, and Progression components of Catherine. I will do so based upon my field notes and recorded gameplay. The scale I will be using for components is: none < weak < fair < medium < strong <total. A score of none means that the game does not exhibit the component in any way, while a score of total means that every aspect of the game exhibits the component. Few components will be none or total.

Continue reading

PGDI: Descriptions of the Immersion Components

In a previous post, I described the general categories of the Player-Game Descriptive Index (PGDI). In this post, I will be explaining the components in the immersion category: Embodiment, Emotion, Excitement, Instinct.

The Immersion Category

The Immersion Category

The immersion category houses components that deal with making the player feel or experience something in tandem with the game. It is this situation of shared experience, of transferred affect.

Continue reading

PGDI: Descriptions of the Customization Components

In a previous post, I described the general categories of the Player-Game Descriptive Index (PGDI). In this post, I will be explaining the components in the customization category: Building, Experimentation, Replay, Uniqueness, Variety.

The Customization Category

The Customization Category

The components in the orange customization category deal largely with a player’s effect on their play experience. These components examine the player’s ability to tailor their gaming experience to what they want by offering pieces of the game that can be customized or reconfigured. This can happen on both an aesthetic and a cerebral level. Continue reading

PGDI: Descriptions of the Mastery Components

In a previous post, I described the general categories of the Player-Game Descriptive Index (PGDI). In this post, I will be explaining the components in the mastery category: Achievement, Collecting, Discovery, Process, Skill.

The Mastery Category

The Mastery Category

These components each have to do with some sort of control or knowledge of something in a game. They are tied to the ideas of completion, beating the game, and being the best at something. Continue reading

PGDI: Descriptions of the Progression Components

In a previous post, I described the general categories of the Player-Game Descriptive Index (PGDI). In this post, I will be explaining the components in the progression category: Ability, Character, Goals, Plot.

The Progression Category

The Progression Category

The progression category is represented in green. The components in the category have to do with how the game goes from one point to the next. These components describe how the player goes through the game and how the game is won or lost, as well as describing growth

Continue reading

PGDI: Descriptions of the Participation Components

In a previous post, I described the general categories of the Player-Game Descriptive Index (PGDI). In this post, I will be explaining the components in the participation category: Agency, Challenge, Power, Reward.

The Participation Category

The Participation Category

In the participation category are components related to the player feeling like they are participating in the game, that their actions matter. Continue reading

PGDI: Descriptions of the Social Components

In a previous post, I described the general categories of the Player-Game Descriptive Index (PGDI). In this post, I will be explaining the components in the social category: Community, Competition, Cooperation, and Multiplayer.

Social

The Social Category

The components in the social category all have something to do with interacting with other people through games.

Continue reading

PGDI: Descriptions of the Categories

So last year, you may remember, I worked on developing a model of player types that could also be used to describe games. This led into a model that tries to do better than genre at describing games, based upon a synthesis of four models of play style/motivation [Bartle’s, Yee’s, DGD1 and BrainHex]. The result was the Player-Game Descriptive Index (PGDI) model for describing video games and their players. The synthesis research and model descriptions will be available from McFarland sometime in the spring or summer this year. It is in the spring catalog and you can watch for it here. So, because it has been quite a large project for me, and because it will be some time before the book actually comes out, I have decided to finally write out the descriptions for each of the components so that people can see them. These will be a bit different from the descriptions in my chapter of the book, but the ones in the book are better situated, so use what you will if you do. I make no money on the sales of the book, though I am sure my editor (Zach Waggoner) does and he’s a good guy (he let me write a chapter in his book, after all!). So without much further ado, I’ll get into a brief description of the structure of PGDI, and then go into the components’ descriptions.

Continue reading

New Semester and an Update

Well, those two months went rather quickly, didn’t they? And no, I didn’t forget about my blog. Quite the contrary: I agonized again and again over how neglected my little space on the web was becoming. This time, though, I was actively waiting until it felt appropriate to produce something. That date kept slipping further and further away. This included updates on my classwork, my ongoing game projects, my work at Phoenix Online Studios, as well as the research project I was working on for the first half of last year. I’m going to try to address as many of these as I can, and talk about the upcoming semester in this post.

Continue reading