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Copyright & Modding In The Modern Gamespace, Josephine Railston 2024 Chapman University

Copyright & Modding In The Modern Gamespace, Josephine Railston

Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

In the modern gamespace, modding has become an excellent opportunity for video game enthusiasts to express their creativity and love for a game; but what happens when that passion is stifled by a major company? My poster presentation will examine the ethics behind modding and ROM hacking, from both the perspectives of major video game corporations as well as their fanbase at large. We will analyze this issue using the case study of Pokémon Prism, a Pokémon Crystal ROM hack, which was canceled days prior to its release following a cease and desist by Nintendo. More specifically, we will investigate …


An Exploration Of Procedural Methods In Game Level Design, Hector Salinas 2024 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

An Exploration Of Procedural Methods In Game Level Design, Hector Salinas

Computer Science and Computer Engineering Undergraduate Honors Theses

Video games offer players immersive experiences within intricately crafted worlds, and the integration of procedural methods in game level designs extends this potential by introducing dynamic, algorithmically generated content that could stand on par with handcrafted environments. This research highlights the potential to provide players with engaging experiences through procedural level generation, while potentially reducing development time for game developers.

Through a focused exploration on two-dimensional cave generation techniques, this paper aims to provide efficient solutions tailored to this specific environment. This exploration encompasses several procedural generation methods, including Midpoint Displacement, Random Walk, Cellular Automata, Perlin Worms, and Binary Space …


Cultural Immersion In Gaming: Ethiopian Influences In Horizon Forbidden West, Henoch Tilahun 2024 San Jose State University

Cultural Immersion In Gaming: Ethiopian Influences In Horizon Forbidden West, Henoch Tilahun

ART 108: Introduction to Games Studies

This paper examines the immersive incorporation of Ethiopian culture in the video game "Horizon Forbidden West," focusing on visual, narrative, and thematic themes. It explains how the game represents Ethiopian legacy and custom by examining architectural design, landscape portrayal, mythological integration, and character representation. The paper uses different academic works and gaming articles and emphasizes the game's ability to inspire empathy, curiosity, and enthusiasm for cultural diversity, as well as cross-cultural appreciation and understanding. It also investigates the importance of ethical and responsible game production approaches in ensuring accurate cultural portrayal. Finally, this paper examines the transformative power of cultural …


Scientific Frontiers In Game Studies, Prthvi Kapilavai 2024 San Jose State University

Scientific Frontiers In Game Studies, Prthvi Kapilavai

ART 108: Introduction to Games Studies

Video game studies as a dynamic field has benefited from this synthesis of the scientific method and critical theories that, together, enrich our understanding of video games as both technological artifacts and cultural products.(Girina and Jung, 2019). More than a mere shadow-boxing between disciplinary echo chambers, this kind of integration enriches our understanding of video game form and experience while projecting a more informed path forward into game design and game scholarship. It demonstrates how findings from psychology and cognitive science describe or explain video games’ enticement or their potential for learning, and how theories of media from the humanities …


The Phygital Design Process: Using Emerging Technologies To Create A Phygital Fashion Brand Rooted In Nostalgia, Madeline M. McDaniel 2024 State University of New York College at Buffalo - Buffalo State College

The Phygital Design Process: Using Emerging Technologies To Create A Phygital Fashion Brand Rooted In Nostalgia, Madeline M. Mcdaniel

Creativity and Change Leadership Graduate Student Master's Projects

This Master's Project is a comprehensive exploration of the intersection of digital fashion design, nostalgia, and sustainable practices. Its primary objective is to create 'project CYBERBAE,' a phygital fashion collection that draws inspiration from early 2000s video game characters, trends, and aesthetics. The project utilizes advanced digital tools like Clo3D to demonstrate a comprehensive digital fashion design process that emphasizes inclusivity and sustainability. It also pioneers the development of a 3D virtual world, providing users with an immersive environment to interact with and experience digital fashion. This virtual space serves as a platform for a community of fashion, technology, and …


Diegetic Sonification For Low Vision Gamers, Jhané Dawes 2024 Kennesaw State University

Diegetic Sonification For Low Vision Gamers, Jhané Dawes

Master's Theses

There are not many games designed for all players that provide accommodations for low vision users. This means that low vision users may not get to engage with the gaming community in the same way as their sighted peers. In this thesis, I explore how diegetic sonification can be used as a tool to support these low vision gamers in the typical gaming environment. I asked low vision players to engage with a prototype game level with two diegetic sonification techniques applied, without the use of their corrective lenses. I found that participants had more enjoyment and experienced less difficulty …


Options, Matthew C. Mata 2024 Northern Illinois University

Options, Matthew C. Mata

Graduate Artistry Projects and Performances

Difficult choices are a part of our everyday lives, and they only get harder as time goes on. Thankfully, we get to choose what those choices are in our lives. What we don't get to choose are the consequences that follow. To share what I mean, six interactive shorts were made so that people could watch and play with the storylines in an effort to show that we are all self-motivated and have agency within us.


Emergent Narrative In Tabletop Role-Playing Games: An Application Of Concepts, Padraig Mumper 2024 Bowling Green State University

Emergent Narrative In Tabletop Role-Playing Games: An Application Of Concepts, Padraig Mumper

Honors Projects

This project examines tabletop role-playing games using concepts from narratology and ludology including emergent narrative and Roger Caillois’ categories of games by applying these concepts in the creation of an adventure zine for the game MÖRK BORG. The existing literature on emergent narrative primarily focuses on video games and Avant Garde texts but tabletop role-playing games provide a novel opportunity to explore emergent narrative in new ways. The dynamic of a collaborative game with multiple players and a gamemaster provides additional challenges for designers due to variance in interpretation of the game events and the lack of a digital program …


The Art Of Motion, Audrey Caleb, Selina Shang 2024 Fort Hays State University

The Art Of Motion, Audrey Caleb, Selina Shang

SACAD: John Heinrichs Scholarly and Creative Activity Days

Animation is an integral part of our daily lives. From entertainment, to advertisements, to medical visualizations and everything in between, it permeates our world. But what makes animation so compelling? Why do we connect with it so well? And what makes it visually appealing?

Humans are story driven creatures, and so we gravitate towards time-based media—it’s the perfect vehicle for telling stories. Our goal was to explore the variety of styles and tools used in animation, research the 12 principles, understand the process of creating a work from start to finish, and successfully demonstrate the science and art of animation.


Best Practices: Enhancing Narrative Communication Through Environmental Shifts, Xinyu Zhang 2024 Southern Methodist University

Best Practices: Enhancing Narrative Communication Through Environmental Shifts, Xinyu Zhang

Level Design Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this research is to integrate traditional storytelling methods with environmental shifts to test the effectiveness in enhancing player immersion and narrative communication. The researcher created a custom single-player level in Fallout 4, which tasks players with investigating a case and finding out the truth of the quest’s narrative with the help of environmental shifts. The researcher collected data on the effectiveness of their researched, environmental shift best practices by observing testers’ playtests and their subsequent understanding of the story.


Best Practices For Teaching Shifting Gameplay Styles, Matthew Grabowski 2024 Southern Methodist University

Best Practices For Teaching Shifting Gameplay Styles, Matthew Grabowski

Level Design Theses and Dissertations

This thesis explores four different methods (Golden Path, Punishers & Reinforcers, Teaching in Threes, and Forced Teaching) for teaching players how to engage with shifting gameplay styles within video games using Nico Fridja’s Valence Theory [1]. Using the Far Cry 5 Arcade Editor, the researcher created a single-player video game level in which all four teaching methods were tested in tandem with one another. The goal of creating this level was to evaluate the validity of the teaching methods and their ability to shift gameplay valences, specifically between stealth-focused gameplay and push-forward firefight combat gameplay.


Best Practices: Modulating Tension Using Contrast Lighting, Jaye Marie Williams 2024 Southern Methodist University

Best Practices: Modulating Tension Using Contrast Lighting, Jaye Marie Williams

Level Design Theses and Dissertations

The goal of this thesis is to determine the best practices for modulating tension in a level through the use of contrast lighting. To test their theories, the researcher used variations of high and low contrast lighting when creating the artifact to elicit responses to tension from the player.


A Deep Dive On The Groundbreak Role Of Role Playing Games, Lawton Fong 2024 University of San Jose Recoletos

A Deep Dive On The Groundbreak Role Of Role Playing Games, Lawton Fong

ART 108: Introduction to Games Studies

Role-playing games (RPGs) have revolutionized the gaming industry, fundamentally altering the way we engage with and perceive games. RPGs are defined by their emphasis on narrative-driven gameplay, character development, and immersive worlds. Originating from tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), RPGs have evolved into complex digital experiences that allow players to interact with richly detailed virtual environments and storylines. This genre's growth has been propelled by advances in technology, expanding from simple text-based adventures to fully realized 3D worlds. Overall, role-playing games have significantly influenced the gaming landscape and transformed our perceptions of games as interactive experiences by advancing …


Using Multi-Staged Puzzles To Improve Backtracking In Level Design, Yufei Tian 2024 Southern Methodist University

Using Multi-Staged Puzzles To Improve Backtracking In Level Design, Yufei Tian

Level Design Theses and Dissertations

This study explores the potential best practices in using multi-staged puzzles, which involve backtracking, in video games. The researcher focused on enhancing the players’ experiences by applying elements of the flow theory to an artifact level in Dying Light 2. Playtesters’ feedback suggested that best practices in multi-staged backtracking puzzles improve flow state entry and increase enjoyment.


Utilizing Valence Theory To Influence Player Navigation In First-Person Shooter Multiplayer Maps, Yousha Qu 2024 Southern Methodist University

Utilizing Valence Theory To Influence Player Navigation In First-Person Shooter Multiplayer Maps, Yousha Qu

Level Design Theses and Dissertations

This research explored tactical & visual valences, different valence weights and the transformation of valences under different circumstances in first-person shooter multiplayer maps, then incorporated them into a level artifact, utilizing the valences to influence player navigation.


Using Push And Pull Principles To Improve Non-Linear Level Navigation, Aiwen Zhang 2024 Southern Methodist University

Using Push And Pull Principles To Improve Non-Linear Level Navigation, Aiwen Zhang

Level Design Theses and Dissertations

This thesis studies the Player’s habits of navigation when they are in an open-world environment. It incorporates assumptions of best practices utilizing the Push and Pull level design theory that guides the Player in a free-flowing, exploratory environment and utilizes these practices in an open-world level in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.


Best Practices: Implementing Dense Level Design Through Reuse Of Space, Shuo Zhang 2024 Southern Methodist University

Best Practices: Implementing Dense Level Design Through Reuse Of Space, Shuo Zhang

Level Design Theses and Dissertations

This research explores the correlation between Dense Level Design and the Reuse of Space in video games. It provides assumptions about best practices for implementing Reuse of Space to attain Dense Level Design. To evaluate these best practices, an artifact level is developed for Dying Light 2: Stay Human. The practices are evaluated through an analysis of survey results.


Using Graph Theory To Create A 3d Miniscaped, Non-Linear Level, Donghua Li 2024 Southern Methodist University

Using Graph Theory To Create A 3d Miniscaped, Non-Linear Level, Donghua Li

Level Design Theses and Dissertations

This study focuses on how to use the Graph Theory and the Dominion Theory to design a three-dimensional (3D) non-linear, miniscaped level layout in a video game. Using these theories, the researcher aimed to aid players in navigating non-linear levels (which are notoriously difficult to traverse). Consequently, the researcher created a methodology outlining the best practices for constructing a level using Graph Theory and Dominion Theory. The researcher constructed a game level in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to explore the effectiveness of this methodology. Testers played the level and provided feedback regarding their experiences. The researcher analyzed this data …


Best Practices: Using Semiotics In Environmental Storytelling, Conger He 2024 Southern Methodist University

Best Practices: Using Semiotics In Environmental Storytelling, Conger He

Level Design Theses and Dissertations

This thesis explores an aspect of environmental storytelling known as “semiotics.” Semiotics conveys information and relevant interconnections to an individual through visual representations. There are diverse types of semiotic elements, including symbols, icons, and indexes. The researcher examined the use of semiotics in video games and derived seven best practices for conveying story beats and relaying aspects of a video game’s narrative. The researcher implemented these semiotic-related practices into a custom Fallout 4 level, gathered testers to play the level, and asked the testers to give their opinions on the experience. The researcher analysed the tester’s feedback to conclude whether …


Prospect And Refuge: Modulating Level Pacing Through Spatial Composition, Yifan Li 2024 Southern Methodist University

Prospect And Refuge: Modulating Level Pacing Through Spatial Composition, Yifan Li

Level Design Theses and Dissertations

This thesis examines the concepts of Prospect space and Refuge space in video games and their influences on game pace. Based on the assumption that a Prospect space increases pacing while a Refuge space decreases pacing, the researcher created a custom level artifact (using both space types) to achieve an ideal pacing curve. By analysing playtesters’ experiences, the researcher was able to examine the influence of Prospect and Refuge space on pacing and formulate a set of best practices to help game designers modulate pacing through spatial composition.


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