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Ian Bogost shows us how to create games in seconds

Radford C. Mar 5, 2012 1

At GDC 2012, Ian Bogost, best known for creating the Cow Clicker social network game on Facebook, seems to have embraced the notion of creating quick games via his online Game-O-Matic game creator. It’s a huge eye opener for those developing games in the novelty department where games are created and tossed after the buzz has worn off.

He would create what he would term “Newsgames” which would breakdown into seven different types: Current Events, Infographics, Documentary, Puzzles, Literacy, Community and Platforms. The whole point of newsgames is to capture the audience based on the current event happening at the moment (i.e. the rise of Jeremy Lin) and then quickly create a HTML5-based novelty game in seconds (create a game dunking on the President or anyone) using an online tool called Game-O-Matic.

More Game-O-Matic demonstrations

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Bogost explains that newsgames differ from other games in that you create the game based on what “you think the game should be about” versus “what you do in the game to try to make it fun”. “If it’s going to be a shi**y game, you might as well do it quickly and use less resources,” said Bogost. For example, you can create a game where Georgetown Law students repel from Rush Limbaugh when you move a sprite animated Limbaugh around the gamespace based on his comments on Sandra Fluke. Here is an example of how he craetes the game quickly using Game-O-Matic:

His theory is that it adds a humorous connection with the readership and that it negates the need to try to be artistic and instead tries to engage the readership through game satire. It’s an interesting perspective and with the lecture being only 25 minutes, it was probably one of the most insightful sessions that I attended. During the session, he received several laughs and applause from his audience and brought about a new way to engage the news hungry public through different types of context, whether it’s a historical stuff or news we read or watch on TV.

GDC Session: Making Games as Fast as You Can Think of Them

SPEAKERS: Ian Bogost (Georgia Institute of Technology)

DESCRIPTION: One of the greatest challenges for making and using games in the enterprise is creating games in the first place. Games are not only complex and expensive, but the tools created by the “traditional” game industry for making them may not match the uses or authoring needs of other sorts of industries. In particular, current methods for making games rely on authoring behaviors and mechanics, which is still an expertise native to game development.

This talk presents a new game authoring tool that creates small, simple games in seconds based on a concept-map based authoring paradigm and a game generation artificial intelligence. The system was created to service journalists and the news media (thanks to funding from the Knight Foundation), but it can also be used in other sectors–or just as an inspiration for thinking about how to make new game authoring tools.

TAKEAWAY: Identifying strategies to help organizations drive down the costs of producing useful games is a critical need to achieve improved the promise of games for organizations big and small. Attendees to this session will come away with a better understanding of the issues involved with making truly quick and easy game development tools.

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