Author Archive

December 14, 2012

Blindside: An Audio Adventure Game

This game is a horror survival game where the player has to survive only by his/her reactions to audio cues.

December 13, 2012

John Maeda: How art, technology and design inform creative leaders

Nice talk about creative leaders and how art and technologies are related. Also has a fun game with the “balancing keyboard”.

December 1, 2012

Games for Eye tracking

Continuing from the previous post, here are some videos that show typical eye tracking exercise:

this “game” does the movement of the tracked object for the player, so the exercises can be done for a longer time, and without assistance,

But, here is an actual game that involves catching fast moving bubbles as a far more enjoyable and rewarding means of performing otherwise boring exercises. This is something close to what my team is aiming at achieving with out bubble game.

December 1, 2012

Eye tracking and ADHD, ADD, Dyslexia

A strong correlation between phonological impairment and eye tracking has been found. Here is a rather interesting presentation on the same:

Also, heres a link to a research paper:

It has been suggested that eye tracking exercises may help improve reading and phonological skills in children with dyspraxia, dyslexia.

Read the articles: here and here

December 1, 2012

Interactive Video Games for Dyslexia

The blog here talks about how video games can help in developing locomotor skills in dyslexic childern.

Here are some other sources that also support this theory:,%20automaticity%20and%20developmental%20dyslexia_0.pdf

October 27, 2012

Mass Effect 2 Game Design

Mass Effect 2 Game Design

A talk by BioWare Lead Cinematic Designer Armando Troisi about integration of narrative/story/emotion in video game design.


October 23, 2012

Pecha Kucha for Game Ideas

design game ideas

October 23, 2012

Pecha Kucha Game WOW – Ringgz & Luban Lock – Ming Ringgz!

By Salil Apte, Yu Hao, Yida Gong

In this pecha kucha, we had augmented the game play of ringgz by replacing the concentric rings with the structural pieces of Luban Lock (Ming Lock). This way, a third Z dimension is added to the game, and more attention must be paid to the nature of opponents pieces. This increases the game challenge, making it more interesting and educational.

Here is the link to the slides: slides

September 2, 2012



Players: Salil Apte, Yida Gong, Yu Hao, Ravi Karkar.

Each player has 12 rings (in four sizes)and 3 bases of the same color. These are placed one at a time, in turn, on one of 25 territories laid out in a five X five pattern. You may place a ring:

i) Onto or next to a territory that already has a ring in your color, or

ii) Next to a base of your color.

You also may place a base next to a territory that already has a ring in your color. Each territory can accommodate up to four rings as long as all the rings are different sizes. The winner of the territory is the player who has placed the most rings on it when the game ends, which occurs when no one can place any more rings on the board. The bases do not count in the scoring but can be placed on a territory to prevent any other player from placing a ring on it.


1. The game involves each player developing a strategy that balances blocking off opponents by placing bases, and at the same time accumulating enough points by placing rings.

2. Rings are of different sizes. This means that a player must keep a track of which ring sizes opponents have in their possession before making their next move. This introduces a dose of tactics into the game.

3. The game is very easy to understand, and straightforward to play.

4. The playing time is short – 5 to 10 minutes.


1. More than 4 players cannot play the game.

2. The game is too simplistic, and hence it becomes easy to develop a strategy that works in every instance of play. (Variability is limited).

3. The game is not very dynamic, and can become boring to play more than a few times (low repeatability).


1. Allocating different points for different sized rings could be a very interesting addition. Currently, the different sizes of rings is only related to “what can be placed in this territory”.

2. The 5X5 board is too small. A larger board (say 8X8) would make the game a lot more fun and challenging.

3. The game could also be moved to a 3D space. This would make the game a lot harder, since players will have to track their rings at multiple levels.


1. The game is meant for children 8+ yrs of age. It has several tiny plastics pieces, that children could easily swallow, and presents a choking hazard.


Digitizing the game could enhance the user experience over the physical equivalent. The game could be moved to digital form very easily with simple point-and-clicks to move pieces. Also, highlighting territories, where valid moves are possible would increase the speed of game play.

September 2, 2012


Team: Salil Apte, Parth Vaishnav

In Bohnanza, each player must plant beans in different fields, which can be harvested for coins or credits. But you only have two bean fields where you can plant beans, though you can buy a third bean field. Furthermore you have to plant the beans according to the order in which your cards are dealt to your hand, so it isn’t as simple as just choosing and planting a bean. In order to help players to achieve the maximum profit possible, players can negotiate between themselves and either trade or donate bean cards. The player with the most money at the end of the game wins.


1. The game is highly interactive in nature. Indeed, in each round of trades, negotiations can reach frantic levels as all players will attempt to get the best deal from trades. With a larger number of players, it becomes a challenge to remember who traded what. This is the game’s most interesting facet.

2. One is always vying to make sure the beans you plant now will have many more planted later on in the game in order to win as much money as possible while at the same time trying to not to benefit your opponents much. This game does reward long-term plans as much as short-term plans and is, therefore, a superior game because of it.

3. The bean theme of the game is essential for making the game more attractive, since more real world themes (like trading shares of stock, etc) would be less fun.

4. The amount of luck factor in the game is lower than most games. Indeed, after dealing of the cards, a player’s performance is mostly influenced by his/her strategy, and group dynamics.

5. Players will not easily grow tired of playing the game repeatedly. The games high degree of variability in each play (especially with different players), makes it appealing to repeat.

6. It has a high degree of dynamism, since most players will not be able to keep the same beans in the fields for more than a few plays. This keeps all players on their toes.

7. Due to the negotiation aspect, the nature of play depends on the nature of the players. The game can be anything from a congenial negotiation to a cutthroat competition.


1. The constraint that players can begin by planting only the first and possibly the second card limits the ability of a player to form an appropriate strategy for the current round, and for future rounds. This limits, to a certain extent, the efficacy of forming long term strategy.

2. The theme of the game play, though fun, is a bit on the abstract side, and not completely related to the skills being tested.

3. The game is very time-consuming. A game with only 3-4 players could take up to 45 minutes to finish.

4. Though, the theme makes things more interesting, the game does not look very attractive.


1. In a more cutthroat variant of the game, hostile takeovers during negotiation rounds could be introduced. This would entail “forcing” other players to trade card based on some condition such as possession of x # of coins, etc.

2. A wild card which allows players to plant beans in any order, instead of the first and second card would be a very interesting addition.

3. A wild card that allowed players to draw more than three cards at the end of their turns could be introduced.


1. Cheating in the game is fairly easy. During the trading round, when everyone’s attention is on negotiations, a player could easily alter the order of his/her cards.

2. If the same small group of players plays the game repeatedly, things become very predictable, and the games variability, and volatility is lost.


Due to the highly non-linear and volatile nature of the trading phase, it would be very difficult to digitize this game. This is because, in this game, trading events are highly reactionary. An offered trade by one party, might result in another party offering a “better” deal. These aspects would be very difficult to capture digitally. In addition to this, the game clearly has a very strong human aspect which is brought out in each turn of the game. Digitizing the game would take away from this important feature.