Player Character Design Facilitating Emotional Depth in MMORPGs

Eladhari Mirjam Lindley Craig
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

How can we create computer games facilitating emotional depth in the playing experience? When entering into a persistent virtual game world the player leaves the body behind. It is up to the game designer to create a virtual body with skills, needs and drives necessary for survival and pleasure in the game world. Would it be sensible also to create a virtual mind for the player to possess and evolve? Can models like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and ‘being-values’, or the personality trait model popularly called ‘the big five’ be used for character design in a way that suits massive multi-player game form? Based upon a view of the player character as the concentrated mirror of the functionality of an RPG game and adding features inspired from psychology, cognitive science and behavior science, this paper presents the high-level system design of a virtual mind for the player to possess in a MMORPG. The mind model is being implemented in a research demonstration game in which game play emphasizes emotional engagement and dramatic interaction. This research is conducted in the Zero-Game Studio within the frame of the open research MMORPG Ouroboros.


Game Mechanics and Dynamics of Social Actions in a Prototype Multiplayer Game World

Eladhari Mirjam
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

This paper describes the social actions called ‘affective actions’ that are implemented in the prototype multiplayer game world The Pataphysic Institute (PI). An aim of this paper is to demonstrate how a game mechanic can result in a certain set of dynamics or play patterns. Affective actions are but one feature of the many that make up the game world of PI. In this paper, the feature is used as a vertical slice into the game design. The aim is to, by using this slice, show the founding the principles of the game, the play tests that informed the design, as well as the play patterns that were observed as they emerged in a series of game mastered play–test sessions.


Role-Playing Games: The State of Knowledge [Panel Abstracts]

Drachen Anders Copier Marinka Montola Markus Eladhari Mirjam Hitchens Michael Stenros Jaakko
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

Role-playing games form one of the major genres of games and exist across all hardware platforms as well outside of the technology domain in a huge variety of forms and formats. Role-playing oriented research has focused on culture, storytelling, game processes as well as e.g. user interaction, play experience and character design. Today role-playing games research is an established component of game studies. This panel presents a state of the art of the knowledge of role-playing games research covering a great variety of angles and interests, providing an overview of the current hot topics and future research directions within one of the key genres of games.


Narrative Structure in Trans-Reality Role-Playing Games: Integrating Story Construction from Live Action, Table Top and Computer-Based Role-Playing Games

Lindley Craig Eladhari Mirjam
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

Trans-reality role-playing games are conceived of as a form of role-playing game evolving from and integrating established table-top, live-action and computer-based role-playing forms. Each of these established forms has specific strengths and modalities for the ongoing articulation of the history of a game world regarded as an unfolding story. Integrating these forms in a trans-reality role-playing game involves the evolution of their techniques and technologies to allow each to function as a staging approach for game play within a single coherent game world. To achieve this integration, new technologically based design concepts are required to allow players within the different strategies to interact with each other as characters within the same game world.