GAMELAB STAGE: 01 – THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH!

It’s official, The GameLab was launched on March 17, 2016 at Binus University International, fX Sudirman Campus. The event, entitled “GameLab STAGE:01” attracted more than 60 attendees, ranging from academics, students, industry practitioners, and government officials. STAGE, whichstands for “Seminar, Talk, and Gathering Event”, is one of the series of activities conducted by Binus University International GameLab to promote discussions on research and development of games in Indonesia with people from industry, government, academicians, and the community.

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This event was opened at 13:00 WIB by Dr. Yaya Heryadi, Head of GameLab and Principal Researcher, with an introduction of the lab organizational structure, vision mission, and range of activities. The GameLab itself aims to advance games development in Indonesia through research and education. Games should function beyond entertainment and touch other aspects of human life, such as health and moral education. In the future, the Lab is planning to expand its members to larger game communities.

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The next speaker is Eko Nugroho M.Sc., the GameLab Principal Researcher and the founder of Kummara Game Developer. Mr. Eko Nugroho shared his thought about giving new perspectives to the Indonesia game industry. He believes that game, which is not always digital, is one unique way to solve problems in our society. For example, there are games designed for physical and psychological therapy, to promote anti-corruption mindset, and many more.

DIXIT(2)

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Reviewers: Ferdy Pratama, Ieuan Ignatius, and Albert Darmawan on March 4, 2016

Imagination, perception, and wording are all you need to win this game. Imagination is needed in the game because you need to decide what words you are going to use to describe a card which will be used. Just like the metaphor “a picture is worth a thousand words,” it means every description is based on the player’s perception.

Gameplay:
First, the active player placed their card face down and describes it. Then, all players beside the active player also place their card that close to the active player’s description. After that, the active player will collect all cards that have been placed and shuffle it. After being shuffled, the active player place and show all of the cards on the table. Next, all players should guess the active player’s card, and then it will be scored based on the scoring rules. The game ends if the deck is empty or a player scores 30 points. If the game ends when the deck is empty game ends when the deck empty, the player with the most point wins the game.

Scoring:
If nobody or every player finds the correct card, the active player get no score and every other players scores 2. If the active player and any other player found the correct card, they score 3 and the players score 1 point for every vote of their own card.

Opinion:
When we first try this game, we were amazed at how easy it is to understand the rule. Like any Euro-style game, the rule is simple, straightforward, and people can understand the rule in less than 20 minutes. Luckily, the simplicity of the rule doesn’t make the game dull or boring. Instead, we were having fun the entire time, trying to predict others card, while preparing strategy for us to put the right card next turn. However, after we play the game for some times, we started to remember the 84 cards available in the game, so the game is not as fun as people who first time seeing the colorful and epic illustrations. Also, one of the common problems when playing with board games is sometimes it is hard to find friends to play with.

Overall, this game is very suitable for casual gamers or newcomer in board game world, since it is one of the games that have the common formula that all casual games have in common: simple rules, only take 15-30 minutes to play, and fun to play with friends. You don’t need to have many experiences in gaming or become a hardcore gaming, to enjoy this game.

 

Game Info

Title

: Dixit

Platform

: Tabletop game

Genre

: Euro

Number of Players

: 3-6 Players

Playing Time

: ± 30 Minutes

Suggested Ages

: 6+

Publisher

: Libellud

Developer

: Jean-Louis Roubira

First released

: 2008

GANG BEASTS

Reviewers: Ferdy Pratama, Ieuan Ignatius, Aaron Mihardja, and Albert Darmawan

Do you want to fight like gangs swags with no bones and rubber-like body? Have you wanted to play a wrestling game? Or have you ever watch movies with gangs actions? Well, Gang Beasts is for you! This is not just another wrestling video game which bounded with the realms of reality, it is a crazy and wacky world where anything can happen, with endless combination of wrestling styles and taunting. This creates a very unique playstyles and of course, a lot of fun!

This game will be reviewed and analyzed using the MDA framework which comprises of the game’s mechanics, dynamics and aesthetics. The mechanics are of the base components of the game such as its rules, basic controls, algorithm and data structure of the game engine. The interactions of the mechanics towards the players are what the dynamics component of the game is for. Last of all the aesthetics are the emotions evoked within the player when playing the game.

Game Mechanics:

Gang Beasts consists of several rounds in a match that involves 2-8 ragdoll characters, where they can compete in two different modes. The game modes for Gang Beasts are survival mode and waves mode. There are several movement controls for each character such as walking, jumping, and various arms, leg and body movements and the players can use these controls to remove enemies off of the arena.

In the survival mode, the players must brawl with each other to throw each other off the arena. There are many different types of arena, with each arena provides its unique dynamics. When a player falls out of the arena (that is, if the y coordinate of the player is less than the y coordinate of the ground), they lose a life. In each round, the maximum number of survived character is one. Just for additional information, it is possible that every player loses a life in one round. The last player standing must survive for as long as a few seconds, if they are not able to then they will lose a life before the next round begins. A round is when the brawl resets in the same map whereas a match is when the map has changed and all players lives have been reset. Only one player will win in this mode. The winning condition is when all players except the winner have lost all of their lives. If all players have lost all of their lives without a survivor then it becomes a tie and a new match begins.

In waves mode, the game creates a survival situation where all players becomes one team and requires them to beat waves of enemies. This mode seems to be under further development, as there is only one stage called “rooftop”. Every x rounds, x amount of enemies enters the rooftop from a door and the player must remove all enemies to proceed to the next round. This means that the amount of enemies increment by one in every new round. When a character falls, he loses his only life and does not respawn until the end of the match. There is no winning condition and you can play as many rounds as you can.

Every character has stamina that is decreased when receiving punches or fall damage. When a character’s stamina has been depleted, the character will knocked out for a few seconds. A player can only grip a non-player object for a limited time before being forced to let go.

As the game is still in its early development stages there is bound to be some bugs. Bugs on the survival game mode include some players being able to stay alive even after getting knocked out of the arena. These bugs actually make the players unable to continue to the next round, hence forcing the player to restart the entire match. For the waves mode the next round does not start when players get too close or touches the door that spawns the enemies.

Game Dynamics:

Before the start of a match, we have to determine the rules of the game round: the game mode (the way the player achieves victory at that round), the number of lives, the stage and whether there are an endless amount of rounds. Thereafter the players enters and selects their game character’s costume.

In survival mode, the maps have large varieties ranging from on top of moving trucks to being on a window cleaner platform. Some maps include interactive environments for players to use and explore with. A good example would be the window cleaner arena where players are able to break the rope that is stabilizing the platform. This creates an endless possibility of methods to eliminate players, which makes the game more interactive and unpredictable.

The player is able to string movement controls together in order to create new moves. One example is a character is capable of carrying characters above its head and throw them, using combination of grab and lifting their arms. This allows player to experiment with many moves, hence make the game more unique relative to other games with a similar genre.

There are several bugs in the dynamics component of the game. Two bugs that we noticed are the player get stuck on map by stuck a part of their body with an object and obstruction of vision that make a player able to still alive when actually their character already fell down.

Game Aesthetics:

Gang Beasts is able to deliver experiences that are both fun and competitive. The comedic value the game conveys is through the slapstick wrestling and ragdoll moments during the brawls. For survival mode, players are able to dominate their friends without hard feelings and during waves mode the players can work together to finish the waves and joking around by threatening to throw their friends off the rooftop. The game is rarely taken seriously so that all players are able to have an exciting time together. Even the spectators may enjoy the ludicrous situations that the game characters are hurled into.

Game Info

Title

: Gang Beasts

Platform

: PC/Mac

Genre

: Action, Adventure, Casual, Fighting Arena

Number of Players

: 2-8 Players

Playing Time

: 3 – 15 Minutes / Round

Suggested Ages

: 5+

Publisher

: Double Fine Presents

Developer

: Boneloaf

First released

: 29 August 2014 (Steam Early Access)

GameLab Stage 01

Greetings from GameLab,

We are pleased to invite you to our very first “GameLab STAGE: 01

STAGE stands for Seminar, Talk, and Gathering Event. It is one of the series of activities conducted by Binus University International Game Lab to promote discussions on research and development of games in Indonesia with people from industry, government, academicians, and the community.

Day: Thursday

Date: March 17, 2016

Time: 13:00 – 15:00

Room: Auditorium R.602 – fX Sudirman Mall, 6th floor

Agenda:

13:00 – 13:05 Opening

13:05 – 13:20 Opening speech by Dr. Wawan Rusiaman (Bekraf)

13:20 – 13:50 Introduction of GameLab by Dr. Yaya Heryadi (GameLab/Binus International)

13:50 – 14:20 Game Industry in Indonesia by Eko Nugroho, M.Sc. (GameLab/Kummara)

14:20 – 14:40 Indonesia One Search by Ismail Fahmi, Ph.D

14:40 – 15:00 Global Game Opportunity by Firstman Marpaung (Intel Indonesia)

GANG BEAST IS THE MOST FAVORITE GAME AT GAME AT WORK

On March 20, 2016, GameLab held Game at Work. In this event, digital games and board games have been introduced. Lecturers and students from several program participated in this event. Gang beasts became the most favorite games.

Theme: A very competitive multiplayer

Time and Date: 10th of March 2016

Game Played:

– AquaSphere

– Kampai (Prototype )

– King’s Feud ( Prototype )

– Senggal Senggol gang damai (Prototype)

– Towerfall Ascension

– Gang Beasts

Most Game played:

– Gang beasts

Least game played:

– Senggal senggol gang damai

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LE VOLEUR ( PROTOTYPE )

THE VISUAL ELEMENTS OF LE VOLEUR ( PROTOTYPE ): HOW SPACE CONTRIBUTE TO GAME MECHANIC


Reviewer: Bayu P. Dirgantoro

In the game of Le Voleur, the player must carefully select each of their member’s skill beforehand, unlock ability tokens, scout to see what particular tokens needed to steal an object on one of the seven available area. Once conditions are met,  the player then can steal the object. While doing all the action, other players keep tracking each of the member’s skill and trying to force them to jail.  There are 2 winning conditions for this game: Successfully collect 5 Victory points ( can be obtain by stealing objects or forcing other player’s team to jail ) or, finished 8 rounds of game and the player with most Victory Points are the winner.

The complexities of the game’s mechanic requires an extra care in term of Visual Design. This review focuses on the shape of Le Voleur’s board, especially the map and token and how it affect the mechanic of current prototype.

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The map of Le Voleur is a simplified map of Paris with 1 Landmark spread across 7 areas. Each area contains 2 police spawn points ( indicated by blue Tardis-Police box ), a symbol and name of the area, 3 ability token symbols, and coloured lines that connect each ability token symbol across 7 areas. Each areas have a different shapes and sizes with Bourse the smallest and Tour Eiffel the biggest on the stage.

Tour Eiffel
Tour-Eiffel The Largest area in the game. Provide a good amount of space to place 3 thief members  and 3 tokens and still manage to give the player enough room to see any additional action ( police, lines )
Quartier Latin
Quartier-Latin 2nd Largest area in the game. This part has enough room to place all the tokens and thief members and player still able to see most of the action that can be taken during each phase
St. German Des Pres
St.-German-Des-Pres-100x100 Has the same area as Quartier Latin and enough room to play the game in that particular part
Notre Dame
Notre-Dame

This particular area has less space than St. German Des Pres and provide less movement for each player. The space is getting crowded as each player put their piece on this area and need a bit more concentration to be able to see each action played here.

Louvre
Louvre This area has the same amount of space as Notre dame, and provides the same challenge as well.
Marais
Marais Marais is smaller than Louvre and does not have enough space to put all the pieces on the area. This is one aspect of the map that requires extra effort to see all the pieces including connecting lines from the ability token.
Bourse
Bourse The area has the same size as Marais, making the movement of this particular map challenging.

In Summary, the map of Le Voleur presented as a unique piece and need to be handled differently. Each area has it own challenge from the easiest ( Tour Eiffel ) to the hardest ( Bourse ) making the game more dynamic. Extra caution is needed when each of the players are making their moves. While Tour Eiffel is the easiest area to move around, it can be an advantage for other player to actually spy on and similar system applied for Bourse. The game mechanic complement each piece of the map and experience player has the advantage of memorizing each of the map strategy.

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CAMEL UP

Reviewer: Ida Bagus Kerthyayana Manuaba

The purpose of this game:

The purpose of this game is to collect the money as much as possible until a minimum one circle of race.

The procedure for the action:

It is started by a player (called an active player) to select available actions. Based on the action options, it can be categorized into (1) shuffling the dice to move the selected camel based on the color and number of the dice (2) put special card on the camel’s track race to add or reduce the camel’s steps, (3) guessing the possibility of the winning camel on each round based on the provided card that belong to specific camel’s color. There is also additional action to guess the first winner and the last loser of the camel’s race by put one of the camel’s color cards.

Rules governing:

There are a number of rules in this game. The rules are (1) the active player only allow choosing one action on his/her turn. (2) Each time a player choose to do the dice, he/she will get money $1, and the selected dice properties (color and number of the dice) will be used to move a camel. (3) The used dice for each round is only been used one time. (4) A round is over when all the dices have been used, however a race can consist of more than one round, (5) a special card can be located on the track race to add or reduce one step of the camel when a camel stops on it. The owner of this special card will get $1 every time a camel stops on it. (6) A prediction of the winner’s camel can be chosen based on the color and the position for each round. If the their chosen camel won the first place for each round, a player will get money based on the value on the card, if the camel got in second position, the price will be $1, but for 3 to 6 positions, they will need to pay $1 back.  (7) In addition, during the game, each player can guess both a camel that win the race and a camel that lose the race. The money prices will be depended on the guess order, the first guess will get higher prices, and the wrong answer will pay $1 back. This guessing action is only counted in the end of each race.

The number of required participants:

This game can be played with 3 up to 6 players.

Roles of participants:

There are two roles of player in this game. They are called the active player and the other players. Active player means the player that got a turn to choose his action. The other players are the rest of the players who wait their turn to become an active player.

Participant interaction patterns:

This game has aggregate action pattern, which is directed by an active player toward the available option provided by the game environment. The action itself is not directed toward other players. No inter-action between players is necessary.

Results or pay off:

The result of the actions is to get the money as much as possible in the end of the race.

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DIXIT

Reviewer: Ida Bagus Kerthyayana Manuaba

The purpose of this game:

The purpose of this game is to win the race.

The procedure for the action:

It is started by a player (called an active player) to select a card and describe the image on his/her card without show it to the other players. The rest of the players will choose their own card based on this description and give it to the active player without show it to everyone. Then active player will open and arrange all those cards in the provided columns with numbers on it. Then all players will guess the card that belongs to the active player by selecting the card number. After calculate the points for each player, they need to move their avatar and get one replacement card for each player to continue the game.

Rules governing:

There are a number of rules in this game. They are: (1) If all players can guess the active player card, all player will get three points except the active player. (2) If some of the players can guess the active player card correctly, they including the active player will three points. Additional 1 point per each player will be added for a player when some of the other players choose his/her card. (3) if none of the players (except the active player) guess the card correctly, the active player will get 3 point, and  additional 1 point per each player also will be added for a player when some of the other players choose his/her card

The number of required participants:

This game can be played with 3 up to 6 players.

Roles of participants:

There are two roles of player in this game. They are the active player and the other players. Active player means the player that got a turn to choose the card and describe the card for the rest player. The other players are the rest of the players who give a card to the active player and also who guess a card that belongs to the active player.

Participant interaction patterns:

This game has multilateral action pattern, which is a competition between one active player and the rest of the players. However, since the goal is to move their avatar to the finish line, each player will compete individually among all players.

Results or pay off:

The result of the actions is to get the points that used to move the avatar to finish the race. The winner is the player who reaches the finish line in the first place.

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GAMELAB HELD FIRST BOARD AT WORK IN BINUS INTERNATIONAL

On Thursday, March 3, 2016, GameLab held Board at Work event for the first time at Binus International, fX Sudirman Campus. Several lecturers and students attend this event. Dany Aditya, a board game developer also participated with his wife, Fei. He brought several board games, including his prototype board games (Le Voleur).

Theme: An Introduction to boardgame

Time and Date: 3rd of March 2016.

Game Played:

– Dixit

– Saboteur

– Camel Up!

– Agricola

– Lantern

– Patchwork

– Zombie Fluxx

– Monopoly

– Cheaty Mages

– Kampai ( Prototype )

– Le Voleur ( Prototype )

Most game played:

– Saboteur, Dixit

Least game played:

– Agricola

Game Reviewed:

– Dixit

– Camel Up!

– Le Voleur

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