2013/05/22

Lecture: gestures within reach- Omek's Grasp TM



In brief:
gesture-based interfaces offer a wide variety of opportunities to create an awesome user experience. on the other hand, it poses significant challenges such as feeling the moment of pressing a button. the lecture shows several examples and possible solutions. we would identify design principles to the design process for the gesture recognition technology.

Done as part of my work as a UX designer at Omek Interactive.
showcased at UX on Beer conference, at May 22nd, 2013, organized by NetCraft.

2013/04/07

Lecture: Dissecting the game- video game genres, game mechanics and connection between games and learning

on April 7th, 2013 I gave a talk about video games to educators working at CET israel.
these guys know nothing about gaming but know everything about education and teaching. they also understood that there is something about the game that catches the kids like nothing else before.

this is a lecture for listeners who never played video games before. it tries to explain why people love to play so much, why players get so involved; why do they play more than they watch TV; what happens inside the game that leaves the player with a feeling of "i want more"?
when you listen closely, you'll hear a lot of psychology and neurology.

Outlines of the lecture:

  1. What is a game? what is the difference between a game and a toy or between a game and a movie? we'll try to get a clear definition.
  2. Video game genres. video games have genres, much like any other type of media. actually, the genres are much easier to define. we will discover the secret of each genre, where is the fun in playing it and which players would play that genres.
  3. Game design literacy. these are the professional terms game developers and gamers use to define games. understanding these terms will help you grasp the components of the game and their meaning to creating the experience. you'll see that there is tremendous importance to how the user learns to play. knowing the right terms would allow you to speak with game developers and better define your game to them. this will also assist you with better defining your game.
  4. Where games and learning connect? where are the similarities between the two areas? we'll see that educational content areas, like: physics, biology and business management (and there are many more), already exist in nowadays video games. we'll talk on the psychology behind the game and interesting neurology facts happenning in the player's mind. what is Gamification and how we can create something like it?

Feedback

interesting questions rose from the audience that day. i would write articles about these subjects, so stay tuned. here are some:
  • Do violent games not promoting violent people? 
  • Are games detached from the reality? do players see their in-game characters as themselves? do players experience their in-game character's pain as their own?
  • How can we incorporate simulation typed games, such as SimCity and RollerCoasterTycoon, into the classroom?
  • How can in-game achievements and side-goals shape and determine the game culture? Can games teach moral codes?
  • and many more.


2012/12/18

Meet my Gamer identity


The Explorer 
motto: "No stone unturned!" 

Description:
It's not so much the wandering around and poking about, but that euphoric eureka moment the Explorer strives for. The joys of discovery do not necessarily involve geography, real or virtual. They may derive from the mental road less traveled, the uncovering of esoteric or hidden knowledge and it's creative application. Explorers make great theory crafters. The most infinitesimal bit of newness can deliver the most delicious zing to an Explorer.

Secondary influences
  • Explorer Killers enjoy seeing the world, meeting interesting people...and killing them. EKs love all discovery, but finding an edge over the competition is best. Always seeking new opportunity, an EK likely knows the ten best places to find certain types of opponents, as well as ten different ways for taking them down.
  • Explorer Achievers have been there, done that and have the t-shirt...in fact they have a plethora of t-shirts, badges, trophies and other rewards. EAs are the completionists of the gamer world. They like to find new places, quests, easter eggs, unlocks, maps etc. and check them off as have, visited or beaten. Like real world travelers, EAs enjoy collecting memorabilia that helps them relive their experiences later.
  • Explorer Socializers are the glue of the online world. Not only do they like to delve in to find all the cool stuff, but they also enjoy sharing that knowledge with others. Explorer socializers power the wikis, maps, forums and theory craft sites of the gamer world.

 By the way, this psychological results come from a famous test called Bartle, which anyone can take for free.

2012/12/11

Human Computer Interaction course certificate



a few weeks ago I "graduated" an online course under the topic Human Computer Interactions by the great Scott Klemmer. i truly recommend this course to anyone developing applications in the modern age.

2012/08/06

Bare Knuckles: boxing motion capture game

Bare Knuckles is one of the first game titles of Omek Interactive. It is a classic ring boxing game, only each character has a special twitch. 
Choose your avatar: "D for Dragon" who can blow fire, "the Blob" could swallow his opponent and "Bruce le Sharque" who uses his dead alligator for powerful smacks.

I was one of the two game designers of this title.

2012/07/21

Lecture: Similarities between game design and instructional design


On July 10th 2012, I gave a lecture about the similarities between designing a game and designing a lesson in classroom, at one of the biggest educational conferences in Israel: IUCEL Meital.

the lecture strove to show that educational and instructional design could learn from game design at how to tangle the users into the web of curiosity, challenge and fun.
I talked about 9 main design principals in the game design theory that can be used also in instructional design:

  1. the player as the Messiah. let the user feel that without him the session cannot be over. if the user will not make the right move, nothing will happen. make sure you put it all into a good story.
  2. rules. setup rules for the game/ lesson. only when you have rules, the users will try and break them. without rules, they will try and break the teacher... 
  3. feeling of control. let the user feel they are in control, but actually you should control all the possible routes and choices they could make.
  4. immediate feedback. give feedback as fast as you can, as precise as possible.
  5. goals. setup big goals and smaller goals to keep the users on track.
  6. balance the amount of content. no content is boring. too much content confuse.
  7. balance the challenge and the ability. don't be afraid to challenge your users, just make sure they feel competent to the task. 
  8. develop the feeling of success. make sure your users succeed. after a hard task, give an easy one.
  9. reflection. always assist the user to reflect their performance.
my presentation for download (hebrew).
all other lectures' from the conference can be downloaded as well (hebrew). 

2012/05/05

Adventure Park: motion capture video game


Evil Master has taken over the famous adventure park and the Dragon family come to the rescue. Evil Master has a plan to capture the family of heroes in order to be able to take over the world!


Play the family heroes in six different levels, from entering the park, capturing the huge evil Mage and fighting Evil Master. six different gameplays, combining: boxing, magics (fireball, shield, etc), sliding on rails and more.

The game is now available as a part of a new Chinese TV and game console, called CT510, from Eedoo, a publisher from Lenovo.

created at: 2009-2011


team:
+Eli Elhadad
+Yaron Yanai
+Yinon Oshrat
+Barak Segal
+Bar S
+Amir Rosenberger
+Noam Gat
Edna Nuama
and the rest of Omek Interactive