All of Your Base are Belong to Us? Shmups as a Source for Better Game Design
MetadataShow full item record
This study sought to examine the development of video games between 1987 and 2005 to ascertain, on an emotive level, whether video games have changed in that time. It is the contention of this study to demonstrate that video games have remained largely unchanged, bar graphical and other 'aesthetic' updates. Based on this, it is apparent that the emotive traits defining effective video games of the past are still valid in the contemporary market. Another aspect of the study is to demonstrate that nostalgia is one of the most significant reasons why gamers are drawn to certain types of game purchases. The study contends that gamers are getting older and carrying significant gaming experience, and that nostalgia impacted on their purchasing selections, hence informing game design. To support this aspect of the study, two small survey studies have been created. Disseminated and used in 2004 and 2008 these studies are used to support the main contention of the study and also prove the importance of modes of representation when it comes to the consumption habits of consumers. The findings of this aspect of the study demonstrate a pattern between year of birth, and specific nostalgic preferences of gamers. The study compares the development of mainstream games to that of the Shmup genre, the longest and most prolific genre of gaming. Shmups, a contraction of the term 'Shoot-em-up', are epitomized by games such as Raiden and Ikaruga, which are top down, third person shooting games with fixed scrolling systems. Shmup games are the most appropriate game genre for this study as they are the only commercial game genre to have changed little on both an aesthetic and mechanical level since their inception. The study undertakes an extensive literature review in order to determine the emotions most commonly associated with effective game design, and how these types of emotions could be produced within game creation using specific heuristics. These heuristics form the basis of a theoretical framework which is then used to compare the development of Shmups against other forms of commercial gaming from 1987 until 2005.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Queensland Conservatorium of Music
Item Access Status
Some images have been removed in order to comply with copyright.
Video game development
Nostalgia in marketing