Games, MMOG-s (Massively Multiplayer On-Line Games), on-line social sites etc have become a major cultural and economic force. The main distinguishing features and attraction of these applications is their interactivity and emergent quality – participants constantly change the state of affairs with their actions. Gameplay, the resulting dynamic flow of events, is fascinating: this is like execution of an algorithm, where elementary actions are defined by game rules, but the logic, the flowchart is composed “on-the-fly” by players. Our understanding of games and gameplay is still on the level of alchemy. Search for adequate formal methods for description and classification of games and gameplay has only started. We do not have established and widely accepted models and methods; the proposed models and classifications of games are mostly subjective.
Here is analyzed the current state of game research and proposed a game specification language, which allows to consider essential features of a new game before implementation. This together with proposed method for recording the “inner” working of games and gameplay allows better to understand games and gameplay and get objective data for studies. Some examples of game specification and recording of game engine's states demonstrate investigating dynamics and emergent qualities of gameplay.
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