Thesis Book

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Ludic Urbanism: Gaming in the City Matthew Murcko Architecture Master Thesis 2014

Ludic Urbanism: Gaming in the City Matthew M. Murcko Presented to the Faculty of the Department of Architecture Wentworth Institute of Technology in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Architecture April 2014 Approved by the Committee:

Primary Advisor:

________________________________________ Jonathan Foote, Ph.D

Director / Graduate Studies: ________________________________________ Jonathan Foote, Ph.D

Abstract: While video games have used architectural canon to construct virtual environments for play, a practice better known as level design, so too can the architecture of cities be used to encompass games played in the real world using new developments in geo-location and pervasive gaming. These new developments in technology lead to the questions: how can real spaces serve virtual game worlds, and how can games lead players to a new level of engagement with the city? Investigating games and their effects yields interesting potential for game concepts to be mapped onto existing conditions in cities to repurpose space for play. Following research, a simple game was proposed and played several times during the semester, followed by analysis. Playing such games in the real world was found to give players a higher level of engagement with their surroundings as well as to change a conventional reading of the city into a ludic reading of the city.

Thanks to my studio and thesis professors Aylin Tschoepe Ann Borst Andrew Ferentinos Jonathan Foote

Thanks to all of my beta testers Patrick Rice For taking circuitous and exploratory routes Joseph Saporetti For trespassing and climbing to the rooftops Michael Cerbone For finding urban shortcuts while chasing his target Shawn Robinson For getting lost in an urban labyrinth Cameron Brown For losing in only ten minutes Patricia Rizzo For pursuing her target down unknown alleyways Elias Konstantinidis For using the tight urban fabric to break line of sight Ciro Podany For hopping over fences and bushes and scaring the locals

Table of Contents Introduction




Finding a Site Arena


The Game








The following is a list of key terms used during the research, execution, and analysis of the project


Ludic – A word used by game designers to describe game activity, from the Latin word “Ludus” having multiple meanings pertaining to play and sport



Game – Recreational form of play within a structured set of rules



Level Design – The creation of environments in which a video game takes place



Geo-location – The act of locating and tracking a mobile device and plotting it on a map, most commonly by GPS



Pervasive Gaming – Gaming which takes place in the real world and which seeks to be integrated into everyday activities and environments





Question: How can real spaces serve virtual game worlds? How can games lead players to a new level of engagement with the city?


Research Essay: My relationship with video games has often sparked an

challenge the player. The environment can help the player in

internal dialogue on spatial and architectural concepts. Games

many ways. Perhaps the player is being chased and needs to

may be analyised from many perspectives, but the use of space

avoid capture by running and hiding in a dark alleyway. Perhaps

is always one of the most significant aspects of a game. Space

the player is lost in a city and climbs a tall building to view his or

is often the arena to serve a game’s context and setting. Cities,

her surroundings. These examples illustrate how the player can

buildings, and landscapes are often employed as the space of a

interpret his or her surroundings and re-purpose them to their

game. Even Pong is in a sense about space, as the rules, game

advantage. Conversely the environment can also challenge the

mechanics, and player interactions are all spatially significant.

player. Space can pose tactical disadvantages to a player such

I argue that the design of space in games is akin to the design

as filling a tight corridor with vicious monsters or creating maze-

of space in real life. The ultimate goal of the design may be

like spaces to confuse and disorient the player. Or perhaps

different, but many of the same design problems and potential

space works more literally against the player with locked doors

solutions are present.

which restrict progression, demanding that a way be found

I posit that the act of playing a game in an environment,

around the obstacles. These examples are about taking players

be it real or virtual, will give a player a better understanding of

out of their comfort zone and often about encouraging them

space. It is impossible to play a game passively. Every building,

to rethink space. On both levels, games require that the player

object, and character is scanned and analyzed. The environment

understand space by engaging with it in new and demanding

is ultimately the aspect of the game that will both support and

ways in order to complete an objective.


The medieval city of Jerusalem in Assassin’s Creed 16

The architectural dimension of video games has been

and comprehension of one’s surroundings. These latter books

the subject of several authors who have covered aspects of this

were written with game designers in mind. Taken together,

topic ranging from virtual level design to geo-location games

while the precise aims and intended audience for each of these

played in the real world. The books Space, Time, Play and Toward

sources is varied and distinct, there is a centralized theme they

a Ludic Architecture are written specifically with architects in

all discuss: game space.

mind and discuss gaming through the lens of architecture. Both

books use the term “ludic architecture” and examine gaming and

craft of level design; next, I investigate connections between

play through space. There are also two books written for game

architecture and gaming; and finally, I discuss new developments

designers, specifically level designers: Level Design: Concept,

in geo-location and pervasive gaming.

Theory, and Practice and The Ultimate Level Design Guide.

These sources serve primarily as references and guidebooks for

similarities to architecture as they both deal with the design

aspiring level designers and cover the basics of crafting virtual

and rendering of space. Both Galuzin and Kremers, authors

buildings and environments for games. Meanwhile, the books

of The Ultimate Level Design Guide and Level Design: Concept,

Pervasive Games and Location-based Mobile Games discuss

Theory, and Practice respectively, discuss the application of

bringing gaming into the real world through geo-location. In

architecture to game design. Many games use cities, buildings,

such games, instead of moving in a virtual environment, players

and urban languages in their setting. Architecture is used to

move in the real world, resulting in a higher level of engagement

frame play areas and provide a backdrop to the game’s story.


I address gaming in three parts: first, I investigate the

I believe that the discipline of level design has many

The unnamed “City” of Mirror’s Edge 18

On top of this, architecture can also be used more literally by

design as he describes how architecture can be used as a tool to

players. Players can, for example, hide in the shadows to sneak

succeed in what the game sets out to achieve. In fact, Kremer

around enemies or break a window to gain access to a locked

even recommends that level designers read Ching’s well-known

room. I think it is obvious that level designers -- despite not

architecture book Form, Space, and Order. Kremer discusses

being architecturally trained -- think like architects.

level design as applied game design and addresses fundamental

gaming concepts and questions.

Level design is a crucial component of game design

and involves the creation of environments for play. Kremers,

a game developer and game consultant, discusses level design

who also writes on level design in his book The Ultimate Level

in his book, Level Design: Concept, Theory, and Practice, which

Design Guide, prefers to discuss level design in more concrete

posits, “Just as a theatrical play needs a performance to be

terms. Instead of using level design to address fundamental

complete, a video game’s rules need gameplay to occur. This

questions about gaming, he meticulously discusses the craft

is the basic purpose of level design, to interpret the game

itself. The basic practices and concepts of level design are

rules, and to translate them into a construct (a level) that best

presented in a more technical and literal manner as Galuzin

facilitates play.” 1 Kremer goes on to describe the components

describes the components of level design in succession, using

of level design and their function in games. There is a clear

game precedents to illustrate the corresponding level design

architectural leaning that Kremer takes in his discussion of level

theories. He presents a thorough overview of the practice of

Kremers, Level Design: Concept, Theory, and Practice, 18.

level design and explains how the reader can begin to craft

1 19

Conversely, Alex Galuzin, another game developer

The cyberpunk city of Hengsha in Deus Ex: Human Revolution 20

these spaces. Galuzin sees levels as a framing device for player

of human practices through space. Walz is a game designer

movement and circulation, as architecture often does. “Focus

who illustrates this concept through virtual examples, like video

on flow. Make sure you figure out how your level is going to

games, as well as real examples, such as playgrounds and their

play and how the player is going to navigate throughout your

designs as perceived through acts of play. “By thinking of play

environment.” 2 In other words, use architecture to frame game

in terms of movement and rhythm, we attempt to think of play

concepts like narrative, atmosphere, and progression. Galuzin

architecturally as a rhythmic activity tied to and enabled by

argues that anything can creatively influence level design and

space and objects in space and itself a producer of space.” 3 The

that level design and its architecture is at the core of game

book presents the idea of play in architecture and demonstrates


how architects can consider play as a part of human psyche in

Next in my discussion, I would like to argue that If level

both the design of space and its use.

designers think like architects than I would also posit that

architects can think like level designers. Consequently, there

concepts executed in the real word. These “real” games are

is a new development in gaming culture and technology that

made possible through geo-location technology where players

seeks to use gaming concepts in the real world, often through

use mobile devices to track themselves and others and turn

architecture. Steffen Walz’s book Toward a Ludic Architecture

cities into the playing field. While many gaming concepts such

makes the case that architecture can frame the play and games

as virtual character projection and role-playing elements are

2 21

Galuzin, The Ultimate Level Design Guide, 24.


Finally, I will address the topic of direct gaming

Walz, Toward a Ludic Architecture, 32.

The city of Dunwall in Dishonored is filled with alleys accessible to the player 22

often cited, I would argue that the architectural spaces in

connections. Several applications of spatial game concepts

which these games are set is the most important topic. The

are compared to architecture such as mazes and labyrinths,

ability to bring video games into the real world is explained

and according to Walz’s Toward a Ludic Architecture, “The

more thoroughly in the book Space, Time, Play, edited by

very formal nature of a city is labyrinthine.”

game designer Steffen P. Walz along with architects Fredric

Play explores the possibilities of gaming and space working

Von Borries and Matthias Böttger.

This trio collectively

together to improve both disciplines. “Virtual worlds must

asserts that the city can be transformed into an urban

not be a replacement for reality, but a contribution to it.

playground for video games and that space, either real or

Ultimately, play affects our reality, and the real world informs

virtual, is not only influential to gaming, but mandatory for

our play.” 5 This mentality can clearly be seen in the projects

the very existence of games. Borries, Walz, and Böttger

that the book presents. Galuzin also understands this concept

begin by presenting the richness of level design employed

as a level designer and tells his readers to take inspiration

through gaming history and then provide several examples

from everyday environments and to see and critique everyday

of video game projects that are played in the real world,

space as though it were in a game. 6 He, and many other level

employing such technologies as augmented reality and

designers, understand that real architecture is the biggest

geo-location. The book presents these projects in order

source of inspiration when making game worlds.

to document the nexus between architecture and games

4 5 6

and to suggest further avenues of investigation into the 23


Space, Time,

Walz, Toward a Ludic Architecture, 146. Florian Schmidt in Space, Time, Play 149. Galuzin, The Ultimate Level Design Guide, 10.

The pervasive game Pacmanhattan


Along with the technical challenges of “real” gaming

are described with the concept of the “magic circle,” or the

come new questions about social factors and the perception

“arena,” in which a system of rules is established and contained

of the city with which the players are engaged. I believe that

for ludic activity. The concept of the “magic circle,” however,

playing pervasive games can lead players to experience the

goes beyond the literal boundary of the game and can also be

city under a ludic layer. When people play games they often

used to describe the medium being used to play as a boundary.

will see buildings as “cover” -- an obstacle to get around or

For example, a conventional video game’s “magic circle” could

to break their line of sight with other players. They may not

be described as being a computer. Pervasive games aim to

get a programmatic reading from it. Conversely, I believe that

remove the boundary of the magic circle and describe play as

programmatic readings are typical of observers in the real world.

an all inclusive life experience.

By playing pervasive games I believe people will be able to

experience architecture on both “normal” and ludic layers. This

boundaries. It is acceptable to hit an opponent in a boxing

is explored by game designer Markus Montola, game researcher

ring because the ring has a defined and agreed upon rule set.

Jaakko Stenros, and computer scientist Annika Waern in their

Likewise, pervasive games challenge both social norms and

book Pervasive Games. Pervasive gaming is a concept where

conventional perceptions and functions of space by bringing

players interweave a game with day-to-day activities. The

the city into the “magic circle.”

authors make the case that the boundary of gaming can exist within the material world. Several examples of pervasive games 25

The “magic circle” is also about defining social

“All cities have public places where citizens are free to roam. However, most of these

The urban chasing game Can You See Me Now? 26

spaces are socially reserved for certain activities. Sidewalks are for walking, parks are for lounging, and roads are for driving‌ the details are determined by implicit social norms that are well understood by most of us.� 7

that geo-location games can encourage a player to explore neighborhoods and experience spaces they have never seen. Gamers must remain alert and be ready to move tactically as a reaction to the movements and actions of other players. A

Games often employ methods of moving through an

narrow one-way street that a player dives down to avoid an

environment in unconventional ways such as on the roofs

opponent now leads him or her to a new unknown space he

of buildings or through windows. While these are extreme

or she may have never seen before. Instead of experiencing a

examples of the use and movement through space the idea

neighborhood simply by walking through in a single direction,

of challenging space and its conventions it is still a common

the player gets to experience space in a less linear fashion. I

element in pervasive gaming. Pervasive games take place in

believe that playing geo-location games can encourage such

spaces that were not designed for gaming. As such, turning

exploration and discovery.

familiar spaces into unfamiliar ludic spaces transforms their

meaning and offers new perception and discovery for players. 8

between the players themselves. Montola, Stenros, and Waern

Games can act as a conduit for this repurposing of space.

argue that pervasive games instill narrative and stories between

Along with a ludic repurposing of space, I believe

players. The game is in a sense a kind of public performance

7 8

Montola, Stenros, Waern, Pervasive Games, 80. Montola, Stenros, Waern, Pervasive Games, 89.


Pervasive games also encourage social interactions

where the participants can be both player and audience. Showy moves and smart tactics will be remembered by other players.


The social aspect is further explored by game researcher L.A.

the game requires of it.

Meanwhile Borries, Waltz, and

Lehmann’s paper, Location Based Mobile Games. Lehmann

Böttger describe how gaming concepts can be applied to real

argues that pervasive and geo-location games can instill social

architecture. More specifically Montola, Stenros, Waern, and

engagement: “By playing the game they already have one

Lehmann focus on this idea of gaming and architecture through

common interest and thus it is easy for them to socialize and

geo-location and pervasive gaming. The link between games

even become friends.” 10 He goes on to point out the advantages

and architecture is a relatively new topic, but awareness of

of playing in the real world. “In a location-based game the player

this field is gradually growing among researchers and scholars.

moves and acts within the real world. For this reason there

Games are inherently spatial whether they be real or virtual.

is no strict separation between game world and reality which

Game design often employs architectural canon to craft game

can cause the player to percept his surroundings in a different

experiences. Conversely the existing built environment can

way.” 11 Usually games are played with a level of anonymity, but

also be repurposed under the lens of game logic and used as an

playing in a real environment removes this factor.

urban playground.

Kremers and Galuzin have laid the groundwork for level

There are many new objectives to which gaming could

design as a medium of game design. It is ultimately about

be applied and I plan to explore such objectives in my project.

creating a game space and imbuing it with whatever objective

Games can teach players about space and can help repurpose

Montola, Stenros, Waern, Pervasive Games, 4. Lehmann, Location-based Mobile Games 21. Lehmann, Location-based Mobile Games 21.

space, and in so doing, can challenge players and lead them

9 10 11

to discovery. We have only begun to explore the link between 28

architecture and gaming, which is why I plan to investigate the

movement through urban space. Less direct, unconventional,

transformative power of the city in service to gaming.

and sometimes circuitous routes may be discovered by players

when trying to sneak around and outwit their opponents -- thus

One common aspect of gaming I have noticed is the

ability for level design to inform the player thoroughly about

experiencing a new city.

space. As mentioned, level design often allows players to explore space in unconventional ways which can in turn lead to a greater understanding of that space. Stealth games such


as Thief and Dishonored are excellent examples. The nature of

The purpose of space can be altered to fit the needs of gaming,

these games dictates that the player not be caught, and since

giving players a new perspective of the city and a higher level of

the player cannot simply barge through a building’s front door,

understanding and engagement with their surroundings.

the player is forced to creatively engage with and seek out creative ways of moving through this space.

This concept could be employed in a real city; this would

provide several benefits. First, it would encourage players to have a solid understanding of space and direction before playing, as this would greatly increase the chance of a player reaching a win-state. Second, it would cause a re-thinking of 29

Climbing on rooftops and jumping through windows in Dishonored

Taking a shortcut through the sewer in Dishonored

Smashing through skyscrapers in Mirror’s Edge

Traversing industrial platforms and raised train tracks in Half Life 2 30

Works Cited: Borries, Friedrich Von, Steffen P. Walz, and Matthias BĂśttger, eds. Space, Time, Play: Computer Games, Architecture

Lehmann, L. A. Location-based Mobile Games. Norderstedt, Germany : Druck and Bindung, 2012. Print.

and Urbanism: The Next Level. Basel: Birkhäuser, 2007. Print.

Montola, Markus, Jaakko Stenros, and Annika Waern. Pervasive Games: Theory and Design. Burlington, MA: Morgan

Ching, Frank. Architecture, form, space & order. New York: Van

Kaufmann Publishers, 2009. Print.

Nostrand Reinhold, 1979. Print. Walz, Steffen P. Toward a Ludic Architecture: the Space of Play Galuzin, Alex. The Ultimate Level Design Guide. n.p.: World of Level Design, 2011. Print.

Kremers, Rudolf. Level Design: Concept, Theory, and Practice. Wellesley, MA: A.K. Peters, 2009. Print.


and Games. Pittsburgh, Pa.: ETC Press, 2010.


Finding a Site Arena


An arena for the proposed game must provide three things: Boundary, chaotic layout, and an urban fabric capable of providing unorthodox forms of circulation. Boston’s North End includes all of these characteristics.


Boundary: Games often require some sort of boundary for play. The North End already contains such a perimeter on all sides. On the north, west, and east is the harbor, and to the west and south is the Rose Kennedy Greenway. These two elements can help establish the game borders without resorting to harsher interventions such as walling off the space more literally. These two elements help establish the North End as its own neighborhood, as there is a very obvious “click� when moving from the modern architecture of the financial district and instantly inhabiting the older North End after crossing the greenway.



The magic circle

36 Circle Magic

Chaotic Layout: Games are often presented in a non-linear way and employ disjointed spaces. Boston’s North End is laid out in a chaotic fashion as the streets rarely remain straight and they skew at intersections. This chaos can be harnessed for gaming. The nonlinear presentation of space is employed to prevent passiveness on the player’s part. When a player is truly engaged with a space, lasting memories and a deeper understanding of that space can be forged.



The chaotic layout of the North End


Unorthodox Circulation: With non-linear presentation of space comes non-linear

top floor of a guarded building they may be able to enter an

circulation in games. Rarely do games utilize simple circulation

adjacent building, get to the upper floor, and jump from a

concepts such as walking along a pedestrian sidewalk and

window into a window of the desired building. Or perhaps

into a building’s lobby. Instead players climb walls, run along

there is a hidden alleyway behind the building, which can be

roof tops, sneak through alleyways, descend into sewers, and

used to gain access through a back entrance. The North End

traverse through windows. There may be many reasons for

is filled with spaces that break away from the street and that

these unconventional means of circulation depending on the

can be used to traverse between buildings such as alleyways

game’s narrative, tone, and mechanics. For example, a game

and parks. Players could use these kinds of spaces in a similar

primarily about stealth, where a player is under-equipped to

manner as illustrated.

fight opponents, will offer players unconventional means to

exploration and as such, exploration of the North End should

circumvent such obstacles. If the player desires to get to the

also reward players with a tactical advantage in the game.


Rethinking movement

Good level design should reward

Game circulation



Traversable spaces between buildings

Linear vs. non linear circulation



Entrances to an obscure area

Moving against the grain


Video Study


Video Study


The Game


This project employs an elimination-style game where each player is assigned another player to hunt. If a player takes a picture of his or her target he or she is eliminated from the game and are assigned another player to hunt. The last player remaining wins. Every five minutes, each player is required to take a picture based on their current location and send it to his or her hunter via phone. These visual clues help players track their targets and stimulate graphic retention and interpretation of the city.

While playing, each player runs a GPS tracker on their phone. This data is then used for analysis after the game.


Game 1







Game 1




Mike 51











1 Player 2 Players 3 Players 4 Players


Game 2







Game 2




Pat 55














1 Player 2 Players 3 Players 4 Players


Game 3







Game 3




Ciro 59









1 Player 2 Players 3 Players 4 Players



Time Lines: The following is a series of studies between players and how they relate to each other over a short moment in a game. The twists and turns players made have been pulled out into a straight line and aligned to a consistent time line. When a player moves faster, the drawing begins to compress. Conversely, when a player moves slower, the drawing begins to stretch. The red highlights on certain buildings indicate shared spaces through which both players go.


Trickery One player takes a picture of a prominent landmark, the steps of a terraced park, and begins running up said steps.

His hunter is in pursuit and easily finds the spot the picture was taken but does not believe his target would go up the stairs, as they are covered in snow. Thus, the hunter is thrown off his target’s trail.


Tick Marks = 1 Minute


Chase: A hunter spots his target across Paul Revere Mall at which point the target begins fleeing.

Instead of chasing his target, the hunter instead tries to cut him off with an improvised shortcut. He narrowly misses the target as seen in the highlighted building at shared tick mark.


Tick Marks = 1 Minute


Roof A player finds a hiding spot on the rooftops by squeezing through a narrow alleyway, going into a fenced-in parking lot, and climbing up a fire escape.

His hunter is close behind but fails to notice the alleyway and so misses his target.


Tick Marks = 1 Minute


Non-linear path This player was unfamiliar with the North End. Analysis of the path shows he broke away from streets and returned again to get a better sense of the area. In this timeline he breaks away from the street bordering the park for a brief moment to see a small cluster of apartments and a monolithic parking garage before returning to his original trajectory.


Tick Marks = 1 Minute



Sections The following is a series of comparative section drawings to show how players adapted to a ludic city. The top section shows an accurate representation of space, while the bottom section shows the ludic counterpart.


Snow Bank Two streets divide a terraced park. Heavy snowfall has covered the steps creating a barrier between the streets.

Instead of continuing down the road, the player slogs through the snow. This action is done to throw the player’s hunter off his trail, as the hunter will see the snow as a barrier through which his target would not walk. 73


Trespassing Two streets wrapping around a large building and a gated parking lot.

An incredibly narrow alleyway cuts through the block leading to a wall which, when climbed, grants access to the gated parking lot and a fire escape which is used to scale the building. The player now has a great hiding spot and can wait for his target to pass by. 75


Breaking the Magic Circle The Greenway. An open park where people gather and eat lunch.

The outlining bushes become cover for a player to dramatically dash over and into place. Non-players give the player odd looks. One non-player informs the player that his “plane hasn’t landed,” a phrase which presumably was meant to convey the non-player’s belief that the player was mentally unstable. 77


Line of Sight An ordinary street read mostly by flat building facades.

Buildings become volumetric cover. The tight urban fabric allows players to quickly dash down streets and use the buildings to break their hunters’ line of sight. 79


Open Field Paul Revere Mall. A socially active space, filled with tourists and capped by St. Steven’s Church and the Old North Church on either side.

A dangerous area, as hunters can easily spot their targets in the wide open space.



Dangerous Edges A typical pier in the North End. Various types of boats are kept here, and Boston’s Harbor Walk invites pedestrians to roam the land-water edge condition.

Another dangerous place for a player, as the protruding geometry of the pier into the ocean only gives players one exit. A target could be easily trapped here.





Through my experimental game sessions, players have successfully

engagement is synonymous with the kind of engagement found

engaged with a ludic reading of the city. Analyzing the GPS data,

in video games. The city becomes less homogeneous when

as well as conducting post-game interviews with the players,

viewed on a ludic level. Ultimately, the game was successful in

has revealed many moments of ludic activity as seen graphically

repurposing space and leading players to discover the city while

interpreted in the preceding chapter. Most players said that they

engaging them at a ludic level. The project continues to inspire

discovered things in the North End of which they were previously

questions about how it could be developed or analyzed further.

unaware. Players must rethink what they know about the city

The following is a reflection of the project and offerings of

and adapt to new situations as they play the game. This style of

potential further exploration.


Images: One aspect that changed between game one and two were

absolutely no idea. The new pictures are more forgiving and

the rules about how the pictures were to be taken. Originally,

even if the hunter could not identify specifics, he could make

taking pictures of most anything could be considered valid:

a guess as to the general area that the picture was taken. This

street signs, landmarks, building facades, signage, etc., at any

is beneficial as it means hunters must not only look for clues

height or angle the player saw fit. Starting with game two, a

in the images but start to interpret what they see and come

new set of rules was instated: pictures must be taken at eye

to a conclusion as to their origin so they can react accordingly.

height, facing parallel to the ground looking down the street

How else could these rules change? Perhaps the angle at

to create a one-point perspective. This new set of rules made

which the picture is taken must be facing up or down instead

the pictures more engaging and consistent. The pictures

of level. Perhaps the pictures must be taken in black and

taken in the first game were often hit or miss: the hunter

white. There are several ideas like this that may make the

would know exactly where the picture was taken or have

game very different to play.



Audio: The information sent to hunters was purely visual. What if

city would be used to give the hunters clues as to the location

sound was somehow incorporated? Instead of pictures being

of their target. People chattering, cars going by, and loud

sent, everyone could wear small microphones which would

construction could be associated with different parts of the city

broadcast everything back to their hunter. The sounds of the

and lead hunters to their targets based purely on sound.



Technology: A few technical hang-ups occurred throughout the games. GPS

the application as a list and understand who was hunting whom.

still is not as accurate as it could be, and it did not help analysis

Every five minutes the application would require players to take

when watching people’s tracks occasionally clip through

an image which it would automatically send to the player’s

buildings. The nature of sending and receiving images was also

hunter. If someone is eliminated, the number is taken off and

somewhat clumsy. People managed to do all this through their

the flow of who is sending images to whom is automatically

address books and sending normal SMS and MMS via phone. It

determined for streamlined process. The orientation sensor in

would benefit the game if all players were running an application

the phone could even be used to tell the player if his picture is

that automated the sending and receiving of pictures. Everyone

level or not. Also, the GPS could directly coordinate with the

would have the numbers of everyone’s phones programmed into

track to indicate the locations of all the images automatically.



More Data: There are several variables that could be experimented with to

this were to occur, would there be a correlation with the city?

yield more data sets. Most of the players in my game were

Maybe the weather or the time of day is different; perhaps

architecture students, but it would be interesting to play with

there are more people walking in the neighborhood or there

other types of students and see if they play the game differently.

is some other factor in the city that is changing the players’

Games could also be played with more people as well. With

behavior. A variety of biometric data could be incorporated,

enough data, other trends may start to manifest themselves

such as heart rate, to be recorded for analysis later or even be

as well, such as common pockets of space where players are

sent to other players in a similar vein to the images every five

caught. Some games may be more successful than others. If




Other locations: Where else can this game be played? If an area fulfills the

boundary, a game could be tested there as well. Old European

requirements of chaotic layout, unorthodox circulation and

cities may make excellent candidates.





Appendix A - Annotated Bibliography In their book “Space, Time, Play” (Fredric Von Borries, Steffen

Steffen Walz’s book, “Toward a Ludic Architecture” (Walz,

P. Walz, and Matthias Bottger, Space, Time, Play: Computer

Steffen P. Toward a Ludic Architecture: the Space of Play and

Games, Architecture and Urbanism: The Next Level. [Basel:

Games. Pittsburgh, Pa.: ETC Press, 2010.) makes the case that

Birkhäuser, 2007]) Fredric Von Borries, Steffen P. Walz, and

architecture can frame the play and games of human practices

Matthias Böttger assert that the city can be transformed into an

through space. Walz talks about this concept through virtual

urban playground for video games and that space, either real

examples, like video games, as well as real examples, such as

or virtual, is not only influential to gaming, but mandatory for

playgrounds and their designs as perceived through acts of

its existence. Borries, Walz, and Böttger support this claim by

play. The book presents the idea of play in architecture in order

first presenting the richness of level design employed through

to encourage architects to consider play as a part of human

gaming history and then providing several examples of video

psyche in both the design of space and its use. While gaming

games played in the real world, employing such technologies as

is an integral part of the text, the book is meant to be read by

augmented reality and geo-location. The book presents these


projects in order to document the nexus between architecture and games and to suggest further avenues of investigation into the connections. The book, in speaking to designers working in both the architecture industry and the games industry, attempts to bridge the gap between these worlds. 98

In the book “Level Design: Concept, Theory, and Practice”,

“The Ultimate Level Design Guide” (Galuzin, Alex. The Ultimate

(Kremers, Rudolf. Level Design: Concept, Theory, and Practice.

Level Design Guide. n.p.: World of Level Design , 2011) by Alex

Wellesley, MA: A.K. Peters, 2009) Rudolf Kremers argues that

Galuzin serves as a manual for level designers. Alex Galuzin

the level design of games is responsible for generating the

describes the components of level design in succession, using

emotional impact and narrative in video games. Rudolf Kremers

game precedents to show off the corresponding level design

supports this claim mostly through precedents of influential

theories and is a highly thorough overview of how level design

level design and its corresponding effect on players and gaming


culture. The book presents games through the lens of game

influence level design and that level design and its architecture

design theory in order to inform and teach the reader about

is at the core of game design. The book was written for level

level design. The book serves as a reference guide and teaching

designers and has game modders particularly in mind.

device for novice game developers and game students.


Alex Galuzin argues that anything can creatively

L.A. Lehmann’s paper “Location Based Mobile games”

“Pervasive Games” (Montola, Markus, Jaakko Stenros,

(Lehmann, L. A. Location-based Mobile Games. Norderstedt,

and Annika Waern. Pervasive Games: Theory and Design.

Germany: Druck and Bindung, 2012) is a short overview of

Burlington, MA:

the development of geo-location games throughout the past

Markus Montola, Jaakko Stenros, and Annika Waern asserts

decade. Lehmann presents several games to frame issues

that the boundary of gaming can exist within the material world.

relating to the technology used, the mechanics that are

Several examples of pervasive games (games played in the real

employed, and the social and spatial challenges they bring up.

world over large areas and intertwined within the players’ day-

The paper is used as a way of introducing the reader to the

to-day activities) are described with the concept of the “magic

concept of geo-location games and serves as a survey of the

circle”, or the “arena”, in which a system of rules is established

last decade of geo-location game development. The Intended

for contained ludic activity. The book presents the qualities,

audience is game researchers and developers.

challenges, and implications of pervasive gaming in order to

Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2009) by

encourage new designers to take on the role of designing new games. The book’s intended audience is game designers, game researchers, and pervasive game enthusiasts.


Appendix B - Other Images

Sensory vigilance


Sneaking through

An early concept for a capture the flag style game



Imagery Secretive


Urban playground Mutiplayer

Re purpose space Virtual against real


Real-time alteration of static environments

Alternative Reality

Re purpose space

Augmented Reality

Move players in City


Urban Narrative

Geo Location

Conscious Awareness

Fixed vs. unfixed Architecture Static Permanency


Game Simulation

Model Study Experiment




Virtual architecture Unreal

Iterative Multipurpose


Mind map 103

Level Design


Appendix C - Other Sources Avouris, Nikolaos, and Nikolaos Yiannoutsou. “A review of mobile location-based games for learning across physical and

Galuzin, Alex. How to create a Map in 11 days. n.c.: World of Level Design, 2011.

virtual spaces.” Journal of Universal Computer Science 18, no. 15 (2012): 3-27.

Paelke, Volker, Leif Oppermann, and Christian Reimann. “Mobile Location-Based Gaming.” In Lecture notes in computer

Castillo, Travis, and Jeannie Novak. Game development

science. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2013. 310-334.

essentials: game level design. New York: Delmar, 2008. Silva, Adriana de Souza e., and Daniel M. Sutko. Digital De Jong, Sjoerd. The How’s and Why’s of Level Design. n.c.: World of Level Design, 2008.

cityscapes: merging digital and urban playspaces. New York: Peter Lang, 2009. Print.