"Diaries of a traveller" : creating innovation in mobile game design through the application of procedural content : [an exegesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Design at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand]
This design-led research project investigates social media integration and gameplay personalisation via Procedural Content Generation and its potential as mechanism to enhance game experiences. "Diaries of a Traveller" is an iPad game presented as a game prototype for this MDes study. The objective of this research is to develop an understanding of how personalisation may affect gameplay, narrative and consequently the game as a holistic experience. With the advent of tablets and mobile devices in the last years, new prospects and possibilities for the creation of games have emerged. Internet connectivity, mobility and social media integration provide new opportunities to enhance game experiences. Diaries of a Traveller explores how Internet connectivity, mobility and social media integration can create a more dynamic and immersive game experience. This iPad game is designed to be played in airport lounges. The game plot is dynamic, using personalised information from the player's own device to construct a unique narrative and gameplay experience. Furthermore, the research examines theoretical frameworks of “Games as New Media” (Hjorth 2011). The iPad game is developed using the game engine Unity 3D and contextualises the prototype as a case study through the mass culture phenomenon of pervasive games. Keywords: Video Games, IPad Games, Mobile Devices, Procedural Content Generation, Dynamic Content, Social Media Integration, Personalisation, Customisation, Game Design, Unity 3d, Interactivity, New media.