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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my guide Mrs. Sanyogeeta Sule, for
her the constructive guidance and for believing in me for doing such an
unconventional topic. I thank her for instilling in me the spirit of constantly
questioning each aspect of the subject matter that would come up in my mind
and out of rigorous practice, come up with my own logical thought process. I
wish to thank her for pushing me to try harder and extract the maximum out of
my potential. Most importantly, for being available at every point I needed
guidance and for meeting time flexible for the best of my interests and
convenience.

I also wish to thank my mentor Mrs. Parul Garg Munjal for encouraging me at
every step with possible directions to look forward to, for bringing in a swirl of
enthusiasm and opportunities for me to think about my topic. I thank her to push
me harder to open up my mind to a wider range of ideas, and the constructive
results that may have come out of the discussions we had this semester. I would
also like to thank Mr. Rahul Spall for the wide array of ideas on the topic and for
the brainstorming session on the logical explanation of the effectiveness of
virtual reality in real life.

Dissertation| Why Videogames and Architecture Need Each Other|2016


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LIST OF TABLES/ FIGURES/ ILLUSTRATIONS

1. Figure 1.1- Le Corbusier Ville Contemporaine hand of God


2. Figure 1.2- Le Corbusier placing a modular block over a model of
UnitedHabitation
3. Figure 1.3- Example of a parti sketch
4. Figure 2.1- Example of an interest curve
5. Figure 2.2- Example of a non-linear experience
6. Figure 2.3- Interest curve for the game The Legend of Zelda
7. Figure 2.4- Core Mechanics Diagram
8. Figure 2.5- Badwater basin level in the game Team Fortress 2
9. Figure 2.6- Risk in Half-Life 2
10.Figure 2.7- Water fountain in Prince of Persia
11.Figure 2.8- Blood trails in Max Payne
12.Figure 3.1- Plan of National Assembly Building
13.Figure .3.2- Approach to National Assembly Building
14.Figure 3.3- Entrance of National Assembly Building
15.Figure 3.4- Interior Spaces of National Assembly Building
16.Figure 3.5- The House of Legislature
17.Figure 3.6- Aerial view of National Assembly Building
18.Figure 3.7- Blank Walls at the approach to Church on the Water
19.Figure 3.8 and Figure 3.9- Worship space in Church on the Water
20.Figure 3.10- Plan of Church on the Water

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ABSTRACT

Topic of research: Why videogames and architecture need each other

Main argument: Can techniques like interest curves, core


mechanics, and tunnelling, which are used in the design process of
video-games, also prove to be useful design tools for architects in
the future, to create more experiential and engaging spaces and/or
offer a new perspective to architects?

How this idea came about: Being a video game enthusiast, I


often read blogs and books on game design. So while quickly
glancing through the book The Art of Game Design, written by Jesse
Schell, I discovered that game designers use principles of

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architecture, among a bunch of other things, to understand, analyse


and improve the games they design. In fact, they draw inspiration
from almost every creative profession, be it filmography, juggling,
craftsmanship, you name it. In this book, the 15 principles of
architecture listed by the architect Christopher Alexander in his
book The Nature of Order, have been mentioned for the same.
However, very little has been walked in the other direction.

Meanwhile, I also found out that a lot of big name architectural firms
have started treating videogames as a serious Computer Aided
Design (CAD) tool. For example, Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG) is now
extensively using a game called Minecraft for generating interesting
ideas for the form of their design1; Architect James Delaney has
launched a programme named BlockWorks2, which is basically a
global team of animators, architects, and other designers using
Minecraft in a wide range of projects within the realms of gaming,
media, and education.

This made me think what if we architects take the tools and


techniques of game design, just like how game designers use the
principles of architecture, to create better buildings?

Key words and phrases: user-experience, top-down design,


bottom-up design, parti pris, core-mechanics, interest curve,
tunnelling, experiential architecture

Need for research at this point of time: In todays time, we


have a world which is replete with buildings, but theres a
tremendous lack of Architecture. In these times, when the
buildings are sort of being mass-produced, like factory made items,
and are getting lost in the functionality and validity of the projects,

1 Winston, Anna. Architecture should be more like Minecraft, says Bjarke Ingles, January 2015
http://www.dezeen.com/2015/01/26/architecture-minecraft-bjarke-ingels-big-movie-worldcraft-
future-of-storytelling/ (Accessed on September 10, 2016)

2 OConnel, Kim. Minecraft Architecture: What Architects Can Learn From A Video Game,
February 2016 https://redshift.autodesk.com/minecraft-architecture/ (Accessed on September 10,
2016)

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while compromising upon the experientiality and engagement of the


spaces within, there is a need for new strategies to look at, and
make additions to the current design strategies in architecture.
Videogame being a medium similar to architecture, in that both of
these are based primarily on user-experience, and involve a team of
professionals from multiple disciplines, might have some hidden
answers. This dissertation aims to look into the core aspects of
designing videogames to develop those new strategies.

Aims: The aims of this study are:

1. To build up on the relationship between the design


process of architecture and videogames.
2. To examine the rules and parameters that make a space
experiential and engaging, both in real and virtual world.
3. To develop a design strategy that results in the creation
of better quality of spaces.

Scope of study: This dissertation will cover three of the tools and
techniques used in game design namely interest curves, core
mechanics and tunnelling. Once that has been done, a bunch of
experiential buildings such as Louis Kahns Legislative building in
Bangladesh, Dhaka will be taken as case studies and analysed as if
they were game environments.

Expected outcome: Development/Improvisation of new building


design techniques, emerging from the superimposition of the
designing of the real and the virtual world.

Methodology:

1. Setting up a context, briefly introducing the design


approach of architects versus that of game designers.
2. Introduce the techniques and tools of game design which
would be valid for experiential architecture;
3. Use these techniques to analyse experiential buildings.
4. Comparing them with the techniques and principles
currently used in experiential architecture, and creating

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some sort of game design filter that building designs


pass through during the design process.

Academic context: Though not much on this particular topic, a lot


has been said about looking at architecture through the eyes of
cinema and film, and using some substantial principles and
techniques of film-making like montage, to incorporate into
architectural design. Similar architectural research papers have
been compiled to show the relationship between architecture and
other disciplines and art forms like cartoons, music, and narratives
in various media. I would take the help of these research papers and
of published and secondary resources talking either about game
design or about the principles and techniques of architecture that
would be relevant to frame my dissertation.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgements
.i

List of
Tables/Illustrations/Figures.i
i

Abstract
iii

Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION 1

1.1 Top down approach of architectural design 2

1.2 Bottom up approach of game design 3

Chapter 2: THE DESIGN TOOLS 4

2.1 Interest Curves 4

2.2 Core Mechanics 6

2.3 Risks, Rewards and Tunnelling 8

2.3.1 Risk 9

2.3.2 Reward 10

2.3.3 Tunnelling 11

Chapter 3: CASE STUDIES 14

3.1 Louis Kahns National Assembly Building 14

3.1.1 Interest Curves 14

3.1.2 Core Mechanic 15

3.1.3 Risks, Rewards and Tunnelling 16

3.2 Tadao Andos Church on the Water 17

3.2.1 Interest Curves 17

3.2.2 Core Mechanic 18

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3.2.3 Risks, Rewards and Tunnelling 19

Chapter 4: CONCLUSION AND FUTURE


WORKS............................................................................................20

Bibliography..........................................................................................................
...................................................22

Dissertation| Why Videogames and Architecture Need Each Other|2016