Research on Multiple Perspectives in Video Games

Ongoing Research Project
2017 / Cologne

Playing with Multiple Camera Perspectives as Video Game Mechanics: Theoretical Analysis and Artistic Design

Using multiple camera perspectives has not received much attention for its role as gameplay mechanic or important storytelling element in video games. This research aims to build an artistic design for multiple camera perspectives as video game mechanics. How can we use multiple camera perspectives as core game mechanics? How do these mechanics form a new type of gameplay and storytelling experience for players? This research focuses on the camera behaviors and properties which change dynamically in response to the game play and become a core part of the game mechanism. It contains four parts: a conceptual framework, reference analysis, design principles, and prototype development.

This research derives four distinct types of gameplay based on three methods and four functions of controlling multiple camera perspectives. After the analysis of the games reflecting each functions, the game prototype is proposed with the goal to serve as the new alternative game that features multiple camera perspective as its core game mechanic. The design process of the prototype, Layers of Reality, examines multiple camera perspectives in real-time 3D game space to develop alternative game mechanics for a single-player game. The prototype encourages the players to explore multiple layers of reality to achieve a deeper understanding of the game world.

Research question:

  • How can we use controlling multiple camera perspective as a core game mechanic? How does it form a new type of gameplay and storytelling experience to the players?

  • Are there conventions on the usage of multiple camera perspective which can be derived from the existing reference games? How can we broaden these conventions and apply them to new game storytelling?

The paper is organized as follows. Chapter 1 introduces the discourse on applying multiple camera perspectives to video games. Chapter 2 defines terminologies and reviews previous studies. Chapter 3 examines the conventions in existing games based on three methods and four functions of controlling camera perspective. Chapter 4 presents an alternative model to analyze the four types of reference games that reflect on each function and method. Chapter 5 describes the design and development of the game prototype that aims to suggest new game mechanics. Chapter 6 concludes the paper with a discussion of the research contributions and future work.