My final year dissertation was entitled “What Elements of Game Design Provide ‘Emergent Gameplay’?”, and although the subject focus was on game design, I programmed and implemented a feature of emergent gameplay into a platformer game using Microsoft XNA 3.1, along with a tool to analyse the results of my research. It received a double “A” grade.
This paper seeks to understand how industry professionals define the concept of emergent gameplay, and why they consider it to be such a desirable element of game design. Several successful titles are then examined to establish which design features that promote emergent gameplay they have in common. One such feature is then implemented into a game that was created as part of this research, which uses a logging technique to analyse how well that feature contributes to emergent gameplay.
Applied Research Project – Dissertation (PDF, 5.4 MB).