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Academic Research

About, using, or expanding upon the Machinations framework


Engineering emergence: applied theory for game design

Joris Dormans, 2012

This research examines the nature of emergence in games in order to construct applied theory to deal with emergence in games head-on.

This theory will enable the designer to get more grip on the elusive process of building quality games displaying emergent behavior.


Game Mechanics: Advanced Game Design

Ernest Adams & Joris Dormans, 2012

Craft mechanics that generate challenging, enjoyable, and well-balanced gameplay.

Discover at what stages to prototype, test, and implement mechanics in games and learn how to visualise and simulate game mechanics to design better games.


Game Mechanics Design: Applying Machinations to Eliosi’s Hunt

Tiago Zaidan, Daniel Zaidan & Luis Fabricio W. Goes, 2016

This paper presents the use of the Machinations Framework to design the internal economy of the game Eliosi’s Hunt currently being developed by TDZ Games.

The use of the framework allowed us to visualise the game’s internal economy’s structure and flow of resources (...) in order for the designer to improve it through fast iterative cycles.


Game Design Tools: Can they Improve Game Design Practice?

Katharine Neil, 2016

This paper contributes practice-led evaluation research to the question of whether game design tools can effectively support and expand game design practice.

It offers insights that can be used to inform future game design tool development.


Gamification of Prosocial Learning for Increased Youth Inclusion

Kam Star (PLAYGEN), 2016

The prosocial skill games model - which is an abstract game model for teaching prosocial skills - is presented along with the first iteration of the prosocial world data model.

The first iteration of a range of game mechanics and game systems together with rules intended to produce gameplay that leads to increased proficiency in prosocial skills.


Micro-Machinations: A DSL For Game Economies

Paul Klint & Riemer van Rozen, 2014

Micro-machinations (mm) details and formalises the meaning of a significant subset of machination’s language features and adds several new features most notably modularisation.

This paper "shows that it is feasible to rapidly simulate game economies in early development stages and to separate concerns".


Adapting Game Mechanics with Micro-Machinations

Riemer van Rozen & Joris Dormans, 2014

An approach for designing, embedding, and adapting game mechanics iteratively in games.

It shows "that mm enables the adaptability needed to reduce design iteration times, consequently increasing opportunities for quality improvements and reuse".


Simulating Mechanics to Study Emergence in Games

Joris Dormans, 2011

This paper presents the latest version of the machinations framework that uses diagrams to represent the flow of tangible and abstract resources through a game.

This flow represents the mechanics that make up a game’s internal economy and has a large impact on the emergent gameplay of most simulation games, strategy games, and board games.


Measuring Inflation within Virtual Economies using Deep Reinforcement Learning

Conor Stephens and Chris Exton, 2021

This paper proposes a framework for assessing economies within online multiplayer games without the need for extensive player testing and data collection.

It can aid game developers and designers when testing their game systems for potential exploits that could lead to issues within the larger game economies.

Evaluation of Systematically DevelopedGamification Strategies UsingGame-Balance Simulation Tools

Evaluation of Systematically Developed Gamification Strategies with Game-Balance Simulation Tools

David Kessing & Manuel Löwer, 2022

This research work shows that gamification strategies for products can be mapped and evaluated with the help of game balancing simulation tools to make better statements about the probability of success.