More selected projects

Consequential Games

by: Djamel Ouddane


Through this process I will be exploring the ideas of consequence in video games and whether the actions taken within the game correlate to real world morality. My aim is to research games and programs of certain aesthetic and controversial natures to aid me in developing my own game that I can gauge people’s reactions to.

When players make decisions  do they decide on crueler options put forth in games based on indifference, or does a sense of emotion and excitement fuel them. In many games the choices before you, make you choose the lesser of two evils at the cost of something precious to lose.

The game I want to create will require me to breach the virtual boundary by allowing the user to experience a physical touch or even slight jolt of electricity based upon the decisions they make in game. Though very minuscule the concept of being affected in person adds an extra dimension to the piece.

Procedural Generation & Cellular Automata
Game of Life

John Conway the Mathematician designed the Game of life in the late 1960’s.

It is a generative drawing which mimics living organisms and cell activity. The brilliance behind this is in the few rules it applies, it manages to create complex systems that react to each other. Essentially taking away any need for choices, which it then follows its own evolutionary patterns. Since it was first created people have altered and developed the code to form more varied and organic looking results, like the one shown above.

Many games suffer from lack of variation within procedural generation and it has developers using it only when and where necessary, such a flora or plant life, creature diversity or colour palettes within the game world. They find it difficult to apply to things such as radiant quests or tasks as there are consequences that come with finishing such things.

Giving and taking away the life of the automated cells, showing a more indifferent approach toward finding results by letting them develop, grow and die. A lot of modern games have been using procedural generation such as the recent titles No Mans Sky and Star Citizen. Star systems and planetary biomes created from complex algorithms.


Aesthetics & Purpose

The game Limbo came out in 2010 and got a lot of people excited due to its monochromatic look and sinister setting. The name comes from the Latin term “Limbus” which means edge (referring to its location).

The boy with no name wakes up at the “edge of hell” to find his sister missing, he then sets out on a perilous journey to find her among the eerie atmosphere and many dangers. Like most games it has a purpose or goal you must fulfill, some would say this is absolutely necessary towards character development and for difficult choices to be made. Purpose gives precedence to consequence and allows the user to immerse themselves. Just as a movie or book with no plot will cease to progress or entertain.

The aesthetics of a game further enhance any situations the player finds themselves in, whether it be the stylistic approach or the minimalist sounds and score that play in the background. A lot of players who tried out the game classified it as Art due to its story book illustrated nature and conceptual prowess.



*warning graphic content*

Hatred the game was a topic of controversy for quite some time when it was released in 2015. It caused quite an uproar due to its ultra-violent and graphic nature which comes from the Antagonist, who the player controls with the objective of slaughtering as many innocent people as possible. This is a brief part of the games wiki description:

 "The player-character is a misanthropic mass-killing sociopath who begins a "genocide crusade"

to kill as many human beings as possible. The developer described Hatred as a reaction to video game aesthetic trends such as political correctness, politeness, vivid colour, and games as art."

The game industry is always changing and developers, especially indie studios are more open to creating games that cross the border into being considered art. The game Hatred itself revels in its lack of inhibition and morally perverse things like murder that the player can act out in a plethora of ways. Any link to them having psychological effects on people acting out fantasies has yet to be proven. However why is it that these types of games are usually so successful, possibly because people like to exercise the lesser demons of their nature, or is it just pure aimless fun.


Virtual to Physical
Lightning Reaction/ Toque

Lightning Reaction is a physical game where up to four players compete to get the fastest reaction upon the music stopping. Whoever reacts fastest does not get shocked whereas the remaining few receive a jolt.

It resembles a street game that originates from Mexico called Toque where people pay to compete to see who can withstand the highest voltage for the longest time. The voltage ranges from between 70 to 100 and at the higher current your hands start to go numb and seize up.

The reason I’m interested in these games is due to the consequence of them. People receive a jolt of discomfort and yet they still manage to enjoy themselves, finding a thrill in losing or attempting. It has also been said that electricity has the effect of releasing endorphin's into the body, which explains the rush you get after the shock. However, when compared to some movie scenarios where people break the law, hurt someone or do something otherwise unethical as a result, they then take the game more seriously as an extension or machination behind the bad situation they have put themselves in.


All the examples shown were chosen to help piece together the sort of work that I intend to produce. Both stylistically, morally and technically. It will have a dark and atmospheric setting, with music and ambient sound that either builds suspense or creates an eerie environment. An appearance that will correlate with the harsh decisions you make in the game. The process of looking into procedural generation or using particular algorithms will require further study to understand how they can possibly be implemented to the required standard. Furthermore, through looking at games that cause the user to react physically to what’s happening mid play session It will allow us to find out what the person thinks of the choices they make whether it be fright, joy or empathy resulting in them shocking themselves or someone else.