CIS 350 – I Game Programming Instructor: Rolf Lakaemper - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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CIS 350 – I Game Programming Instructor: Rolf Lakaemper. Part II: Game Genres. Genres. ADVENTURES. Genres. Adventure Games cast the player as the protagonist of a story in which the player participates Solving of puzzles, finding various artifacts Sub-genres: Textbased Graphical

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CIS 350 – I Game Programming Instructor: Rolf Lakaemper

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CIS 350 – I

Game Programming

Instructor: Rolf Lakaemper

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Part II:

Game Genres

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  • Adventure Games cast the player as the protagonist of a story in which the player participates

  • Solving of puzzles, finding various artifacts

  • Sub-genres:

    • Textbased

    • Graphical

    • Action

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  • Textbased Adventures:

  • First adventures

  • Typical use of verb-noun phraser

  • Earliest titles: ‘Hunt the Wumpus’ (G. Yob, 1972, Basic Game) and ‘Adventure’ (W. Crowther, 1972)

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‘Hunt the Wumpus’

Essentially, you're wandering through a network of numbered caves, looking for the Wumpus; when it's nearby, you'll smell it, and you can try to kill it by shooting into one of the caves that's near you. If you wander into the same cave as the Wumpus, you die. Other hazards include bats--which pick you up and dump you somewhere else--and pits, which kill you.

source code !

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…or ZORK (1981)

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Hybrid Text / Graphic

The Hobbit (1982)

spectrum emulator

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  • Graphic Adventure

  • Graphical (point and click) Interface

  • Introduced by Sierra Online’s King’s Quest 1984

  • Lucas Arts: Maniac Mansion 1987

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King’s Quest I (by Roberta Williams)

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  • Action Adventure

  • The only commercially successfully remaining action genre

  • Reflex Based as well as puzzle solving

  • Most prominent: The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo, 1986 (US: 1987 on NES)

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Legend of Zelda, NES 1987

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Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Game Cube 2004

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  • Educational Games

  • Attempt to teach the user using the game as a vehicle

  • Mostly target young users

  • Growing market !

  • …can also teach programming on a very high though entertaining level, e.g. ‘Robot Wars’

  • Best known: ‘Carmen Sandiego’

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  • Example: ‘Alpha Beth’ 1985

  • PLAY

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  • Fighting (Beat’em Up)

  • Emphasize on one-on-one combat between (two) players

  • Usually focus on martial arts

  • Usually as dramatic and physically impossible as comical

  • Sophisticated interfaces !

  • Early title: ‘Way of the exploding fist’, Melbourne House 1985 PLAY!

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‘Way of the exploding fist’,

Melbourne House 1985, Sinclair Spectrum Version

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‘Mortal Combat: Deadly Alliance’,

Midway,2002, XBOX

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  • First Person Shooter

  • Emphasize shooting and combat from a specific perspective, most of them place player behind hand/weapon

  • Tend to be scaringly violent

  • 3D effect is usually enhanced by 3D-sound

  • Most prominent: DOOM, Quake, HALO

  • First title: …

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  • SPASIM, 1974

  • Space Simulation

  • 3D 32 person network multiplayer game

  • Written for Champaign Urbana University of Illinois PLATO network

  • The PLATO system had hundreds of plasma panel terminals (512*512 graphics displays) around the US with 1200bps connections into a CDC Cyber 6400 mainframe

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  • Battlezone, ATARI, 1980

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  • Rescue on Fractalus

  • Activision,1986, Spectrum Version

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  • DOOM

  • Id software,1993

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  • HALO

  • Xbox,Bungie Studios,2001

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  • FPS introduced a new technique to game programming: 3D engines, independent from game rules, logic and final graphics are utilized for multiple games

  • FPS are the most controversive games, due to their realism and violence, e.g. the Columbine Highschool Shooting was put in connection with them

  • The combination of AI, real time graphics, physical modelling makes them the most sophisticated programs the gaming area

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  • MMOGs

  • (Massive Multiplayer Online Games)

  • Subscription based virtual worlds for thousands of players to interact together

  • Titles: Ultima Online, Everquest etc.

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  • Platform Games

  • Probably the best known genre, ‘the’ computer game

  • Running, jumping etc. on 2D or 3D platform

  • ‘Side-scrollers’, usually (2d) from a side perspective.

  • Most prominent: Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong, Lode Runner, Sonic, …

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1983, ATARI 400

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Donkey Kong

Nintendo, 1981

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Mario Bros

Nintendo, 1983

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Super Mario Bros

Nintendo, 1985

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Mission Elevator

Micro Partner/Magic Bytes 1986

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Mission Elevator

(Graphics by

Bettina Wiedner)

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Donkey Kong Country 2

Game Cube, 2003

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Super Mario Sunshine

Nintendo Game Cube, 2002

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  • PUZZLE Games

  • Require the gamer to solve logic puzzles or navigate complex locations such as mazes.

  • Genre crosses frequently with adventure and educational games

  • Titles: Tetris, Sokoban, Boulderdash,…

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1985 Alexey Pazhitnov, Vadim Gerasimov

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1987 Databyte

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  • Place player in the driver seat of vehicle

  • Emerging in early 80s

  • Extremely popular

  • Various input devices

  • Titles: OutRun, MarioKart,…

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SEGA, 1986

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MarioKart Double Dash

Nintendo, 2004

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  • Role Playing

  • Player acts as adventurer who specializes in certain skills

  • Emerged from board (pencil&paper) role playing games

  • Usually science fiction or fantasy setting

  • Titles: Ultima, Diablo, …

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  • ULTIMA 1

  • 1980

  • Written in basic

  • 3000 lines of code

  • Memory takes less than one texture in current version…

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ULTIMA 1, 1980

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ULTIMA 9, 1999

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  • Fixed Shooters

  • The classic 2D shooters

  • Space Invaders, Galaga, R-Type, …

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Space Invaders


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  • Simulation

  • Aim to simulate a specific activity (e.g. flying an airplane / running a company) as realistically as possible

  • Usually time consuming to play, huge manuals etc.

  • Titles: Little Comp. People, MS Flight Sim., The Sims, Medieval,Warcraft,…

  • The SIMS is the most popular game ever !

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Little Computer People

Activision, 1985, C64

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Bill Wright,Maxis, 2000

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Well, sports simulation, of course.

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Winter Games

EPYX, 1983,C64

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  • Strategy

  • Focus on careful planning and skillful resource management

  • Thinking games

  • Often turn based

  • Usually war strategy

  • Titles: M.U.L.E., Civilization, War Craft,…

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EA, 1983

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  • Civilization 1

  • Sid Meier, Microprose,1991, DOS

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  • WarCraft III

  • Blizzard, 2003, PC

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  • Traditional

  • Board Games

  • Card Games

  • ETC

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  • Requirements of Genres:

  • Hardware

  • Computational power

  • Graphical abilities (color, resolution)

  • Graphic. comp. Power (Co-processing graphic cards)

  • Memory

  • Sound

  • Input / output devices

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  • Software

  • AI

  • Physical Modelling

  • Sophisticated Data Structures

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  • Design

  • Story

  • Playability

  • User Interface

  • Realism

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Which genre is the easiest to design and program ?

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Game Industry

Some numbers out of the world

of the

Game Industry


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Game Industry

  • Mission Elevator

  • Publisher: Magic Bytes

  • Number of full-time developers: 0

  • Number of part-time developers: 3

  • Length of development: 14 months

  • Release date: 1985

  • Target platform: Amstrad CPC, C64

  • Development hardware: Amstrad CPC, C64

  • Development software used: Paper and Pencil, selfmade assembling help, some BASIC tools

  • Project size: 48kB

  • Budget: 10.000$ (for conversion to diff. Systems)

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Game Industry

  • Grand Monster Slam

  • Publisher: Magic Bytes/Rainbow Arts

  • Number of full-time developers: 6

  • Number of part-time developers: 1

  • Length of development: 8 months

  • Release date: 1989

  • Target platform: AMIGA, ATARI ST, C64

  • Development hardware: proprietary: ATARI ST connected to AMIGA

  • Development software used: Graphic Tools, SEKA Assembler

  • Project size: 4MB

  • Budget: 100.000$

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Game Industry


  • Publisher: Ubi Soft

  • Number of full-time developers: 76

  • Number of contractors:18

  • Length of development: 5 months

  • Release date: March 28, 2003

  • Target platform: PlayStation 2

  • Development hardware: PS2 dev tools, PCs avg.

  • Athlon dual 1800+

  • Development software used: Unreal Warfare, Code Warrior, 3D Max, Photoshop, Ubi's animation tools, Optpix, Microsoft Visual SourceSafe

  • Project size: 3.47GB

  • Budget: ?

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Game Industry

  • STAR WARS: Rogue Leader

  • Publisher: Lucas Arts Entertainment

  • Number of full-time developers: 30

  • Number of contractors: 2

  • Estimated budget: $3.5 million

  • Length of development: 9 months

  • Release date: November 8, 2001

  • Platform: Nintendo Gamecube

  • Development hardware used: GDEV & 1GHz PC, running Windows 2000

  • Development software used: SN Systems for Gamecube, Slickedit, Maya

  • Notable technologies: MusyX 2.0

  • Project size: 14.2MB of source in 859 files, in-game source data 6.4GB in 10,075 files

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Game Industry

  • DIABLO 2

  • Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment

  • Full-Time Developers: 40

  • Length of Development: 3 years.

  • Release Date: June 28, 2000.

  • Platforms: PC and Macintosh.

  • Hardware Used: Typical programmer workstation: 500 MHz Pentium II running Windows NT with 128MB RAM and 9GB hard drive. Typical artist workstation: dual 500 MHz Pentium IIs running Windows NT with 256MB RAM and 14GB hard drive.

  • Software Used: 3D Studio Max, Photoshop, Microsoft Developer Studio/Visual Studio and SourceSafe

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Game Industry

  • DIABLO 2

  • From “Diablo2: what went wrong”:

  • (

  • “We developed the original Diablo with almost no proprietary tools at all. We cut out all the background tiles by hand and used commercial software to process the character art. Spells and monsters were balanced by verbal estimates ("Hey, lets make the lightning about ten percent weaker."). Diablo II's vastly increased scale required much better tools, and we made some, but not enough. “

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Game Industry

  • What’s in for

  • YOU ?

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Game Industry

  • Salary Survey 2003

  • (from GAME DEVELOPER Magazine)

  • websource:

  • Questioning among GAME DEVELOPER subscribers

  • About 2750 responses used for survey

  • Excluded: <10.000$, >300.000$

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Game Industry


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Game Industry

Art & Animation

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Game Industry

Game Design

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