Genre-Specific Gameplay Design Issues Action Games The general idea is to keep the player moving and involved at all times. The most important skills for a player are hand-eye coordination and quick reflexes. Deep thinking is generally not required.
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Gears of War
Super Mario Galaxy
Screen shot from Splinter Cell. A very impressive game, but some people
found they spent as much time moving the viewpoint as moving their character.
Screen shot from Dino Crisis 3. The action in this game is prettyintense … it’s a shame that the horrible camera angles prevent youfrom seeing most of it though!
Screen shot from Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow. The levels inthis sequel to Splinter Cell were as well designed as its predecessor. Chaos Theory is no slouch either!
Screen shot of Potty Pigeon. With a name like Potty Pigeon,
you just know what your weapon against those cars is going to be …
Screen shot from Unreal Tournament 2003. There is nothing quitelike the feeling of carrying around a weapon that fires miniature nuclearwarheads. A very cool weapon.
Screen shot from Armed & Dangerous. This game had some really uniqueand interesting weapons. What’s not to like about a land shark gun?
Screen shot from Crytek’s Cryengine game engine editor.
Screen shots and movies from Epic’s Unreal 3 engine.
Final Fantasy XIII
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Star Wars KOTOR II
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
Screen shot from The Tales of Trolls and Treasures, an open source RPG
project. This is a shot of a character/party generator screen.
Screen shot from Final Fantasy X-2. Statistics can be as simpleas hit points or magic points, but can also be more detailed and complex.
Screen shot from Final Fantasy X-2. The Final Fantasy series hasalways been known for its elaborate and interesting story lines.
Screen shot from Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes. This is an
action-RPG with some interesting combat and magic systems.
Myst V: End of Ages
Zork I (Text
Tomb Raider Legend (Action-Adventure)
Screen shot from the Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time. It has a veryinteresting story that unfolds as you progress through this action-adventure.
Screen shot from Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb. This action-adventure has many puzzles to solve, including when to use Indy’strademark whip to get to that unreachable platform.
Screen shot from Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. This action-adventuregame has a simple interface that does not get in the way of either thefighting or puzzle sequences.
Screen shot from Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick. This game has manytasks in each open level, managed by a “to-do list”. There is some linearity between tasks to maintain the story line, but the player has a lot of choice.
Screen shot from Zork I. Perhaps nowhere else is more explorationpossible in a game than a good old fashioned text adventure.
Full Spectrum Warrior
Rome: Total War
Command and Conquer
Images from Warcraft III. The peasant, peon, acolyte, and wisp are the
basic resource collectors/builders of the different races of the game. Thepeasant and peon are more traditional gatherers and builders, collecting
the gold and lumber resources for their teams and constructing buildings. The
acolyte and wisp rely on magic and summoning to put a different spin onthe whole resource collection and building process.
Screen shot from Warcraft III. This game featured four different races,all of which were well-balanced against the other.
Image from Warcraft III. This is a picture of the Meat Wagon, a unitof the Undead race. It can collect corpses from the field of battle andstore them for future reanimation, or can use its Meat-A-Pult™ to fling themback at the enemy. This is a good siege weapon, but is open to up-closemelee attacks, or attacks from the air. Like all Blizzard games, the units inWarcraft III are unique and well-balanced.
Screen shot from Starcraft. Siege tanks have some interesting characteristics
that make their use more fun and interesting, even if they are not as realistic or behave the same as real-world tanks.
Screen shot from Warcraft II. When playing multiplayer games against the AI,
there was little variation in the AI’s tactics. Consequently, the game in thismode was usually easy to beat, once the pattern was identified.
Screen shot from Warcraft III. A quest is assigned. There are a wide
variety of missions and quests in the game, most of which are quiteentertaining.
Gran Turismo 4
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Screen shot from X-Plane, showing lift and drag vectors calculated in
real time. This game has a devoted community of flight enthusiasts and developers who are striving to make it the most realistic flight simulator ever. In fact, flight characteristics are calculated in real time from aircraft design data.
Screen shot from Microsoft Flight Simulator. Real world weather data can bedownloaded from the Internet in real-time, and your position and heading can be used to render accurate star maps, giving a very realistic feel to the
game. Nice touches for both the casual and the hard core.
Screen shot from World Racing. Even the most casual gamer won’t forgivethe lack of realism in this game. The planes, helicopters, trees, and people inthis game can all be driven through! Why?!? (Video from X-Play.)
Screen shot from Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing. Not to be outdone byWorld Racing, this takes realism in this genre to a new low. How thisgame was ever released is beyond me. (Video excerpt from X-Play.)
Picture of Microsoft Flight Simulator on 9 computers and 13 monitors.Wideview software was used to split the game image. Such a nice interfacethat the player even needed a seatbelt to be strapped in place!
Picture of the Sim Icarus Flight Deck. This recreates the primary
flight accessory controls of the Boeing 777, and even links in withMicrosoft Flight Simulator. For die-hard fans only!
Picture of the Real Virtual Car. Not to be outdone, racing fans have builta racing simulator in a Renault Megane, complete with steering wheel, pedals, a gear shifter, and gauges that work!
Tony Hawk’s Project 8
Madden NFL 2007
Screen shot from High Heat Major League Baseball 2004. Not exactly known asthe best baseball game, this game frequently assigns retired player numbersto other game players. For example, on the Yankees, Todd Zeile was given Mickey Mantle's retired number (#7). Fans of the game were not amused.
Screen shot from Madden NFL 2007. This Madden series of football gameshas long had a good collection of meta-game features.
Box art from NHL 2007. The circled part in the corner are the official
logos for the NHL league and players’ association. Without approvalfrom these two organizations, your hockey game will not get far!
Screen shot from NBA Live 2004. For the first time, EA Sports went for a five player team motion capture, to grab all players’ activities at once. This allowed team responses, shifts, rotations, and reactions to events. Apparently, theresult was the best looking basketball game to date, according to reviews.
Screen shot from FIFA 2007. The fan noises, singing, and other stadium
ambience makes you feel like you are part of a real soccer game, andnot just a video game.
Mortal Kombat Armageddon
Virtua Fighter 5
Dead or Alive 4
Screen shot from Dead or Alive 4. This has some of the best visualsever seen in a fighting game. You can tell a lot of time and attentionwent into producing them!
Screen shot from Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance. Yup. That lookslike a fatality to me!
Screen shot from Kakuto Chojin. This fighting game for the Xbox is ridiculouslyeasy. On your first try, you can beat every opponent without losing a singlematch. Trust me … I’ve done it myself!
Screen shot of Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus. On the other end of the spectrum,this game is often criticized as being way too difficult. Even seasoned playerscan have a lot of trouble getting past the first opponent.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
The Sims 2
Black & White 2
Zoo Tycoon 2
Disney Learning Adventure
Screen shot from Typing of the Dead. Based on House of the Dead II, thisgame can serve as a nice typing tutor. Definitely not for children though!
An interesting concept, and a surprisingly fun game.
The Incredible Machine
- David Thomas, of Buzzcut.com
Screenshots from example serious games from the Serious Games Summit
Screen shot from Hazmat: Hotzone. In a serious game like this, you wantreality over fun, or else you could have dire consequences in the real world.
Screen shot from Hazmat: Hotzone. The interface is kept simpleto assist non gamers in playing the game.
Screen shot from Desert Rats vs. Afrika Korps. Military strategy games like
this one have to employ several short-cuts to keep the game flowing nicely.Such short-cuts in a real military simulation could be bad though.
City of Heroes
Dark Age of Camelot
World of Warcraft
Screen shot from Everquest of the first ever killing of Kerafyrm, also known as The Sleeper, a beast supposed to be unkillable. (Actually it just had over 100billion hit points.) A small army of 200 players took nearly 4 hours to defeat it.Their first attempt was unfairly thwarted by Sony, who wanted the creaturealive for the storyline. Sony relented, and let them finish the job, but notbefore they shattered the players’ faith in the system following the rules.
Screen shots from Ultima Online. One of the mainstay characters throughoutthe chain of Ultima games is Lord British. A common activity in each game isto attempt to kill Lord British, as it usually offers humorous or unanticipatedrewards. In Ultima Online, he was supposed to be unkillable. A thief in thecrowd stole a fire field spell scroll from a fellow player and promptlyincinerated Lord British, because a bug in the game broke the rules. In anotherrule breaking immediately after, demons were summoned by the game providerinto the castle and promptly slaughtered everyone, including the innocent.