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“Programming” Games Without Programming (sort of) H. Mu ñ oz-Avila Jarret Raim Jonathan Martin Most Popular Games Genres Adventure games : Solving puzzles Finding clues E.g., through conversations with NPCs Role Playing Games (RPG) Player assumes fictional roles through Avatars

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programming games without programming sort of

“Programming” Games Without Programming(sort of)

H. Muñoz-Avila

Jarret Raim

Jonathan Martin

most popular games genres
Most Popular Games Genres
  • Adventure games:
    • Solving puzzles
    • Finding clues
      • E.g., through conversations with NPCs
  • Role Playing Games (RPG)
    • Player assumes fictional roles through Avatars
    • Avatar acquires skills by performing tasks/actions
    • “Levels” indicate the progress of the avatar
    • Massive Multiplayer Online RPG (MMORPG)
      • RPGs with multiple other players in pervasive worlds
most popular games genres ii
Most Popular Games Genres (II)
  • Strategy games:
    • resource gathering, managing economy, technology development
    • Real-Time Strategy (RTS)
      • Simultaneous actions
    • Turn-based Games (TBS)
      • Take turns
        • Wargames
          • Accurate depiction of actual units and maps
  • Sport Games
    • Simulation of actual sport games
  • Games of chance
    • Outcome highly influenced by a stochastic environment
motivation scripting programming languages
Motivation: Scripting Programming Languages
  • The “Community Expansion Package” is a game created by players, many non-programmers
  • It is build using a software tool called Aurora which is included in the game Neverwinter Nights
  • In fact using Aurora, gamers creating thousands their own games
    • Most variants of the original game
    • Others significant departures
finite state machines and games
Finite State Machines and Games
  • State: an activity performed by an avatar
  • Event: something that happens in the game world that makes state change

Enemy on sight



another finite state machine







Another Finite State Machine
  • States
    • Attack
    • Chase
    • Spawn
    • Wander
  • Events
    • E: see an enemy
    • S: hear a sound
    • D: die










but it gets even easier event on map

If player walks here then

Spawn Mephisto

Put 3 orcs here

Starting place of player

But it gets even easier (event-on-map)
ok let us construct one finite state machine
Ok Let Us Construct One Finite State Machine
  • Lets program High Priestess Jeklik
    • Here is she in action
    • Text Description
  • Step 1: list states and events
  • Step 2: Construct the Finite State Machine
homework next class
Homework (next class)
  • Pick an existing game
    • Select one or more NPCs in the game
    • Create a Finite State Machine modeling the behavior of the NPCs
      • List states (at least 5)
      • List events (at least 5)
      • Draw Finite State Machine
  • Pick and existing game (can be same as before)
    • Provide at least 3 different examples of events-on-map
computer programs
Computer Programs

-Program: sequence of instructions that the computer can understand



z  x + y



- Script: specialized program that uses instructions that are based on game world


if monster then


if hurt then


A Finite State


three engines
Three Engines
  • Adventure Game Studio

  • RPG Maker

  • Aurora (Neverwinter Nigths;
  • Almost for every game genre there is such an engine
    • Available with the commercial release of the game

Aurora Neverwinter Toolset

By: Nicholas Haines

final remarks
Final Remarks
  • Give some serious thought to doing the optional assignment of creating a game
    • Try one of the engines
  • Last time some 50% of the class created one
  • Its fun and
  • Some 80% of them got exempt from the Final Exam