SM2215 Genres Part 1 - Games - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  1. SM2215 GenresPart 1 - Games Mark Green School of Creative Media

  2. Overview • Games divided into three types: • arcade • console • computer • each type targets a different group of users • tendency for games to move from one type to another

  3. Arcade Games - History • Started with pinball in the 1800s • first use of simple electronics in 1930s • moved to more sophisticated electronics and computers in the 1970s • originally placed in bowling alleys, bars and other entertainment areas • game arcades are relatively recent, last 20 years

  4. 1931 Pinball

  5. 1940s Pinball

  6. Arcade Games • Games companies sell units to distributors • distributors will either have space rented in locations, or sell to smaller operators • distributors rent space from locations, either a fixed rate or a percentage of the revenue • distributors will typically move games every 3 to 6 months

  7. Arcade Games

  8. Arcade Games - Business • Try to keep cost less than $5000US, some special games can be more expensive • expensive games have a bad reputation, need high volume or high price per game • produce custom hardware that is cheaper and harder to break than consumer products • try to use same hardware in several games

  9. Arcade Games - Design • Players pay per game: • want to attract players, play often • want to keep games short • most arcade games are based on physical action, not a lot of thinking or strategy • must be easy and quick to learn, no instruction manual

  10. Arcade Games - Design • Hard to come up with new arcade games, very limited genre • Game must be simple, easy to learn, few rules and easy to explain • Mainly based on reflex and manual skills • Most innovation now in racing games, games that require special hardware or playing areas

  11. Arcade Games • The main market segment in the 1970s • now a small part of the business: • hard to come up with new ideas for games, restricted range of things you can do • competition from games consoles • provided the original demand for game consoles, got the industry started

  12. Consoles • Special purpose device for games only • displays on TV, uses simple controllers for interaction • first consoles appears in early 1970s • early ones had a fixed set of games built into them, no expansion • some attempts at cartridges before microprocessors, but limited range of games

  13. Consoles - Pong • Pong was the first console game, one of the first arcade games • ball bounces off paddles on either side of screen • early versions were two player, each player controlled one paddle • later versions allowed you to play against the console

  14. Pong

  15. Consoles • First real console system was the Atari VCS • based on the 6502 microprocessor, limited amount of electronics in the console • the cartridge held the program for the game • cartridge had between 2K and 4K of memory

  16. Atari VCS

  17. Consoles • The VCS started the cartridge model that was used until recently • cartridge consists of a few memory chips and other ICs in a plastic container • early systems allowed anyone to make cartridges, later systems had special formats that were closely controlled by console company

  18. Consoles • Easy to produce cartridges for Atari systems, many companies started to compete with them • result: Atari went bankrupt, bad management also contributed • later companies learned their lesson from Atari, keep control of the game media

  19. Consoles - Business Model • There are several aspects • first, need to have very high volume: • reduces cost of individual units • large market share means more games, developers interested in your console • console companies now aim for millions of units

  20. Consoles - Business Model • Most of the profit made from games, not the consoles • consoles are often sold at a loss, widely denied by the industry • console company produces the cartridges, or other game media • game company must sell their games through the console company

  21. Consoles - Business Model • Console companies claim they want to maintain quality, but really want to maintain profit • major problem: game companies always feel the console companies want too much • no opportunity for independent distributors • console companies in control, select the game companies

  22. Consoles - Business Model • Need a new generation of consoles every 3 to 5 years • people get tired of old games, need to get something new • also about the right time to update the technology, give people a reason to buy new game cartridges

  23. Consoles • Consoles controlled most of the game market from late 1970s through most of the 1990s • computers are now common, provide competition for consoles • several challenges for consoles • need to keep up with PCs, but still remain cheap, under $300US

  24. Consoles • Limited amount of space for games • move from cartridges to CD to DVD, still hard to compete with PC • network support required for online games, adds more to the cost • will consoles evolve into PCs?

  25. Consoles – Player Participation • Limited writable storage, hard to customize games • PC games allow players to create own content, can be an important part of some games • Consoles are closed, so players can’t create their own content • Lower feeling of ownership and participation in the game

  26. Console Wars • Unlike PCs, companies have control over hardware and software • provide more than games: network connection, DVD player, etc • aim to control the living room, delivery of content to the home • major fight between Sony (content company) and Microsoft (computer company)

  27. Computer Games • Where it all started, now probably the most popular form • this is the most powerful game platform, can take advantage of all PC hardware • most innovative, the lowest entry barrier to the industry, best entry point for new companies

  28. Computer Games - History • First computer game 1961/62, Space War • written for PDP-1 computer, show its capabilities • very simple line graphics, but interesting to play • a two player game, couldn’t play against the computer

  29. Space War

  30. PDP-1

  31. Computer Games - History • Space War started the industry, first arcade games modeled on Space War • most early computer games were produced in universities and research labs • no distribution mechanism, no way to sell them, games were produced purely for fun • most games had limited distribution, until there were computer networks

  32. Computer Games - History • People’s Computer Company - founded around 1975, popularize computers for the home, etc • produced Creative Computing, first publication to treat home computing, games and computer art seriously • book of early computer games, all written in Basic, run on most home computers

  33. Computer Games - History • Home computers started the industry, started in the late 1970s and grew in the 1980s • problems: • most early computers were quite limited • too many models, market was too fragmented • computer games were a small industry

  34. Computer Games - History • The PC changed that, dominated the market and provided a good platform • through the 1980s and at least first half of 1990s the consoles still dominated • by the late 1990s most of the innovation was occurring in PC games • PCs now command a significant part of the market

  35. Computer Games • PCs have a number of advantages over consoles: • faster hardware evolution, not restricted to 6 year technology cycle • more storage for games • network access for multi-player games • easier to do certain types of games on PCs

  36. Game Genres • A number of game genres have been produced • game industry tends to use very fine classification: • games within the same genre compete • small genres mean more room for games without competition • We use a much coarser classification

  37. Action • Started by arcade games, due to limited play time, what they could do best • based on physical action, co-ordination, shooting, etc • early games really had no characters, mainly shooting at objects • not very sophistication graphics, but lots of action

  38. Space Invaders

  39. Action • With characters question of point of view • in first person don’t really see the character, see game from player’s point of view • gives a sense of immersion in the game • FPS - first person shooter is the best example of this, games such as Doom and Quake are good examples • tend to be violent

  40. Action • Some action games use a third person view, Mario series of games is a good example • ability to watch the character • several versions: • over the shoulder, get same view as character • bird’s eye or remote view, get a complete view of the game area, remote control of the character

  41. id Software • The company that defined FPS • produced the DOOM and Quake series of games • produced one of the first 3D games, Wolfenstein 3D • DOOM was one of the first online games, allowed 4 people to play together

  42. id Software • The first levels of DOOM were distributed as shareware, had to buy the full game • id allows players to add to their games, produce new levels and objects: • source code for games available for free • level design tools available for free • some players have produced almost complete games on their own

  43. id Software • Produced almost a religious following, have many fans, many web sites • more info on id games than any other company • the Quake game engine has been used by over 20 successful games produced by other companies

  44. Adventure/RPG • Started as computer game, around 1975 • first versions motivated by D&D and similar RPGs • started as text based games, the first one was call adventure, thus the name of the genre • graphical adventure games didn’t appear to about 10 years later

  45. Adventure/RPG • The closest games to a narrative or story line • the player is placed in an imaginary world, explores the world, solves puzzles, accumulates treasures • some games involve fighting, but many others don’t, usually a small part of the game

  46. Adventure/RPG • RPGs allow the player to play some role • be a character different from real life • a good story and situation is necessary to make this realistic • quite often the games have a lot of written documentation to set the scene or provide background to the story • entry video can serve same purpose

  47. Paper Based Games • Role playing and strategy games started before the computer • Military games have been played for a long time • Played on a map, use markers or characters that are shaped like troops, guns, tanks, etc • Sometimes based on real battles

  48. Paper Based Games • Players would take turns moving their armies, a set of rules used to determine the winner in each encounter • Role playing games came along a bit later • Still based on paper boards and moving characters around the board – but now you are the character • May not involve fighting, may be exploration

  49. Paper Based Games • Dungeon and Dragons (D&D) was the most popular • Loosely based on Lord of the Rings and similar stories • Sophisticated set of rules for generating characters and fighting • Dungeon master created the playing area and refereed the play

  50. Paper Based Games • Simulation games also started at this time • A number of games based on finance and stock trading • Many of the great game designers came from the paper game community • A lot of the design ideas, and the mechanics behind the games was worked out during this period