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Game overview & term project tips 권태경 Fall, 2006 What is game? Homo Ludens Johan Huizinga, Dutch historian Dictionary Webster, activity engaged in for diversion or amusement

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what is game
What is game?
  • Homo Ludens
    • Johan Huizinga, Dutch historian
  • Dictionary
    • Webster, activity engaged in for diversion or amusement
    • Wikipedia, a structured or semi-structured, contrived recreational activity, usually undertaken for enjoyment. A goal and a set of rules are thus central to its definition.
what is game3
What is game?
  • The focus of this class is computer game
    • 21C 패러다임, “컴퓨터에서 흥미를 유발하는 내용물이 어떤 규칙에 의거한 선택과 결정과정을 통해 진행되어 나가도록 컴퓨터 프로그램에 의하여 제작된 것”
      • Not just a PC but any computing device
    • A. Rollings and D. Morris, “A computer game is a software program in which one or more players make decisions through the control of game objects and resources, in pursuit of a goal.”
game characteristics
Game characteristics
  • Pleasure
  • Rules
  • Competition and conflict
    • Active enemy (Puzzle vs. conflict)
    • Human (Multi-user) or computer
    • Attack to interfere
  • Choice
    • Sid Meier, "A [good] game is a series of interesting choices”
    • One of hardest part in game design
game characteristics5
Game characteristics
  • Interactivity
    • Active user participation
  • Narrative
    • Not just a story
    • the methods by which the story materials are communicated to the audience
    • Pulls the user forward through the experience
  • Goal
    • Game vs. toy
  • Non-linearity
    • Randomness
    • Multi-ending
game history
Game history
  • Prof. Lee will talk about this topic
game taxonomy genre
Game taxonomy, genre
  • Simulation game
    • 현실에서 불가능한 체험을 현실감 있게 경험
    • Strategy
      • Starcraft, Warcraft
    • Control
      • Flight simulator
    • 기타
      • SimCity, DDR, secondlife
  • Role playing game (RPG)
    • Dungeons and Dragons (D&D)
    • E.g. MMORPG
    • 캐릭터들은 다양한 특성과 능력이 있으며 게임의 진행을 통해서 성장시키는 시스템 존재 (Level up)
    • 게임의 story, scenario 가 중요 (storyline)
    • 주인공이 다른 사용자나 NPC들과 집단으로 게임 진행 (party)
game taxonomy genre8
Game taxonomy, genre
  • Adventure game
    • 탐험, 수집, 조종, 퍼즐, 전투
    • 1인 캐릭터 중심
    • 네트워크 플레이가 어려움
    • 영화적 연출 기법 가능
    • 게임 시나리오 작가 능력 중요
    • 반복 플레이가 어려움
    • Conversation
      • 초창기, 주인공과 캐릭터간 대화
    • Action
      • Puzzle 요소가 있어야 함
      • E.g. Tomb Raider
game taxonomy genre9
Game taxonomy, genre
  • Action game
    • Most of arcade games
    • Little puzzling factor
    • A sequence of increasingly difficult levels
    • Possibly multiple lives
    • Shooting
      • First person [perspective] shooting (FPS)
    • Fighting game
game taxonomy genre10
Game taxonomy, genre
  • Sports, racing game
    • Often imitates the real world
    • Physics engine for ball or vehicle
    • AI for other player movement
    • Recently, trademark, portrait right issues
      • Even for stadium!
game taxonomy genre11
Game taxonomy, genre
  • Casual game
    • no long-term time commitment or special skills
    • Mass audience, simple rules and gameplay
  • Puzzle game
    • Tetris, hexa, 뿌요뿌요
  • Board game
    • Playing cards, Flower cards, Go
game taxonomy platform
Game taxonomy, platform
  • Arcade game
  • PC game
  • Console game
    • Typically, connected to TV
    • X-box, Playstation
  • Mobile game
    • Cellular phone
  • Handheld game
    • Gameboy, PSP
  • Online game
    • E.g. Web-game
    • Often, multiple users are connected
      • Game server vs. Peer-to-peer
computer game and other relevant cs courses
Computer game and other relevant CS courses
  • programming
    • Programming language, data structure, algorithm,…
  • AI
  • User interface, human-computer interface
  • Graphics, animation
  • Network (TCP/IP)
  • Natural language processing
  • Distributed system
  • Software engineering
  • Math or physics
  • “Design”
  • “storytelling” or narrative
  • art

Non-CS area

principles behind game design
Principles behind game [design]
  • What do players want?
    • A challenge
    • To socialize
    • To play on their own (sometimes)
    • To win
    • Learning (grow up)
    • New activities (often, possible only in cyberspace)
    • Emotional experience
    • To fantasize
principles behind game design15
Principles behind game [design]
  • What do players expect?
    • Consistent game world
    • To understand game world boundaries
    • Reasonable solutions to problems
    • Sense of direction (goals and hints)
    • Accomplish goals incrementally
    • To be immersed in game world
    • To fail
    • Fair chance to win
    • Avoid unnecessary repetition
    • Not to get stuck hopelessly
    • Not to be passive watchers of all action sequences
principles behind game design16
Principles behind game [design]
  • game balance
    • Player/Player (Symmetry)
      • Player’s performance is based on skill and a little “luck”
      • A player who makes no mistake should not get stuck
    • Player/Gameplay (Interaction)
      • game learning should also be fun
      • Reward the player
      • Let the machine do the chores
      • Make a game player-friendly (save options should be used at minimum)
        • Player should not feel the game is too hard or too easy
    • Gameplay/Gameplay (Balance: e.g. rock-scissors-paper)
      • dominated and dominant strategy should not exist
      • Every option should be useful at least in certain situations
      • Comparable choices: e.g. enhance either offense or defense
      • The cost of a feature must match the power of acquiring the feature
      • Tradeoff: physical strength vs. magic power
      • Combination: synergy or redundancy
10 basic rules in commercial game design
10 basic rules in [commercial] game design

Concept -> structure -> design

  • Start with a good story and a good concept
  • Write down your design on paper or equivalent
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew
  • Know your target audience e.g. age, gender
  • Come up with a new idea
  • Be flexible follow a rapid prototyping mindset
  • Design for the future
  • Think series or sequels
  • Content is everything
    • Use of graphics and technology
    • Game is fun to play
  • Give the players goals
typical game architecture
Typical game architecture
  • In single user case
nokia top 10 usability recommendations
Nokia Top 10Usability Recommendations
  • Provide a clear menu structure
  • Simplicity is key
  • Provide help when needed
  • Be relentlessly consistent
  • Don’t waste the user’s time
    • Allow user to skip introduction
    • Do not require re-entry of data
  • Use natural controls
  • Enable save and pause
  • Conform to real-world expectations
    • Realistic physics model
  • Go easy on sound
    • Use for feedback
    • Allow it to be turned off
    • Make game playable with sound off
  • Implement a high score list
tips for term project
Tips for term project
  • Do one thing well
    • Intriguing storylines
      • Plot point
    • Great graphics
    • Witty sounds
    • Clever puzzles
    • New game concepts
    • Immersive narratives
    • Fancy AI learning
  • Don’t struggle with multiple levels
tips for term project21
Tips for term project
  • Understand your tools
    • Do one thing well
    • The various tools have strengths & weaknesses
    • Don’t fight the tool
      • Understand what the tool is good for and tailor your project for that tool
    • Also.. Don’t fight your team’s skills
tips for term project22
Tips for term project
  • 1st presentation
    • The game description
      • genre, scenario/storyline, character/maps, etc.
      • A few sketches or mocked-up screens
    • Development Schedule
      • As fine-grained as possible
      • Also state who is responsible for what
    • Assessment
      • What will be cool about your game

Everything can be changed during the project,

even with great game designers!

tips for 1 st presentation
Tips for 1st presentation
  • Getting a creative idea
    • Go to an extreme along one dimension of a game
    • Mix ideas from several games
    • Use ideas from books, movies, comics, etc.
    • Take a good game idea and make it better (e.g. improve graphics, AI, etc.)
tips for 1 st presentation24
Tips for 1st presentation
  • brainstorming
    • Make sure everyone attends meeting and is involved
    • Ensure free interchange of ideas
    • Make goals clear
    • Stay focused – don’t allow distractions
    • Make sure everyone is heard
    • Take notes
tips for 1 st presentation25
Tips for 1st presentation
  • Brainstorming a game
    • You can start with game play
      • This often dictates player interaction and style of play
      • Determines hardware needed
      • Total resources needed for game
    • You can start with story
      • In some genre (e.g. RPG), a story is central
      • May determine how players and NPC’s interact
      • Technology should match story line
tips for 1 st presentation26
Tips for 1st presentation
  • Achieving Goals
    • Always something for players to achieve
    • Make sure goals are not too easy or too hard
    • Three levels of goals
      • Long term (e.g. complete game)
      • Medium term (10-30 minutes)
      • Short term (0-60 seconds)
  • Common game goals
    • Eliminate other players
    • Score points (e.g. sports games)
    • Get some place first (e.g. racing games)
    • Solve puzzles
    • Gain territory (e.g. strategy games)
    • Improve abilities (e.g. role playing)
    • Develop social relationships (e.g. multiplayer games)
    • Play god (e.g. simulations)
tips for 1 st presentation27
Tips for 1st presentation
  • Choices and outcomes
    • Choice
      • A question asked of the player
    • Outcome
      • The end result of a given choice
    • Possibility space
      • Represents the set of possible events
      • A “landscape” of choice and outcome
  • Well-designed choices
    • Often desirable and undesirable effects
    • Should relate to player goals
    • Balanced against neighboring choices
      • Too much weight to every choice is melodrama
    • Orthogonal choices – distinct from others
      • Not just “shades of grey”
brainstorming example
Brainstorming example
  • Resource dynamics
    • Interest rate? Inflation?
  • New characters
    • animals, babies, kids, women,…
    • Self-growing units over time
    • Unit integration
    • unit trade
  • Realities
    • Physics
      • Air units can collide. KAMIKAZE!
    • Military engineer for constructions
    • Logistics
    • Prisoners of War (POW)
  • Interaction with real world
    • E.g. send help messages to cellular phone
    • May hinder game immersion
  • Hints from other domain
    • Movies, novels, history,…

Check consistency!

Be a Dreamer!