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Computer Game Design

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  1. Computer Game Design CIS 487/587 Bruce R. Maxim UM-Dearborn

  2. Kinds of Games 1.Adventure 2.Role playing 3.Sports 4.Card games 5.Arcade games 6.Flight simulators 7.3d games 8.Children’s games

  3. Platforms • Computer – Win95/98 Direct-x (Mac or pc) • Video games – console games • Multi-player games • Peer to peer – modem • Pc network • Client server

  4. Languages • Assembly • C • C++ • VB • Java • Flash

  5. Tools • Sound digitizer • Music editor or sequencer • Graphics tools like photo shop • Video digitizer • Video camera’s • Graphics library • Game engines

  6. Trends • 3D technology • Motion capture • Virtual reality • Improve interaction devices • Really good AI • Allow games to react to users dynamically • Build really good opponents

  7. Trends • Specialized play hardware • 3D accelerator cards • Wave audio • Force feedback devices • Web games (interactive)

  8. 1970’s and Earlier • Space War developed at MIT 1961 • Used vector graphics on PDP-1 • Star Trek popular in 70’s • Mainframes • Almost no graphics

  9. 1971 • Nolan Bushnell develops Computer Space from Space War • First commercial arcade game • Vector graphics • Company formed will become Atari

  10. 1972 • Atari releases pong as arcade game • Odyssey produced by Magnavox

  11. 1974 • Kee releases Tank • First game to use ROM • Atari releases Pong as home game

  12. 1975 • Wiliam Crowther develops Adventure • First text-based adventure • Ran on DEC PDP-10 mainframes

  13. 1976 • Bushnell sells Atari to Warner Communications • Warner markets home version of Pong • Breakout designed by Jobs and Wozniak

  14. 1977 • Apple begins selling Apple II • Atari introduces 2600 VCS as first home console with multiple games

  15. 1978 • Space Invader developed by Taito in Japan • Phillips creates Odyssey II • Adventure for Atari released

  16. 1979 • Activision created by Atari developers • First third party game development houses are created • Atari 800 introduced

  17. 1980 • Mattel creates Intellivision • Good graphics, poor controller • Namco markets Pac-Man as arcade game • Atari releases Asteroids • Zork released by Infocom

  18. 1981 • Game industry > $6 billion in sales • Nintendo releases Donkey Kong • Hot games • Galaxian • Centipede • Tempest • Ms. Pac-Man • IBM introduces the PC

  19. 1982 • Atari • Sales down 50% • Buys rights to develop ET • ColecoVision gets Donkey Kong • Activision releases Pitfall • Game companies start for home computers • Sierra On-Line • Broderbund • BudgeCo • Electronic Arts is formed

  20. 1983 • Mattel loses $225M from Intellivision • Atari loses money • Lots of poor quality games • Coleco crashes • Commodore 64 released as home computer • Dragon’s Lair released by Bluth Studios as first Laserdisk arcade game

  21. 1984 • Industry drops below $800M • Apple introduces MacIntosh • Birth of modern computer • Good graphics and sound • King’s Quest release by Sierra On-Line

  22. 1985 • Nintendo creates NES • Strict control on software • Sells cartridges to software distributors • Atari markets 16-bit 520ST as computer and game system • Carmen Sandiego released by Broderbund

  23. 1986 • Commodore ships the Amiga as computer system designed to support games • Sega ships Sega Master System as console game • Atari ships the 7800 • Nintendo is king (10 to 1)

  24. 1987 • Electronic Arts releases their first in-house game: Skate or Die • Serious games released for IBM PC’s • VGA and SVGA graphics

  25. 1988 • Tetris imported from Soviet Union

  26. 1989 • Sega Genesis released as 16-bit system • Sells EA sports titles to console market • Nintendo stays with 8-bit • Super Mario Brothers • Introduces Gameboy

  27. 1990 • Nintendo releases Super Mario 3 • Amiga and Atari die out • PC’s and consoles are major game platforms • Electronics Arts starts to buy out other publishers

  28. 1991 • Nintendo launches Super-NES as 16-bit machine • Nintendo has $7 billion in sales (higher profits than all US movie and TV studios combined)

  29. 1993 • Pentium chip launches • Sega and Nintendo consoles are 80% of game market • Panasonic ships Real-3DO as 32-bit software product • Civilization released

  30. 1994 • Atari ships 64-bit Jaguar • $700 for console • $100 for game titles • DOOM released by Id • Myst becomes the all time biggest game

  31. 1995 • Sega ships 32-bit Saturn • Sony ships 32-bit Playstation • Microsoft releases Win95 • Inlcudes DirectX as Game SDK • Internet and WWW explode • Full-motion video capture becomes part a game (e.g. 7th Guest)

  32. 1996 • Nintendo ships Ultra 64 • Multi-player gaming becomes serious • Modem • Network companies • Internet • Legend of Zelda generates more revenue in 6 weeks and any single movie

  33. 1997 • Force-feedback joy sticks and steering wheels • Games begin to assume 3D acceleration • Standardization around 3D-FX • Pentium II’s with 200MHz processors introduced

  34. 1998 • Lots of very good PC games • Playstation is console king

  35. 1999 • Sega Dreamcast • HDTV • UM-Dearborn offers first game design course

  36. 2000 • Development moves from PC’s to consoles • Playstation II • Diablo II • Sims

  37. 2001 • Gamecube from Nintendo • X-Box from Microsoft

  38. 2002 • PC Hardware Standard • 300 MHz Pentium • 64MB RAM • 300-700 MB disk space • CD ROM • MS Windows 95/98/2000/XP • DirectX • Sims best selling game of all time

  39. 2003 • SIMS on-line • SIMS Superstar • Star Wars Galaxies >275,000 registered users • Ports from consoles • Warcraft III • Half Life 2 • UT 2003

  40. 2004 • Serious games summit added to annual Game Developer Conference

  41. 2006 • World of Warcraft generates $1B in on-line subscription sales • Hand-held and cell phone games gross $3.5B in single year • Educators workshop added as GDC pre-conference workshop • UMD listed as as 9th best game design school in US