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Computer Game (4190.420) Course Overview Jehee Lee What is game? Homo Ludens (1938) Johan Huizinga, Dutch historian Dictionary Webster, activity engaged in for diversion or amusement

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Computer game 4190 420 course overview l.jpg

Computer Game (4190.420)Course Overview

Jehee Lee

What is game l.jpg
What is game?

  • Homo Ludens (1938)

    • 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.

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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.”

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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

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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

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Computer Game and 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

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Tips for term project

  • There must be something new

    • Game design, play, visual, or what ever

  • It should be playful

    • We need a fun factor

  • It should be doable

    • limited time and resources

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Tips for term project

  • Do one thing well

    • Intriguing storylines

    • Great graphics

    • Witty sounds

    • Clever puzzles

    • New game concepts

    • Immersive narratives

    • Fancy AI learning

  • Don’t struggle with multiple levels

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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

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  • Brain Storming (Sep 28)

    • Each student prepares a short presentation

    • An idea of game design

    • Background and skills

    • Team organization

  • Project proposal (Oct 12)

    • Each team prepares a presentation

  • Progress meeting (Oct 28, Nov 18)

  • Final presentation (Dec 14)

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Tips for term project proposal

  • 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!

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Tips for term project proposal

  • 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.)

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Tips for term project proposal

  • Brainstorming

    • Make sure everyone attend meeting and get involved

    • Ensure free interchange of ideas

    • Make goals clear

    • Stay focused – don’t allow distractions

    • Make sure everyone is heard

    • Take notes

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Tips for term project proposal

  • 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

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Tips for term project proposal

  • 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)

    • Get some place first (e.g. racing)

    • 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)

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Tips for term project proposal

  • 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”

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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

  • 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!