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 • 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 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 • 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 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
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
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
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
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
Schedule • 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)
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!
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.)
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
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
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)
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”
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!