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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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what is game
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 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
computer game and relevant cs courses
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
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 project8
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 project9
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
  • 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
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 proposal12
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 proposal13
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 proposal14
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 proposal15
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 proposal16
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
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!