Intro to Game Design CIS 126
TERMINOLOGY • game development has many descriptive terms are commonly used when talking about games. • It is important to understand, or at least have some idea of, what a word means when you run across it in the materials.
Game Views • A game view is the player's perspective in the game. Is the player seeing everything through a character's eyes or from above? Each of the possible views has its own name. The game view is sometimes referred to as the point of view. \
3D • This generic term encompasses almost all possible views of any game that is not two-dimensional. • Specific types of popular 3D views have their own terms (listed next). Almost all the most popular storebought computer games (use a 3D view.
Chase • This type of 3D camera view is popular in some sports games, such as hockey and football. • The camera (that is, what you see) follows the character or the action and may even swing around to get the best angle.
First person • This view is what it would be like to see the environment from the character's point of view. • First-person-view games are very popular in shoot-'em-up games such as Quake, Half-Life, and Unreal Tournament.
Isometric • This is one of the most widely used 3D views. • You may have seen this view in games such as Diablo (see Figure 1.2) or Electrotank's Mini Golf. • It is used frequently because it enables you to get away with graphical tricks that reduce the work of both the programmer and the graphic artist.
Side • This type of view lets you see what is happening from the sidelines. • You may have seen this view in games such as Super Mario Brothers or Donkey Kong. • Side views are very popular in platform games and are almost always two-dimensional.
Third person • This term describes any view that isn't either first person or seen through another character's eyes. • Most of the views such as the isometric view, are third-person views.
Top down • The top-down view, which is a third-person view, shows you the game area as seen from above, the way a bird would see it. This view is popular for games like the original Zelda and for many puzzle games
General Terminology • Here are some commonly used game development terms that you should know.
Algorithm • An algorithm is a logical process by which a problem can be solved or a decision made. • An algorithm can be represented in a programming language, but it is more abstract than that. • You can create a process to sort a list of names. This process is an algorithm and can be expressed with ActionScript or any other programming language.
Artificial intelligence (AI) • This refers to an algorithm or set of algorithms that can make decisions in a logical way. • The AI routine for a bad guy in a game might let him figure out how to find you. • Another use of Al is to have a maze or puzzle be solved automatically.
Avatar • Some chat rooms are designed to enable users to have graphical representations. These are called avatars, and the chat is often referred to as an avatar-chat.
Client • In the application and gaming sense, client refers to the person playing the game or chatting or the machine that is being used to do so. • If there are 100 people in a chat, then there are 100 client machines connected to the chat.
Collision detection • Also called hit detection, collision detection is the act of noting the intersection of two objects. • This can be something as simple as determining if the mouse pointer is over a button or as complicated as detecting the overlap of two moving objects
Collision reaction • This is what happens after a collision has been detected. The term is usually used when talking about physical reactions, such as two billiard balls colliding and moving apart, or a ball bouncing off the ground.
Console • A computer designed for the sole purpose of playing video games. Among the console manufacturers are Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. Popular console gaming platforms are Sony Playstation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Nintendo Game Boy.
Map • An area that defines the world of the game.
Multiplayer Server • Also known as a socket server or multi-user server, a multiplayer server is what makes multiplayer games and chats possible in Flash. • It is an application that runs on a remote computer and handles routing information to connected computers.
Real-time- • Unlike turn-based games, in real-time games you can make a move whenever you like.
Rende • To render is to draw an object to the screen. This term is most often used in reference to 3D games: The 3D engine calculates where a projectile should be and then renders it.
Source code- • Also known as source, source code is the original work created by a developer. • Source code is compiled, or published, into a new file. This compiled file is what users will see, not the source itself In Flash, the source is a fla (or FLA) file, and its published version is a.swf (or SWF) file. • This serves to protect the author's work so that another person cannot take the source.
Sprite- • This is an object that can, internally, change how it is displayed. • In Flash, a movie dip can be a sprite. Take a character that can walk and jump, • one movie clip can contain all the needed animations (walk cycle, jump cycle, and so on)
Turn-based • This refers to a restriction on when you, the game player, can make a move. For instance, chess is a turn-based game; rather than make a move whenever you want, you must wait for your turn. Many multiplayer games are set up this way, as we will see later in the book.
Vector graphics • Notable for their small file sizes and scalability, vector graphics are defined by sets of mathematical points. • Flash uses this graphics format to great advantage.
World • This is a general term that refers to an entire game environment
Games Genres • A game genre is a type or category of game. As with movies, there are many game genres, and they are often hard to classify. • Some games may fit in more than one genre. Here's a list of the most popular genres.
Action • An action game has moving objects and focuses on your timing, reflexes, hand-eye coordination, and quick thinking to achieve a good score. • Most games have some action in them but aren't necessarily considered "action games." • Space Invaders and Half-Life are good examples of action games.
Adventure- • Often confused with RPGs, adventure games let you control a character in an environment while the story is discovered. • Unlike what happens in an RPG, your actions do not affect your character's overall abilities. • Examples of adventure games range from Super Mario Brothers to the games in the King's Quest series.
Casino- • One of the most popular genres to play on the Internet is casino (that is, gambling) games, such as Poker and Roulette.
Educational • In an educational game, the goal is to educate the player. • This game can also be a part of another genre; for instance, you can have an educational puzzle game.
First-person shooter • This style of game lets you see a world through the character's eyes as you run around and try to shoot anything that moves. • Typically the action in these games takes precedence over the story
Puzzle- • A puzzle game, also called a logic game, challenges your mind more than your reflexes • . Many puzzle games are timed or limit the amount of time in which you can make a move. Games such as Tetris and Sobokan are good examples of puzzle games. • Puzzle games also include some classics such as Chess and Checkers.
Sports • A sports game is an action game with rules that mimic those of a specific sport. • NHL 2004, by Electronic Arts, is an ice hockey sports game.
Role-playing game (RPG) • An RPG is a game in which you, the game player, control a character in its environment. • In this environment, you encounter other beings and interact with them. • Depending on your actions and choices, the characters attributes (such as fighting ability, magical powers, and agility) change, and so may the story. Baldur's Gate is an RPG.
Strategy • This type of game focuses on your resourcefulness and dealmaking ability as you try to build and/or run something. • In some games, your goal is to successfully build and run a city; in others, what you have to build or run can be anything from an army to a roller coaster. • Examples include about any of the Sim City derivatives or Roller Coaster Tycoon
Flash Limitations • Like all software applications, Flash games have limitations. • Macromedia has added an amazing number of new features and capabilities to Flash with each release, but it can't do everything (yet).
Web deployment- • Because Flash files are designed to be viewed in web pages, Flash is a good choice if you want your game to be available on the Internet.
Device deployment- • Flash files are supported on an increasing number of devices, such as set top boxes, cell phones, PDAs, and even watches! Because Flash is supported, so too are Flash games, which is an exciting prospect for Flash game developers.
Small file size • Flash makes use of vector graphics and compressed sound files, so a Flash game's final file size can be exponentially smaller than those of games developed on other platforms.
Plug-in penetration • The plug-in that's required for viewing Flash files in a web page comes with all major browsers. More than 98 percent of people on the Internet worldwide can view Flash content. The exact penetration for each version of the plug-in is listed on the Macromedia website (go to www.macromedia. com/software/ player census).
Server-side integration • Flash games can talk to the server seamlessly. Using Flash's built-in features, you can communicate with server-side applications that make chats, multiplayer games, and high score lists possible.
File sharing between programmer and graphic artists/designers • With Flash, programmers and graphic artists can collaborate using the same source files. This is rare in game development.
Ease of use • Perhaps one of the most attractive reasons for choosing Flash is that you can learn the program and start creating games in a very short time. With other languages, it could take years!
Performance • Macromedia spent thousands of hours making the required Flash plug-in for the web as small as possible • Flash underperforms virtually all other gamedevelopment platforms in speed of code execution and graphics rendering. • On the other side of the fence, game-development platforms such as Macromedia Director and WildTangent perform very well but have enormous plug-ins. • Few people can view such content without being forced to download the plug-in in addition to the game.
Lack of 3D support • Flash doesn't provide native support for real 3D engines or for any sort of texture mapping (the act of applying an image to a 3D polygon).
Lack of operating-system integration • When you run your game as a Projector file, Flash cannot easily talk to the local operating system to do things such as browse files on the hard drive. • possible with the use of third-party software • Most of the developers who choose Flash as their game-creation tool do so because they want their games to be available on the Internet. • If the intention is to have the game available offline on CD-ROM, then Flash is still a choice-just not necessarily the best choice.