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Computer Game (4190.420) Course Overview

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

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  1. Computer Game (4190.420)Course Overview Jehee Lee

  2. 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.

  3. 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.”

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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)

  11. 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!

  12. 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.)

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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)

  16. 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”

  17. 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!

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