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Introduction to Computer Games

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Tools for Game Design and Development. Some Milestone Games ... OGRE, Crystal Space, Irrlicht, jME, Panda3D, Reality Factory, The Nebula Device 2 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to Computer Games


1
Introduction to Computer Games
Ali Arya Carleton School of Information
Technology
2
Introduction Topics
  • History of Video Games
  • Games
  • Concepts
  • Elements
  • Production Team
  • Production Process
  • Tools for Game Design and Development

3
Some Milestone Games
  • Pong and space invaders 1st videogame hits
  • Pac-man fine tuning existing ideas
  • Star raiders 1st 3D space combat
  • Wing Commander cut scenes
  • 7th Guest, FF, MGS video cut scenes (cinematics)
  • Half-life integrated cut scenes
  • SimCity/Sims
  • Wolfenstein3D/Doom/Quake 3D engine, FPS
  • Civilization
  • Tomb Raider

4
Pong by Atari (1972)
  • The story begins.
  • The first commercially successful video game
  • Table tennis

5
Games to Remember
6
Cut Scenes?
  • Slide-show
  • Video
  • Live-action or animated
  • High-quality
  • Integrated
  • Using game engine
  • Not different from gameplay scenes

7
Doom by id Software (1993)
  • Pioneer in 3D graphics
  • Next generation of Wolfenstein 3D
  • Re-usable engine
  • Violence, satanic imagery, and other
    controversies

8
The Sims by Maxis (2000)
  • Simulated characters, simulated life
  • SimCity (1989)
  • God-game!

9
Audience
  • Female players and designers
  • Game developers have realized that games are not
    just for boys!
  • Need to understand the audience

10
Whats a Game?
  • Creative expression
  • Art
  • Beauty?
  • Entertainment
  • Non-interactive
  • Interactive playing environments
  • Toys do not have rules or goals
  • Puzzles have goals
  • Games have rules and goals
  • Conflict and competition not necessary
  • Fun?

11
Playing Games
  • Activity
  • Play
  • Main purpose
  • Fun (It can have different meaning.)
  • Also
  • Goals (Is it necessarily winning?)
  • Has
  • Rules (vs. Fiction)

12
Example
Thou shall not bite,
or bite hard, thy brothers ear!
13
Essential Elements
Pretending Artificial importance (magic circle)
Play Participatory Non-linear Fun
Goals Will result in Facing challenges Performing
actions
Rules Define goals, challenges,
actions. Understandable!
14
Example Board Games
15
Gameplay
  • Gameplay therefore consists of
  • The challenges that a player must face to arrive
    at the object of the game, and
  • The actions that the player is permitted to take
    to address those challenges

16
Storytelling
  • Most games incorporate some kind of story
  • Video games can mix story-like and game-like
    entertainment almost seamlessly
  • They can make player feel he is inside a story
    and affecting flow of events
  • This is one reason why video games are considered
    a new medium

17
Story vs. Gameplay
18
Example Half-Life
  • Relatively well-developed characters and
    storyline
  • Can give players reason for performing actions
  • Can cause emotional attachment
  • So the experience will be more enjoyable.
  • For whom?

19
Game Production
  • Originally considered a software development
    project
  • Artistic tasks and content development were added
    later, requiring new skills, team members, and
    project structure
  • Game engines also transformed game development to
    more scripting than programming.

20
Development Team
Design Game Designer Level Designer Writer
Art Art Lead Concept, Character, Background,
Animation, Texture, Sound, etc
Producer(s) External Internal Assistants
Programming Tech Lead AI and Logic, Physics,
Effects, Sound, Tools, DB, Networking MU, etc
Test Test Lead Testers
21
Game Producers
  • External
  • From publisher
  • Internal
  • From development company
  • aka project manager or director
  • Assistant
  • Assets, daily tasks (builds, backup, etc),
    screenshots, PR, checking milestones, paperwork,
    etc

22
Design Team
  • Game designer
  • Play a lot of games!
  • Use demos and reviews, look around, chat, etc
  • Level designer
  • Very new field of work
  • Writer
  • Not a linear medium!
  • Not dialog-based

23
Programming Team
  • Tech lead
  • Programmers
  • AI and Logic
  • Physics
  • Tools, DB, network and multi-player
  • Graphics effects, sound effects, weapons
  • Scripting languages

24
Art Team
  • Art director
  • Artists
  • Concept
  • Character modeling
  • Background modeling
  • Animation
  • Texture
  • Sound, etc

25
Externals
  • Music
  • Voice
  • Sound effects
  • Video
  • Motion capture
  • Language localization
  • Legal, manual, etc

26
Production Lifecycle
  • Concept development and design
  • Pre-production (proof of concept)
  • Production
  • Test (alpha and beta)
  • Release
  • Maintenance
  • Upgrade

27
Concept Development
  • Summary (aka high concept)
  • Pitch (aka proposal or concept doc)
  • High concept
  • Genre
  • Gameplay (objectives, challenges, actions)
  • Features (interaction, perspective, characters,
    weapons, etc)
  • Setting
  • Story
  • Target audience
  • Platform
  • Competition
  • Estimated budget and schedule
  • Team
  • Risk Analysis
  • Example

28
Example Machine Imprint
29
Example Machine Imprint
30
Pre-Production
  • Project plan
  • Design documents
  • Game design
  • Character, world, flow, story, level, etc
  • Technical design
  • Art bible (style guide)
  • Art production plan
  • Prototype

31
Examples of Concept Art
32
Examples of Concept Art
33
Examples of Concept Art
34
Example Level Design
35
Example Puzzle Design
36
Example Interactivity
37
Production
  • Includes technical and artistic parts
  • Creating art assets, animations, rendering, etc
  • Developing software modules, implementing
    gameplay and user interface
  • Integration
  • Local testing

38
Model Development
IMD 4901 February 8th, 2007
38
39
Model Development
IMD 4901 February 8th, 2007
39
40
Objects
Computer terminal 1
Drink machine 1
Security camera 1
IMD 4901 February 8th, 2007
Reception desk 4
Bookshelf 1
40
41
Environments
42
Motion Capture
43
Testing
  • Gameplay functionality
  • Unit/character functionality
  • Story progression
  • User interface
  • Sound and music
  • Compatibility
  • Gold master/final checklist

44
Test-related Versions
  • Alpha
  • Features and assets
  • Expected bugs
  • Closed Beta
  • No severe defects (crash-bug)
  • Open Beta
  • Public access for test
  • Release

45
Publishing
  • Public relations (PR)
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Stores
  • Distributors
  • Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)
  • Promotion

46
Tools and Technologies
  • Art Tools
  • Programming Languages
  • Game Engines
  • Game and 3D World Design Tools
  • Consoles (Xbox, PlayStation, Wii, etc) have their
    own specific tools which are usually very
    expensive!

47
Art Tools
  • 3D modeling and animation
  • Maya, 3DS Max, Blender, MilkShape3D
  • 2D graphics and animation
  • Flash, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter
  • Audio editing
  • Sony Sound Forge, Audacity, Sweep
  • Can have their own programming language
  • ActionScript for Flash and MelScript for maya

48
Programming Languages
  • C/C
  • Most powerful and common for games
  • Most difficult to learn and use!
  • Java
  • Provides security and is cross-platform
  • Not as efficient (slow performance)
  • Widely used for mobile and causal games
  • C
  • For Microsoft .NET framework
  • Only Windows and Xbox
  • XNA framework provides free tools for console
    game development (Xbox)

49
Game Engines
  • Commercial
  • Blade3D, Havok, Source, Torque
  • Free and open-source
  • OGRE, Crystal Space, Irrlicht, jME, Panda3D,
    Reality Factory, The Nebula Device 2
  • TorqueX is special edition of Torque for XNA
  • Not really free and almost open-source!
  • Can have their own art and programming tools
  • Example Torque Builder and TorqueScript

50
Other Tools
  • Game Maker Free tool for making simple games
  • Alice Free 3D programming tool
  • Adventure Game Studio Free tool for creating
    adventure games
  • Multiverse Free tool for creating online virtual
    worlds
  • Inform Free design tool for interactive fiction
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