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PPT

  1. 1. History and futures of computer gaming CS 370 -- Computer Game Design Ken Forbus Spring, 2003
  2. 2. Some advice for the party <ul><li>Do setup early </li></ul><ul><li>Always have someone at your game </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure that both Rob and I see it </li></ul><ul><li>Have fun! </li></ul>
  3. 3. Question: How will computer gaming evolve? <ul><li>To see forward, start by looking backward </li></ul><ul><li>What constraints are shaping the system? </li></ul><ul><li>Overview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brief history of computer gaming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forces on the industry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some questions designers are struggling with </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Prehistory: The Arcade <ul><li>1930: Electromechanical pinball machines created, improving earlier purely mechanical models. US-manufactured machines spread through the world </li></ul><ul><li>Late 1940s: Pachinko developed in Japan </li></ul><ul><li>1954: Sega founded by US G.I. (= Service Games Company) to import coin-operated games </li></ul>Photo Source: http://www.sandsmuseum.com/coinop/games/chicago/chicago.html
  5. 5. 1960’s -- early 1970’s: The first computer games <ul><li>Ran on mainframe computers </li></ul><ul><li>Generate music </li></ul><ul><ul><li>amplifier hooked to register bit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AM radio near right part of the machine </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SpaceWar developed on MIT PDP-1 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Main use of AI Lab’s PDP-6 on nights and weekends </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ASCII-based Star Trek games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can find their descendents today in BASIC bargain bins </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1975: William Crowther developed Adventure, first text-based adventure game (KA-10) </li></ul>
  6. 6. 1970’s: First commercial attempts <ul><li>1972: Syzygy formed by Nolan Bushnell </li></ul><ul><li>1973: Computer Space (based on Space War) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>first commercial electronic arcade game. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Too hard, failed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1974: Pong. Huge hit in bars, pinball arcades </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example of early multiplayer game (optional) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tank Command, Battlezone, … </li></ul><ul><li>Renamed company as “Atari” </li></ul>Photo sources: http://www.klov.com/C/Computer_Space.html http://www.gamearchive.com/video/manufacturer/atari/ vector/html/battlezone.html
  7. 7. Late 1970’s: The first Home Invasion <ul><li>1977: Atari introduces first home game console </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2600 VCS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2KB ROM, 128 bytes RAM </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1977: Apple II arrives on the market </li></ul><ul><li>1979: Third-party development houses (e.g., Activision) start up </li></ul>Photo source: http://www.atariage.com/
  8. 8. Early 1980’s: The Boom <ul><li>1980 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Phillips Odyssey and Mattel Intellivision reach the market. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nintendo’s Donkey Kong arrives in arcades </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Namco’s Pac-Man does $2.3B business (1997 dollars) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Atari reaches $1B </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1981 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Game Industry exceeds $6B in sales </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IBM introduces the IBM PC </li></ul></ul>Photo sources: http://www.pong-story.com/ody2001.htm http://www.intellivisionlives.com/
  9. 9. 1981-1982: The Crash <ul><li>Atari sales down 50%, loses money </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Market flooded with poor quality games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Buys license for E.T. for $22M </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Game companies targeting home computers form </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Electronic Arts, Sierra On-Line, Broderbund </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mattel loses $225M from Intellivision </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wipes out profits from previous four years </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1984: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Industry drops to below $800M </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apple introduces the Macintosh </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Late 1980s: Struggling back to life <ul><li>1985: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nintendo introduces NES to US </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strict software control, restricts companies to producing 5 games/year </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Atari tries for comeback with 16-bit ST </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commodore ships Amiga, designed to support games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bad marketing kills it, although it lives on as an orphan </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>1986:Sega ships Sega Master Console system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fails due to lack of developer buy-in </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1987: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Electronic Arts releases its first in-house game </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More games show up for IBM PC </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Early 1990s: Resurgence <ul><li>1989 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sega Genesis released, fueled by EA sports titles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers 3 sells 11M copies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1990: Amiga, Atari ST die </li></ul><ul><li>1991: Nintendo launches Super-NES (16 bit) </li></ul><ul><li>1992: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PC gaming explodes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nintendo sales reach $7B ($4.7B in US); higher profits than all US movie and TV studios combined </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Turn of the century <ul><li>Nintendo N64 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Home SGI machine </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PlayStation 2 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Emotion engine” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dreamcast born and dies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s the games, dummy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Microsoft Xbox struggles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Will directX rule? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Renaissance in PC Gaming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many titles, large sales, creative use of peripherals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Apple improves its support for games </li></ul>
  13. 13. The serpent in the garden: Economics <ul><li>Why aren’t games as big a form of entertainment as </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Movies? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Television? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sports? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Horse racing? </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Example: Blade Runner (1998) <ul><li>No film reused from movie; all done via animation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>230GB of graphical assets, uncompressed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2,600 motion capture sequences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rendering farm = 90 dual 233mhz PII’s, 256MB RAM </li></ul><ul><li>Development environment = 3D studio MAX, with 150 plugins </li></ul>
  15. 15. Economics of Adventure games <ul><li>1998 Sales (US only) </li></ul><ul><li>Riven: $62.5M </li></ul><ul><li>Myst: $61.5M </li></ul><ul><li>Phantasmagoria: $12.5M </li></ul><ul><li>Gabriel Knight 2: $8.4M </li></ul><ul><li>The Dig: $6.1M </li></ul><ul><li>Blade Runner: $5.6M </li></ul><ul><li>Pandora Directive: $3.7M </li></ul><ul><li>Zork Grand Inquisitor: $1.9M </li></ul><ul><li>Last Express: $1.9M </li></ul><ul><li>Development costs: </li></ul><ul><li>Myst: $300K </li></ul><ul><li>Blade Runner: $4M </li></ul><ul><li>The Last Express: $6M </li></ul><ul><li>Typical graphical adventure: between $1-4M </li></ul>
  16. 16. Major problem: Marketing <ul><li>Megahit mentality </li></ul><ul><li>Hard-core gamers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Male, 16-34 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Computer savvy, enough disposable income to buy latest hardware, software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most developers cater to this market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This group is at most 20% of the US population </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Problem: How to expand the base of players? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Younger people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Older people </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. The tricky economics of online games <ul><li>Example: Meridian 59 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10,000 players/month </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revenues covers ongoing production & maintenance costs only </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No profit, no payback for development costs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>One analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: Paul Palumbo, “Online vs. Retail Game Title Economics”, Gamasutra January 9, 1998 Vol. 2: Issue 2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assume: Development costs $1.2M; Flat rate of $7.95/month; gross margin of 60% desired; 20% churn/month </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need 20,000 monthly subscribers, 68,000 new subscribers/year </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Online gaming = Service industry <ul><li>Source: Jessica Mulligan, “Online Gaming: Why won’t they come” Gamasutra Vol 2: Issue 9, Feb 27, 1998 </li></ul><ul><li>Potential market huge: 2.5M hardcore gamers with net work access, but most games have about 10K </li></ul><ul><li>Claim: Successful games focus on customer service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>90% of the work occurs after the game is deployed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Having sysops who resolve disputes and fix bugs on the spot essential to success </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Model perturbations yield possible trends <ul><li>Implementation possibilities expanding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moore’s Law continues, at least for a while </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Richer models now possible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Which expands opportunities for immersion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New kinds of stories can be told </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New generativity in imagined worlds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiparticipant stories </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Some questions game designers are grappling with
  21. 21. How might stories evolve?
  22. 22. Will lifelike animation kill full-motion video?
  23. 23. Will inverse kinematics kill motion capture?
  24. 24. Is 2D versus 3D like B&W/Color or like animation/live action?
  25. 25. How to exploit new modalities? <ul><li>Speech I/O becoming reasonable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More developers are shipping text to speech, limited recognition capabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vision input around the corner? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential applications? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Helmets, and gloves and sensors? </li></ul>
  26. 26. What can we do to improve game AI? <ul><li>“AI code gets big -- 1000, 2000 lines” (speaker at 1998 GDC) </li></ul><ul><li>“Games are going to become AI-bound” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brian Schmidt, Xbox project manager </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. What game(s) would you like to see?

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