Weeks 6, 7 Game Design


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Weeks 6, 7 Game Design

  1. 1. History of Videogames Part One: The 1970s From Introduction to Game Study, Chapter 4 Thanks to Frans Mäyrä & SAGE Publications MontanaTech
  2. 2. Multi-Layered Meaning Making  Behind their digital surface, many games are „remediated‟ versions of old games.  Games have a close relationship with advances of technology. Early games like Tennis for Two or Spacewar were developed and used as demos of the powers of new technology.  It can be said that interactivity is what games are and what they do, at the very core of gameplay, hence they are great demos for the lastest hot tech.
  3. 3. Innovat Ralph Baer or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LsRGUOD HlQ  Developed the "Brown Box" console video game system and several other prototypes in 1966. In 1971, it was licensed to Magnavox, and after being renamed Magnavox Odyssey, the console was released to the public in 1972.  Created the first light gun and game for home television use, sold grouped with a game expansion for the Odyssey, known as the Shooting Gallery.[7] The light gun itself was the first peripheral for a video game console.  Another invention is Simon, an electronic pattern-
  4. 4. Games at the Forefront of Computing  Non-keyboard interfaces, immersive alternative realities and anthropomorphic characters were introduced by games (Bushnell, 1996).  Games demonstrate how computer software can be designed to be highly usable and enjoyable.  According to this view, games lead the way into an information society where most people are „computer literate‟.  MOORE‟S LAW says that computer power doubles every 18 months.
  5. 5. Game „Classics‟  The concept of „classic‟ relates to a „standard of excellence‟, which is referred to in discussions that compare, contextualise and make sense of different (artistic) phenomena.  As distinct from “Genre”, „Canon‟ refers to a body of „great works‟ that a civilised person is supposed to know.  This textbook introduces a certain group of „classic games‟ but many alternative „canons of digital games‟ can be created.
  6. 6. Three Decades of Digital Games  Our focus will be on three decades: 1970s, 80s and 90s.  There is no agreement of the exact periods in games‟ historiography.  The „golden age of video games‟ can, in different sources, refer to e.g. the years 1978–1981, 1978–1985, 1971–1983 or 1971–1984.  The early period is generally seen as more influential, original and important for game development than the years from late-1980s onwards.
  7. 7. Games in the Information Society  In social history terms, playing of popular games is rooted in the rise of affluence and free time in the late industrial societies.  “Hobbies” are activities that reflect and reproduce the values and activities typical to the work place.  Several thinkers have written about transition into an „information society‟, where the main emphasis is on knowledge and information in various forms.
  8. 8. Games in the Information Society  A digital game is immaterial information – software code – therefore the rise of the games industry is an interesting example of the information economy in action.  The instability of the games industry has displayed the risks of an information economy.  History includes the video game crash of 1977, then 1983, foreshadowing the „dot-com crash‟ of 2000-2002.  Despite this, the trend appears to be moving towards „experience economy‟ or „media society‟.
  9. 9. 1970s: Learning the Lexicon  The 1970s introduced the first video games, both in arcades and into homes.  Growing gradually more complex, the early games introduced players with the evolving „grammar and lexicon‟ (sets of key
  10. 10. PONG (1972): Popular and Simple More on page 58 Image credits: Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Pong.png  Watch video of original arcade PONG gameplay: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPkUvfL8T1I  Play a simple, single-player version of PONG: http://www.xnet.se/javaTest/jPong/jPong.html  More PONG remakes: http://www.pong-story.com/pcpong.htm
  11. 11. Designer/Engine er Al Alcorn http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWvjSppMqdA  Atari designer of Pong in 1972 – “the birth of interactive entertainment.”  Simple core gameplay and key factors of success: 1. 1. easy to learn controls 2. 2. Familiar game mechanics 3. 3. Infinite variety generated by multiplayer interaction
  12. 12. Secrets of PONG  The core gameplay idea is already widely familiar from tennis, squash and other similar, physical games.  Players know immediately what to do.  The single, turn-knob controller is easy to handle, but hard to master.  The on-screen PONG paddle was divided into eight segments, so that hitting the ball with the edges would produce angle shots.  As a two-player game against a real person as an opponent, PONG would provide infinite variety in its gameplay.
  13. 13. History of Gaming Devices  The physical and electronic characteristics of gaming devices matter considerably for most gamers.  The earliest digital games were often created with „mainframe‟ computers in research laboratories and universities.  Four main routes of mainstream game evolution:  arcade gaming consoles („arcade video games‟)  home video game consoles („video games‟)  home computers („computer games‟)  handheld consoles („electronic games‟).
  14. 14. Evolution of Controllers  There have been many kinds of special controllers developed for digital play.  Sometimes a good controller has provided a particular system with the necessary competitive edge. Above Atari VSC/Atari 2600 (1977); below, Nintendo Famicom/NES (1983) Image credits: Wikipedia, www.wikipedia.org
  15. 15. Shooter Game: Space Invaders (1978)  Shooting galleries were popular as fairground attractions.  Different kinds of digital „shooters‟ have become one of the most popular kinds of action games.  Space Invaders by Japanese Taito appeared as a “mixture between pinball and a Marvel comic”. (Sellers, 2001)  Introduced „high score‟ which contributed to the social playability of the game. Image credits: The International Arcade Museum, www.klov.com; The History of Computing Project, www.thocp.net
  16. 16. Designer/Engine er Toshihiro Nishikado http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7PNELxGPF8  What Nishikado achieved at the level of shell or representation, was the theme of a battle of laser defence against invading space aliens.  This effectively recreatedthe simple core concept into a new kind of “shell” experience – a science fiction action adventure.
  17. 17. “Playability” Playability is a concept related to HCI “usability which relates to learnability, memoriability, and effectivity of use. The extension of usability into the area of “fun.” Four divisions:  Functional playability– usability of game and its controls.  Structural playability – enjoyability of balance of game rules and challenges  Audio Visual – implementation of a/v into experience.
  18. 18. 1980s: Introducing Adventure, Characters and Fiction in Games  From 1970 to 1980 the total recreation expenditures in the US more than doubled.  It is questionable whether there was actually more leisure time available - people just used more money on leisure and entertainment.  Games profited from evolving technology by providing more complex digital entertainment.  The 1980s introduced fictional storytelling and character elements to mainstream digital games.
  19. 19. Pac-Man as a Pop Phenomenon  Pac-Man (Namco, 1980) was originally designed by Toru Iwatani, and in Japan it was called „Puck Man‟.  Designed to appeal to a wide audience, also females - one of the all-time most popular games.  Consciously avoided references to killing and war in its shell (imagery, thematic level).  Small, cute characters and cheerful melodies were designed.  Pac-Man toys, cereal, lunchboxes, a hit song and an animated cartoon series were produced to profit from its success.
  20. 20. Pac-Man‟s Characters  The main character was designed to illustrate the game‟s main activity: eating.  Chasing and escaping while navigating is the other main player activity.  Four ghost characters were differentiated by their colour and style of movement (which also gave them personality).  The ghosts‟ animated eyes showed their direction of movement. Image credits: Wikipedia, www.wikipedia.org.
  21. 21. Pac-Man Design  Pac-Man game design: arcade cabinet (US version, published by Midway), screenshots  Play a Pac-Man clone online: http://www.thepcmanwebsite.com/media/pacman_flash/ Image credits: The International Arcade Museum, www.klov.com.
  22. 22. Game Genre Systems  Game genre can be based on the game‟s shell or iconography („space game‟) or its interactivity (type of action: a „shooter game‟),  Large numbers of possible actions exist in games (listing them, Mark J.P. Wolf classifies games into 42 different genres).  From a descriptive linguistics perspective, genre terminology needs to be recognised by players to be truly useful.  Game genres are constantly being named and renamed by players, experts and game media: living game cultures are in a state of flux.
  23. 23. Genre of Pac-Man  If action decides the genre, Pac-Man can be called an „eating game‟.  Many classic board games are based on „eating‟ other player‟s game pieces.  Perhaps more importantly, Pac-Man is a „maze game‟: labyrinth navigation is a central feature.  The dynamics of chase increase the difficulty: player needs to multi-task in real time while navigating the maze.
  24. 24. Puzzles and Games  Chris Crawford (1984) compares and differentiates games from puzzles, stories and toys.  The quality and degree of interactivity is the key.  A puzzle does not actively respond to moves made by man (a static puzzle is not a „dynamic system‟).  Even a classic jigsaw puzzle can be made into a digital game - see http://www.jigzone.com/ (adds real-time counters, competitive challenge or conflict).
  25. 25. Visual Storytelling  By the early 1980s, there was already an entire generation (shikaku sedai, the visual generation) living immersed in Anime and Manga in Japan.  Japanese popular culture influenced digital game design.  The Japanese games enhanced the gameplay experience by introducing recognisable characters, exploration-inviting places and rudimentary storylines to motivate action.
  26. 26. Donkey Kong (1981)  Designed by Shigeru Miyamoto, Donkey Kong included cut scenes (short non-interactive sequences or movies) to advance the plot.  The villain of the game is the ape, which escapes with „Jumpman‟s‟ girlfriend and the player is faced with the task of winning her back.  Jumpman would later be known as Mario, the most famous game character of all time.  The game narrative progresses through four different game screens with different building platforms to climb - making this the archetypal „platform game‟.
  27. 27. Donkey Kong Art  Donkey Kong arcade cabin, screenshots  Play a Donkey Kong clone online: http://donkey-kong.freeonlinegames.com/ Image credits: The International Arcade Museum, www.klov.com.
  28. 28. Legacy of Donkey Kong  From the starting screen of escaping ape to the final screen with Jumpman rescuing the lady, Donkey Kong was able to convey an entire storyline.  The story progressed as a reward to successful player action - a solution that many games have replicated since then.  Many later Mario series games had similar features to Donkey Kong: sideways-depicted jumping landscapes, and „rescue the lady‟ type plots.
  29. 29. Popularity of Mario  The game designer of the Mario games (Shigeru Miyamoto) has become the most celebrated of all time - known also for the Legend of Zelda series.  More than 200 games with Mario characters have been published, selling nearly 200 million copies worldwide.  Relating to their popularity, Mario games have generally been well-designed: their high playability includes clear goals, immediate rewards from the successful use of game controls, enjoyable visual and audio design, and a „sense of magic‟ permeating their fictional universe.
  30. 30. Mario in the List of Best-Selling Games  Estimations of digital games that have sold over 10 million copies: 1. Super Mario Bros. (NES version) - 40.23 million 2. Tetris (Game Boy version) - 30 million 3. Pokémon Red, Blue and Green (Game Boy version) - 20.08 million 4. Super Mario World (SNES version) - 20 million 5. Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES version) - 18 million 6. The Sims (PC version) - 16 million 7. Pokémon Gold and Silver (Game Boy version) - 14.51 million 8. Super Mario Land (Game Boy version) - 14 million 9. Nintendogs (Nintendo DS version) - 13.6 million 10. Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire (Game Boy Advance version) - 13 million 11. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PlayStation 2 version) - (13 million) 12. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PlayStation 2 version) - (12 million) 13. Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (PlayStation 2 version) - (11 million) 14. Grand Theft Auto III (PlayStation 2 version) - 11 million 15. Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64 version) - 11 million 16. Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen (Game Boy Advance version) - 10.66 million 17. Gran Turismo (PlayStation version) - 10.5 million 18. Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES version) - 10 million 19. Pac-Man (Atari 2600 version) - 10 million  Source: www.wikipedia.org
  31. 31. Shigeru Miyamoto‟s Titles in Game Franchises  Entire series of games have been produced, known as franchises.  List of game franchises with more than 25 million units sold:  Mario (more than 193 million)  Sonic the Hedgehog (44 million)  Pokémon (155 million)  Lineage (43 million)  The Sims (85 million)  Dragon Quest (41 million)  Final Fantasy (75 million)  Crash Bandicoot (34 million)  Tetris (60 million)  Tomb Raider (32 million)  Madden NFL (60 million)  Resident Evil (31 million)  The Legend of Zelda (52 million)  James Bond (30 million)  Grand Theft Auto (52 million)  Mega Man (27 million)  Donkey Kong (48 million)  Medal of Honor (27 million)  Gran Turismo (47 million)  Command & Conquer (25 million)  Street Fighter (25 million) Source: www.wikipedia.org
  32. 32. More Depth of Character: RPGs  Role playing games (RPGs) have developed into different varieties: „pen-and-paper‟ or „tabletop‟ RPGs, „live action role playing‟ („larp‟) and computer RPGs.  First tabletop RPGs (like Dungeon & Dragons, 1974) had their roots in miniature war games.  Typically RPG games involve the creation of a character with various attributes, such as strength and intelligence.  A game master (GM) will present the challenges of an adventure to players, who take on the roles of their player characters (PCs) during the adventure.
  33. 33. Early Computer Games: Text Adventures  Early computer games often relied on text and typing rather than graphics and audio.  The earliest text adventure game was ADVENT (1975-76), programmed by Will Growther and Don Woods.  The player would read descriptions from the screen and type in commands like „go north‟.  Infocom produced famous games like Zork (1977-1980), and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1984).
  34. 34. Rogue-like Games  An alternative to text description was to use the computer monitor to draw images by using text characters.  Famous games of this type: Angband, Hack/NetHack, Moria, Rogue.  Known as ASCII graphics, these games only relied on basic letters and numbers (ASCII characters) to display the game world.  Rogue-like games often featured randomly generated dungeons, adding to their replay value.
  35. 35. Typical Rogue-like Interface ------ - Wall |....| ############ # Unlit hallway |....| # # . Lit area |.$..+######## # $ Some quantity of gold |....| # ---+--- + A door ------ # |.....| | Wall # |.!...| ! A magic potion # |.....| # |..@..| @ The adventurer ---- # |.....| |..| #######+..D..| D A dragon |<.+### # |.....| < Stairs to the previous level ---- # # |.?...| ? A magic scroll ###### ------- Source: www.wikipedia.org
  36. 36. Adventure Game Types  Several distinctly different types of games with „adventure‟ elements exist.  Taking two key features, interaction temporality and the consistency of game world, the following table can be constructed: Game Genre Interaction Game World Example Temporality (mostly) Action RPGs Real time Random Diablo (1996) Interactive Fiction Turn-based Pre-scripted Zork (1980) Platform Games Real time Pre-scripted Donkey Kong (1981) Roguelike Games Turn-based Random NetHack (1985- 2003)  Contemporary games are often „action adventures‟, featuring both real-time interaction as well as interlinking puzzle structures.
  37. 37. Ultima RPG Series  Richard Garriott started the design of computer games while still at school.  His first published game was called Akalabeth (1979), made for Apple II personal computer.  His Ultima series of Akalabeth screen (Image computer RPGs is considered the longest credit, Wikipedia, running RPG franchise. www.wikipedia.org)
  38. 38. Ultima IV: Game with Thematic Depth  The fourth game in the Ultima series represented an attempt to go beyond hack-and-slash battles or straightforward puzzles.  The player is destined to become Avatar, a hero figure who is faced with various ethical choices.  The game follows the main character‟s struggle to understand the Eight Virtues and reach Avatarhood.  The player can become engrossed in the fiction and ethical dilemmas, but it is also possible to face Ultima IV as „just a game‟.
  39. 39. RPG Player Styles  In late-1990s, participants in the rec.games.frp.advocacy Usenet newsgroup developed „Threefold Model‟ to identify different playing styles.  It is one of the key player or play style typologies, differentiating between:  „dramatist‟ (values how well the in-game action creates a satisfying storyline)  „gamist‟ (is focused on game challenges, „winning the game‟)  „simulationist‟ (values above all a coherent and believable, simulated game world). (Source: http://www.darkshire.net/jhkim/rpg/theory/threefold/)
  40. 40. Ultima IV Art  Ultima IV screenshots; install and play original Ultima IV for DOS or XU4 remake from http://xu4.sourceforge.net/download.php Image credits: Origin/Electronic Arts; source: www.mobygames.com.
  41. 41. Assignments on Diversifying Game Cultures  The birth of a genre:  select a digital game (preferably from the 1980s) that you consider to have started a new genre. Give a short description of it, and give your reasons for attributing it as the first in a particular game genre.  Maps in games:  look for examples of the use of maps in games; describe and discuss them. You can either take a particular game and map, or write about the role of maps in games in general.
  42. 42. Map of Britannia, shipped with Ultima IV. Image credits: Origin/Electronic Arts; source: www.uo.com.