Unit 10 - LO2

Report
DEVELOPING COMPUTER GAMES
LO2 - Know the different types of computer game
K/601/7324
P2 - Describe different types of computer game
M2 - Describe how computer games have developed over time
D1 - Compare platforms and their technical aspects for running
computer games
 The assessment criteria could be evidenced by a report which includes
examples and images of computer games considering the aim,
purpose, genre different types of games that are available. Learners
should evidence multiple games in a genre as well as multiple genres
and draw comparisons between these (this could be in terms of
graphics, playability, costs, numbers involved and uniqueness).
 For merit criterion M2 learners could present a report which includes
showing the development of computer games over time comparing
game play, graphics colours used, characters used, sound and use of
higher end CGI to introduce the game and set the scene.
 For distinction criteria D1 a table could be used to compare a range of
different platforms and their technical aspects.
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
1
2
3
4
5
Assessment


Learners will extend the research carried out in learning
outcome 1 to consider the history of computer games and
how they have improved and they should research and discuss
why they games have improved for example – demand,
reduced costs of equipment, development of technologies,
media etc from the first games like Tic-Tac- Toe 1952,
Spacewar 1961, 1975 Atari Pong up to present day computer
games.
They should be given the opportunity to play games on
different consoles so they understand the differing games e.g.
MMPORPG, shoot ‘em ups, platform, brain training etc., and
can see why historical arcade games can appear simplistic.
The learner should also research and discuss the different
platforms currently available and also historically used. A
valuable exercise would be to give each learner or small group
one specific console or platform to research with feedback to
the wider group. This should include storage, refresh speeds,
graphics capabilities, online access, 2/3D, user interfaces etc.
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
1
2
3
4
5
Assessment






Genres of games (e.g. role-playing, puzzle, platform, first
person shooters, MMORPG, puzzle games)
Historical developments (e.g. graphics, online, interface)
Increased popularity (e.g. demand, reduced costs of
equipment)
Platforms (e.g. handheld, mobile, internet gaming).
The assessment criteria could be evidenced by a report which
includes examples and images of computer games
considering the aim, purpose, genre different types of games
that are available.
Learners should evidence multiple games in a genre as well as
multiple genres and draw comparisons between these (this
could be in terms of graphics, playability, costs, numbers
involved and uniqueness).
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
1
2
3
4
5
Assessment

P2.1 – Task 01 – Using examples from different eras, describe the why the
gaming industry has developed the way it has.
Graphic
developments
Online Capability
Demand
Reduced cost of equipment
Home programming
Competition
Big Business Influence
Storage Limitations


Graphic Development – Pong was two colours, white and not white, Pacman
was 8 with no shading, the hardware to run either of these games was limited
to memory, Jamma Boards contained back them 4k of memory, this is the
equivalent of 4096 characters of code. By the time of Street Fighter in 1988
the colour depth was now 16 colours with shading. Similarly consoles like
Magnavox was two coloured and came with four games. Atari VCS started the
same way but moved to 4 colour, then 8. NES and Master System was 8
colour, SNES 16 colour. Each generation after that multiplied as technology
changed. Similarly with PC’s, we had monochrome, then CGA, 4 colours by
1985, EGA by 1988, VGA by 1992 and SVGA to this day. Analog got replaced
recently by Digital, TV socket by HDMI and Blu-ray.
The first adventure games on PC’s did not even have graphics, text only, “hit
Gandalf with wand”, now they have high definition colour and video quality
cut sequences. Each of these developments has allowed games to get better
in the Arcade, the Console and Computer. Look at the different generations
of Mario as an example.
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
1
2
3
4
5
Assessment




Online Capacity – PC’s have had online capacity long before consoles and the genre of PC games has
moved forward faster because of this. When Playstation was struggling to have a working quality FPS
like Aliens or Doom, PC players were developing their own modded maps, playing in groups and
moving on to the next level with vector based GFX with Quake and Unreal. When the last generation of
consoles, Xbox et al came out, the fear was that online play would lock servers because of coding and
control problems, while 6m users on PC were in WOW without such issues.
But think now how popular Black Ops is with online play and what it would be like without, a game that
takes 6 hours to complete yet is one of the biggest selling games. Add to this the increased sales
through downloadable content, packs, add-ons and Steam helping push the game sales on and
keeping the games bought more interesting and longer term before the next release.
Demand – When Galaxy Game at first installed in September 1971 at Stanford University the game cost
10 cents to play, or three games for 25 cents. Only one unit was built initially. In 1972, improved
hardware and processing power and allowed the expansion from four to eight consoles, allowing users
to play against each other. The game remained popular on campus, with wait times for players as much
as one hour, until it was removed in 1979 due to damage to the game monitor screens. In 1972 the
very first Pong broke after three days because there was no room left in the coin slot.
The thrill of a new game in the early days pushed sales, the demand for each new title now through
marketing and promotion drives current sales. The queue’s for GTA 5 in September 2013 indicate just
how much of a demand there is for a game, shops opening at Midnight, pre order sales in the millions,
hits on the trailers sites in the tens of thousands each day. This is not true of all games, only 30% of
games are financially successful but the demand for the games remains. More than 60% of games that
start production never finish but when a game makes it, it makes a lot of money. Look at the magazine
racks in the shops, in 1980 the shops had three magazines for games, now there are at least three
magazines for each console and ten for games in general. And who buys magazines these days.
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
1
2
3
4
5
Assessment




Reduced cost of Equipment – When the Atari VCS console was released it cost $70,
around £40, this came with two games. The games separately cost $14.99 in 1975. the
first Arcade Console, Space Wars, cost $20,000 in comparison to make. As machine and
game sales increased, the production costs came down. The Sega Megadrive and SNES
was sold for £79 without a game in 1988 when the standard of living had almost
doubled. Games were cheaper still, quickly joining a second hand market to reduce
down prices.
When the Xbox360 came out for £320 this seemed extortionate but within two years
the price was down to £120. This price reduction increased sales and therefor increased
game demands. Similarly the Wii was £270 can now be bought for £59. This rotating
value for machines ensures loyalty and demand, when one breaks after two years
(RROD) get another. Machine taking up too much room, buy the slimline for half the
price of the original.
Home Programming – In the early days arcade games were made by technical gurus,
those who knew how to make circuit boards and program the processors on them. BY
1978 the era of home gaming on computer came in with the sales of ZX80, BBC micro,
Commodore Vic20, Apple Lisa and PC’s. Suddenly it became possible to make a game
with several hundred lines of code. Early programmers would write their own games in
a week and sell them to start up companies. Machines like the BBC micro were made
specifically for this purpose. By 1984 companies were forming and taking over,
Imagine, EA, Infogames, Hudsonsoft all started this way. The legend of Tetris started
this way, one man wrote the game and every machine for the next ten years had a
version.
With the rise of Apps and mobile gaming, this amateur coding has come back into
fashion, all it takes is an idea and access to an SDK programming language. And Flash
games, written by amateurs, this drives game sales and production, early programmers
today become the Gears of War programmers of tomorrow.
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
1
2
3
4
5
Assessment





Competition – Competition always drives hardware and software production and sales. Would
Microsoft encourage third party and second party development if it was not for Sony. Would Sega
have tried as hard if Nintendo was not there. The battle between consoles and computer companies
for dominance by whatever means ensures hardware improvements, ensures new console production
and ensures game competition.
For instance, downloadable content is produced to keep players interested but the players want
content to be better than the original, as time progresses players know the technology moves
forward with it. WOW has been king of this, add-ons with graphic updates, players get to have
improvements and more areas for a reduced cost. Skyrim is the same, new islands, new armour, new
enemies, better trees, better water effects, longer time the players are on the site and game
updating, the more loyal they will be. GTA V and Need for Speed coming out at the same time,
graphically they both have top be better, competition and sales will force the company to make
improvements as comparisons will ruin a game in reviews if they are unfavourable.
Same with arcades, KOF needed improving when Street Fighter took the market lead, Tekken had to
get better to compete so they released a new one, Mortal Kombat came along and Street Fighter
sales dropped. So Street Fighter II came out and the circle continued. Those who could not compete
dropped out, SNK, those with a fighting chance stayed.
Big Business Influence – When the world of gaming went corporate, around 1988 and the dominance
of certain companies in each genre settled down, EA for sports, Squaresoft for RPG’s, Nintendo for
Platforms, Sega for horizontal scrolling, Microsoft for Flight Sims etc., the money for publicity and
marketing took over. The same selling techniques of the film industry were introduced, cinema
adverts, trailers, publicity materials (badges, bags and hats). In 1975 this meant colouring the arcade
box to catch the user’s eye better, today this means spending 40% of the games entire budget on
marketing and promotion.
Big companies dictate to a high degree how things are going to happen, smaller companies who have
tried to push things forward have rarely succeeded. For every console that made it, there is one that
did not, Barcode Battler, Neo Geo, PC Engine, Philips Odyssey, Commodore C4, Atari Jaguar, the
whole 3DO debacle and the classic Nintendo VirtualBoy. Similarly with machines and handhelds. Who
would dare release a FPS shooter when they knew COD2 and Gears of War 2was about to be released.
Borderlands.
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
1
2
3
4
5
Assessment




Storage Limitations – Storage limitations along with graphics has been a big hindrance to the market
moving forward. The Gameboy dominated the market for 10 years without moving forward because
the technology was not there to replace it (ignoring the Lynx, Gamegear and Nomad). The first
arcade machines had 4k of memory, expanded by the end of the golden era to 64mb with games like
Colin McCrea rally. In terms of storage they only had enough memory to recall the last race to show
the user and store the high score table.
Home Consoles Machines like Odyssey, Magnavox and Atari 2600 left the memory capacity up to the
cartridge with 48k on board to store scores. Every generation of console since has doubles the
memory capacity on release. ZX80 had 1k, ZX Spectrum 48k, Commodore 64 had 64k, Amiga had
512k, Megadrive and SNES had the same capacity and left it up to the cartridges. By the time of the
first Xbox there was a hard drive of 20gb. This was a revolution in itself, unless you are a PC owner.
And the cartridge and game discs were an issue, the Nintendo 64 had 8mb of storage and the
cartridge had up to 16mb for the later games. To store a whole game in there on this amount of
memory meant compromising, not as much as earlier consoles. Graphics could not be realistic, cut
sequences could not be photo realistic, games could not have hundreds of different levels with
different graphics so there had to be repeats. And sprites had to be limited to bitmap or vector but
rarely both in the same game. Look at Doom, characters were always face on, Mario Kart, the trees
were not solid but x shaped, not 3d modelled.
This storage is important in the development of games. When the Playstation and Saturn came out,
the gaming world had moved to CD, 660mb of data. They could have cut scenes, more levels, vector
and bitmap, they could have realistic voices and sounds, CD quality. When games like FF7 came out it
had 20 hours of filmatic sequences added, realistic faces, CGI graphics, character modelled figures.
They could have what PC’s had, that was the difference. Then DVD, BluRay, capacity for more, bigger,
better, more sequences, more film, more realism with barely a restriction.
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
1
2
3
4
5
Assessment




Since the first home console and home computer games have existed as
categories, genres. In the 38 years since Atari VCS dominated the market, the
genres have remained, none have disappeared but a few new have been added.
Pong in 1972 was considered a sport game, similar to air hockey or tennis,
Pacman in 1980 was considered action, Night Driver for Driving, Qwak in 1974 for
Shooting, Atari Football in 1978 for Sport, Galaxian and Space Invaders in 1978
were a space shooter, Maze was a puzzle, Dungeon Keeper was an RPG, Kong was
a platformer and Zork was an adventure.
Since then new genres include RTS, FPS, MMORPG, Brain training, Simulations and
Gambling. Each of these has a history and each of these has had a cycle of
development with each new console and platform that has been released.
Crossover genres are also prevalent, action RPG’s like Tomb Raider, FPS and
driving like GTA, Puzzle and Adventure like Resident Evil and Space simulations
with RTS like the classic Elite.
And then there are the odd games that do not fall into a category like Fruit Slice,
is it action, is it cooking, online games like Sugar Sugar, is it simulation or classed
as platform or Snake, one of the most played games of all time but not
considered a game at all. These games tend to capture a market in a small period
of time
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
1
2
3
4
5
Assessment


P2.2 – Task 02 – Using examples from different eras, describe the
aim and purpose of the different range of genres that exist in
computer games.
Platform
Adventure
Role Playing Game
First Person Shooter
Puzzle
Brain Training
Sport
Driving
Simulation
Action
Board Games
MMORPG
From the list above and using the headings below with a range of
examples throughout the history of gaming, compare the Purpose
and Aim of the genres of gaming with examples.
1. Purpose – What does the user hope to achieve, what do they have to
do to get there.
2. Development – What has changed over the years, what is the same.
3. Considerations – What does the ingredients the company have to
put in there to keep the target audience coming back.
4. Popularity – What makes one game in the genre better than
another.
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
1
2
3
4
5
Assessment


P2.3 – Task 03 – Using examples from different eras, compare the similarities of
content and format of the different range of genres that exist in computer games.
Platform
Adventure
Role Playing Game
First Person Shooter
Puzzle
Brain Training
Sport
Driving
Simulation
Action
Board Games
MMORPG
From the list above and using the headings below, compare the similarities of the
genres of gaming with examples. Comparisons could include RTS vs RPG vs. MMORPG,
FPS vs. Adventure, Puzzle vs. Brain Training, Sport vs. Driving, Action vs. Platform. Use
the following headings to describe their similarities and purpose.
1. Graphics – How do they look the same, use the same architecture, layout, buildings,
character development.
2. Playability – how do they maintain quality against charm or addictiveness, how do
they keep the audience engaged.
3. Costs – In terms of pricing strategies, how do manufacturers price the games and
their expansions.
4. Sales figures – What are the similarities in sales figures and how do these compare
with other vaguely similar genres.
5. Uniqueness – what are the quirks that make them similar, is it menus, control
systems, humour, length of play, portability, prequel or sequel.
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
1
2
3
4
5
Assessment


M2.1 – Task 04 – Using examples of development through the years, compare the
changes made in game design and presentation of different game genres.
Platform
Adventure
Role Playing Game
First Person Shooter
Puzzle
Brain Training
Sport
Driving
Simulation
Action
Board Games
MMORPG
From the list above, choose 6 and using the headings below, compare the
developments in terms of technology and design.
1. Development over time – How the genre has changed what has improved, what the
major differences are.
2. Game Play – In terms of playability what has been added to make them more
interesting, more capable, more realistic.
3. Graphic Colours Used – How has the resolution and quality of image changed
4. Characters Used – How have characters developed over the generations in terms of
pixels, quality and realism.
5. Sound – What has changed, what difference does storage capacity make to the
amount and quality of sound.
6. Scene setting through the Use of higher end CGI – How have the introductions
changed, the back stories, the cut scenes, how does this add to the storyline and plot.
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
1
2
3
4
5
Assessment
Through the different generations of gaming there have been leaps in technology,
not always great leaps but enough to move gaming on. Every generation should
be twice as fast, four times the memory, proportionally increased graphics
resolution, 10 times the storage space and have games on release that reflect
this. When Destruction Derby for the Playstation 1 was released in 1994 with the
Console, it was the first true vector based racing game with physics dynamics and
crash damage but it was not the first 32bit console. The Jaguar in 1993 was 64bit,
superior, faster and more capable.
 When the Nintendo 64 was released in 1996 it was 64bit compared to PlayStations
32bit but Playstation still won the market and continued to do so for 6 years
before the PS2 despite a range of better consoles being released.
 The 3DO debacle meant the 3DO was more supported by companies like Toshiba,
Panasonic and Bandai. It was superior, far cheaper cross console compatible and
had all the big names and money behind it but still died the death.
D1.1 - Task 05 - Compare platforms and their technical aspects for running
computer games.
Research the specifications of a range of consoles using the table on the next slide,
focus on Memory, Processor Speed, Storage Capacity, Game Type, Graphics, Release
Price, Game format (CD’s etc.) and Online Capability.

Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
1
2
3
4
5
Assessment
Platform
Specifications
Benefits over previous generation
D1.1
Task
05
Compare
platforms
and
their
Atari 2600 or Magnavox
technical
NES or Master Systemaspects for running computer games
Gameboy
Sega Megadrive or SNES
Nintendo 64
Playstation or Saturn
Playstation 2 or Xbox
Xbox 360 or PS3
Apple iPhone or Android
Xbox One or PS4
Online gaming
For Benefits over previous consoles reflect and discuss what made it unique, for
instance the N64 was more powerful but what made it unique and better than
previous generations was loading times as it was still on a cartridge, the games were
true 3D, it was multiplayer, four sockets compared to PlayStations 2, and it had
Goldeneye, the first true multiplayer FPS console game.
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
1
2
3
4
5
Assessment
P2.1 – Task 01 – Using examples from different eras,
describe the why the gaming industry has developed the
way it has.
P2.2 – Task 02 – Using examples from different eras,
describe the aim and purpose of the different range of
genres that exist in computer games.
P2.3 – Task 03 – Using examples from different eras,
compare the similarities of content and format of the
different range of genres that exist in computer games.
M2.1 – Task 04 – Using examples of development through
the years, compare the changes made in game design and
presentation of different game genres.
D1.1 - Task 05 - Compare platforms and their technical
aspects for running computer games.
Scenario
Criteria
Tasks
1
2
3
4
5
Assessment

similar documents