Multimedia Design &Programming
Multimedia Design &Programming CS 215
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jordon Hermiston on Thursday October 29, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to CS 215 at Wellesley College taught by Panagiotis Metaxas in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see /class/230930/cs-215-wellesley-college in ComputerScienence at Wellesley College.
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Date Created: 10/29/15
From Physical Game to Computer Game By Scott Kim This article originally appeared in The Games Cafe a now defunctweb site devoted to lovers of board games and puzzles As a computer game designer I39m always looking for new ideas puzzles and paper and pencil games There39s also awealth of material in books about recreational mathematics aching to be exploited But there39s more to translating an idea into the computer medium than merely copying it Here are some of the lessons I39ve learned aboutwhat works Most of the examples come from puzzle games 7 my specialty 7 but many of the lessons apply to other sorts of games as well Literal Translations Don39t Always Work Rubik39s Cube is one ofthe most popular mechanical puzzles of all time But even a good computer version of Rubik39s Cube like N chael Schubert39s Rubik39s Cube Java Applet is nowhere nearly as fun to play Why Rubik s Cube doesn t translate well into software The reason that Rubik39s Cube doesn39t translate well into the computer medium is that it is fundamentally a37dimensional tactile experience The cube has a charming physical presence that invites you to pick it up and play with it The basic move of twisting a face fits the hand naturally It is easy to turn the cube around in your hand and see all the faces Computers however deal with Sedimensional objects poorly Twisting the faces of a cube by clicking buttons is more difficult and less satisfying than doing it by hand It is awkward at best to rotate a37dimensional cube with a Zrdimensional mouse All the tactile pleasure of Rubik39s Cube is lost So when you turn a physical game into a computer game beware ofwhat you might be giving up So Learn to Take Poetic License Instead oftrauslatiug Rubik39s Cube literally a better approach is to abstract out the core ofthe game ignoring its three dimensionality then find something equivalent in the computer medium Ask yourself quotWhat larger category of games includes this gamequot At its core Rubik39s cube is a permumtion puzzle You are given a fixed number ofelements and operations for rearranging those elements several at a time Your goal is to rearrange the elements until they make a particular configuration Rubik s Cube 5 a permutation puzzle similar to a sliding block uzzle Another common example ofa permutation puzzle is sliding block puzzles The difference is that in Rubiks cube you must always move a block ofseveral elements at the s time whereas in a typical 4 by 4 sliding block puzzle you can focus on moving one element at a time Cogt to t a poetic tramlatimt 0f Rubik s Cube onto the computer My vote for the best translation ofRubik39s Cube into the computer medium is the computer puzzle game Cogito published many Instead ofa 3 by 3 by 3 cube however you are given a 6 b 6 array of square tiles And instead oftwisting a face ofa cube the basic move is shifting a horizontal or vertical line oftiles forward or backward one square The tile that goes off the edge ofthe board wraps around to the opposite edge The beauty of Cogitc is that the moves work well in the computer medium just click an arrow to shift a line oftiles one square Because it is twordimensional all the elements are always visible 7 o t urn the card In addition Cogitc features a series of would work for Rubiks Cube but because it is a physical game it would be too expensive to sell a box of 50 progressively more difficult cubes Jeopaldy ohhhe ehthe 3th Sang whehx hee esmen pen m player Harshan Our pee was te lepmduae the TV game shew xpeeehee rethMy allmmng people ehthe web te pemmpete es ohe es pmved m multm ueesxeae ohthe TV shew players speak thee respunses and hum xhe39henhe espehse was correct vammg peet hewevex lmeme and male the respu suetegy of the game e bu hut 1t ts mucheasxex te aumma whue sun 221mg like leuwdy Know the annanons of the Medium Everymedxum hes ns shengths em Immaan Pnnus gleatfux an uepmduce meteh vmee e gleath lepmdmmg m h hut 1t 1511 Campmers are mtexeeme hm theycartuepmduc Images In re aeteu Wherever yuu dEslgna game yuu 51mqu he awe efthe mmtetehs and suehgths ufthe medmm Yau wehtte design mthm the hmneuehs while tesehg advamage Bf the suehgths Here s teetexs te summer In designing fur the cumpmex Hewhg ts the mspxey meeva mamcalms eeh yuu adee e1eeueh hard 7 mmmem leqm Iem an gulaun Geme consoles hhe the Sony pxeysteueh em Nmiendu 64 sunphfy ths d msmn by prmndmg asmgle s39ardald system cm guxanm Sound Seem e g et hetmehy penpl hevex hethex te heekep theespeehexs at play games m enmehmehts whee seem wuuld u demdewhe39henhesaurd myaurgame Mu he eh essenua Dxupnunal penefthe expenehee Fm Im39ame Mystmexeaes seve l puzzles that ugly pnmanly eh und Respense time Players hete te wan Haw fastcan the system respond to input For online games the response time includes lag introduced by the internet For standalone games the response time depends on processorspeed as well as bow much the processoris being aslred to do For instance Hasbro Interactives computerversions of board games like Scrabble and Boggle so rendition oftbe board Iftbe designers bad settled for more stylized gmphics response time would have been snappier Input devices You dont want using the controls to get in the way bands For instance the popular puzzle game Tetris is played with just four buttons which fit easily under the fingers of one band Sometimes it is better to simplify a game so it is easier to control For instance I recently designed a version of the classic assembly puzzle Tangrams for Scott Kims Puzzle Box on the kids online service JuniorNet To be faithful to the original game I should have allowed pieces to be place anywb ontbe board and at arbitrary angles But on a computer such precise positioning is r er o verrfy wbetberasolution is correct Instead I restricted piece positions to asqnare grid with only 90 degree rotations allowed The resulting game is less ricb than traditional tangrams but still fun and much easierto control than a literal translation of taugrams Tallgmm an Juniemet remicl piece 0 a qume grid 0 keep wave imple Sunage Does your machine have some form of permanent storage like abard disk or flash card Until recently console game machines have neverbad builtriu permanent storage a result games have passwords that let a player jump to the point in the game where they le off In effect the passwords act as memory Net connection More and more games include an option to play with other people online Even solitaire games can talre advantage the net the singlesplayer games on Gamescene wwwgamescenecom all include a highrscore board where players can record their best scores an see bow well other players have done that day Higb score boards are one oftbe most powerfulway to motivate players to keep playing Take advantage of the computer39s unique strengths There is a wide range of ways that the computer can improve a pencil puzzle But the computer version has enough advantages that thousands of subscribers are willing to pay 995 ayear to play it Convenient stems of course ifyou don39t have a computer then computer puzzles are not convenient But ifyou are already at your computer 7 for instance at work 7 then it may be easier to click on your New York Times bookmark than to search for the latest paper issue And it is much easier to search through previous puzzles online than in the physical paper Improved interface Computer crossword puzzles have an arguably better interface Click on a square and the definitions for the correspo 39rg across and down words appear You don39t have 1 Bead counter 7 2 5 a l quot Dali2 cmrrwmt puzzlex let you click a vquare to we the de nitimx Undo It is easier to backspace through aword on computer than n L to A of the mainreasons the card game Solitaire is so popular on computer puttinga am on a computer is that it structures your experience in time Th is a clear begiming middle and end and the computer c keep 0139 ccompanying aphysical puzzle or in abook of puzzles Now consider chess aperennial bestseller as a computer game Chess on computer has several advantages the rules One of the mainreasons people buy computer versions of chess is to leamto play better Most computer chess games include that teach the rules and basic strategy Automated opponent If you have trouble finding someone to play with computer chess is agood substitute Automated 39h39 ofchalle quot h expert level of computer Boggle always beats me I enjoy seeirg the incredible words it finds Chexsmaster an excellent Computer Chess game Algorithmicallygenerated puzzles A closely related feature is gam Pit ucas Learning includes a number of puzzles in the early levels that are generated algorithmically riginally the game designers planned to generate all the pu algorithmically but found that it is difficultto generate hard puzzles that are interesting to solve Zzles Bells and whistles The computer game Battle Chess adds a nice gimmick when one piece captures another the pieces come to life and do battle The gameplay is the same as normal chess but the experience is different Do something that can only be done on computer As a puzzle designer I39m particularly interested in inventing new types ofpuzzles that can only exist in the computer medium Th key question is what can computers do that no other medium can do NSync Puzzles in Motion shows how computers can give a traditional type ofpuzzle a new twist Your oal IS to assemble a jigsaw pu zle wh 39 s N Sync Puzzle in Marlon l on ammmed jlgan puzzle based on more vldeo Other examples of games that take unique advantage ofthe computer include the sonic puzzles in Myst the game Tetris and my twor sted game Double Maze on the Segasott web site C onclusion Learn from history but don39t be a slave to it Question every aspect of a game When you translate it into the computer medium Ask yourself how Will the limitations of the computer hurt the game How can I change the game so it ts the computer medium better How can I improve the game by exploiting the unique capabilities of the computer medium Prototyping What prototyping is The benefits of prototyping Lowfidelity and highfidelity prototypes and the advantages of each How to build paper prototypes storyboards Why Prototype Traditional software developm t you en can t test until you implement Implementation is expensive Result g yuu um test I a and it is very expensive to make changes Result design errors unless they are really bad are left in the product as featuresquot Breakin this implementation paradox Build a prototype of the basic functionality especially the interface Test the prototype which will uncover design errors Correct the errors Repeat until you have a clean design Prototyping is a major tool for improving usability Heavily used in industry The views of the stakeholders Software designers may not adequately understand prototyping HCI practitione rs may not adequately understand implementation The two groups need to talk to each other early and prototyping facilitates communicat39 on Two types of prototypes Evolutionary the prototype eventually becomes the product Revolutionary or throwaway the prototype is used to get the specs right then discarded Horizontal prototype broad but only toplevel WWW um prototypctl A Page 1 Vertical prototype deep but only some functions WW not prololypcd Benefits of prototyping Improves the chances of creating a usable product Higher user satisfaction Users are good at criticizing an existing system It brings the users into the process early Disadvantages Users may be unfamiliar with the technique If the prototype is too goodquot or that the prototype can be converted into the nal product The right way use lowfidelity prototypes Inexpensive in materials cost people time and schedule time In risk of being mistaken for the final product Simple and fast to repeat as lessons are Ieamed When interface testing of the prototype is complete implementation can proceed with con dence storyboards paperbased prototypes a hardware tool to visualize your project Iavigation visual display of paths Interactivity all on paper and words Screen design basic layout basic color Rough sketches for key frames menus etc Storyboarding is about conceptual thinking not art Al nmwn Prmnalinns rmgazine1991 DDLLEBE Organization on a single snapshot Shows screens files concepts navigation mu mm mm tlnm n mm 1 nutum I quotMy w mum Ilumm mu m Screenlevel detail makes implementation easy and unambiguous Page 2 Thinking out of the box39 Youcan actually use the prototype Page 3
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