Everyone since their childhood wants to make there own little world, to play in and make it their own. Some people follow through with this by getting into the movie business and other entertaiment industies. Others get into the gaming industry, taking the process one step further and making their worlds interactive. That is something i will strive to accomplish.
I will be discussing the process of Game Design and how it relates to my teams develop of our game, I will also be talking about different video game engines their advantages and disadvantages and how which one can be would be used in development of the game. First I will discuss the game design process; there are several elements that goes into development of a game. These elements include narrative which tells the player how the game’s story is represented; the next element is demographics which targets a specific group. The next is interactive design, how the game is played and the final part of the process is the development stages of the game.
The first element of game design is the games story and how it is told, it’s narrative, which gives the game’s actions context that would not exist if the game had relied solely on mechanics. The narrative itself acts as a reward for overcoming in game challenges and achievements, or in some cases by accessing in game items. One type of narrative used in gaming is the embedded narrative which is a pre written story that is programmically shown to a player. Games that use embedded narrative are typically RPG type of games, in which the characters or the story itself go through major arcs, examples of this include the Final Fantasy series and Metal Gear Solid. Players do not decide the outcome of events through dialogue choices and actions, this type of narrative instead motivates the player to accomplish game events. The game my team is currently prototyping would use this type of narrative when used in the development stage, the players will not decide the fate of our main protagonist and changes key events in the story. Instead they will overcome challenges to experience story and if certain criterias ae met they can experience hidden events which the players can control the outcome of.
The next element that goes into development is the demographics which determines a specific group the game is catered towards. This includes the market segments, the age and gender the designers consider when making the game. The genres of gameplay also fall into this category such as Action games, Role playing, sports, adventure and strategy games. My team’s game would be designed and marketed towards mature players for it certain themes that will be explored in our game, centering on strong language, nudity, violence and drug use. Our game would be catered toward a male audience, and the game would be an action adventure game with side scrolling elements.
Another element implemented in game play is Interactive design which is the relationship between the player and the game through influence, intermediate action, mutual and reciprocated action . The interaction the game has with the player can differ depending on the game, explicit interactivity is the participation within the game that has designated choices, while functional interactivity involves utilitarian participation.
The stages of development for the game act as a timeline for the finished product when it is shipped out to retailers. There are several stages of development steming from the initial concept brainstorming phase, which would them lead to the game being prototyped. Next the game will enter its pre production, around this time the concept art, modeling coding, and narrative would be included in the game. Once those elements are included into the game, that is when the game becomes playable for tester, this is the Pre – Alpha stage. Next the games functionality is then implemented, gameplay features are then added, new features can be included at this point and time. The next phase would be the Beta period, during this stage of development the game would be either made available to family and friends of the developers, or for a limited time to the general public in the form of an open beta or closed beta. This phase the game is tested for major bug issues and or programming errors missed during the Alpha phase, no changes to the game play and its features are made. The final phase is the Gold stage of development, the game is now finished and I ready to ship to retailers. Marketing plays a role in this stage and showing off trailers for the game and advertising a promotional campaign.
The next implement used in the development of a game is the game’s engine, one type of engine that is used in gaming and popular as of late is the Euphoria engine, developed by NaturalMotion. The engine is based on dynamic motion synthesis, in which animated 3- D characters based on full simulation of the body, muscles, and motor nervous system. The characters actions are synthesized in real time; they are generated on the fly and fully rendered animations that act differently every time during game play, running parallel to the game engine using non disruptive game play. The games that use the Euphoria engine include Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption and Star Wars Force Unleashed 1 and 2 with more games in development. The software is currently not available to the public or download as of yet, since the software is relatively new and still has bugs to work out. The engine offers a unique and different experience every time with play.
The next engine is the Dunia, which is an dynamic engine, weather and fire effects. The game also uses ragdoll physics in which objects can be thrown lifted and moved including NPC non playable characters and non scripted A.I. This type of engine supports large open world maps with seemless transition between zones of the game using it. This engine uses full day and night cycles and volumetric lighting. Games that uses this type of engine include Assassins Creed, Avatar the game, and Far Cry2 in which Ubisoft Montreal development team used a modified version of the engine for its game. Like the Euphoria engine, Dunia does have some programming errors with the clipping and is not available for general use since the engine is new. My team’s game if gone through production would use the Euphoria engine for the games mechanic, since the engine allows the player to experience something different and unique each time with game play. This type of engine would play off the games narrative as the player controls the protagonist through his psychosis and his actions as his world constantly changes around him. This also works well with the games mini game, in which players must overcome certain obstacles to continue on with game play or lose a life if they fail, the player would not be able to formulate strategies on how they could run through the mini games if they are generated on the fly.
In conclusion, I would really want to develop this game because my team had pitched in really good ideas and we are very passionate about making this game. Now that we understand the process of video game development I will strive to make this game, perhaps sometime in the near future or latter down the road.