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Just a Blog to show what i know about making a game and how I plan to start my career.

Stephen Black, Blogger

November 4, 2010

3 Min Read

There are many steps to designing a video game. Core mechanics are, in a nut shell, are the games rules.  Narrative Design is a game driven by the story. Demographic game design is targeting an audience.  Iterative design is most of the final product being done. Out of all the roles in the design process of games, I would rather be a game designer than anything else. The other roles just don’t suit me. Subject Matter Experts are in charge with making the instruction booklet for the games. That sounds really boring to me, though if I had to take this role, I wouldn’t dread it too much. Instructional Designer is another is another role I wouldn’t mind, but overall don’t wont to do. However, the thought of having someone beat a really tough level or boss with my tips and tricks does make it sound more appealing to me than the SME’s. Programmers and Technical Directors are just not for me at all; leave that for the people who actually like some math work.  Finally there are the Artists. They have the best role beside the game designer in my opinion. They bring the game to life with beautiful texture and awesome character design. Though it’s time consuming, the end results are worth it.  

The first game I will make will most likely be a FPS (First-Person-Shooter). There are many different types of game engines for a First-Person-Shooter. But out of all the ones presented, I feel that when I start making games, I would want to get my hands on the X-Ray Engine. Why would I pick such an engine? There are better ones such the Unreal Engine 3, which gave us Gears of War and Unreal tournament. Or maybe the IW engine, which produced both Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 2. Well I didn’t pick those two for one simple reason. That Reason is the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. Most people seem to not know what this game is or what it is about, but it has something that Gears and Call of duty didn’t have for me.

            Anyway, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is a first-person-shooter for the Pc. It has a lot of certain mechanics that set it apart from the most of the other first-person-shooters out there. This is, of course, thanks to the engine. An example would be the AI (Artificial Intelligence). The X-ray engine uses GSC Game World’s ALife artificial intelligence engine. ALife supports more than one thousand characters inhabiting the Zone. These characters are non-scripted, meaning that AI life can be developed even when not in contact with the player. The animals are also highly developed and present many realistic behaviors, such as fights over food and pack mentality, which can be observed in non-scripted events. This is because the game engine was designed so that the AI animal behavior is calculated even if the player is in a different area.  The game also usesa heavily modified version of the ODE physics engine; Ragdoll physics, destructible objects, realistic bullet ballistics and skeletal animation can all be found in the game.  There are many different effects this has on the game, such as bullets are affected by gravity, bounced against solid surfaces at oblique angles, and firearms are highly inaccurate when fired without aiming. Hit damage is pseudo-realistic, and the player can die after only being shot a few times.

            The knowledge gained through this little report will surely benefit me greatly in the future. It helped me realize what I want to do, and a little info that I didn’t even realize made such a huge impact on the games I play. It also gave me some insight on what the people who make the games have to do to make some of the great games we play today.

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