R091 – Designing A Games Concept LO1: Investigating Games .

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R091 – Designing a Games ConceptLO1: Investigating Games Concept

Task 1: Explore digital game types and platformsLearning Outcome (LO) 1 is assessed in this task.Before you create your game proposal, you need to understand gaming and gamesplatforms and consider how effectively particular platforms can meet the client’srequirements.You need to: investigate how digital games and game platforms have evolved over time compare the capabilities and limitations of different gaming platforms investigate the characteristics of digital games across different genres explain the game objectives from different digital games.Present your findings in a report or a presentation.

Evolution of Gaming PlatformsFirst Generation (1972-1977) – The first concept of a game was a ‘television gamingapparatus’, which included a chase game and a video tennis game that could beattached to a television set. The ‘Brown Box’ was launched by Magnavox and wasnamed as the Odyssey video game console (black and white graphics enhanced byplastic overlays for the TV screen). Atari also released an arcade game called PONG,which was inspired by Baer’s original video tennis game. This launched the‘electronic gaming revolution’. A partnership, with Sears, led to the release of ahome version of PONG. Several companies then released PING ‘clones’. In 1976,Fairchild Camera and Instrument released the first programmable home video gamesystem with an 8-bit F8 microprocessor and 16-colour graphics. System wasdiscontinued once demand grew. RCA intended on creating the first programmablesystem, but didn’t succeed because the graphics were inferior to other games.Second Generation (1977-1982) – The Atari VCS started the ‘golden age’ of homevideo games with 200 different games and the best graphics yet. The BallyProfessional Arcade then became a competitor, as the graphics were superior toAtari, but a high price meant not many units were sold. Odyssey2 then launchedwith an integrated alphanumeric membrane keyboard and was popular in Europeand the US. Mattel was a true competitor for Atari as it’s Intellivision featuredbetter graphics and was the first to use a 16-bit microprocessor. It became knownfor it’s sports titles but lack third-party games. Vectrex released a vector-basedgame, which allowed people to add colour to game through plastic coloured inlays.People didn’t support it and the system was declared dead in 1984.Third Generation (1982-1984) – A lack of new technology named this era as the‘dark ages’ and there was a significant drop in sales. The crash was caused by poorquality game cartridges from too many manufacturers. Coleco releasedColecovision, which featured high quality graphics. It’s main claim was to offer highquality versions of arcade favourites. Atari then released the Atari 5200, in responseto Coleco. Atari sought to improve games but a lack of diversity led to the 5200being lost in the market crash.Fourth Generation (1985-1989) – Nintendo released the ‘Famicon’ and sold over 2million units, so started negotiations with Atari in order to further distribution.National distribution was achieved in 1986. The Atari 7800 was released, but itfeatured outdated technology, so it wasn’t an effective competitor for other fourthgeneration systems. Sega released first system in 1989, which allowed the use oftwo ports at any given time. There was also the possibility of plugging in 3D glassesfor use with certain games. The GameBoy was then released by Nintendo andfeatured a black and white screen and came with Tetris. It holds the title of all-timebest-selling video game system.Fifth Generation (1989-1995) – This generation featured more detailed graphics,16-bit processors and a wider variety of games. It was dominated by Nintendo andSega. The NEC TurboGrafx-16 had all of these qualities, as well as the first CD playerattachment, but it was discontinued four years after release. Sega Genesis was thefirst true 16-bit game system and was boosted by the release of Sonic theHedgehog. The SNK NEO GEO was an over-priced programmable video gamesystem for arcades, but because of price, it died out early. Nintendo released theSuper NES to compete with Sega Genesis, and it was a success. Phillips released theCDi, with the intention of playing audio CDs, CDi, etc. It was then relaunched as a16-bit video game console but was unsuccessful due to high price and lack of qualitygames. The first 32-bit system was the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, but a high pricelabelled it as a niche system. Atari then released a 64-bit video game system, whichhad a lack of game cartridges and non-existent marketing. Atari killed the Jaguarsystem and dropped out of the video game market to merge with JTS.Sixth Generation (1995-1998) – Featured high-powered microprocessors anddedicated graphics processors. These enabled the best graphics and game play,which meant they outperformed high-priced consoles. Sega Saturn achieved highgraphics quality with twin 32-bit microprocessors and CD-ROM-based games. A highprice and lack f third party games meant it was overshadowed by other systems.Playstation then became the leading home video game system by using a 32-itmicroprocessor, designed to produce polygon graphics. The Nintendo 64 was thefirst home system to utilise a 64-bit microprocessor and was very low priced,compared to other competitors.Seventh Generation (1998 – 2001) – Known as the first motion gaming era, thegeneration began with the release of Sega Dreamcast, which incorporated a 128-bitmicroprocessor and a 26MB memory. It had strong sales until the release of thePlaystation 2, which soon led to it being discontinued. The Playstation 2, MicrosoftXbox and Nintendo GameCube all used advanced microprocessors and various builtin aspects that enhanced each system. Each system experienced great success andhigh sales. Nintendo Wii was also introduced later.Eighth Generation (2001-Present) – Currently, we have the most advancedtechnology that allows us to access every possible genre of game in any form ofquality. Nintendo have adapted all of their previous hand-held consoles and createdthe most advance Nintendo 2DS XL. Games can now be played on handheld devices,in the form of downloaded apps, online via websites or connected to a television.Many allow cross-communication between users, across different parts of theworld. The Playstation 4 is the most recent development from Sony. These allexperience success as new games are released.

Platform Overview:Various games can be played on a range of platforms. Some of these platforms are mobile devices, PCs and consoles. Generally,serious gaming is done on PCs because it gives the player more control with a keyboard and mouse, but also a much largerviewpoint with the screen of a monitor. PCs tend to be the best option because of the control that the player is given over thegraphics and performance of the game. Fun and enjoyable games tend to be played on consoles, such as Xbox, Playstation andothers like Nintendo Wii. These games often require the controls that come with the consoles. Some educational games can beplayed on consoles but it is rare because the consoles require links to a television screengames, and some fun games, are played onmobile devices, due to the fact that they are very easy to use wherever the player is. Some games are only accessible on one typeof console or one type of mobile device. These games aren't usually as popular as the ones that you can access on your phone anda console and a PC. Games that are accessible on a range of platforms tend to be the ones that are well-known because of thepossibility of playing whilst travelling. Mobile devices don't need any wire connections to the mains supply, so this is convinient forfun gaming. PCs and consoles require connections to supplies and monitors so these are more suitable for serious gaming.How Games have Evolved with Technology:In the early 1970's, the first versions of a video game were produced. The game was very basic because of the lack of advancedtechonology at that time. The first video game console had black and white graphics that were enhanced by plastic overlays on aTV. Once companies started producing video games, advances in technology were being made as new microprocessors were beingproduced and colour graphics started being used in the gaming industry. As graphics started to increase in quality, so did the gamesconsoles. Atari was a brand that was well-known for their contribution to the gaming society. However, plastic coloured inlays werestill being used as an attempt to bring colour to the games that people were buying. By the early 1980's, the games that were beingproduced began to lack diversity, which meant that the gaming industry suffered a drop in sales. 3D glasses were introduced in thelate 80's as plug-in addition to a game being played on a TV. Nintendo then began their release of games by introducing theGameBoy to the world. This was also when a black and white version of Tertris was put into circulation. The fifth generation ofgaming (1989-1995) was when more detailed graphicsstarted to feature in games. Processors then started to develop very quickly,taking the games with them. The quality of games increased significantly because the technology becam so advanced. Atari alsomade appearances in this generation but a lack of game cartridges and marketing meant they soon pulled out of the gamingindustry altogther. In more recent years, consoles have started to become a household necessity. Many young adults and childrenplay video games on consoles and mobile phones. The fast developing technology of mobile phones has led to an increase in theamount of games being produced. Advances in technology have allowed high quality visual graphics and sound, but also the abilityto choose the quality of the graphics. Many games are designed to replicate the older graphics. Most recently, virtual reality hasbecome more apparent. Headsets and motion sticks allow a player to transport themselves to any world that they simply download

PlatformCapabilities and limitationsConsoles – Xbox,Playstation,Nintendo WiiFor a user to play games on a console, they must have access to the company console, a screen, speakersand the necessary controllers. This means extra costs for the buyer. These consoles also require wireconnections to mains supply and, quite often, internet connection. Consoles are also released anddistributed with fixed components and software. This means that the player can't update the software ormodule, unless they buy a new model. A player can also be restricted by the amount of controls that areallowed in the game. If the game, and the console, only allows up to 4 controls, this then restricts theamount of players that can participate in the game. Games for most consoles are sold in a box, and arestored on a disc. This means that most consoles are easy to use when inputting a game because there is noneed to install any software. Consoles also manage all files related to the game, which means that a playerdoesn't have to worry about the need to constantly save all of the data from within the game.Mobile Devices –Phone, TabletMany games on mobile devices are delivered via an app that is downloaded onto the device. These gamescan then be played directly after the download has taken place. Usually, a player won't have to buy any extracontrols because the screen is built into the device, and most games are intended to be controlled by thehands of the player. Many games often require good internet connection in order to continue gameplay, sothis can restrict the player if they don't have service or if they have a poor connection. This platform has thebest portability and can be stored within the players pocket. However, mobile devices have hardware thatlimits size and graphics of the game. The size of the mobile device is what does this, and the restrictivehardware also limits the development of games. 3D games are hard to use on mobile devices for the samereason. Mobile devices are the fastest developing platform so it is very easy for the hardware and the gamesto become outdated. This means that a player must frequently purchase the new models of phone in orderto keep up with the development of the games.PCsPCs are, generally, used for more serious gaming. For a game to be played, the user must have access to amonitor and the necessary wire connections. Most PCs also tend to be quite large, which means it is veryhard to move the device around. The portability of a PC restricts gaming for busy people. However, PCs arecompatible with digitally downloadable games and games that are delivered via a disc. This allows the playeraccess to a wider range of games than that, which is offered by a console. There also tends to be more harddisc space on a PC, which means that more games can be stored digitally, therefore eliminating the need forexternal storage. PC games are known for giving the player the opportunity to adjust the settings of thegame. This means that a player can create the best balance between the graphics and the performance of

Characteristics of digital games across different genresGame GenreCharacteristicsRacingThese games are very colourful and imaginative because they are aimed at all target audiences. Because of this, controls arealso very simple and easy to understand, so that people of all ages and capabilities can access the game freely. The gamesconsist of levels, destinations or stages, as well as various characters, with different compatibility levels, to choose from. Auser may also be able to choose a specific vehicle. These games can also have varied graphics depending on the age of thegame or the age that is being depicted. As the game is fairly simple, this doesn't present any limitations.SandboxThese games have very few restrictions due to the responsibility awarded to a user when they play. The game does have aninteractive landscape that allows a user to adapt their surroundings and create an environment of their own. The graphicsof these games tend to be rather high quality in order to mimic minor details of the environment.SportGraphics are very high quality in these games because of the popularity and the need to please the buyers of thegame. These games are often aimed at older target audiences because controlling the game can be difficult. Thesound quality is often very high, in an attempt to mimic real-life situations. A user can often select their favoured gameplayer, and interact with different players during game play. A fast loading speed is typically required for these gamebecause of the interaction with the game and the times within the game.MMORPGThese games involve interactions and connections with various users at the same time so it often has a slow loading time.Graphics tend to be of a high quality, given the simulation of various environments and scenarios. These games also havecharacters that aren't human, which a user is able to 'role play' as. Controls can be relatively simple due to large range ofpeople that use the games, but the target audience, typically, tends to be older due to the objectives of the game.FPSDue to the increased popularity of these games, there is a need for the quality of graphics, sound and gameplay to be veryhigh. The game is, often, played in two modes, mission and multiplayer. Because of the content that these games present tothe users, they are normally aimed at older audiences, because of themes of survival. A user is, usually, open to a range ofdifferent environments that are accessible throughout the game, and that may change as it rogresses.PuzzlePuzzle games have varied graphics depending on the intended design of the game. A user has to pass through differentlevels, often requiring a certain score, or time, in order to continue in the game. These games are typically found onapplications and via the Internet. Normally they don't need controllers as the only control needed is usually left or right.Some games function with the use of a users fingers and them tapping the screen.RPGThe quality of these games vary, due to the intended characteristics of the game. These games can be made available to arange of target audiences because of the simple controls that are used. Many of these games can be set in various, changingenvironments that users are able to move through and explore. Characters used during gameplay often adopt thecharacteristics of beings that aren't human, hence the name 'role play'.

Game objectives from different digital gamesGame GenreExamplesObjectiveRacingMario KartMany racing games consist of various levels that a user is able to complete at any time. A user is, usually, able tochose a racer or a vehicle, to play with. Many mobile apps that involve racing often require a certain number ofcompleted stars in order to pass a level. This may be dependent on completion time, skill or place at which youfinished. The example I have used is Mario Kart. The main objective is to win the races, but you can also unlockmore characters and more levels, by winning more races. There are also mini games that you can play, whichinvolve collecting coins, avoiding popping a balloon and competing against yourself, in order to beat your fastesttime.SandboxThe SIMS,AnimalCrossing,MinecraftThese games don’t, usually, involve an overall objective, other than ensuring that you maintain your character,their life, their home or the main focus of the game. Many involve selecting an area, where you can build yourhome, or creating a character, including features. The SIMS, for example, allows the user to keep control overtheir characters actions, emotions and interactions. You are able to make contact with other characters, or createmultiple within a family and develop it further. Daily tasks are set, which can be completed by a user, an oftenentail a reward of money.SportFIFA,SportsGenerally, sport games involve winning matches with specifically selected team or competing against other usersin sport simulations. For Wii Sports, a user can take part in mini games that only require few participants. A usercan play tennis, baseball, bowling, golf and boxing, on this platform. FIFA is a game with different objectives thatamount to the same goal. Each player can be set daily activities, but the final goal is to win matches, earn moremoney and climb the league tables.MMORPGWorldof WarcraftThis stands for 'massively multiplayer online role-playing game'. These games allow multiple users to playsimultaneously. As the game can have so many players, it usually just requires working as a team and beating theoverall game, whether that be reaching the end of a 'quest' or fulfilling a mission.FPSHaloThese games often consist of two main modes. One mode allows you to play in 'battle mode' and take part in agameplay that gets harder as you continue to defeat elements of the game. The overall goal is to complete thislevel of gameplay without being compromised. The other mode allows you to play with various other users andshare the game environment. You are allowed to work as a team to defeat various levels.PuzzleTetrisThese games tend to have the same objective. A user must complete a puzzle with the highest score they canachieve. Usually, a user is allowed to retry a level until they reach their optimum score. The scores required varybetween different games.RPGSpore,FalloutThese games have plotlines that are made to be followed by a user. A player/character can be set variouschallenges and tasks, which have to be completed in order to progress in the game. There is also a possibility forWii

Task 2: Plan and design a digital game conceptParts of LO2 are assessed in this task.Identifying the client’s requirementsYou need to: describe how the client’s requirements will be met inthe game idea identify what criteria must be met for the game to besuccessful identify the targe

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