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Jason Pook's Games Design Blog


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History of Gaming- Iconic Games Timeline Survey Results

Previously (blog 1, blog 2, blog 3) for my history of gaming work i had been given the topic of “Icons of gaming” as my research focus to then formulate into a adobe flash timeline using my results. Icons of Gaming could we interpreted many ways it could be mascots, iconic games, iconic characters, iconic designers and so on so i had to narrow it down to get a real focus on my work which i chose iconic games throughout the generations. The choice of the generations you give my timeline alot of range to it so its not neglecting a generation of gaming by just saying ionic games from 5th gen onwards.

Obviously i had a few games in mind such as mario, sonic and space invaders but my own personal preferences may be included in this timeline which would result in a bias and personal timeline. To navigate away from this problem i decided to set up a survey and asked a group of my friends and peers to answer the questions i had set using a tick box choice and if i had missed a game they believed was iconic there was a “other” box to type in an answer. like this:question

This worked very well i got a wide range of results which ultimately show how different people have different tastes in games not everyone was all for the same ones. This was followed up at the end by a comments box which i asked them to type a little bit about there most iconic game to them and why, some great responses also came from this. i will now make some infographics of the data i collected and then show the personal comments in relation to them. I had 49 responses to my survey shame it wasnt 50 for a nice found figure but 49 was excellent.iKGG6VYaNu720B7d

This was the first question in relation to the 1st generation, pong came out the winner with 30 votes and space war! behind with 21 votes. Feedback i got for this one was that some people didnt even know what these games were and did tend to pick randomly. the specified other got 2 responses one of asteroids which was a 1st gen game made by atari in 1979 so was a educated response that others may have forgot including myself, but the second response was crash bandicoot with is a 5th generation game so didnt belong there being a wasted vote.

QZ7cZxwcdjJTFodQThe second question was related to 2nd generation games, 1st with 33 was unsurprisingly pacman closely followed by spaceinvaders at 26 votes another very iconic game. This was how i expected these results to come out.ROxYUr44K4cjTsvEThis being 3rd generation was bound to be debatable as personally im not a big player of zelda and never was being born in 1995 i never really got into the later installments of zelda which could be the case for some people i asked aswell. 1st was super mario bros with 33, with tetris 2nd at 25 then zelda 3rd at 15. Despite these results i know zelda is an iconic game and i did expect it to be very close with mario. between the other results it was fairly close but street fighter took 3rd with 17. no other for this section aswell which make me think i chose well.

ZPfXAmJYCeAlyCEy4th generation, sonic was the obvious winner for me and others with 30votes but others didnt do so well and fifa footballs first installment was 2nd with 20votes. When i viewed the other responses i realised i had missed a big game and a personal favourite of mine the Prince of Persia games maybe the results would have been different as it only got 2 votes from people who noticed but i dont think prince of persia is as iconic as other games so wasnt a fatal miss.

21zCNdvd06k0g0nH5th generation was bound to be a debatable one with so many good games in there and dependent on when you were born this could be very different for you, i personally was born in 5th gen 1993-2001 being 1995 and my favourite game of all time is crash bandicoot close second with spyro so childhood hours and hours of gaming played a factor there. Pokemon was 1st with 31 votes, 2nd spyro with 28, 3rd grand theft auto with 27, 4th crash bandicoot on 21 with rayman close behind in 5th at 19 votes. As you can see this was very debatable and had alot of different views on it see i like oddworld but only 5 thought the same as others opted differently with there 6 choices. Not quite how i expected but gaming icons are up there so thats pleasing. the other section included a game i cant believe i forgot to include which is an iconic game definately for feminism of Tomb Raider.

Z3PMpLP8b6rTVadL6th generation was a tough one with clear favourites of Call of Duty on 35votes, 2nd halo with 28 and 3rd ratchet and clank with 18. this one wasnt as close at the top but the bottom people were undecided as nothing really jumped out for them clearly showing these games are not seen as a big deal to them but i cant forget this group is only a handful of people if this was worldwide id have a much fairer test and wider view which im sure world of warcraft being a huge mmorpg would be alot higher. The other box was Tony Hawk with his skateboarding games which im afraid whoever that was doesnt really cut it good games id say yes but not iconic.

XYhnRUrZlbtWwqDjFinally was 7th generation, with this one i felt i had to include alot wider range of games as currently the gaming market is everywhere and games i could really play like angry birds as my phone isnt brilliant are massively popular so the recent rise in apps and mobile gaming had to be considered here but it was hard as being so recent can you list it as immediately iconic well i believe so with assassins creed series being fantastic and educational in a sense. Assassins Creed was 1st with a clear 31 votes, 2nd was GTA V i know i had grand theft auto before as orignal 5th gen release but gta v has broke alot of records so i felt it needed to be included with 25 votes, then it was close 3rd skyrim again i had elder scrolls in 5th gen which didnt do so well but is 3rd here so you can see games over the ages in some cases in series have improved in view of the public with 19, then 3rd killzone with 18 being a playstation exclusive i was surprised it was so high, 4th The Last of Us a massive recent success and surely a iconic game if any for recent times but being so recent and playstation exclusive with 14 votes, then 5th was angry birds a mobile game with 12 votes. so a wide range of views there. the other option was labelled Rome:Total War a strategy pc game which is a very good game to be fair but im not sure its iconic but will be some personal favourites which also started in 5th generation but has a recent installement in 7th so its valid.

That concluded my results most popular being: Pong, pacman, mario, sonic, pokemon, call of duty, assassins creed in each generation. Being a debatable one i will now have to decide which should be considered iconic despite my results as some where missed or not everyones favourite who did the survey but are to the gaming community.

As for the most iconic games personal choice comments box here are the responses:

  • Killzone Shadow Fall: i recently bought myself a PlayStation 4 and if you can call any game a “next gen game” it is definately killzone, not only a visually amazing game but it also uses the majority of the ps4 new features such as the touch pad is your drone. love it.
  • Killzone, recently played on ps4 Killzone: Shadow Fall most impressive visually and gameplay shooter I have ever owned.
  • I think PAC man has to be the most iconic game of all time down to sheer popularity, fun and status, I’d say it’s a legendary and iconic game
  • Favourite Game: Pokémon Yellow The amount of time I spent on that game trying to complete the pokedex and level all my pokemon to maximum was that of a large number. The personal connection I made with my starter pokemon is a connection im yet to make with any other game other than pokemon.
  • Tomb Raider is Bossssssss!!!!!!!!
  • Pokemon just coz pokemon
  • Fifa
  • Crash Tag team Racing, due to that me and my friends used to have a great laugh playing it and beating each other with different characters like cortex and crash.
  • kid chameleon for sega mega drive amazing gameplay and loved the multiple abilities and level design
  • Prince of Persia!!!
  • Dead Space, personally for me it was the first horror style game i ever played in depth. Even though it scared the hell out of me i was gripped to the game and the story line.
  • Fifa – Pro clubs so u can shout at your friends when they miss a sweaty goal (Nathan)
  • GTA SANANDREAS, becaues it was my favourite game growing up and I still play it now
  • Total War from Shogun through to Rome 2. Well researched and immersive experience. Balanced mix of strategy and real time action. A bit let down by Rome 2 though. I think it crosses over your generations starts in about 5th I reckon.
  • Pokémon Red – It’s just brilliant okay
  • Dragonage: origins
  • Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time. The game is just a landmark in gaming terms, it is possibly the most popular game to date and continues to be a benchmark against which other games of the same genre are measured. For me it was just such an intense adventure with a well driven story, strong characters, interesting game play and a really cool open world to explore. You could dip into and out of quests and missions as and when you wanted and even though there were points when you had to complete something to progress with the story, for the most part it was left up to the player in which order they completed their quests, which is something that has only recently been seen in other games such as Skyrim and even Fable.
  • Halo 2 as it was the game I bonded with some of my old friends the most
  • need for speed underground 2 because like racing and customizing car
  • SPYRO- Really fun game
  • Difficult one, but personally my all time favourite game has to be between Star Wars Battlefront, and Star Wars Battlefront 2. They were just amazing
  • GTA V , I love the murder violence, robberies and gang rape.
  • Oddworld, it was such a good game series.
  • Streets of Rage Though it’s design is simple, there is something magical about moving through neon lit backdrops in fictional cities and beating up a series of identical looking bad guys under the strange premise of “Justice”. The Characters are colourful and in a way it was one of the first games that allowed you to play the vigilante minus the skin tight outfit… except for Axels jeans, they are proper tight, but it’s like the late 80’s or whatever so fair enough. I wish we could see more games in this vain, the next one released on the next console was Fighting Force, which was renamed from Streets of Rage because the company disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The only one I can think of next is the remake of Final Fight: Streetwise… that was pretty terrible. I guess everyone else is sticking to 1 on 1 fighters or mass slaughterfests that is Dynasty Warriors and there ilk.
  • I think my favourite game has to be mass effect 3, mostly because you can make so many different decisions and they all effect the way the game plays out.
  • Pokemon, because no matter how much the evolution happens with the franchise millions of people still remember and love the original
  • Assassins creed something different and its enjoyable
  • Just dance 3. its awesome.
  • Spyro as I grew up playing it.
  • Call of Duty, most players.
  • GTA because it has so many missions, levels, so much to do and explore and has very good graphics.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – First 3D Legend of Zelda game, ability to explore the world, groundbreaking graphics, classic story.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time because the graphics and gameplay were far beyond any other game of that generation and it’s a timeless game that is still better than other games in thay genre.
  • Gears of war due to it being a primary building block in me and my best friends relationship

Thing i can take from this although zelda didnt do aswell as expect its regarded some peoples most iconic game with the Ocarina of Time game in the series

“Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time. The game is just a landmark in gaming terms, it is possibly the most popular game to date and continues to be a benchmark against which other games of the same genre are measured. For me it was just such an intense adventure with a well driven story, strong characters, interesting game play and a really cool open world to explore. You could dip into and out of quests and missions as and when you wanted and even though there were points when you had to complete something to progress with the story, for the most part it was left up to the player in which order they completed their quests, which is something that has only recently been seen in other games such as Skyrim and even Fable.”

That says alot for the game itself, i know its an iconic game already but this is a brilliant comment on exactly why. i also noticed the need for speed games mentioned which for racing games is definately iconic its just not in the overall picture gran turismo would probably take that if any.

Id like to thank everyone for there involvement in the survey as its been very useful to my studies in this topic area. i will now go onto make my flash timeline using my results i have found here and other gathered research that i initially had for iconic games.

 


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Casual Game- Tower Defence

So originally for my casual game (the proposal here) i wanted to make a brick breaker style keep the ball up and hit targets football themed game relevant to the stick man kick ball flash animation aboveflash, i was having alot of issues with the coding for this in the form of levels and the collisions in the targets code. Due to thinning time and frustrations hitting a new level i decided it would be best to put this to one side and pursue it in the summer. By doing this i obviously needed a new casual game for my module briefs so i went down the path of a tower defense game, this tower defense game would be styled on many other tower defense games which involve a maze for the enemy to try get from start to finish but you stop them using turrets or methods of some sort. Games like this include Bloons tower defense series which is a hugely popular and now multiplayer game with micro transactions features various monkeys which pop balloon’s  using everything from darts to plasma laser super monkeys.

Bloons_TD_5_Gameplay

Heres some more examples of different and popular tower defense games at casualgirlgamer.

So i wanted a tower defense game with a maze and varied difficulties of enemies and a few levels nothing huge or complex but a challenge. The game would need a money value to place the turret onto the game and therefore a money gain function when an enemy died and dependent on the level the higher the money gained. the turrets would have range if i could find a way to show that maybe a hover over radius or click to select tower. obviously a limited amount of levels and lives so the game is both there to win and lose with a reset button on the win/lose screen. the turrets need to fire bullets at the enemies perferably lock on so its not impossible which then means health of the enemies is considered and bullet damaged to that health which will alter with level of enemy. if i have time id like to make different maze levels and possibly more expensive better turrets.

I used a tutorial online at FlashGameTuts to get me a focused on how to program a tower defence game, as we are not here to be master programmers but it helps to understand and be able to work with code. This tutorial was very useful it wasnt spoon fed in all case you had to find and place the code given in the right areas making sure you had everything named correctly matched going to the right areas etc. there was no asisstance if you had done something wrong which allowed you to really read into the code over and over to make sense of what you had to find the problem. I really got far with this tutorial with no compiled errors shown up but as i knew flash wasnt going to be nice to me all the way and i came to a stop mid way through the tutorial. The reason for this was that the coded dynamic text in the user interface at the bottom (hud) which displayed money, lives, level and enemies left, what it was sopposed to do was to display the actual value and then when you did an action that directly affected one of them it would decrease e.g. to place a turret its £20 you start with £100 but instead of displaying 80 it just vanished this happened with each of the dynamic texts. this was the first of the problems it also when winning or losing was sopposed to divert to a win/lose page but soon as this was triggered it flashed between the 2 uncontrollably until you clicked to reset the game. The win/lose slide was a massive issue most flash users will relate to me when i say Capital letter instead of lower case was the issue, so it was easily solved but such a minor mistake will break the script. Despite that i check and checked the code to the given code and it was identical my tutor Paul also looked over it and couldnt find any issues which ultimately said why is it not working then. Using trace ( ) coding to track what the function you are tracing is doing showed no change or issues so the problem was unidentifable. Hitting a dead end i noticed he had set his timeline out differently to me this shouldnt have mattered at all confirmed my tutor as the scripting and keyframes used are the same its just the layout, despite this i decided to restart and lay the timeline out this way and it worked so i was allowed to progress. I then went on to finish the game finally putting in harder enemies and level plans so with frustration, stress and hardwork i had finally completed my casual game.

To make sure that it was not just a straight copy i made sure i tailored features of the game to my own specifications. This included the dynamic text user interface was chosen by myself in wording and colouring, the inclusion of a win/lose frame was my own wording and colour, the main one which was the levels was all my own specifications i decided the spawing of the enemies in amounts,order, level, difficulty and speed. I decided to alter the code for the amount of lives from 20 to 1 so you only get one chance making it tactically more difficult and challenging, i altered the amount of money gained from defeating an enemy the original value was 5 per enemy per level but i changed it to 1 per enemy per level e.g. level 1 kill=1money then level 5 kill= 5money and so on so less money gained upped the difficulty and decreased the amount of turrets you could possibly spawn on screen. This was all down to fine tuning i played the game over and over making it harder then easier altering starting money to amount of lives or money earned it was a tweaking process but it gave my game my own personal touch to it.

I would like to if i have time create another level with a different maze and possible research into having a health bar above the enmies so i can really tweak it to be addictingly close to winning, but this is all time dependent.

Im currently in the process of uploading what i have online as my game so i have a shipped game. Thanks to David Smith for being a games tester giving peer assessment so i could focus on gameplay alterations.

 


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Casual Game Proposal 2

In casual games we have done a lesson which was our first lesson using Adobe Flash Professional (more information on previous blog post). This use of software was useful for us not only for our Casual Games project but our actual flash timeline, but purely focusing on our Casual Games topic we have been asked to produce a brief proposal on what casual game we would be making in flash. To make sure I had my ideas on the right track I had to go back over my previous research on casual games to reinforce what exactly was a casual game and the requirements to make one.

“Developed  for the general public and families, casual games are video games that  are fun and easy to learn and play. The games are platform agnostic,  meaning they can be played via the Internet, Facebook, PC, and Macintosh  computers, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo DS, Wii and even mobile phones, iPhone and PDA. They’re nonviolent, arcade-style games that involve puzzles,  words, board and card games, game show and trivia. Popular games are  Mah-jong, Tetris, Solitaire, Bejeweled,  Mystery Case Files,  and Farmville.”-Casual Game Description http://www.casualgamesassociation.org/index.php.

So originally for my casual game (the proposal here) i wanted to make a brick breaker style keep the ball up and hit targets football themed game relevant to the stick man kick ball flash animation aboveflash, i was having alot of issues with the coding for this in the form of levels and the collisions in the targets code. Due to thinning time and frustrations hitting a new level i decided it would be best to put this to one side and pursue it in the summer. By doing this i obviously needed a new casual game for my module briefs so i went down the path of a tower defense game, this tower defense game would be styled on many other tower defense games which involve a maze for the enemy to try get from start to finish but you stop them using turrets or methods of some sort. Games like this include Bloons tower defense series which is a hugely popular and now multiplayer game with micro transactions features various monkeys which pop balloon’s  using everything from darts to plasma laser super monkeys.

Bloons_TD_5_Gameplay

Heres some more examples of different and popular tower defense games at casualgirlgamer.

So i wanted a tower defense game with a maze and varied difficulties of enemies and a few levels nothing huge or complex but a challenge. The game would need a money value to place the turret onto the game and therefore a money gain function when an enemy died and dependent on the level the higher the money gained. the turrets would have range if i could find a way to show that maybe a hover over radius or click to select tower. obviously a limited amount of levels and lives so the game is both there to win and lose with a reset button on the win/lose screen. the turrets need to fire bullets at the enemies perferably lock on so its not impossible which then means health of the enemies is considered and bullet damaged to that health which will alter with level of enemy. if i have time id like to make different maze levels and possibly more expensive better turrets.

This is my proposal which i intend to follow and try to complete. In the end ill have a tower defense game with the basic fundamentals of a tower defense game in, it wont be a full blown 100 different turret styles different weapon damage game but the focus will be there and it will be a casual game.

Progress to follow…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Idea- Iconic Games Flash Timeline

The idea for the timeline is to have a levelled system to it, like a mini game.

So you roll the ball on a 2d side-scroller and when you roll on a panel it reveals e.g. Sonic and small info on why its iconic.

You reach the end of the generation and move to the next level which is the next gen and so on.

Whilst in the level you can choose to revert back or roll back to re-read information.

To have this as a solid idea to pursue i will have to do multiple checks on how this will be coded in action script 3. Amongst gathering the information and research from my survey which i am currently unable to attain as it requires money to unlock but i will sort that out soon. So a clear understanding on where i am going in this topic is now with me so i can really knuckle down into coding it.


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Casual Games- Proposal (11/11/13)

In casual games we have just done a lesson which was our first lesson using Adobe Flash Professional (more information on previous blog post). This use of software was useful for us not only for our Casual Games project but our actual flash timeline, but purely focusing on our Casual Games topic we have been asked to produce a brief proposal on what casual game we would be making in flash. To make sure I had my ideas on the right track I had to go back over my previous research on casual games to reinforce what exactly was a casual game and the requirements to make one.

“Developed  for the general public and families, casual games are video games that  are fun and easy to learn and play. The games are platform agnostic,  meaning they can be played via the Internet, Facebook, PC, and Macintosh  computers, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo DS, Wii and even mobile phones, iPhone and PDA. They’re nonviolent, arcade-style games that involve puzzles,  words, board and card games, game show and trivia. Popular games are  Mah-jong, Tetris, Solitaire, Bejeweled,  Mystery Case Files,  and Farmville.”-Casual Game Description http://www.casualgamesassociation.org/index.php.

With this in mind I have to now find an idea for a casual game of my own to produce in flash. My previous lesson in flash involved me using a stick man to spin and kick the bouncing ball away so I originally thought it would be a good idea to do a stick man fighting game with wasd to fight and the arrows to move with space to jump, but then obviously I had neglected that a casual game is nonviolent and clearly a fighting stick man game is violent although it would be fun.

With that idea out of the way I reverted back to the ball and the stickman. This gave me an idea to have a stick man that can kick side to side and also jump but the objective of the casual game would to be keep the ball up (stop from hitting floor). This would involve coding for gravity and also collision as the ball would have to drop to the floor as well as bounce off the player to stay up. This would be a game you can easy play with simple controls of arrow keys to shift the player, space bar to jump and Z to slide or kick left and X to slide or kick right. These controls surely qualify for ease of use and easily learnt. A sense of competitiveness and family game could be incorporated by a count of how many times you have kept the ball up which you could compare with family and friends.

This would be my game I am making, I will address any issues with it once I have pitched it to my tutor next week.


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Flash- Tutorial and Introduction

Todays lesson on Casual Games we was introduced to software that we will be using this software was Adobe Flash Professional. My previous experience in flash is very limited, all i have done in flash throughout my education was a interactive quiz for my OCR Nationals Level 3 ICT which was a short project to asisst our unit, this had limited features but it did use alot like a scoreboard, scoring marks, buttons, back/forward buttons and a replay button. This leaves me with the basics but not much, i certainly wouldnt class myself as knowing my way around flash. To get us all started we was told to check out the Flash Tutorial on the adobe website, this tutorial involved the basics of flash to get us used to it. The task was to get a ball to bounce on and off the screen in one simple movement. I created my ball and always knew about motion tweens and how they worked so instead of doing the bounce i decided to do a flying loop with my ball. This as you can see worked perfectly well but i wanted to test my skills in flash and motion tweening so i drew a stick man which then lead onto the stick man spinning jumping and kicking the ball off the screen. This pleased my as i successfully motion tweened 2 layers together to make one flash movie clip, but the dissapointments was i wanted to have more animation on the stick man so he for example bent his knee when jumping and maybe some arm action; due to me not knowing how to do this at this stage i was unable to do it.

Now i had my finished flash a stickman spinning then jumping and kicking the looping ball off the screen. The next step was to venture into the dreaded world of scripting and coding to enter a “stop” code, this would prevent the flash from constantly looping round so you could stop the script. This was fairly easy as it was a simple “stop () ;” code nothing else was required. I tested it and it worked perfectly but now when the flash had finished it was just stuck and you had to close and reload the clip to watch it again. This required me to do the next step of the tutorial which was replay button, once again the scripting and code world loomed over me like a bird of prey (im not sure if you have noticed that im not a fan of scripting) but fortunately for me this time the code was provided on the tutorial so it was a lucky escape. Due to the code being given there was no issues and the replay button was successful. This terminated my flash project as i had finished all that was left to do was to publish and then export. I exported it onto my Youtube page so that i could embed it into my blog for you readers to have a look.

This was the beginning of experimenting with flash as between now and next lesson we have been issued with a optional task of making a flash project in which a circle is directed using the arrow keys on the keyboard. This would purely be to make a next step in flash design as next week we have to pitch our ideas for a casual game.