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Software Game Design Issues Peter L. Jackson School of O.R. and I.E. Cornell University.

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Presentation on theme: "Software Game Design Issues Peter L. Jackson School of O.R. and I.E. Cornell University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Software Game Design Issues Peter L. Jackson School of O.R. and I.E. Cornell University

2 What makes for a good game? Fast, fun, and understandable Pleasing to the eye and to the touch Competitive: nontrivial but not impossible Social: stimulates interaction Relevant: connects with the real world Skill-building: not pure chance or autoplay

3 Overview Evolution of game software elements: a personal history Examples from 7 games Towards a data-driven game interface Network game architecture Game software design recommendations Game design recommendations

4 The Mfg. Operations Game Text-based screen Large font Menu buttons List-limited inputs

5 The Distribution Game Simple score Few inputs Button control Graphical analysis Multi-purpose screen sections Menu Animated pictorial state of system

6 The Transportation Game Drag and drop interaction Multiple cascaded screens

7 Process Optimization Menu buttons replace menus High impact art Graphical analysis Diverse inputs with pictorial clues Quick help text line Multi-purpose screen sections

8 The M.F.D. Pull Game Centralized control panel Multi-purpose screen sections Animated pictorial state of system Quick help text line Message line

9 Situations Flavor the Game The Manufacturing Operations Game The M.F.D. Pull Game

10 Commercial Game Screen: “Deadlock” Pseudo 3-D view with high impact animated art Iconic menu buttons Multiple screen sections

11 The M.F.D. THRUPUT Game Pseudo 3-D view with high impact animated art Graphical analysis from database query Query control dialog Menu button panel Multi-purpose screen sections Quick help text line Centralized control and dialog panel

12 The M.F.D. Thruput Game Cyclical game sequence control

13 The Engineering Factory Large font status row Menu button panel High impact art section Variable size Centralized control and dialog area Multi- purpose screen sections Quick help text line Variable size

14 The Engineering Factory Graphical analysis from database query: networks and multi- level axes Drill-down list for query control Centralized dialog panel Multi- purpose screen sections

15 Situations Flavor the Game Rich text format document view; document stored in database 3-D rotational view

16 Towards a Data-Driven Game Interface Game components are becoming standard Programming and layout is repetitive Data are coming from relational databases Put component descriptions in database too Databases provide both data and instructions on how to display data Graphs, lists, tree lists, dialogs, control panels, rich text documents, images Result: game interface is more generic

17 Towards a Data-Driven Game Interface Queries define multi-level indices Tables define dialogs Tables and queries define complex charts

18 Network Game Architecture Server Clients Game database executes game Map database describes game Clients interact with game database

19 Game Software Design Recommendations Use multi-purpose screen sections Reserve a section for a centralized control panel (even if it blocks view) Make next steps obvious: eg. cycle Use high impact art Illustrate situations Animate resource states Customize buttons (Hire an artist) Don’t try to be funny: play it straight

20 Game Software Design Recommendations (cont’d) Represent state of system pictorially Animate resource state changes Show history in graphical form Display status in large font (for instructor to see) Plan for different screen resolutions Use iconic menu buttons rather than menus Add tool help text (balloons or text line)

21 Game Design Recommendations Identify a small number of decision variables in a repetitive decision problem Prefer low-level decision to high-level eg. Next city to visit rather than which TSP algorithm to use Flavor the game with situations Break monotony of repetitive problem Illustrate complex problems but treat them as exceptions Keep scoring (and tradeoffs) simple

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23 For More Information Web page


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