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C HAPTER 4: G AME A NALYSIS : C ENTIPEDE. S INGLE S CREEN P LAY single screen because of technological limitations the entire game-world on the same screen.

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Presentation on theme: "C HAPTER 4: G AME A NALYSIS : C ENTIPEDE. S INGLE S CREEN P LAY single screen because of technological limitations the entire game-world on the same screen."— Presentation transcript:


2 S INGLE S CREEN P LAY single screen because of technological limitations the entire game-world on the same screen make their decisions with a full knowledge of the state of that game- world. more than one screen’s worth of gameplay by switching play-fields or modifying existing ones to create additional “levels.” at any one time the game-world still consisted of just that one screen.

3 I NFINITE P LAY Players can play the game forever. There is no ending to the game, and hence no winning it either. This was done in part to allow players to challenge themselves, to see how long they could play on a single quarter Every game ends with the player’s death Having an unwinnable game also necessitates making a game that continuously becomes more challenging, With the advent of the home market, game publishers no longer wanted players to play a single game forever.

4 M ULTIPLE L IVES Typically, classic arcade games allow players a finite number of tries, or a number of “lives,” before their game is over. multiple lives allowed novice players a chance to learn the game’s mechanics before the game was over Given adequate chances to try to figure out how the game works, players are more likely to want to play again if they improved from one life to the next. which in turn encourages players to take risks they might not otherwise.

5 S CORING /H IGH S CORES the score allows players to ascertain how well they did at the game, since winning the game is impossible Rank table and initials players could have a point of comparison to see just how good they really were. The high-score table motivations for playing games competition

6 E ASY - TO -L EARN, S IMPLE G AMEPLAY Classic arcade games were easy for players to learn, impossible to master. Players could walk up to a game of Centipede, plunk in their quarter, and by their third life have a good idea of how the game functioned and how they might play better. There were typically no “special moves” involving large combinations of buttons that players had to learn through trial and error. There were few games with tricky concepts such as “health” or “shields” or “power-ups.” commercial considerations were probably a factor in making these games simple to learn novice players might be scared away if the game were too complex

7 N O S TORY arcade games almost universally stay away from trying to “tell a story” many of them revolving around science fiction themes, though others dabbled in war, fantasy, and sports, among others game designers did not feel required come up with a story, why players were shooting at a given target or eating a certain type of dot,


9 C ENTIPEDE follows all of the characteristics of the classic arcade game. Though not a very complex game by today’s standards, the marvel of Centipede is how all of the different gameplay elements work together to create a uniquely challenging game. It is easy enough to make a game ramp up in difficulty by adding more and more enemies, but Centipede naturally increases the challenge by the interplay of its few elements so that the game organically becomes more difficult over time. Nothing in Centipede is out of place, nothing is inconsistent, nothing is unbalanced. To analyze Centipede is to attempt to understand how to design the perfect game.

10 I NPUT providing players with an extremely precise analog control device in the form of a trackball. Players can move the ship quickly or slowly, whatever the situation calls for. it can move up and down in addition to moving sideways The game allows an infinitely fast rate of fire, but only one shot can be on the screen at a time, which means players have to think beyond just holding down the fire button constantly. when the enemies are far away, they are less of a threat, but players have trouble killing them. As the critters get closer, players can kill the bugs more easily, but their chance of dying goes up This keeps the game perfectly balanced, and requires players to plan their shots carefully,

11 I NTERCONNECTEDNESS Centipede: Moves horizontal from the top of the screen to the player’s area at the bottom At the start of a wave, the number of centipede segments on the screen always totals twelve Spider: moves in a diagonal, bouncing pattern across the bottom of the screen, passing in and out of the player’s area. Flea: plummets vertically, straight down nothing terribly sophisticated movements The scorpion travels horizontally across the top half of the screen. Centipede and Flea more predictable, spider random when they function together they combine to create uniquely challenging situations for players

12 I NTERCONNECTEDNESS Each of the insects in the game also has a unique relationship to the mushrooms, mushrooms is to speed up the centipede’s progress to the bottom of the screen every time players shoot a segment of the centipede it leaves a mushroom where it died. flea leaves a trail of new mushrooms behind itself. Kill it to stop. The flea only comes on to the play-field if less than a certain number of mushrooms are on the bottom half of the screen The spider, the creature that poses the biggest threat to players, has the side effect that it eats mushrooms. The scorpion poisons the mushrooms it passes under. when a centipede hits a poisoned mushroom, the centipede will move vertically straight down to the bottom of the screen.

13 E SCALATING T ENSION The game actually creates peaks and valleys in which tension escalates to an apex and, with the killing of the last centipede segment, relaxes for a moment as the game switches over to the next wave One small way in which the game escalates tension over a few seconds is through the flea, which is the only enemy in the game players must shoot twice. When it is shot just once, its speed increases dramatically and players must quickly shoot it again to avoid being hit. For that brief speed burst, tension escalates. In terms of the centipede itself, the game escalates the tension by splitting the centipede each time it is shot. If players shoot the middle segment of an eleven-segment centipede, it will split into two five- segment centipedes that head in opposite directions

14 E SCALATING T ENSION centipede’s approach toward the bottom of the screen, a special centipede head generator is activated Once players kill the last segment, the game goes to its next wave, a moment of rest. the mushrooms inevitably become more and more packed on the play-field. if the scorpion has left any poisoned mushrooms toward the top of the screen, players have no chance whatsoever of destroying them Centipede also balances its monsters to become harder and harder as players’ scores increase. And since the score can never decrease, the tension escalates over the course of the game. the game always generates a total of twelve centipede segments and heads at the top of the screen

15 E SCALATING T ENSION The player’s death also provides a brief respite from the tension. all the partially destroyed mushrooms are returned to their undamaged state and all of the mushrooms poisoned by the scorpion are returned to their unpoisoned state.


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