A Sample Game Design Documents B Bibliography and References Glossary Index Game Architecture and Design: A New Edition. The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and are with the second edition of Game Architecture & Design. 00 _FM_Intro. A Sample Game Design Documents B Bibliography and. Case Study An Example of a Look 00 _FM_Intro.

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CS Game Architecture. CS – Computer Game Design. Credit: Some slide material courtesy Walker White (Cornell). Game Architecture &. Implementation Design Patterns. ▫ Java Interface Types References: ▫ Game Engine Design and Implementation, Alan. Thorn, Jones. This is a detailed guide to game design and planning from first concept to the start of development, including case studies of well known games. Originally.

However, explicit, intrinsic knowledge— based challenges are more often found in role-playing or adventure games. Here, a good knowledge of the game world and the background story and characters is essential to progress in the game.

In real terms, this means that if you were to start a new game of, for example, Warren Spector's Deus Ex by loading a saved game provided by someone else, and it started you halfway through the game, you would have a much harder time trying to progress through the game than you would if you had started from the beginning. Pattern-Recognition Challenges According to the theorists, the impressive abilities demonstrated by the human brain mainly stem from one basic ability: pattern recognition.

In essence, our brain is a generalized pattern-recognition machine; our brain implicitly forms archetypes of objects and events and compares new experiences with these archetypes to recognize which category they fall under. For example, there are many different shapes and forms for tables, but somehow we always implicitly recognize a table when we see one, even if we have never seen that particular table. According to some theories on learning, all types of learning are a form of pattern recognition and classification.

When learning to speak, we are required to recognize and classify the sounds we hear as babies. In fact, to deal with everyday life, we are constantly recognizing patterns in events and using these to classify what is happening so that we can act according to past similar experiences. You know not to walk into a road without looking because you recognize the archetypal road, the archetypal event of walking across a road, and the possibility of the archetypal car or truck colliding with you and smearing you along several hundred yards of archetypal highway.

In this particular case, the human brain's ability to recognize patterns is sometimes overeager for the technically minded, it uses a greedy algorithm and can recognize patterns where there arguably are none. The name for this phenomenon is pareidolia, a type of illusion or misperception involving a vague or obscure stimulus being perceived as something clear and distinct.

Human history is littered with examples of this: the constellations of stars in the night sky, the man in the moon, the whole field of astrology, and the articles that appear regularly in the National Enquirer proudly displaying the face of Jesus in a sesame seed bun. In fact, the Rorschach test, first published by Herman Rorschach in , relies on the brain's overactive capacity for pattern recognition to attempt psychometric evaluation of the patient.

You can see this effect for yourself: Stare up at the clouds and see what they resemble as an imaginative game designer, you should have no problem with this. For a slightly less subjective test, stare at the static on a television set for a minute or two, and you should begin to see imaginary structures pinwheeling about the screen.

This is the brain attempting to find patterns where there are none. A Google search on "nature versus nurture" and "pareidolia" will turn up lots of useful links on these subjects. These illusions work primarily because of the way the brain's pattern recognition ability works. The top-left image is merely a set of straight lines with right angles, but we perceive it as an octagon with a square in the center.

The top-right image could be taken from a Pac-Man conference, but we also see a phantom white triangle. The bottom-left image conjures up ghostly gray spots at the intersections. The bottom-right image appears to spin in different directions as you focus on the black dot in the center and move the page toward you. In some fairly unique games, the brain's ability to recognize patterns can be tuned into, to enhance the ability of the player.

An example of this is Tetris. Tetris can be played consciously, examining each block as it falls and actively deciding where to stack the block for best effect. However, the best players don't seem to play like this, especially at the later levels, where blocks fall too fast to be able to make any conscious decision where to put them. Instead, these players seem to tune into the game at an almost subconscious level and enter what we call the "Tetris trance," a Zen-like state in which the players seem to lose all track of time and don't concentrate on the specifics of the game board.

Instead the players defocus and appear to process the entire playing area as a whole, without considering the individual elements. In fact, if these players were in the Star Wars universe, the Force would be strong in them. In reality, however, it appears that these players are tapping into their brain's subconscious pattern-recognition ability to improve their game.

Tetris is not the only game in which this occurs. Pretty much any game that uses pattern-recognition challenges as the primary gameplay mechanism can be played in such a way, although we certainly believe that it helps if those games have a clear and simple presentation. Maybe that is because the area of the brain dealing with pattern recognition is quite primal and, to process information quickly at that level, needs the information to be presented clearly so that minimal preprocessing is required.

Of course, this is pure speculation on our part, but it is no coincidence that many of the older games that are now considered classics are those that can be played in this fashion. The one thing that all of these games have in common apart from their reliance on pattern-recognition challenges is their simple presentation.

Classic games such as Robotron, Defender, and Sinistar all exhibit this feature. So, if the brain's primary cognitive function is to recognize patterns, what does this mean in terms of gameplay? Pattern-recognition challenges can make or break a game, depending on how they are used.

Although they should be commended on their acumen, this does not make the game fun for the other players. This could rapidly degenerate to the situation in which it is almost as if the predicting player is a god of the game world and the other players are mere pawns, with no free will of their own.

NOTE Note that the opposing players can be either humans with limited play options or a computer opponent that has been programmed to respond in certain ways to specific inputs. We heard a story once about a game with an adaptive computer opponent; the opponent's skill level depended on the perceived level of skill of the player.

Soon players discovered that the easiest way to progress past difficult levels in the game was to deliberately do badly in the levels immediately preceding the difficult level, whereupon the computer immediately eased up on the player, making the difficult level slightly easier. Although this is an ingenious and valid approach, it is probably not what the designer intended, even from emergent behavior.

No battle in the field has ever been won by the enemy commander sympathizing with his opponents' lack of ability and "going easy on them.

Just don't make it so recognizable to the player that she can exploit it to progress in the game. This is one pattern that you do not want the player to recognize.

Plenty of basic pattern-recognition games exist. In this game, the players take turns laying a card from their hands face up on the discard pile, making sure that it is unseen by any player until the last possible moment. When the card is turned face up, the players check to see if it matches the card underneath and by match, we mean it is of the same face value.

That's the pattern-recognition challenge. If there is a match, the first player to shout "Snap! If any players run out of cards, they are out of the game. The winner is the last player remaining with any cards in his hand. In the early days of computer games, patterns were a lot more prevalent or, at least, more obvious in games than they are today.

There could be any number of reasons for this. Maybe patterns were the most efficient way to code for an interesting game, given the limited processing power of the target platform. Another option is that the patterns are always there in games, but in the older games they stood out in stark relief against the simplicity of the gameplay.

Games such as Space Invaders and Galaxians made heavy use of patterns. In many cases, playing effectively was simply a matter of memorizing the patterns and reacting accordingly.

This play method persisted through most of the shoot 'em-ups that were produced until recently. However, even Iridion 3D released on the Game Boy Advance is a shoot 'em-up that defines attack wave patterns that can be learned and dealt with accordingly.

This is a very transparent use of patterns and temporal pattern recognition, and it would be considered a bit simplistic and naive for unmodified use in a game design today. However, it is certainly a useful starting point for the inclusion of pattern-recognition challenges in your own game designs. Slightly more advanced use of pattern recognition is evident in many games that involved exploration.

For example, in Doom, secret doorways could be found by searching for an area of wall that looked slightly different from the norm. Also, games such as the previously mentioned Dungeon Master relied on pattern-recognition challenges for the player to decipher the complex systems of runes governing spells and spell casting.

Platform games, such as the Mario series of games, often rely on pattern-recognition challenges quite heavily. Not only are the levels carefully scripted to be a repeatable hence, learnable experience, but the end-of-level bosses also tend to behave according to a certain pattern.

Thus, in Super Mario Advance, you can defeat one of the end- of-level baddies by carefully counting how many flaming spit wads she ejects and then attacking in the interim.

In this case, the pattern-recognition challenge is used to make the game more manageable. This is an example in which two distinct challenge types work together synergistically to improve the gameplay potential. The whole is more than the sum of the parts. Moral Challenges A moral challenge is a high-level challenge that can operate at several levels. Without delving too deeply into the field of metaethics, we can define these levels as universal, cultural, tribal, and personal.

These levels are ordered from the all-encompassing to the specific. Each successive level affects a smaller moral area than the previous one.

Rollings A., Morris D. Game Architecture and Design

Usually, the lower levels have precedence, but that is not always the case. Let us assume that there are no absolutes in morality. This implies that it is fundamentally incorrect to say that there is a definite right or wrong answer to a moral challenge; so much depends on context, emotional state, and past experience that an answer that might be correct for one individual would be totally wrong for another.

An example: It is wrong to steal. But is it wrong to steal food if the only alternative is to starve? The answer to this depends on the individual. But how does this example apply to games?

In many games, the player is asked to make such choices. Raven's Voyager: Elite Force presents such a moral challenge early in the game: Should you save your teammate from the Borg and go against the captain's orders, jeopardizing the success of the mission? We examine examples of the various forms that moral challenges can take in more detail. Before we can do this, however, we need to further define our various levels of moral challenge.

Note that this is subjective: Exactly what defines the differences among universal, cultural, and tribal designations depends on context and the personal views of the observer. In the case of game design, it means that our definitions directly depend on the scope of the game.

For example, a game set in America with no mention of the rest of the world would treat the whole of America as the universe. From here, the divisions of cultural and tribal entities would depend entirely on the game designers. They are under no compulsion to stick to reality—after all, it is their game.

A universal moral challenge is invariant no matter what the context is. By this, we mean that the correct moral outcome is independent of the entity making the choice. It would not matter if you were a human or a Zlerg from the planet Zlumpf—the correct choice would be the same. Universal moral challenges are concerned with the good of the universe as a whole.

In the real world, they are most likely only a theoretical construct — a null container or superset for all the lower moral levels. They are extremely difficult to define and, as such, are a fairly rare form of challenge. In the limited context of a computer game, however, the cultural and universal morality levels are usually one and the same.

Often you will get a cultural moral challenge masquerading as a universal challenge; this is usually due to the game designer's inability to look outside her own backyard.

This used to be a staple error in old sci-fi movies. Whenever the world was under threat, you'd see only America invaded—it was as if the rest of the world simply didn't exist.

One of the main difficulties in defining a universal moral challenge is to define the limits. Do you say that the population of the world defines the moral universe, or is there life elsewhere in the universe governed by these morals? These are difficult metaphysical questions to answer, and the fact that games are set in a simulated universe does not make it any easier.

Moral challenges are unusual in that they explicitly rely on the players' real- world experiences to provide their gameplay value. Hence, our views on the world directly affect our playing experience. For our purposes, we define the universal challenge as pertaining to all living beings in existence, within the confines of the game's simulated universe.

As an example, imagine that the player is given a choice to go back in time to just before the birth of the universe and prevent it from happening. To simplify the choice, let's assume that the player's avatar is given amnesty from the effects of his choice: He would still exist and be able to live a paradoxically normal life, whatever the outcome.

Given sufficient reasons for and against this would be a difficult moral choice to make. Should the player destroy all existence before it even comes into being, or should he allow things to happen as normal? Obviously, you'd need a pretty good set of reasons for and against to make this into a difficult choice, but let's assume that the game designer has done a good job of setting that up for us. At a lower level than the universal challenge is the cultural challenge. Here we define a culture as a loosely affiliated collection of individuals all living by roughly the same standards; they do not necessarily have to be affiliated in any way other than their living standards and general lifestyle.

For example, the Western world could be loosely viewed as a culture. If we wanted to take it down to a slightly finer grain, we could consider America as a culture.

We could go further still and define Native American culture, Southern culture, Californian culture, and others. Consequently, our definition of a cultural moral challenge is one that deals with the good of that culture as a whole. An example of dealing with the consequences of a moral challenge at the cultural level was provided in the film Alien Nation, directed by Graham Baker. In the opening scenes of this film, America specifically, Los Angeles is faced by a request for asylum from an escaped race of aliens genetically bred for slavery.

The moral choice is whether to welcome the aliens into society, risking the dilution or destruction of human culture, or to turn the aliens away. Fortunately for us, the smaller the scale of the moral choice is, the easier it is to define and give examples. Tribal moral choices are much smaller in scope. Note that the use of the word tribal is not intended to imply tribes in the full sense of the word; we use it here to mean any group of closely affiliated individuals.

In a sense, a family unit can be considered a tribe, as can a role-playing adventure group and an American football team. Tribal moral choices are those that affect the well-being of the tribe.

In fictional works, drawing lots usually solves this particular situation: a nonideal solution that avoids the difficult moral choice by abdicating the decision to the whims of chance. Easiest of all to define, and perhaps the most familiar, is the personal moral choice. This is a moral choice made by an individual that has a direct outcome on that individual's own well-being and state of mind. There are no repercussions other than at the personal level for the player making the choice.

For example, in Will Wright's The Sims, the characters can earn money in a number of ways. A character can get a job and earn money the hard way, or he can become a professional widow: marry other characters and then kill them for the inheritance. The onus of this moral choice is really on the individual player. There are no lasting repercussions in the game world for murdering your husband or wife, and so apart from the individual morals of the player these are both equally valid methods of making money.

This also depends on the player's level of involvement. It could be rendered more effective if there were unavoidable consequences within the game world. The ghost of the dead Sim does not count; it can be removed by selling the tombstone.

Moral dilemmas do not have to reside fully within one level. In fact, dynamically altering the priorities of these levels to force the player to decide between solving a moral dilemma within each fork in a different level can often lead to interesting and challenging gameplay.

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For example, we could posit a moral choice around the validity of the statement "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Until now, games have not sufficiently explored this area.

Dealing with moral dilemmas has not traditionally been an area in which games excel. Morality in games has barely been considered at any level above simple "black and white" no pun intended playground morality. One reason for this is the difficulty of involving the player in difficult emotional situations; the willing suspension of disbelief required for the player to actively participate and believe in difficult emotional decisions is greater than that required for simpler choices.

Hence, games that have employed moral decisions as a gameplay factor have relied on the simple "this is good, that is bad" approach. More recently, a game that has attempted to some success to deal with moral decisions in a more adult fashion is Lionhead's Black and White. Despite the title, the game attempts to deal with a moral spectrum. The player takes on the role of a god tending to the needs of her people.

Aiding in the quest is a familiar, taking the form of a giant creature that can be trained to follow orders. The player is free to become any kind of god that she wants: from sickeningly good to terribly evil and anywhere in between. The nature of the god is reflected in the creature and the appearance of the land.

How well this works in practice is open to discussion. So far, players have tended to gravitate directly toward total evil or total goodness. Although it cannot be strictly classed as a weakness or flaw, the cartoonlike nature of the game does undermine the seriousness of the moral decisions involved.

This could be a good thing, of course — after all, you don't necessarily want your player to be racked by guilt for days after performing a questionable act. That would be going too far if, indeed, it was possible. Spatial-Awareness Challenges Spatial-awareness challenges are usually implicit. Only a handful of games have relied on explicit spatial-awareness challenges, and, in most cases, they were 2D games, such as Tron the light-cycles game and Snakes.

A recent update of Tron is shown in Figure 7. Spatial-awareness challenges are a specialized hybrid of a memory challenge and an inference challenge. Games that rely on spatial awareness are usually 3D games. The challenge of representing a 3D world on a 2D surface, and the challenge to the player to make sense of that representation form the bulk of the spatial awareness problem.

In many cases, the player receives aid in the form of a computer-generated map, but in other cases, such as Quake III, the player is left to his own devices to find his way around the world. The types of games that usually rely heavily on spatial-awareness challenges are flight simulators, space-flying games, and 3D combat games particularly Quake III and Unreal Tournament.

To a lesser extent, 2D games that involve large playing areas, such as Age of Kings, also use spatial-awareness challenges. Coordination Challenges Pretty much any game uses coordination challenges. Coordination challenges basically test the ability of the player to perform many simultaneous actions.

In its pure form, a coordination challenge is not dependent on any time constraints, but it isn't often found in the pure form. Here, the player is expected to finely time jumps across wide chasms while avoiding circling enemies, requiring a plethora of accurately timed button presses from the player.

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Shooting games of various sorts pose a challenge of accuracy: lining up a shot at a target, when the player or the target or both might be moving.

Steering also requires accuracy. Flight simulators that properly model the behavior of aircraft, or racing simulators that accurately model the behavior of racing cars, require a high degree of precision. Airplanes, in particular, usually respond rather slowly to their controls. A player expecting an instant response will tend to overcompensate, pushing farther and farther forward on the joystick when the plane's nose doesn't drop right away, and then yanking it back in panic when it finally drops much farther than he intended in the first place.

Some games are forgiving about precision, allowing the player to be sloppy; others demand a delicate touch. Back before racing cars had airfoils to help hold them on the pavement, they flipped over very easily and required a much higher degree of skill from their drivers to keep them on the road. Timing is the ability to overcome an obstacle by coordinating player moves with something else that is happening onscreen.

Many video games present a weakness in an opponent's defenses for a limited period of time that, with practice, a player can learn to anticipate. Ducking under a constantly rotating hazard, for example, involves timing. Running and jumping across a chasm by pressing the Jump button at the last second is also an example of timing.

It's related to reaction time, but instead of trying to do something as fast as possible, the player is trying to do something at exactly the right moment. Many fighting games require complex sequences of joystick moves and button presses that, once mastered, will allow a "special move"—a particularly devastating attack, for example.

These take a long time to learn and require very good motor coordination to achieve consistently. This sort of challenge is best suited to a player who can tolerate a high degree of frustration, or to a game that gives ample reward for this kind of persistence.

Games that rely heavily on such techniques are difficult to balance. It is difficult to balance games that are based purely on physical dexterity.

What one player might find easy, a different player might find impossible. The simplest example of a reaction time challenge which we previously mentioned is the children's card game Snap. The types of games that most commonly exhibit this type of challenge are platform games, fast shoot 'em-ups, first-person shooters, and pure arcade games such as Tetris and Centipede. This type of challenge is a factor of most action games. In an action game, the speed at which you operate the controls often maps directly to the speed at which your avatar reacts.

This is not always exactly true because your avatar might be displayed by animations that require a certain length of time to execute, but in general, the faster a player can move and the better his reaction time is, the greater advantage he has.

Good speed and reaction time are particularly valuable in fighting games. Physical Challenges Physical challenges are extremely rare in games. The input methods available for computer games do not lend themselves to physical activity—at least, not without the download of specialized hardware.

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Games such as Samba De Amigo and Dance Dance Revolution provide custom controller hardware, such as a special dance pad that enables the player to control the game by dancing on the pad. Others, such as Konami's Hypersport, don't use specialized hardware, relying on a standard joystick and, consequently, focusing the physical challenge to the hand and lower arm of the player. Physical challenges are not often found in their pure form, and because of the expense and difficulty of including them in games, they are not often found at all.

Applied Challenges You will recall from Chapter 2 that gameplay consists of the challenges the player faces, plus the actions she can take to overcome them. As we said previously, designing the gameplay is one of your most important design tasks. To some extent, the nature of the challenge suggests the nature of the player's response. The best games, however, allow the player to think creatively and use unconventional actions to meet the challenges. At the concept stage, you don't have to define precisely what challenges the player will face, but it's good to have an idea of what kinds of challenges you want in the game.

Applied challenges are the application and use of the pure challenge forms we have discussed thus far. An applied challenge is a combination of one or more pure challenge forms applied to a given gameplay situation or style. Races A race is an attempt to accomplish something before someone else does. It doesn't have to be a physical race through space; it can also be a race to construct something, to accumulate something, or to do practically anything else.

Normally we think of races as peaceful, involving competition without conflict, but, of course, they can be combined with conflict as well. Because races put time pressure on the player, they discourage careful strategic thought and instead encourage direct, brute-force solutions.

If the player has only 15 seconds to get through a host of enemies and disarm a bomb, he's not going to pick them off one by one with sniping shots; he's going to mow them down and charge through the gap, even if it means taking a lot of damage.

Puzzles Far too many kinds of puzzles exist to list here, but a puzzle is primarily a mental challenge. Often a puzzle is presented as a sort of lock that, when solved, opens another part of the game. The player is presented with a series of objects—often objects that are related in ways that are not directly obvious—and he must manipulate them into a certain configuration to solve the puzzle.

To solve the puzzle, it's necessary to understand the relationship among the objects, usually by trial and error and close observation.

Players normally get all the time they need to solve puzzles. Because different people have differing amounts of brainpower, requiring that a puzzle be solved within a time limit might make the game impossible for some players.

A few games offer puzzles whose correct solution is not made clear at the outset. The player not only has to understand how the puzzle works, but also has to guess at the solution she is trying to achieve. We consider this a case of bad game design: It forces the player to solve the puzzle by trial and error alone because there's no way to tell when she's on the right track. Infidel was one such game. In the final puzzle at the end of the game, to open a stone sarcophagus, the player had to find 1 of 24 possible combinations of objects.

There were no hints about which combination was correct; the player simply had to try them all. Exploration Exploration is a key element of many games and is often its own reward.

Players enjoy moving into new areas and seeing new things, but exploration cannot be free of challenge or it will just become "sightseeing. To prevent this, we design obstacles that make the players work for their freedom to explore. The simplest sort of obstacle to exploration is the locked door. We don't literally mean a door with a lock in it, but any device that prevents the player from going on until he has done something to unlock it.

You can require the player to do an infinite number of things: find a key elsewhere and bring it to the door; find and manipulate a hidden control usually unmarked that opens the door; solve a puzzle that is built into the door; discover a magic word; defeat the doorkeeper in a test of skill, either physical or mental; and so on.

The trick is to make the challenge interesting and fresh. Another common obstacle is the trap. A trap is a device that somehow harms the player's avatar when triggered— possibly killing her or causing damage—and, in any case, discouraging her from coming that way or using that move again. A trap is like a locked door with higher stakes: It poses an actual threat to the player.

A player might simply withstand some traps if they don't do too much damage; other traps can be disarmed or circumvented in some way. If a player has no way of detecting a trap and can find it only by falling into it, it's really just the designer's way of slowing the player down. It's not much fun for the player. For players, the real fun comes in outwitting traps: finding and disabling them without getting caught in them. This gives players a pleasurable feeling of having outfoxed you, the designer, even as you were trying to outfox them.

Yet another example is the maze. A maze is an area where every place looks alike, or mostly alike, and the player has to discover how the places are related to get out, usually by wandering around. Good mazes are implemented as a sort of puzzle, in which the player can deduce the organization of the maze from clues found in the rooms.

Poor mazes simply put the player in an area and let her find the way out by trial and error. Illogical spaces are a variant on the maze theme. In old text adventure games, it was not uncommon that going north from area A took you to area B, but going south from area B did not take you back to area A. The relationships among the spaces were illogical. This challenge requires the player to keep a map, because he can't rely on his common sense to learn his way around.

In modern games with 3D engines, illogical spaces are more difficult to implement than they were in text adventures. Illogical spaces are now considered an outdated technique, but they still crop up from time to time. If you're going to use them, do so sparingly, and only in places where there's an explanation for it: "Beware! There is a rip in the fabric of space-time! Teleporters are the modern equivalent of illogical spaces. A teleporter is any mechanism that suddenly transports the player from where she is to someplace else.

Teleporters are often hidden, which means that players trying to explore an area get caught in them and moved elsewhere without warning. If there are many hidden teleporters in an area, they can make it very difficult to explore. Teleporters can further complicate matters by not always working the same way, teleporting the player to one place the first time they are used, but to somewhere else the second time, and so on. They can also be one-way or two-way, teleporting players somewhere with no way to get back, or allowing them to teleport back again.

Conflict Conflict is a central element of a great many games because it seems almost inherent in the notion of winning and losing. To win a game, you have to beat the other players. The question is how you beat them. If you beat them by attacking them directly in some way, the game is about conflict.

This doesn't necessarily mean combat or violence; checkers is a completely bloodless game, but it's still about conflict. A strategic challenge is one in which the player must look carefully at the game and devise a plan of action. In a strategic game, the player's chance of winning depends greatly on the quality of her plan. Chance luck and missing information interfere with strategy. Chess is the classic strategy game because it contains no element of chance and offers complete information to both players.

Backgammon is a game with some strategy, but it also depends a great deal on luck. Pure strategy games favor the player with a certain type of talent, and they appeal most to the kinds of people who have that talent. Because computer games are usually aimed at a broader audience, relatively few offer pure strategy games. They tend to include elements of chance and missing information as well. Tactics involve putting a plan into execution, the process of accomplishing the goals that strategy calls for.

Tactics are also about responding to unexpected events or conditions, which can include new information or bad luck. Even chess has tactics: The unknown quantity is your opponent, and she might make moves that you did not anticipate.

Responding to them requires tactical skill. It's possible to design a purely tactical game with no strategy. A small-squad combat game in which the soldiers are always moving into unknown territory contains no opportunities for strategy—you can't plan if you don't know where you're going or what you're up against—but many for tactics, such as keeping your soldiers covered, taking advantage of their particular skills, and so on.

The business of supporting troops in the field and bringing fresh troops to the front lines is called logistics. Most war games don't bother with logistical challenges such as transporting food and fuel to where they're needed. These activities are generally considered boring and distracting from the main purpose of the game, which is combat.

Real armies have whole teams of people responsible for logistics and could never win without this support; computer games have only the player to handle everything, so it stands to reason that he should be concentrating on more exciting tasks such as attack and defense.

However, modern real-time strategy RTS games have introduced one important logistical challenge: weapons production. Unlike board war games, in which the player commonly starts with a fixed number of troops, RTSs now require the player to produce weapons and to research new ones from a limited amount of available raw material.

The production facilities themselves must be constructed and then defended. This has changed the entire face of war-gaming, adding a new logistical challenge to what was formerly a purely combat-oriented genre. In role-playing games, the limited size of the characters' inventories presents another logistical challenge.

The player must frequently decide what to carry and what to leave behind. Equipping and balancing a party of heterogeneous characters with all that they need to face a dangerous adventure occupies a significant amount of the player's time. Of course, sometimes this is the fault of a badly designed inventory system, in which an apple takes up the same amount of space as a single coin.

On a smaller scale, personal conflict, as a one-on-one or one-on-many challenge, is a key feature of many action games. The player controls an avatar who battles directly against one or more opponents, often at very high speeds. The challenge of personal combat is immediate, exciting, and visceral. The fundamental challenge in any game based on conflict is survival. If characters can be removed from the field of play by death or any other means, it is essential to preserve their lives or effective playing time, or you cannot achieve the victory condition.

In a few games, survival is itself the victory condition and no other achievements are required, but in most, survival is necessary but not sufficient to win.

Ludo Modi Varietas: A Game-architecture inspired design approach for BCSS

If I download the print edition, can I get the eBook cheaper? Yes, mostly. I have MatchBook enabled on the site edition.

I am a poor student. How can I get your book cheaply? I had you in mind when I decided to put the entire contents of the book on the web for free. I put more than five years of my life into this book, and I want as many people to have access to it as possible. The web version is also a great starting point to see if you like the book before you plunk down cash. Do the digital editions use DRM?

Heck no! If you have been kind enough to pay for the book, I want to give you the most flexibility I can. You should be able to freely transfer it to all of your devices, archive it, etc. How can I get the print edition?Andrew Rollings. That is because gameplay is not a singular entity. Hence, we need to define specifically that our gameplay events are linked by causality.

Product details Paperback: Economic challenges are defined in terms of the flow of resources. Each designer has his or her own personal definition of gameplay, formed from exposure to many examples over the course of a career. Even the free web version. Do you say that the population of the world defines the moral universe, or is there life elsewhere in the universe governed by these morals?

Is the game's collection of challenges a related group, or is it a compilation of unrelated elements?