Today we introduced the topic for this term’s Code Club: Game Design.
We thought about what makes a game. My list was:
- Rules / Objectives
- Strategy / Skill
- Outcome / Goal
We thought about different genres of games and looked at an example of a side- scrolling platform game (Super Mario Brothers) and an open world game (Minecraft).
We looked at Charlie Brooker’s list of the 25 most significant video games.
Finally we practiced our Kodu terrain creation skills to create a world with mountains, water and a maze.
Here’s some questions we talked about to try and answer before next week’s code club.
- What are your favourite games?
- What makes them enjoyable? How many different genres of video games can you list?
- What are your top 10 video games? What genre are they?
- Can you explain the story, rules and objectives of your favourite in a simple way?
- Why do you think smiley dodgems won last years award?
I had a think about my 10 favourite video games. I’ve gone for chronological order like Charlie Brooker’s list, and tried to cover a variety of platforms. Multiplayer, humour, blowing stuff up, with a decent strategy/puzzle element but that you can dip into for a quick game would seem to make my ideal game – which is probably why I would pick ‘Gauntlet II’ as my all time favourite.
- Bomberman (1983) [ Video] [Play] – Strategy maze game – I loved the 4 player battle mode on the Playstation version and the fun power ups.
- Pac Land (1984) – [Video] [Play] A quirky side scrolling platform game I loved to play in the arcades. Hints of Super Mario Brothers released the following year. Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins [Video] [Play] was another side scroller I enjoyed playing in the arcades for the variety of its levels, and also on my mates Commodore 64 computer.
- 1942 (1984) [Video] [Play]- A ‘vertical scrolling shoot ’em up’ that I loved as you could get a decent length game without too much skill. R-Type (1987) [Video] was another favourite as it was basically the same game set in space.
- Repton 3 (1986) [Video] [Play] – A ‘rocks and diamonds’ strategy game that I played on my Acorn Electron home computer. I liked the strategy and pace. This third version introduced a level editor to allow you to create and play your own levels.
- Gauntlet II (1986) [Video] [Play] – A ‘top down split screen multiplayer dungeon crawl’, this is my favourite arcade game ever. I liked that you could choose which character to play and that they all had slightly different speed and strength. (In Gauntlet II all 4 players could be the same character.) Great sound effects and the immortal narrator informing you ‘Green elf needs food badly’.
- Operation Thunderbolt (1988) [Video] [Play] – A 2D precursor to the 3D Time Crisis (1995) this was a first person rail shooter much played in the arcade.
- Lemmings (1991) [Video] [Play] [Play]- A puzzle platform game played at University on my Acorn Archimedes, great ‘Oh no!’ sound effect when you kill one of your lemmings. The ‘Yippee’ when you save a lemming and the squeal when you lost one.
- Micro Machines V3 (1997) [Video] – A ‘split screen top down multiplayer car racing game’ that I would play on Playstation 2 with my sixth form friends. A bit like a top down version of Mario Kart (1992). You raced toy cars over cartoon real world settings. Heaps of humour and the power ups were lots of fun – particularly the oversized hammer!
- Tomb Raider II (1997) [Video] – An action/adventure game played to completion on the bachelor flat Playstation 2.
- Fruit Ninja (2010) – My favourite casual smartphone game. Great use of the touchscreen and a good difficultly curve that keeps you coming back for one more game.