CAP 211 - Interactive Design and Game Development

Review for First Test

The following questions are provided to help you study for the first test. Do not expect to see these exact questions on the test.

  1. What do Rollings and Adams mean when they say a game depends on our ability to pretend?

  2. The authors mentioned above believe that you have been a game designer in the past, even if you have not thought of it as such. Give an example of when you either did what they said or you could have done it. What were the circumstances, and what kind of decisions were involved?

  3. What are the arguments to support the statement that game design is not a science?

  4. Explain the difference between the meanings of the words story and narrative, as defined by Rollings and Adams. Give an example of a game with very little narrative, and a game with a lot of narrative, and state the story of each. Explain why you believe each game has the amount of narrative you say it does.

  5. Name three things that can frustrate a player who enjoys games that have a lot of narrative content.

  6. Explain what is meant by a player being "in a groove", "in the zone", or "in the flow" when playing a game.

  7. Why must a game's behaviors be documented? Who needs to see this documentation?

  8. What is a high concept document, what are five things that should be in it?

  9. What is the purpose of a game treatment document, as explained in class?

  10. A game script document is also called a game bible. How is the audience for this document different from the audience for the documents in the previous two questions?

  11. Consider the list of skills various authors would like to see in an ideal game designer. Pick three that you think are the most important, and explain why they are the most important to you.

  12. Why must you take care not to steal the work of others?

  13. What is the basic difference between a toy, a puzzle, and a game? Discuss an example of something you thought was one, and was really one of the others,

  14. What does Jesse Schell mean when he suggests that you should analyze memories instead of experiences? What does he mean when he suggests you should sneak glances at the analysis of an experience?

  15. The purpose of a game should be to entertain someone else. What does this mean to a game designer?

  16. A game may have a defined victory condition or a defined loss condition, or both. Explain how a game may end in each case, with regard to the players state at the end.

  17. What is an avatar in a game?

  18. Explain these four kinds of perspective in a game:
    first person
    third person
    top down
    side scroller

  19. What does the word structure have to do with transitions in a game?

  20. Why are realistic and abstract approaches only two points on a spectrum instead of being two mutually exclusive alternatives?

  21. Consider Richard Bartle's statement that players tend to either act or interact, with other players or with the world of the game. Explain how you fit in that four quadrant scheme for most games, and discuss whether or not you fit the label Bartle applies to that quadrant.

  22. Name two game genres listed in the notes that are generally attractive to you, and two that you generally avoid. What could you do to improve your work if you are assigned to work on a game whose genre you do not care for?

  23. How do Rollings and Adams define an action game? What two simple categories do they use for action games?

  24. What do we mean by "local effect weapons"?

  25. What are the three elements mentioned in the notes that are common to shooter games?

  26. What are some examples of non-shooter action games?

  27. What is a checkpoint (waypoint) in a shooter game? What would be an alternative to checkpoints that players might like better?

  28. How does an infinite monster generator change the strategy for a level?

  29. What is the difference between a turn based strategy game and a real time strategy game?

  30. Why would a strategy game need a theme more than an action game might need one?

  31. What are the six components of the Unreal Engine listed in the first chapter of the Unreal text?

  32. Diagram the game loop from chapter 1 of the Unreal text, and explain why Unreal is an event driven system.

  33. What is contained in a map file for the Unreal Editor?

    What is contained in a package file for the Unreal Editor?

  34. Explain the difference between a static mesh and a skeletal mesh in Unreal.

  35. Why is it recommended to use instances of static meshes in an Unreal level?