The rapid advancements in technology has led us in creationof many applications in fulfilment of our objectives, specifically, for our ownentertainment. Today, one of the biggest contributor in the entertainmentindustry is the gaming industry. The gaming industry exists in many platforms,a personal computer, a console, or a mobile phone 2. Inmany years of advancements in technology, which includes the technologyinvolved in games, one of the biggest question behind the aspiring gamedeveloper is the definition of a game. Games are activities that providesamusement to the persons that engages on it. Games, or playing games havebecome really vague for many developers and researchers, for it has no formalmeaning; it changes overtime, the same behaviour of what modern games are.Nowadays, what has driven people to create games is that, anything can beturned in to a game, and a game can also be turned in to another game.
1Before a game becomes popular, it starts as a mereidea. This idea is shared from person to person, that promotes interaction.Thru the word of mouth that begins from two persons, to four, to many more andthe idea behind the game spreads like a virus and it becomes a source ofamusement and entertainment to many audiences. 5 Games have psychologicaleffects to players that increases their engagement, interest, competitiveness,achievement, teamwork, and learning that gives them the satisfaction of beinggratified.
They develop motivation on these games for gratification by peoplewho plays the same game. Games induce intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, andthis drives a player to play the game again and again, along with other playersthat keeps a game popular. 6Gaming, was arguably debated as “work of children”.
This was apparent to the development of “serious games”, which are games thatrequires the use of mind. A game called Chaturanga – argued by historians to bethe precursor to chess, developed in 7th century was the first gamein history to explicitly apply a militaristic metaphor to a boardgame. This hasproven to have given a historical application in military contexts.In the modern day, with the rapid development oftechnology, came with the great demand in video games. A video game becomespopular not only by word of mouth, or the gratification obtained by gamesalone. Gaming, in the recent years, have become a multi-billion dollarindustry, owned by some of the biggest companies, particularly in the U.S.,that made large contributions to the economy.
Specifically, In 2009, the U.S.video game industry added $4.
9 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic ProductGDP, attained $10.5 billion in retail sales, and both directly and indirectlyemployed over 120,000 people 8.
Behind great success of a certain industry comeswith great amount of marketing. The modern age of technology have become agreat medium in order to market products, one of such is the game itself. Oneof the most effective way of marketing is called viral marketing, that usessocial media as its medium to advertise the product itself. In 2011, games suchas FarmVille and CityVille have managed to get 100 million players in just afew weeks after it has been launched 7. Games,in general, consists of many elements that plays a big factor for it to beplayed by many audiences. Each game provides different experiences, all ofwhich are aimed for the amusement of the player. A gamer could be anyone; a male, female, aparent, a student, a teacher, etc. All of these players have differentpersonalities and has their own interests and this is a big factor on what gameshould be developed 2-3.
Thena ture of gaming have become a source ofmany arguments in the field of psychology. Whether it is good, and will alwaysbe good, or in a way, become a bad influence towards its audiences. Games,considered as a passive-leisure, promoting a passive lifestyle by spendinghours in front of the platform. Some games can somehow, induce violentbehaviour towards its audiences, although this is limited to a specific genreof the game. Furthermore, videogames, existing in handheld devices, gave itsaudiences an easier access. Easier access means a higher frequency of gameplay,leading to potential addiction, leading to less productivity in the part of itsaudiences. Although contrary to these, with proper discipline, video gaming cantrigger a positive emotional impact (emotional stability, self-esteem,optimism, vitality, resilience), positive functioning (engagement, positiverelationships, competence and achievement, self-acceptance, personal growth),and positive social functioning (social coherence, socialintegration, social capital).
Gaming can also promotea wide range of cognitive skills in some game genre, particularly in actiongames. Specifically, action games induces faster and more accurate attentionallocation, higher spatial resolution in visual processing, and enhanced mentalrotation abilities. 710-11Games is not only limited for human entertainment.In a research consisting 160 students, it has been proven that game-basedlearning activities have significantly increased the student’s scores.
It isproven that there is a link between the increase in intrinsic motivation andincrease in student’s achievement. Games make students become so engaged andinvolved in the activities that they can forget about time; and they can takeso much pleasure in learning the subject that they could learn more than theyotherwise would have. 6 Gameshave also become a way of gathering groups of certain people. In 2012, SebastianSeung and a team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a videogame called EyeWire, a citizen-science human based computation game thatchallenges the players to map retinal neurons. The game helped them to gatherpeople who are untrained, to map the human-retinal neurons, which can be usedin future researches.
9 Nowadays,game development, specifically, video game development is a great source ofprofit, in the purpose of entertaining its audience. But it is not limitedthere, because video game development have become a way of artistic expression.Young programmers have stated that game development have become an enjoyableaspect in their course. Video game development requires the use of core skills,logic, storytelling and sound design, in conjunction with technical skill inprogramming. Through the process of video game development, young developershave managed to hone many non-academic skills such as project management,critical thinking, risk and reward analysis, and goal setting.
1518The player’s engagement in a game is essential inthe creation of new games. The player’s engagement can define whether it willbe played in a long time. A research byAbassi et.al. that consists of two phases with 136 and 270 participants,measured the player’s engagement factor by using theoretical constructs immersion, flow, presence, involvement, andabsorption, which are related to player’s psychological engagement areproven to be a factors to study in the development of a popular game. 13Some of the most popular games, namely Minecraft and Angry Birds are developed entirely by independent game developers.Independent “Indie” game developers do not have specialists in their teams inthe role of engineer, and they do not use Software Engineering Knowledge whendeveloping games, and only relying on methods and techniques derived fromSoftware engineering itself.
This has resulted to several difficulties indevelopment. In a game development team, there is a Programmer, Artist,Designer, Producer, Tester, Composer, Sound Designer and Editor. In the case ofindie game developers, the producer takes the role of the software engineer,particularly project management.
Without proper systemization during gamedevelopment, even the best ideas will fail. In using the proper system, the GDD(Game Design Document) serves as the blueprint that the team’s SoftwareEngineer is expected to control. In the research conducted by Carli, B.
L.(2017), 17% of independent developers do not use engineering techniques, and thisis deemed worrying, demonstrating the lack of professionalization in the videogame development industry in Brazil. Although in some indie development teamsthat do use Software Engineering in its entirety, uses the agile methodologies,called Scrum.16One of the biggest factor in game development is itsplatform.
The platform defines how the game will be played by the player, whichis a big factor in satisfying their engagement in the long run. The performanceof games depend strongly on the platform’s technical capabilities. One of thevery first video game console, called the Atari2600 system, was released in 1977, performing at CPU clock speeds of 1.2MHz at 128 bytes of memory. Consoles have their life-cycle, is eventuallyreplaced with a new generation console. For example, the Sony PlayStation 4, containing an 8-core processor at 8 GB memory.
In the recent years, major operating system for mobiles such as Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS enable consumers to playmany console-level games such as FIFA 12 fromEA, and many other games specificallydeveloped for mobile devices such as ZeptoLab’sCut the Rope. This is possible with the evolution of the mobile phonesnowadays, allowing players to play great games in hand-held devices, making animpact on other dedicated, hand-held game consoles such as Nintendo 3DS, which has failed to provoke strong consumer interest.In the technical aspect of game development, sometools are used to ease and hasten development times, called Game Engine. GameEngines has a variety of uses such as allowing them to reuse significantportions of key software components. Since game engines are reusable acrossmultiple game projects, they generate high dependence of the game onimplementation resources provided by the chosen engine. 17 Some examples ofpopular game engines are Unity and Unreal Engine.
A research conducted by Boaventura F.M.B. andSarinho, V.T. called the Minimal Engine for Digital Games which is a collectionof game assets is capable of developing a clone of another game, namely Doodle Jump which allows a new form ofgame construction, following the game logic, object model and game stateelements (G-Factor, BinSubaih and Maddock, 2008) approach is developed.In the modern era of game development, a key featureis the use of a Game AI. This is true to many genre of games, particularly, theones that does not follow a linear storyline.
The basic idea of a Game AI is tomake games reactive to players are the key features such as missions, characterbehaviors and difficulty scaling. The objectives of the Game AI is to definethe player’s preferences towards specific gameplay features – and guide theadaptivity modules about how and when they should react, in order to maximizethe player’s enjoyment 4. The game AI is usually designed independently foreach game, according to its genre. Forexample, in a first-person shooter one-on-one match, the player face problemssuch as weapon selection fit for the environment of the game, the prediction ofthe opponent’s position and being aware of the map, most specifically,navigating within the map. Each moment, a player needs to evaluate thesituation and switch to the most appropriate weapon, and predict where theopponent is likely is heading and fine the best route to get there. All ofthese problems can be reasoned about on a conceptual level using data such asthe rate of fire of a weapon, the current health of opponent, etc.
(FirasSafradi et al.). Many games,particularly in action-adventure/role –playing/real-time strategy games such asDragon Age: Origins, and in action-adventure games, such as Assasin’s Creed: Black Flag, positioning is one of the biggestfactor to consider in order to win one biggest aspect which is combat. Ingaming, which normally involves combat and obstacles, the term ‘positioning’specifically deals with where the player finds position to move to. In somegames, players needs to avoid certain specific places, such as a wall, an enemyprojectile, or more. 19Even more advancements in game development is theintelligent generation of map, or the place the player plays on.
ProceduralContent Generation (PCG), refers to the algorithmic creation of content. Itallows the generation of content automatically, drastically reducing the workof artists. There are a lot of benefits in using the PCG technique in the creationof game content particularly in increasing the speed of content development.Apart from this, it will also increase player engagement due to many uniquepossibilities of content being generated, thus, increasing the amount of timesthe game to be played. PCG is also being used in game development in order tosave time and money in the development process.20Advancements in technology have came really far, andhas made a lot of innovations in order to create the more and more content wedesire for our satisfaction.