progress bar code in vb.net 2008 The Art of Computer Game Design in Software

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The Art of Computer Game Design
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ularity of computer games that began in 1979. While STAR RAIDERS and ASTEROIDS give the player great mobility and MISSILE COMMAND gives him none, SPACE INVADERS gives the player limited mobility in one dimension only. As in ASTEROIDS, the player must face a multitude of rather stupid opponents who can win by touching the player (landing); in addition, as in STAR RAIDERS, the monsters also shoot back. The monsters march back and forth across the screen, slowly descending onto the player. As the player kills more and more monsters, they march faster and faster. This gives the game a hypnotic accelerating tempo. SPACE INVADERS is definitely a classic. The success of SPACE INVADERS has spawned a whole series of copies and derivatives. There are a large number of copies whose only goal was to cash in on the success of the original game. There are also several genuine derivative games. For example, GALAXIAN (trademark of Midway) is a simple variation on SPACE INVADERS. Individual invaders peel off and attack the player with more ferocity than the docile monsters of the original game. CENTIPEDE; is also a derivative of SPACE INVADERS; it is different enough to be a new design, but the internal game structure is very similar to the original. The invaders have been grouped into a segmented centipede; their side-to-side motion is bounded not by the edges of the screen but by mushrooms randomly scattered across the screen. Numerous embellishments (spiders, fleas, and scorpions) extend the game considerably. TEMPEST is a three-dimensional first-person derivative of SPACE INVADERS using vector graphics. The amount of design attention that SPACE INVADERS has attracted is a tribute to the game s originality, appeal, and durability There are many, many other combat games. BATTLEZONE and RED BARON are two first-person combat games utilizing vector displays. Other combat games include CAVERNS OF MARS, YAR S REVENGE, CROSSFIRE (trademark of On-Line Systems) and DEFENDER (trademark of Williams). You may wonder why so many combat games are set in outer space. There are three reasons. First, space is easy to depict and animate with a computer---all the designer need do is draw a blank screen with a few white dots for stars. Second, space is not encumbered by the expectations of the players. A designer encountering problems can always concoct some super-duper zapper to solve any design problems with the game and nobody can object that it is unrealistic. Earthbound games constrain the designer to look reality squarely in the eye---such a tiresome burden for a "creative" mind. Third, space is an intrinsically fantasy-laden environment that encourages suspension of disbelief because it is unfamiliar to its audience. Combat games have always been at the heart of computer gaming. Players never seem to tire of them; it appears that they will be around for a long time to come.
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Maze Games
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The second subgrouping of S&A games is the set of maze games. PAC-MAN (trademark of Namco) is the most successful of these, although maze games predate PAC-MAN. The defining
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The Art of Computer Game Design
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characteristic of the maze games is the maze of paths through which the player must move. Sometimes one or more bad guys pursue the player through the maze. Some maze games (MAZE CRAZE for the ATARI 2600 is a good example) specifically require that the player make his way to an exit. Other maze games require that the player move through each part of the maze. DODGE 'EM is an early example of such a game. In either case, the number, speed, and intelligence of the pursuers then determines the pace and difficulty of the game. PAC-MAN has a very carefully balanced combination of these factors. The pursuers are just slightly slower than the human player; their intelligence and number make up for this. The overall pace of the game makes it difficult for the player to fully analyze the positions of the five pieces in real time. Any successful game is certain to attract copies, variations, and derivatives, and PAC-MAN is no exception. One of the first such games for the ATARI Home Computer System was the first edition of JAWBREAKERS (trademark of On-Line Systems). This game, now removed from the market, clearly demonstrates the difference between structural changes and cosmetic changes. Structurally, it is indistinguishable from PAC-MAN. The play of the game is almost identical to that of PAC-MAN. Cosmetically, there are a number of differences: the pursuers are faces rather than ghosts; the player is a set of teeth rather than a head with mouth; the maze is laid out differently; the sounds are different. This game provides a good example of the methods that can be used to copy games while attempting to minimize legal problems. Another PAC-MAN derivative is MOUSKATTACK (trademark of On-Line Systems). This game shows some structural changes relative to PAC-MAN. The player is again pursued through a maze by four computer-controlled creatures, but the basic scenario contains a number of embellishments. First, merely passing through every point in the maze is not enough; some points, randomly chosen by the computer, must be passed through twice. Second, the player is allowed to fight back against the pursuers in a very different way (setting mousetraps). The strategic and tactical effects of this counterforce capability yield a game that plays rather differently. Finally, there is a very interesting two-player game that allows both cooperative and competitive strategies. In MOUSKATTACK we see the basic structure of PAC-MAN with a number of embellishments and extensions that produce a distinct game. The appeal of maze games can be attributed to the cleanliness with which they encapsulate the branching structure that is a fundamental aspect of all games. The reader will remember from One that a game has a tree structure with each branch point representing a decision made by the player. In a maze game, each branch point is neatly depicted by an intersection in the maze, and the options available to the player are visually presented as the paths available at the intersection. Thus, a maze game presents a clear visual representation of the branching structure of the game. Even more fascinating is the looping structure possible with maze games. A player can return to an intersection in the maze many times. Yet, each time he does so, the options he has take different meanings because the other maze-inhabitants have moved in the interim to a different pattern of positions. In this way, a small number of displayed intersections can represent a huge
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