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Chris Crawford - The Art of Computer Game Design

Chris Crawford - The Art of Computer Game Design

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We are a long way from a computer game comparable to a Shakespeare play, a Tchaikowsky symphony, or a Van Gogh self portrait. Each of these artists stood on the shoulders of earlier artists who plunged into an unexplored world and mapped out its territories so that later artists could build on their work and achieve greater things. We computer game designers must put our shoulders together so that our successors may stand on top of them. This book is my contribution to that enterprise.
We are a long way from a computer game comparable to a Shakespeare play, a Tchaikowsky symphony, or a Van Gogh self portrait. Each of these artists stood on the shoulders of earlier artists who plunged into an unexplored world and mapped out its territories so that later artists could build on their work and achieve greater things. We computer game designers must put our shoulders together so that our successors may stand on top of them. This book is my contribution to that enterprise.

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Published by: diderot on Jul 04, 2007
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This is by far the most heavily used technique for balancing a game. The computer is provided

with immense resources that it uses stupidly. These resources may consist of large numbers of

opponents that operate with a rudimentary intelligence. Many games use this ploy: SPACE

INVADERS, MISSILE COMMAND, ASTEROIDS, CENTIPEDE, and TEMPEST are some of the

more popular games to use this technique. It is also possible to equip the computer with a small

number of opponents that are themselves more powerful than the human player’s units, such as

the supertanks in BATTLEZONE. The effect in both cases is the same: the human player’s advan-

tage in intelligence is offset by the computer’s material advantages.

This approach has two benefits. First, it gives the conflict between the human and the computer

a David versus Goliath air. Most people would rather win as apparent underdog than as equal.

Second, this approach is the easiest to implement. Providing artificial intelligence for the com-

puter’s players can be difficult, but repeating a process for many computer players takes little more

than a simple loop. Of course, the ease of implementing this solution carries a disadvantage:

everybody else does it. We are knee-deep in such games! Laziness and lack of determination have

far more to do with the prevalence of this technique than game design considerations.

The Art of Computer Game Design

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