As game designers, we spend a lot of time thinking about how to make games more interactive and immersive. For example, as gamers ourselves, we want you to feel like something is happening during gameplay, and that you are involved in what’s going on.
We also strive to create experiences that use strong storytelling techniques. Players need to connect with the characters and events to enjoy the experience, and they should feel emotionally invested.
That is why some people may be surprised to learn that not all of the pieces necessary to have an engaging gaming experience come directly from outside sources.
Some parts come straight from our minds, or at least, those of other creative individuals!
Computer games work by using puzzles to keep players engaged. These puzzles can include logic problems, math equations, coding challenges, and so on.
This article will talk about one such puzzle used in many computer games — the challenge of figuring out how things work. The term for this type of puzzle is “metaphor.” A metaphor is when thing A is similar to thing B.
A famous example of a metaphor would be when someone says something like, “I never understood why people put so much stock in money. It's a tool, like a hammer.”
They mean money is just a way to measure your success in life.
The term controller has two different meanings in gaming. One is for console games, and one is for a computer or game-console games. The first type of controller, you have seen before: is the joystick.
These are great because they allow you to control most video games with just your hands. By moving the stick side to side, up and down, and forward and back, you can achieve very specific goals such as firing a weapon in a shooter game, moving around in an action game, etc.
The second kind of controller is what we refer to as a touchscreen interface. Just like their name suggests, these work by touching things on screen to perform actions. For example, if there’s a button onscreen that players must press to move from place to place, then using a touchscreen device would be much more intuitive than having to use a mouse or touchpad.
Both types of controllers usually transmit information via wires either directly into the game (for hardwired connections) or through another device or software (for wireless ones). However, technology is constantly changing so it is best to check out each game to see which type of connection is used!
In this article, you learned about how computer games work, including both casual games and hardcore games. You also studied some important components of computer games, such as controllers and input devices.
A fundamental component of most computer games is something called artificial intelligence (AI). AI allows computers to think like people do, giving rise to some very advanced software including things such as voice-recognition programs that allow you to talk into it and have it perform tasks for you!
Computer game AI goes beyond just listening to your conversations, however. Most modern games contain large numbers of scripted events that are triggered by specific situations. For instance, in Division 2 there’s a mission where you must infiltrate an enemy base, find and retrieve a bioweapon, and escape without getting caught or killed.
The developers designed the mission so that when the appropriate conditions are met, one of the many characters you can interact with will ask if you want to “retrieve the pack.” You then choose whether to agree or not, which determines what next action is taken. If you say yes, the character leaves stealth mode and begins actively seeking out the toxin, and eventually they both walk away together.
This kind of interactive dialogue between two separate entities has become very common in video games, and even more now due to the rising use of procedurally generated content. Because nothing about the mission or the characters involved changes from run to run, different results may occur depending on who you speak to, how you respond to their questions, and what you agree to do next.
Almost every game available for purchase or free download is installed onto your computer via software called an emulator. An emulator comes pre-installed with all popular gaming consoles!
Most emulators allow you to play using a mouse and keyboard, but some also have controllers that can be used if there are no buttons on the screen to press. Some even let you use your smartphone as a controller!
There are many different types of emulators, so it’s important to know what each one does. What settings do we need to adjust? What commands can be typed into the program?
This article will go more in-depth about some specific emulators and how to use them. But first, let us discuss why having a good understanding of PC games is so essential.