Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Fig 4.1 The game mechanic cycle.
One of the developers of the original Halo , the game that launched Microsoft's
Xbox, described the game as 5 minutes of fun over and over again. This
first person shooter (FPS) game, in a visually rich 3D environment, employs
numerous game mechanics that revolve around shooting and blowing things
up. As a whole the game is represented by the ultimate game mechanic that
challenges the player to uncover the secrets of a ring-shaped planet named
Halo while battling a variety of aliens. This umbrella mechanic is broken down
into a number of smaller mechanics that see players performing the same
tasks over and over again in order to complete their objectives, with the key
mechanics being kill or be killed , typically found in FPS games. As such you
could say each of these tasks is a minigame in itself, although not as compelling
to a player as automatons as they are put together and embedded within an
engaging narrative. However, in order to understand how to design a game like
Halo it is necessary to examine the most fundamental of game mechanics.
Consider the game of paper-rock-scissors in which two players
simultaneously count to three and then present their hands gesturing for
rock, paper, or scissors. If one person has paper and the other rock, paper
wins because it can wrap rock. If one person has scissors and the other
paper, scissors wins because scissors cut paper. If one person has rock and
the other scissors, rock wins because rock blunts scissors. If both players
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