Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Role-Playing Games
role and specific objectives. In simulation games,
the player operates a model or simulation that
behaves according to a programmed set of rules.
Many simulation games focus on some element
of realism, thus forcing players to understand
and remember complex principles and relations
and progress by trial-and-error. These often very
expensive games can teach anything, from flying
a plane up in the sky to steering a submarine deep
in the ocean. Typical examples are Flight Simu-
lator and Train Simulator . Another is SimCity , a
popular mainstream title that has been used for
educational purposes. Social simulation games are
also a large component in the simulation genre,
with Will Wright's The Sims the most widely rec-
ognized title. Another recent (and free) simulation
game for Business Project Management training
is INNOV8 , developed by IBM a few years ago
and now reaching version 2 (IBM, 2009). These
kinds of simulation games are often suitable for
online cooperative work and thus very apt for
integration in ODL.
A Role-Playing Game (RPG) is a game in which
the participants assume the roles of fictional
characters. Drawing from original RPGs like
Dungeons and Dragons , players inhabit a role
with status and responsibility within a shared
context, and in which the context is defined by
a set of rules. The educational function of RPGs
may be extensive. Players in educational RPGs
may establish the actions of their characters (e.g.,
lawyers or politicians) based on their character-
ization, and the actions succeed or fail according
to a formal system of rules and guidelines. This
may be interesting for many ODL courses requir-
ing students to learn those kinds of skills and the
related tacit knowledge. This is also very useful
for learners to practice behaviors in an environ-
ment that provides clear consequences based on
the context and rules of the game world.
Strategy Games
Modeling Games
Sometimes called Real Time Strategy (RTS)
games, this genre of video games emphasizes
skillful thinking and planning to achieve a goal.
They involve strategic, tactical, and sometimes
logistical challenges. There are many good
examples of this type of games, in the areas of
history, economy, management, ecology, society,
etc. Typically these games involve multiple chal-
lenges and are aimed at developing problem-based
skills. Some very popular and successful titles
are: Civilization and Age of Empires . These are
very expensive games to design and produce but
some of the themes and inherent characteristics of
those commercially available may be interesting
for specific ODL courses.
Modeling is often a component of the game rather
than the game in itself, and usually is tied with
other types of games (action, strategy, simulation,
programming, etc.). For example, some car racing
titles involve creating a track or building the car
before you can race it. This genre is also linked
with programming games, as learners may create
the models before they are able to program them.
Examples include robots, cars, bikes, machines,
factories, companies, electronic devices, etc.
Programming Games
A programming game is basically a computer game
where the player has no direct influence on the
course of the game. Instead, a computer program
or scripts are written in some domain-specific
programming language in order to control the
actions of the characters, often robots, tanks or
Simulation Games
For a game to be considered a simulation game, as
opposed to a pure simulation or a virtual world, a
game system must exist in which the player has a
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