Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Action Video Games

I love playing video games. I really want to go to school to learn how to design stuff like this. In fact, That's what one of my final assignments in one of my classes was. We had to hypothetically design a video game around one of our favorite shows. We had to design the box and everything. It was one of the most fun projects I ever did!

-Action games are games that involves games of skill, such as completing puzzles, races or collecting objects that may be part of a mission
-Most action games have the player, aka an avatar, protagonist, main character, go through a level, avoiding certain obstacles, collecting items, defeating enemies, completing missions
-At the end of the level, there might be a major boss character to fight, and my rule of thumb has always been "The bigger the boss, the longer it will take to defeat them"
-Most of these action games have a health bar for the character. And if it runs out, you either have to restart the level or you can pick up health along the way or you might have multiple lives to keep you living
-Some action games have scores, that can earn you unlockable stuff in the opening menu to look at, like concept art, movies, music videos, etc.
  • An example of this would be in Jet Li: Rise to Honor. If you beat the game, you can unlock two costumes from 2 of Jet Li's movies, Fist of Legend, where you can unlock his character Chen Zhen's suit or Once Upon a Time in China, Wong Fei Hung's costume, as well as a video showing how the game was made and talking to Cory Yuen, who directed the fight scenes for it and talking to Jet Li, who did the voice
You can unlock either this costume

Or this one
-What defines a game as an action game is any game that has challenges such as completing puzzles, fighting enemies or bosses, exploration or tactical missions and sometimes even missions that are under a time restraint.

Game Design
-Each action game will have a series of levels eventually building up to something big, such as taking down some kind of boss, etc.
-Some challenges include dancing in a dance game, playing some kind of shoot 'em up game, solving puzzles, etc.
-Also, some games have checkpoints that, when activated, can allow the player to restart there when they die so they do not have to re-do everything up to that point.
  • I.e.: Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. In that game, you play as master raccoon thief Sly Cooper. When you pass by a checkpoint with his face on it, it takes a picture of you and when or if you die, you restart at the last checkpoint you activated
This raccoon-looking checkpoint to the right allows you to pick up where you left off when you die
-Almost every action game has some sense of exploration that needs to be done to find objects in a mission, shortcuts, etc.
-Most action games have at least one or two challenges that are time-restricted, meaning you have a certain amount of time to do something and if it is done within the allotted time, you may pass. But if not, you will have to keep doing it until it gets done.
  • I.e.: Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. There is one mission in the Cajun Bayou lever where, in order to pass, Sly must light 25 Tiki torches using piranha oil and must do it in 2 minutes or less.
-Sometimes, the character will have some kind of ability that can be earned, objects that can be collected to earn some kind of skill, weapon or even upgrade an attack. Also, there might be power-ups the character can get that will work temporarily, such as increase in speed, temporary invulnerability, stronger attack, etc
-Every action game has at least one or two enemies in it, that can be defeated somehow some way. They can appear as either single or in waves and will follow a fixed pattern. Some games have enemies native to the area in which the player is. An example would be from Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, in each level, such as the level with The Panda King, since it takes place in China, all the enemies are animals native to China, such as monkeys, pandas, cranes, etc. When it comes to defeating boss characters, there may be a special method to fighting them, a weak spot to hit them to take their life down and when they are defeated, the player will advance to the next level and may also get a new weapon, skill, etc.
  • I.e. Destroy All Humans 2. In each level, the enemy is the police or government agents. And sometimes the enemies can keep coming until some kind of enemy generator is destroyed.
  • I.e. Kingdom Hearts. Since this is an almost all Disney movie game, people who have played this will know what I'm talking about. In the level Agrabah, which has Aladdin in it, when you go to the desert to find the temple where the Genie lamp is, you are greeted by the giant Panther head which is the entrance to the temple. In order to defeat it, you must strike its eyes
-Like every video game, the character can have lives that they can pick up along the way or just one single health bar that can be extended from fighting enemies, upgrades and will decrease from taking hits from enemies. And if they die, they are brought back to the point at which they died or the last checkpoint they activated
-Action games come in either 2 dimensional, meaning flat, cartoonish-looking or 3 dimensional, very close to real looking, meaning that if you rotate the camera around, you will see the texture in a rock wall, enemies nearby and their path of patrol, etc.
-Each action game has a set list of goals, objectives and missions that must be accomplished in order to beat the game. Depending on the genre of game, some are based on stealth, some are find-its, where you need to find something, others are challenges where you and an opponent are facing each other. These games also have an end of the game boss which is always the hardest to beat. After defeating this boss, a happy ending may come or the goals might change
-There are also specific sub-genres of action games

Sub genres

Beat 'em Ups
-Games in this genre tend to be games that involve fighting. Using martial arts or close combat, such as Mortal Kombat

Fighting Games
-Features 2 fighters, using mixed martial arts. And the level will end when the opponent is down for the count

Maze Games
-Pac-Man is a good example. Involves navigating mazes and avoiding enemies

Platform games
-Involves moving to new heights, jumping platforms, while avoiding enemies or fighting enemies.

Donkey Kong
Rhythm Action
-Involves good rhythm and pressing buttons in sync with a musical tune. These can be classified as a music game and is a relatively new genre of game. Guitar Hero, Rock Band are two very good examples. In order to excel in the song, buttons must be hit and a high score must be maintained
Guitar Hero Aerosmith

Rock Band Green Day

-Involves using weapons, either short range or long range, and taking out targets. This can include first person shooter, third person shooter games. Examples include the Call of Duty games, the Tom Clancy Armed Forces games

Call of Duty

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