Piston ’em

Hey class,

Here is mine and Gopal’s game.

We have made two different rule sets. So if you could play both and answer the survey at the end it would help us out a lot.

Rule set 1:

http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~gkaushik/levelt/index.html

Rule set 2:

http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~ksukthan/game/index.html

Survey:

https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?pli=1&formkey=dHR6VnpFcm1JVm1DeUQxM29jbTVBOHc6MQ#gid=0

 

Thanks!!

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7 Diamonds – Deliverables

Project name – 7 Diamonds

Project members – Anuja Chockalingam, Rohit Sureka, Yogesh Mandawewala

Project Deliverables:

Date – 12/7
Location would you prefer – Regular class location in CoA

 

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Project – 7 Diamonds

Check it out at: https://designgames10.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/7-diamonds-deliverables/

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Myths about Video Games Debunked

1. The availability of video games has led to an epidemic of youth violence.

According to federal crime statistics, the rate of juvenile violent crime in the United States is at a 30-year low. Researchers find that people serving time for violent crimes typically consume less media before committing their crimes than the average person in the general population. It’s true that young offenders who have committed school shootings in America have also been game players. But young people in general are more likely to be gamers — 90 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls play. The overwhelming majority of kids who play do NOT commit antisocial acts. According to a 2001 U.S. Surgeon General’s report, the strongest risk factors for school shootings centered on mental stability and the quality of home life, not media exposure. The moral panic over violent video games is doubly harmful. It has led adult authorities to be more suspicious and hostile to many kids who already feel cut off from the system. It also misdirects energy away from eliminating the actual causes of youth violence and allows problems to continue to fester.

2. Scientific evidence links violent game play with youth aggression.

Claims like this are based on the work of researchers who represent one relatively narrow school of research, “media effects.” This research includes some 300 studies of media violence. But most of those studies are inconclusive and many have been criticized on methodological grounds. In these studies, media images are removed from any narrative context. Subjects are asked to engage with content that they would not normally consume and may not understand. Finally, the laboratory context is radically different from the environments where games would normally be played. Most studies found a correlation, not a causal relationship, which means the research could simply show that aggressive people like aggressive entertainment. That’s why the vague term “links” is used here. If there is a consensus emerging around this research, it is that violent video games may be one risk factor – when coupled with other more immediate, real-world influences — which can contribute to anti-social behavior. But no research has found that video games are a primary factor or that violent video game play could turn an otherwise normal person into a killer.

3. Children are the primary market for video games.

While most American kids do play video games, the center of the video game market has shifted older as the first generation of gamers continues to play into adulthood. Already 62 percent of the console market and 66 percent of the PC market is age 18 or older. The game industry caters to adult tastes. Meanwhile, a sizable number of parents ignore game ratings because they assume that games are for kids. One quarter of children ages 11 to 16 identify an M-Rated (Mature Content) game as among their favorites. Clearly, more should be done to restrict advertising and marketing that targets young consumers with mature content, and to educate parents about the media choices they are facing. But parents need to share some of the responsibility for making decisions about what is appropriate for their children. The news on this front is not all bad. The Federal Trade Commission has found that 83 percent of game purchases for underage consumers are made by parents or by parents and children together.

4. Almost no girls play computer games.

Historically, the video game market has been predominantly male. However, the percentage of women playing games has steadily increased over the past decade. Women now slightly outnumber men playing Web-based games. Spurred by the belief that games were an important gateway into other kinds of digital literacy, efforts were made in the mid-90s to build games that appealed to girls. More recent games such as The Sims were huge crossover successes that attracted many women who had never played games before. Given the historic imbalance in the game market (and among people working inside the game industry), the presence of sexist stereotyping in games is hardly surprising. Yet it’s also important to note that female game characters are often portrayed as powerful and independent. In his book Killing Monsters, Gerard Jones argues that young girls often build upon these representations of strong women warriors as a means of building up their self confidence in confronting challenges in their everyday lives.

 

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The Effect of Video Games on the Brain

The effect of video games on the brain is a research area gaining popularity as the percentage of children and adults who play video games is on the rise. Some people believe violence in video games and in other media promotes violent behavior among viewers. While there is not sufficient data to validate this claim, there are a number of studies showing that video games can increase aggressive behavior and emotional outbursts, and decrease inhibitions. From a few of these studies, and from my own observations of children playing video games, it is quite obvious that the video games do have at least some effect on the behavior of the player. The extent and long range consequences of these behavior changes after one has turned off the video game are not so easily deduced. One source states that “While research on video games and aggressive behavior must be considered preliminary, it may be reasonably inferred from the more than 1,000 reports and studies on television violence that video game violence may also contribute to aggressive behavior and desensitization to violence” (1). Another study reports that “Hostility was increased both in subjects playing a highly aggressive video game and those playing a mildly aggressive video game. Subjects who had played the high-aggression game were significantly more anxious than other subjects” (2).

I had a chance to observe the effects of video games first hand on two boys, ages eight and ten, when I babysat them earlier in the semester. They were playing the video game “Mario Cart,” which is really not a very violent game; the object is to win a car race by coming in first while maneuvering through different courses. When the younger brother won, the older brother got up and started kicking him and yelling insults! Later on that day, the younger brother was playing another video game by himself and when he could not beat the level, he threw down the controller and screamed at the t.v. screen, “Why are you doing this to me…?!” and burst into tears. I was very shocked by this reaction and was not quite sure how to handle the situation. This game had brought an eight year old boy to tears, right in front of me. “Certainly, video games can make some people go nuts. You just have to look at some enthusiasts playing video games on their cellular phones, mumbling to themselves heatedly even though others are around them. At game centers (penny arcades), frustrated people punch or kick game machines without regard to making a spectacle of themselves” (3). From the above descriptions, it seems that players get somewhat “sucked” into the video game and become oblivious to their surroundings and much less inhibited to share their emotions. What types of changes are occurring in the brain to activate this behavior which one exhibits when “sucked” into a video game?

Akio Mori, a professor at Tokyo’s Nihon University, conducted a recent study observing the effects of video games on brain activity. He divided 260 people into three groups: those who rarely played video games, those who played between 1 and 3 hours three to four times a week, and those who played 2 to 7 hours each day. He then monitored “the beta waves that indicate liveliness and degree of tension in the prefrontal region of the brain, and alpha waves, which often appear when the brain is resting” (4). The results showed a higher decrease of beta waves the more one played video games. “Beta wave activity in people in the [highest amount of video game playing] was constantly near zero, even when they weren’t playing, showing that they hardly used the prefrontal regions of their brains. Many of the people in this group told researchers that they got angry easily, couldn’t concentrate, and had trouble associating with friends” (4). This suggests two important points. One, that the decrease of beta wave activity and usage of the prefrontal region of the brain may correlate with the aggressive behavior, and two, that the decrease of beta waves continued after the video game was turned off, implying a lasting effect. Another study found similar results and reported: “Youths who are heavy gamers can end up with ‘video-game brain,’ in which key parts of the frontal region of their brain become chronically underused, altering moods” (5). This study also asserts that a lack of use of the frontal brain, contributed by video games, can change moods and could account for aggressive and reclusive behavior. An important question arises: if the brain is so impacted by video games as to create behavioral changes, must that mean that the brain perceives the games as real?

Perhaps looking at what effects video games have on autonomic nerves can begin to answer that question. “‘Many video games stir up tension and a feeling of fear, and there is a very real concern that this could have a long-term effect on the autonomic nerves,’ Mori commented” (6). Autonomic nerves are those connected with involuntary internal organ processes, such as breathing and heart rate. “Heart rate can be altered by electrical signals from emotional centers in the brain or by signals from the chemical messengers called epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine. These hormones are released from the adrenal glands in response to danger…” (7). Multiple studies have reported that playing video games can significantly increase heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen consumption. If studies show that heart rate is increased when playing video games, then it seems that the brain is responding to the video game as if the body is in real danger. Does repeated exposure to this “false” sense of danger have an effect on what the brain then perceives as real danger?

From the above studies and observations, video games do effect the players in some ways, since it appears that players get so wrapped up in the game that they forget their surroundings and begin to see the game as a real quest. Studies have shown that playing video games can increase heart rate and blood pressure, as well as decrease prefrontal lobe activity while the person is playing the game. This could account for changes in the player’s mood and cause him or her to become more aggressive or emotional. However, the extent of these effects on the body once video game playing has ceased are preliminary and need to be confirmed.

 

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7 Diamonds – Deliverables

Project name – 7 Diamonds

Project members – Anuja Chockalingam, Rohit Sureka, Yogesh Mandawewala

Project Deliverables:

Date – 12/7
Location would you prefer – Regular class location in CoA

-Anuja

 

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The Playstation Move vs the Xbox Kinect, may the best motion controller win

It’s officially on. That is the motion control wars and, don’t hate, but Nintendo isn’t one of the combatants. Nope, this war is clearly between Microsoft and Sony. It’s the Kinect vs the Move. Full body tracking vs 1-1 controller tracking. This is going to turn out great for you, me, and both Sony and Microsoft.

Nintendo really deserves some recognition here. They blazed the path in this field, educating and showing consumers why motion control deserves a spot in their living room. Millions and millions of people have used and feel in love with the Wii over the last few years and now both Microsoft and Sony are ready to steal a lot of consumers into their world.

The two camps are radically different. Kinect touts full body control of up to two people at one time. Tracking is accurate and seemingly lag-free. But the games are virtual Wii-clones. It’s clear the market that Microsoft is primarily targeting even though there will be some more adult titles like Star Wars and Metal Gear Solid.

But there are no buttons. Games need buttons. That’s where Sony Move comes in.

The Playstation Move controller is just like you would imagine how Sony would make a Wii Remote: dark, industrial, but solid and smart. There’s also a second smaller controller that helps complete the experience for some games.

Yeah, it sounds like the Wii, right? It kind of is, but so much more powerful. There isn’t a cable connecting the two controllers, the controller doesn’t wobble on-screen, but more importantly it has 1-1 tracking in 3D space. That means you can move the controller side-to-side, forward and back and every which way. The Playstation 3′s powerful core allows the games to take full advantage of this system.


Simply put, the Playstation Move is all about games where Kinect feels like something more. It feels like Microsoft is on the verge of something really big and is using its Xbox 360 gaming platform as a sandbox for the motion tracking system. Kinect is built into the Xbox 360′s dashboard and users can fully interact with the gaming console with nothing more their hands and voice.

It’s important to note that Sony and Microsoft are distinctly different companies. Sony is a hardware company first where Microsoft has primarily been in only software. Sony wants to sell you your whole entertainment system from the TV to the speakers to the gaming system and media playback devices. Microsoft wants to connect your world with Windows, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360. Both Sony and Microsoft have developed their motion control system with these goals in mind.

To quote the outspoken Playstation spokesman, Kevin Butler,

“I say we focus on what really matters, the games.”

That pretty much sums it up in the end. Sony is about the gaming first where Microsoft isn’t. They are about the user experience. But the real winner in the end is, well, everyone. Both systems will provide awesome gaming experiences that Nintendo showed us could be possible.

But there’s a problem. Gaming add-ons don’t sell. They never have. There has never been a blockbuster gaming add-on unless you count the Gamecube Wavebird controller. Sony and Microsoft will have the tough task from here on out convincing current system owners — and Wii owners — that they should drop some hard cash down for these systems. It’s going to take hit titles and heavy media coverage for them to even get off the ground.

Don’t think for a minute that either of these systems will be an instant hit. Yeah, sure, fanboys and pundits will proclaim their system of choice, but it’s your parents, non-techie friends, and Wii owners that will decide this one. It’s going to get bloody and that’s awesome.

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Best selling PS3 Games List

http://www.listal.com/list/bestselling-ps3-games

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Game System of the Future?: First Impressions of the OnLive MicroConsole

On-demand gaming. Remote gaming. Cloud gaming. All those terms refer to an idea that been gaining steam over the last few years. The obsession deals with taking discs and console hardware out of the equation and streaming a real-time video game experience over the internet.

Read more: http://techland.com/2010/12/03/game-system-of-the-future-first-impressions-of-the-onlive-microconsole/#ixzz176KFjD5p

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Video Game Designer..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwlE1aASc4g&feature=related

What is the outlook for the video game designer?

video game designerVideo games are big business. We’re talking about a multi-billion dollar industry that has now outgrown many other industries in a very short period of time. Video games are no longer looked upon as kids only entertainment. Walk into any video games outlet, and you will see 20-30 year olds checking out the latest versions of Grand Theft Auto, God of War, or Madden NFL. With the releases of the Xbox 360, the PS3 and the Nintendo Wii, producing games will be harder and a lot more involved. Video game designer teams producing these games have ballooned in size to meet the demand of a next gen experience.

So what does this mean for you? Basically, there are a load of opportunities to get into the video game industry. Video game popularity and complexity is exploding, and so are the opportunities at game companies and studios.

What qualities do I need for game design?

There are some qualities that game companies will be looking for when hiring someone into their fold.

First off, you really should like video games. You should be the kind of person that hears the theme song to a game in your sleep. These companies want to hire someone who knows what makes a game good, and what makes a game bad. They want someone who knows good level design vs poor level design. The only way to do this is by playing, and playing AND playing video games over and over again. There are a load of people who spend all their time playing these games. Why should they hire someone then that hasn’t put their time into gaming, and doesn’t have the same passion for games as others?

Secondly, they are looking for someone with good problem solving skills. There are so many bugs and potential problems when designing a game. This ranges from collision detection to making things look convincing. You need to be the type who is willing to solve a problem even if it kills you. Hopefully this will not happen. ; )

Finally, they are looking for someone who can do things in a crunch. The gaming industry works at a torrid pace. Yes, you need to be patient, but you need to be awfully efficient in what you do.

Get some training

So you’ve got what it takes to become a video game designer? You can’t just walk into a game studio and get a job though. You need very specific training offered at video game design schools. Check out some of these top rated video game design schools listed below that offer gaming degrees.

ITT Tech: School of Drafting & Design offers a very strong cutting-edgeDigital Entertainment and Game Design degree. And with over 100+ locations nation-wide, there’s a good chance that you can find a school near you.

DeVry University offers something more towards the programming end of things with their hot Game and Simulation Programming program. This should really get your feet nice and wet. Take it Online, or check out the various campus locations.

Another cool program worth checking out is the Game Art & Design degree at the The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division. The nice thing is you take the course Online.

 

 

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