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Online Game Interactivity Theory

Overview

Interactivity is one of the key elements that truly distinguishes a game. Designing effective, interactivity, however, can be a challenge for even the most experienced game developer. This is especially true in the design process of multiplayer online games, so it is critical that developers have a solid understanding of game design and interactivity. Online Game Interactivity Theory is written to address the various design and interactivity issues involved in multiplayer games, and begins by defining ...
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Overview

Interactivity is one of the key elements that truly distinguishes a game. Designing effective, interactivity, however, can be a challenge for even the most experienced game developer. This is especially true in the design process of multiplayer online games, so it is critical that developers have a solid understanding of game design and interactivity. Online Game Interactivity Theory is written to address the various design and interactivity issues involved in multiplayer games, and begins by defining interactivity on three different levels; player to player, player to game, and player to computer. By under-standing these different types of interactivity, developers can identify the factors that affect each, and learn which techniques and methods to use in their own game designs. These factors also provide a basis for continuous evaluation during the development process, and can be used to critique online game design in general. Online Game Interactivity Theory is a must-have reference for any game developer needing to make their online games completely interactive. KEY FEATURES
  • Provides a thorough understanding of game design as both art and science
  • Delves deep into the scientific aspects of game design
  • Defines interactivity thoroughly as it relates to online games and other media productions
  • Builds the bridge between game design and immersive, rich online interactivity
  • Explains how to use interactivity in online game design and how to use it as a critical evaluation tool
  • Addresses the unique design issues involved in online games
  • Includes a companion CD-ROM with sample designs and useful tools


ON the CD-ROM (Windows Only) Demos and Tryout Versions of Popular Programs Including;
  • 3D Games StudioEnglish Trial Version 5.12 - Conitec Corporation
  • Alchemy Artist Pack - Intrinsic Graphics
  • AniMeter Tuner - LIPS Inc.
  • Auran Jet 1.0 - Auran
  • Avatar Lab - Curious Labs Incorporated
  • Cluster-O-Matic - DI-O-Matic Incorporated
  • Conveyor - Quazal
  • Eterna - Quazal
  • FaceGen Modeller - Singular Inversions, Inc.
  • Discreet Logic - Autodesk, Inc.
  • Life Form Studio - Credo Interactive, Inc.
  • Shockwave Studio - Macromedia, Inc.
  • Flash - Macromedia, Inc.
  • Mimic - LIPS Inc.
  • Morph-O-Matic - DI-O-Matic Incorporated
  • Net Z - Beta 1 - Quazal
  • Photoshop 6.0 - Adobe Systems Incorporated
  • Poser Propack - Curious Labs Incorporated
  • Visual Intercept - Elsinore Technologies, Inc.
  • Vue D-Esprite 4 - e-on software, inc.
  • Web Driver SDK 2.2 & Multiplayer Toolit 1.0 - WildTangent, Inc.

System requirements (Windows Only) Intel® Pentium® Processor (class III recommended), Microsoft® Windows® 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows 2000, 128 MB RAM (192 MB recommended), Hard Drive / CD-ROM Drive, and a Video Display Card supporting 1024 x 768 x 16-bit color or greater. Individual demos may also have additional requirements.

About the Author

Markus Friedl (Arvada, CO) is an experienced game designer who worked on "Fighting Legends Online." He received his masters in Communications and Media Design and Techniques in Austria and worked with the developer, Neo Software Productions. He is a contributor to the forthcoming book, Game Design Methods, edited by Francois Dominic Laramee.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
What makes a great online multiplayer game? How do you design interactivity that draws crowds -- and keeps them? What crucial lessons have been learned about community design, avatars, and other key elements of online game design? How do you navigate the incredibly complex process of getting from idea to cash? Online Game Interactivity Theory answers all those questions -- and many, many more.

Markus Friedl starts with the up-front issues you need to understand (and discuss with your team) before you even begin. He explains the unique attributes of online media from the player’s and developer’s standpoint, helps you determine Where your planned game fits into the “bestiary” of online games (as organized by technology, genre, goal, type of online integration, business model, and distribution channel), and demystifies the anthropology of the social virtual environment -- making clear why people play.

Next, he focuses on interactivity in all forms: player-to-computer, player-to-player, and player-to-game. How do you ensure synchronicity amongst players? What role should AI play in your game? How steep should your learning curve be...and how do you create effective conflict and cooperation? What’s the best way to help players find each other (and keep them from harassing each other)?

Friedl also offers invaluable coverage of the online multiplayer game development process, including prototyping, playtesting, and the effective use of middleware. Maybe best of all: 50 pages of interviews with leading developers, offering incredible insight into everything from gameplay to security. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584502159
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Series: Charles River Media Game Development Series
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Markus Friedl is an experienced game designer who worked on "Fighting Legends Online." He received his masters in Communications and Media Design & Techniques in Austria and worked with the developer, neo Software Productions. He is also a contributor to Game Design Perspectives.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Multiplayer Online Games as Media
History
Types
Online Games for the Mass Market
Online Games for the Hardcore Gamer
Examples/Case-Studies
Reasons for Playing Online Games
General Design; Community Design
Conflict and Competition
Designing the Player Character
Interactivity Design
Interactivity: The Importance of Interactivity
Introduction to a New Model and Concept for Interactivity
Interactivity for Multiplayer Online Games
Player- to -Computer Interactivity (Design Issues and Case Studies)
Player- to- Player Interactivity (Design Issues and Case Studies)
Player -to -Game Interactivity (Design Issues and Case Studies)
Tools and Techniques; Industry Interviews and Opinions
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2004

    game design theory

    The book is, as the titles suggests, theory and there are no code listings... The book is about game design and you can hope to learn fundamental lessons in how to design the programming libraries, but you're not going to learn the actual source code that does the job. It is nicely divided up to cover the major interactivity types - player-player, player-game, player-computer... It also covers the other necessary theory - tools and the development process. These are done very well. It also covers the pure theory behind why humans play games in the 'anthropology and playology' section. On face value, it's something you would actually expect in a psychology or philosophy text book... but this makes you realize that issues like that are a part of the game design process too... and the book teaches you those fundamentals... One of the best features of this book is the inclusion of examples. In the tools section there are several recognizable illustrations of recent popular games. They are also referenced in the actual text. Doing this, the author makes his book on theory become more practical by letting the reader easily relate the text to a real-world experience. Another great tie-in: interviews and opinions which are covered in the books last section. After the author has had his say, in this section he invites other prominent figures - game designers, game industry insiders and game theorists - to offer their views and experiences on the subject. This opens up the floor to the theory of not just one, but many individuals.

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