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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: One Button

    [06.26.08]
    - GameCareerGuide.com staff

  • Honorable Mention
    Eelke Folmer (for his existing games)
    Rather than proposing a unique new game concept specifically focused on a one switch game play, we believe it is possible that any existing game can be turned into a one switch game with the right amount of automation and application of scan mechanisms. We therefore outline the technical details of a mechanism that in our opinion preserves as much as possible the original gameplay of a first person shooter while still being binary switch accessible. (e.g., no holding buttons). See my website (www.eelke.com ) for a number of popular game genres we turned into a one switch versions including Monkey Ball and Mario Kart without significantly changing any of the underlying game play.

    We already developed a one switch mod for the popular FPS Half-Life 2 death match called Gordon's trigger finger (https://gtf.eelke.com). Implementation is fairly easy as the player is put on top of an enemy bot and the player is only able to fire the gun, aiming and moving is done automatically.

    This solution works particularly well for the multiplayer death match version as players usually move around randomly so there is no real need for being able to move, and players are attacking each other all the time so your ability to respond needs to be fast. In essence it is a rail-shooter except the player does not move on a rail. The only thing that needs to be available in the map is a set of waypoints used for pathfinding when the bot is in attack mode.

    We play our mod in spectator mode, which automatically interpolates between frames preventing nausea caused by the jittery movements of a bot. This mechanism is also agnostic to level design, nothing has to be hardcoded in any of the levels that you want to play, as all the interaction is embedded in the bot, we also constantly press the action/open door to open doors or activate switches but we disable the sound as it is annoying.

    Unfortunately our implementation cannot be used to play the single player version, as that involves activities like moving to specific places, climbing ladders, jumping and crawling, so here we propose a mechanism that will allow our current mod to be used with the single player version where being able to move and jump and crawl is desired using an adaptive scan mechanism that has two different modes:

    1) Attack mode; if you spot an enemy or you get hit by an enemy you automatically go into attack mode where the switch is bound to the fire key of your current weapon. The bot moves and automatically aims at enemies it is up to you to fire at the right time.

    2) Navigation mode: when not under attack; you automatically go into this mode when not hit by enemies for 20 seconds. We now use a scanning mechanism called rotate and extend that we developed for a one-switch client for Second Life (see oneswitchsl.eelke.com). An arrow will be visible at your feet which rotates from left to right, pressing the switch determines a direction and now the arrow will start to grow. When you press the switch again the arrow will become fixed and you will start moving towards the top of the arrow. Jumping, climbing ladders and crawling can be accessed by not pressing the switch when the arrow grows. The arrow will grow to a certain extent and then start to shrink again. When it is back at your feet it will briefly go up for a second (climb ladder) arc forward (run jump) and down (crawl).

    By adaptively switching between modes we don't have the problem of having to respond fast which is only the case when under attack or when attacking. The proposed mechanism is far from perfect but we hope to implement this soon in our existing mod and gain more experiences.

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