Different types of computer games fall into set categories or genre. Genre basically means a group of things of a certain type. Although you could say Fifa 2013 is a sports game could also be seen as a simulation game as the game simulates playing a real life sport. So it can be said that most games can be categorised under a number of different genres. The different types of game genre are described below:
Action: Action games are fast paced and require good reflexes and the ability to be able to complete a sequence of button combinations on the game controller. The games normally include completing challenges such as fighting with and enemy and the player is normally represented on screen using a recognisable character.
Role-playing (RPG): RPG games are set in fantasy world where the player acts out the role of the main character and makes decisions based on the story line of the game. RPG games often involve narrative guiding the player through the game world and may include a master that aids the main character on their journey through the game.
Adventure games: Adventure games are mainly single player games set in a fantasy or adventure world where the main challenges involve completing puzzles. The adventure genre normally involves a back story of the main character and will include a specific rescue mission or objective to reach the end of the adventure.
Real time strategy (RTS): Strategy games normally involve building an inventory of items and army of people. The main difference between an RTS game and a strategy game is that RTS moves in real-time and players do not have to take turns and wait to make their next decision. RTS and Strategy games involve taking turns and making strategic decisions often involving armies and the objective are to control or take over a certain territory within the game.
Puzzle: Puzzle games involve solving complex puzzles. These games test logical thinking skills and are often time based to add an extra challenge. Puzzle games normally involve coloured shapes and simple player actions. The main challenge for the player in puzzle games is more to think about how to solve the puzzle rather than to have quick reflexes and hand eye coordination.
Stealth shooter games: Stealth games involve moving around a territory and remaining unseen and undetected by a group of enemies. These games can be spy based and hence the need to sneak around the game world undetected.
Combat games: combat games involve close up one to one fighting against an opponent. They require fast reflexes and the ability to learn how to control the character to complete a range of fighting movements.
First person shooters (FPS): FPS games are shooter games where the player plays through the main protagonist and can see the main game world through their eyes. It gets the player really involved in the gameplay but the player can rarely see how they are represented on screen.
Sports Games: Sports games simulate real-world sports such as soccer, basketball and baseball. They normally involve mimicking the actions of real professional sports star and categories key players within the game with different levels of skills. Successful sports games often run in a series and update with information relating to the most popular players in the game from the real-world.
Simulations: Simulation games are games that simulate controlling real world vehicles such as cars, tanks or aircraft. The player can learn how to control the vehicles and simulation games can often be used to train professional people on how to operate machinery. Many aircraft companies have airplane simulators to train pilots before they operate real aircrafts in the field.
Educational games: Educational games are used to teach people certain subjects. Educational games try to make learning a topic fun and interactive and engage the learner in the subject. The games normally have testing functional built into them where players can answer a range of multiple choice questions that are automatically marked. Education games are widely used for maths, science and ICT.
Massively multiplayer online (MMO): MMO games involve playing games over a LAN (local area network) or the internet. The players play over the network and can interact with other players in the virtual game room by controlling another machine in the real room or when using the internet they can play against players from all around the world. Many successful MMO games are subscription based. The amount of programming involved in creating these games is immense and it’s an unbelievable experience to play them onscreen.
Gaming platforms are the hardware platforms that games programs run on. These are described below:
Personal computer: PC games are very popular and can be downloaded from the web or loaded on the PC using a CD rom. PCs gamers often use the mouse and keyboard to control the characters in the game but can hook up additional hardware devices such as gaming specific joysticks. MMO games can be played on the PC platform and players can use headsets to verbally communicate with other players that are online.
Portable hand held console: A portable hand held console is a games console that can be taken anywhere. They are specifically built for games and hence the graphics are custom designed for the platforms. Popular examples are the Nintendo DS and the PS Vita.
Stand-alone platforms: Consoles or stand-alone platforms are a very popular gaming platform. They have advanced over the years and can now also be used to play MMO games. The player will always need to buy games that are specifically made for that platform.
Mobile Phone: Mobile gaming is growing rapidly as games are accessible and cheap and gamers enjoy playing when on the move. Developers also see the mobile market as a great area to break into as nearly everyone has a phone but not everyone has a games console.
As games have developed over time so have the technologies. The following technologies have advanced rapidly in the last 20 years.
Graphics: Early games had pixelated graphics and player movements were limited to course sprite based 2D graphics. With the advance in technology, developers have been able to create complex 3D gaming environments and models that have a range of advanced movements that can represent humanoid movements within a game.
Artificial Intelligence: AI started off where NPCs (non-playable characters) were programmed to move in certain directions within the game and the player normally gained points or lost a life if they interacted with another component. The Ai used was simple and normally made the NPC move in a fixed path so that the gamer could learn patterns to avoid them. In today’s games NPCs are become smarter and are now programmed to act within the game depending on how the player actually plays within the game itself.