Java Reference
In-Depth Information
8.1 What Is a Game?
Games have been around for at least 5000 years in one form or another
and there are many opinions and definitions floating around on what
constitutes a game. 2 These tend to focus on challenges, skills, goal-
oriented activities, educational stimulation, competition, and so on. These
are all valid attributes of all types of game but what we want to think
about now is mobile phone games so we will try to sharpen that definition
up a little first.
There are obviously many types of game: games of chance such as
roulette, turn-based games such as chess, role-playing games (RPGs) such
as Dungeons and Dragons, and real-time strategy (RTS) games where
players compete against each other or against the computer at a strategic
rather than a tactical level ( AgeofEmpires is a great example). The 1980s
spawned the classic 2D arcade-style games Space Invaders, PacMan,
Galaga,Phoenix and, of course, Atic-Atac 3 amongst many others. There
are first-person shooter (FPS) games such as Quake and Doom , as well
as massively multiplayer, online, role-playing games (MMORPGs) such
as WorldofWarcraft . With fast and relatively cheap broadband Internet
access, each of these can take on an online flavor and these days it is
nothing to play against opponents from all over the globe.
I hope you like acronyms because the world of game development
has many of them. With the exception of a few enthusiastic hobbyists,
most people write games for mobile phones with the idea of turning a
profit. So in the interests of commercial reality and simplicity, let's be just
a little cynical and adopt an operational definition we can work with as
A mobile phone game is any piece of interactive mobile phone content
that is entertaining, easily built and that people will buy.
So we can immediately eliminate ringtones, wallpapers and screen
savers since they aren't interactive. Strictly speaking, it also eliminates
business applications on phones since almost none are all that enter-
8.1.1 The Game Loop
Now that we know what a game is (and isn't), we need to look at how
games are structured. With the exception of turn-based games (which
tend to be event-driven), the heart of a game is the 'game loop'. At
3 Atac
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