DIG 250 (Spring 2019)
Post your response as a comment below…
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops is set in the Cold War Era during the years of 1961 – 1968 where players take on the roll of a US operative who is on missions to undermine the communist powers. Black Ops generated a lot of economic attention, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. Within 24 hours of its release, it sold 5.6 million copies within those two regions, earning $360 million. Cuba denounced the release of the game as it promoted volatile and sociopathic attitudes of Americans. The game was created by the company Activision and announced alongside its website through a video snippet in an unmarked envelope sent to several gaming news publications and high profile Call of Duty fans. The March following the release of the game, Call of Duty: Black Ops was announced the best-selling game in the United States.
2. Question to self: Are you attracted to the game Call of Duty: Black Ops as a means of relieving tensions from aggression or social isolation? My relationship with this game was based on the fact that it became popular among students in my age range and I didn’t want to be left out of the conversations. Interestingly enough, I only once played with someone from my school. To be honest, I didn’t like the personalities of the people talking about the game anyway so why would I want to play with them?? I grew to enjoy the game for its challenge and the communication I ended up building with random players I would encounter online. A game mode I would often play would be domination, where the objective was to capture and hold flag positions to accrue points to win. I would always pride myself as a strong flag capturer and would most of the time have the most captures. I felt respected and appreciated being apart of those teams.
3. I played this game because it offered a challenge when it came to competition with people around the world. There would be people talking shit, which would be funny.. even when they came at me, I learned how to speak up for myself and take pride in who I was. I also learned how to let stuff slide off my back and let the game play do the talking. I also really enjoyed the aspect of playing with a party of 3-6 people and we’re all talking in the headset about positions and how we’re going to approach the game to win.. it would be exhilarating. During the same time I was playing a lot of Black Ops and Black Ops 2, I was also playing soccer. I can definitely see how my skills giving call-outs and directions transferred over into playing on the field. I would always be watching for a creeping opponent, or looking for an opening to strike. (Yo, this post got me in my feelings..) But playing those simultaneously enhanced how I communicated and enable me to embody being a team player. When I would have a good or bad game in Black Ops, I would review them both to see what I did right, wrong, and how I could improve. That transferred into me having the same critique after soccer games. I would think about how my shortcomings could have been improved upon. I was also not afraid to give feedback to my teammates about their performance, or receive feedback either. I had been chewed out in both the video game and soccer game world, so I built up a sense of resistance to my feelings being hurt and was able to focus on hearing what others were saying and how I could adapt their advice to my performance.
Computer Science 2020
My favorite video game is from 2011 and was released on the Xbox 360. After winning Game of The Year that same year, it went on to win many other awards. The game I’m referring to is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Unlike most other games I enjoy such as NCAA Football, COD, and others, this game is classified as an Action Roleplaying game, meaning that unlike NCAA where you simply play games of football, in this, you take up a persona and build it up in an action-packed world. The motivations in this game are akin to that of a loot-based game where you travel around a massive virtual environment fighting enemies and discovering useable, both actively and passively, gear which helps you build up your players stats such as damage, health, and stamina. There are multiple different races of characters to choose from, ranging from swamp people in the form of walking and talking lizards, all the way to Nordic heroes which are exactly what you think they are. Upon starting the game you choose one of these characters each with different visible characteristics and powers. For instance, the Nordic men are extremely resistant to frost/cold damage, while the lizard people, officially known as argonians, can breathe underwater. After choosing a character you are thrust into the world as a prisoner, eventually being forced to escape. This escape doesn’t come easy, however. To give a little background, this game takes place in a fantasy world that is relatively consistent with worlds that are found in lore such as the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. There are werewolves, vampires, demonic beings, but according to the lore at the beginning of the game; no dragons. At the beginning of the game, your escape is made possible by the appearance of a dragon, the first in a millennium supposedly. This appearance, or resurgence, however, leads you down a quest line that, among other interesting things, leads the player to realize they are in fact part dragon. Aside from the different characters with different powers and stats, there is also a fantastic array of weapons and armor, wrings and amulets, bows, and arrows to choose from. Increasing specific stats such as smithing allows the player to craft weapons of greater power than before. For instance, the iron bows of the early game, are nothing compared to the Ebony or Daedric weapons of the late game. This pattern holds true for armor as well. The Iron shields of the early game are ineffective compared to the Dragonbone shield of the late game. There are also special, unique weapons, such as the Ebony Blade which returns health to the user when they attack an enemy. Aside from metal swords, armor, and bows, the game also features a wide variety of spells and sorceries. From summoning Ice monsters to fight for you, to casting fireballs and reanimating the dead, there is just about every fighting style a person could as for. There are overt and aggressive play styles where you rush into battle headfirst, but there are also sneak play styles where you, hidden away in the shadows, shoot enemies with a bow and arrow. These plethora of play styles are both intriguing and door opening, for if you don’t enjoy one type of play style, there are plenty of others to choose from. All in all, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a game that centers around exploring a vast open world full of treasures and secrets. A world where the player gets to choose where to go, what to explore, and what quests to do.
1. My favorite game is 2k19. I have played the 2k series for years now for a variety of reasons. 2k19 is a sports game that intends to directly simulate NBA games with a variety of teams from the current league and historic years. There are several game modes in 2k19. There is a mode where a user can create a player and control his decisions and play from high school through the end of the player’s NBA career. There is another mode where the user can take the place of a general manager of an NBA team and negotiate contracts, trades, and draft picks. My favorite mode incorporates card collecting, team-building, and skill at the game. The user collects cards for players throughout history and uses those players to compete against other players in the world. We see below a MyTeam created team. The colors on the card denote the caliber of a player. The numbers on the card denote the player’s overall skill. The higher the number, the better the player. The Chris Paul card on the left is a Heat Check card. A Heat Check card tracks a player’s play over the course of the season and changes according to their level of play on a day to day basis.
2. 2k19 is a sports simulation game.
3. The rules and mechanics of the game work to mimic the NBA. The process of fouls, scoring, and maneuvering is identical to the modern-day NBA. A user shoots by pressing and holding a button until a meter fills to a point, then releases the button at that time. If the user is late or early in releasing the button, the shot has a lower success rate.
We see above the shot meter. It exists near the shoulder of a player and determines when to release the ball. Some players have quicker releases and some players have slower releases. A player’s release in the game is the same as their shot in real life. The time that 2k19 spends on making player jump shots look similar to real life is incredible. Naturally, the faster a release the better. A fast release allows a player to get shots up before a defender can close out on a shooter. It is because of a quick release, coupled with his accuracy, that Steph Curry is so lethal in the game and real life. The user is also tasked with determining how to dribble the ball. The game allows the user to mimic dribble moves that the professionals use today. How and when the user uses these moves in-game determines how effective the moves are. Where the real skill of a player reveals itself is how a player defends his or her opponent. A user has two options: guarding on ball (controlling the player that is guarding the player with the ball) or guarding off ball (controlling one of the other four players that are defending a player without the ball). While the two options are clear, only truly skilled players defend on ball. The reason for this difference in defending is because guarding on ball is far more difficult. It requires the defender to understand his or her opponent and decide how to move accordingly. The ability to guard on ball is a skill that only the best players have perfected.
We see in the picture above a blue ring around Kevin Durant. This ring denotes that Kevin Durant is being controlled by the user. We see Giannis Antetokounmpo getting ready to set a screen on the right. The user needs to decide whether to go under the screen, over the screen, or switch on the screen. Decisions like this one are what make a player great at 2k19.
4. I am Andrew Sherrill. I am a junior Computer Science major.
Digital Studies 2020
My favorite game series is Super Smash Bros, a crossover fighting game by Nintendo that has had five iterations since 1999 for each new game system release. The game contains characters from a variety of Nintendo franchises including Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, Street Fighter, Final Fantasy, and more. In contrast to older fighting games, rather than reducing your opponent’s life bar, you fight them to increase their damage percentage. The higher damage percentage, the further they will be knocked back by your attacks and once a strong enough hit lands, they will fly off-screen and be “K.O’d”. While controls are fairly simple, there are a variety of moves that differ based on characters and how they are used in conjunction with other controls.
Image result for smash gameplay
Most, but not all, iterations of Smash typically contains two modes of play: Story Mode and regular Smash. For example, in the most recent release Super Smash Bros Ultimate, the player can only start off using Kirby. As the player progresses through the levels and defeat certain enemies, these characters will be unlocked for Smash Mode. Smash Mode is the most well known aspect of the Smash Bros series. Over the years, a competitive scene has developed where multiple tournaments are held for professional gamers to play in. Within Smash Mode, players fight each other until one remains. Each game has a variety of settings which the players can choose to alter each match. This includes: the number lives each player has, whether or not assist items (randomly appearing objects that aid the players in the game) appear, a time limit, and many others. Upon the release of Ultimate, several new modes have appeared under Smash Mode which includes tournament style gameplay, multiple rounds, team matches, and other customizable settings have been included.
Unlike other story heavy games, Smash is fairly simplistic in that it is a competitive fighting game. Motivations for each player is to purely win the match by defeating other players and becoming the last one alive. As there are a variety of different characters with different moves and attributes, some players enjoy learning the technical aspect of all of them. The reason why Smash is my favorite game is because I have been playing it with a group of close friends since early high school. To this day, we typically meet up and play over college breaks and has become a tradition for us. For me, while the game is extremely enjoyable, it also has a deep nostalgic aspect and it brings me joy to know that it can bring our group together for a good time even as adults. I would assume for many players out there that Smash does the same thing to them. It is a competitive game which means it could never really be “completed” as each new rounds means a new chance at becoming the victor. Friends and family can enjoy this game on a casual basis for years without becoming bored. Because of how Smash is set up, up to 8 players can play at the same time on the same screen which allows Smash to be a “party game” where it could be played by many people at once. Since online Smash has been relatively new, Smash is guaranteed to bring friends and family together in person.
Another reason the game is enjoyable is because you can always be better. As with many player vs. player game, while understanding how to use mechanics is good, understanding when to use them is the decisive factor in matches. When I first started the game, I was fairly bad as all I did was spam special attacks as they did more damage. However, it took me a while to understand that these moves must be used in conjunction with knowing when to shield, roll away, and use basic attacks instead. Becoming a great player Smash means knowing how to “read”, or doing a specific move in anticipation of what the other player will do next. A player may be fantastic at a character, but they would never be able to KO their opponents if they can’t stay one move ahead of them.
My name is Spencer, and I am a junior computer science major.
Picking my favorite game is a very difficult task, but despite being an avid video game player, I think I will have to go with a board game and say my favorite game (or at least one of them) is Catan.
Catan is a 3-4 person game where players try and settle the previously uninhabited, and resource-rich island of Catan. The game board is divided up into 19 hexes, with 18 resource hexes and the barren desert hex. The resource hexes are divided up amongst the 5 different resources in the game: lumber (4), grain (4), wool (4), brick (3), and ore (3). Players receive resources based off of dice rolls, and the location of their settlements and cities. They in turn, use these resources to build settlements, cities, roads, and development cards to grow their influence over Catan. The goal of the game is to reach 10 victory points, which can be earned by building settlements (1 point), cities (2 points), possessing the largest road or army (2 points each), or with certain development cards. Essential to building, players can trade resources amongst each other to get the combinations they need to win.
The description of the game may not be very interesting, it was not enough to get me to play until my cousin got the game for Christmas, the exciting and fun part of Catan comes with the players themselves. While Catan does not allow attacking other players, the game is very competitive. The game is very strategic, with multiple routes to victory, meaning a lot of analysis, planning, bluffing, and surprises. Since there are 2 or more other players, not only must you keep up with your own plans for victory, but also the many possible routes of your opponents. This makes trading very strategic, as for every trade one must take into account what they gain, what the other player gains, the relationship between those trading, and whatever they may know about the hands of each other player. This often leads to hilarious situations where either a player has monopoly on a much-needed resource, or the opposite where a player is stuck with large amounts of a resource they do not need, and therefore cannot progress.
I have always been very competitive by nature, and this board game is perfect for me. Pitting each person against each other, the game is intense, but not so much so that it ruins friendships or gets physical. Also, the game is usually 45 minutes to 1 hour long, so while each game does involve a good amount of buildup and longer-term strategy, it’s short enough that you can play a few games in a row over a meal. Playing multiple times with the same players fosters an even better game experience as with experience there develops a sense of understanding how each other plays, leading to more calculated decisions, and even bigger surprises when people change their style of play. It is a great time when previous game experiences come back, as it often leads to lots of laughs and taunting each other based of previous mistakes.
Overall, the key to my enjoyment of Catan is the balance of strategy and competition, with pure luck. No game is better than when one player starts off the game so far in the lead that everyone else wants to quit, but through streaks of luck, the once leading player stagnates while everyone else surpasses them and eventually, the once braggadocios early leader loses. While I do love competition and the rewarding feeling of out strategizing everyone else, the large component of luck in Catan relieves the tension everyone once in a while and makes for lots of laughs.
Link to game trailer: https://youtu.be/5-6OVXTzVdI
Link to detailed game introduction and assistant: https://www.catan.com/game/catan#prof-easy
Picture of gameboard and cards: http://missiontosave.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/settlers-of-Catan-5th-ed.jpg
My name is Will, and I am a first-year prospective Computer Science major.
My favorite game, while it may seem juvenile, is Minecraft. I don’t play it much anymore, but it has had an extreme impact on my life which I’ll discuss in the “Why?” portion of this assignment.
Minecraft is an indie survival/sandbox game. There aren’t really any goals other than those that players set for themselves. Minecraft’s primary gamemode is survival, where players (either together on a server or individually) build, farm, fight, and— obviously— mine to survive hordes of monsters that spawn at night and underground. The game is all about progress and creativity, without much of a focus on competition. Death in survival mode, unless you are playing in hardcore mode, is frustrating, but ultimately harmless. At worst, you’ll get killed near lava or far from your spawn point and all your hard-earned items will be lost forever.
There is another gamemode called creative, where the player is invincible and all-powerful, being able to create anything their heart desires without fear. While this gamemode was primarily used by artists or people testing things early on, the addition of one little block would change everything. Enter the “command block.” The command block turned Minecraft from a fun survival game to play with friends into a hefty game engine with premade assets and documentation coming straight from the developers. Now, by learning a little bit of JSON (or using the thousands of online code generators), anyone could be a game developer. While things like this had existed before in Minecraft, they relied on sketchy mods and third-party server hosting. Now, they were accessible to everyone.
The appeal of Minecraft is different depending on what kind of player you are; the game truly has something for everyone. There are servers with premade games on them ranging from CS-GO clones to spleefing, a game where players dig blocks from under each other until every player but one falls into the lava waiting below. Players can play by themselves or with friends, and have unique competitions of your own devising. They can make their own games within Minecraft (my friend and I made things like League of Legends clones and parkour maps) or play those made by others. Minecraft was incredible because it was one of the first games where truly anything was possible.
This video essentially sums up how I think most of the original crowd (myself included) feels about the game now. There is a lot of that cringey 2013 screaming that comes around, but the content of the video itself is excellent.
Here’s the song he mentions at the end of the video. Even if you don’t watch the video, listen to this song. If you ever played Minecraft when you were young, C418’s “Sweden” will bring it all back in the best way possible.
Tucker Craig, Junior, Computer Science Major
I like to play a lot of different games, and I think that while Halo, Call of Duty, or Mario can summarize my gaming career I’ll stick with my favorite to play at the moment. This being Fortnite, by Epic Games. Fortnite is an FPS (first person shooter). I play the battle royale (BR) version the most. That said, there is also a survival/tower defense gamemode – which was actually what the game was made for.
The game is a battle royale, the idea being that 100 players join a game and only one wins. You use weapons to kill other players off, not unlike the hunger games. The game is full of cartoon violence. It also is unlike usual shooters like Call of Duty because the map is destructible, and you can build your own fortifications through each game. It’s also really nice because you can play in teams of four, so my friends and I like to all hop on together.
The game has gained a lot of traction and popularity from streamers, who play the game live in front of thousands of people every day. I would say that for many it’s not just the game that’s important, but also streaming – and I think a lot of people associate playing the game with streaming. Another aspect of Fortnite that’s been changing video games is customizing the character you go in to fight with. They’ve got premade characters that you can buy in a store and while they offer no advantage or anything, you can pay to have your character look like a christmas elf or black knight. Which can be fun.
My favorite game is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt developed and published by CD Projekt. This game is based on The Witcher series of fantasy novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. It is the sequel to the previous two games that are also based on the novel. The Witcher 3 is an ARPG game that is played in an open world with third-person perspective.
The Witcher 3 has received widespread praise from critics. It was appreciated for its attention to details and a open world with numerous interests to be explored. The IGN review gave it 9.3 out of 10. GameSpot and Eurogames gave it their highest score. By the end of March 2016, the game was reported to have sold nearly 10 millions copies worldwide.
The story line of the trilogy is set at the end of the novel. The plots are originally made by CD Projekt. The main goal of the players is to control the protagonist Geralt of Rivia, a witcher who lives off killing monsters for coins, who is looking for his missing adopted daughter that is escaping from the Wild Hunt: an army from another world that is chasing after her for her power.
As players play in an open world, there is not that many rules and restriction for them to follow: besides acting as the protagonist and taking his role in a medieval but magical world. The player will have full control over the customization of the character: the equipment, skills, items, and even haircuts. As the player explore this magical world, they will face against enemies ranging from animals like bears and wolves to monsters like griffin and cyclopes. Even as a monster hunter, in a dynamic world where everything is possible, players also have to prepare themselves for fighting against humans.
Aside from the main quest of finding the protagonist’s missing adopted daughter, there are massive amount of side quests in this game, each with its own background and story. Most of the side quests mask themselves as a simple contract: NPC in this world will offer you reward to kill monsters, some will even deny paying you the promised amount after the monster is killed, and they take their consequences. However, as the players dive deeper into these contracts, they turn out to be something more complex than merely killing for money. Almost all of them have underlying stories and truth that are yet to be revealed. The depth of the story unveils in reaction to how hard the players are digging into the story. It is possible to simply act like a passing by who just do the job to get the money. But the consequence of your action will usually flow accidently to your ears through some whispering. The players will not only face challenges like combats, but also question themselves for their decision and its impact. When I played this game, along my journey I always asked myself: Did I do what was right? Do I really want to know the truth? This game will present predicament to the players such as a situation when whatever choice you make, things just cannot be completely right. “The lesser evil”, it was called in game. However, I was merely referring to my own play style that is to stick with the person created in the novel. The players can simply make Geralt the Rivia another person by making different decisions. Evil, kind, fierce, and compassionate, it is all up to the players who control the protagonist.
After the players finish the main quest, they can still wander in this open world, chasing after a full set of side quests that are yet to be finished. This game also released two DCL, each providing a tremendous amount of game content.
My favorite game, Fallout 3, is an open-world RPG that allows the player to mold and shape the world around them, leaving their mark on a diverse universe that the developers stitched together.
I started really playing video games about 4 years ago. I had played games pretty casually when I was growing up, dabbling in some Halo 3, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, and NBA 2k5. During high school, I lost time and interest, leaving my 360 to collect dust in my room. But in late November 2014, I went with my friend, Chase, to pick up The Evil Within. I had heard of the game, and Chase was excited about the new Bethesda release. While at Game Stop, I started browsing the other selection of games and came across one I had heard of before, Fallout 3. I picked up the box, scanned the back, and realized that this game was also published by Bethesda. It was only a couple bucks, so I decided to grab it, and figured I’d fire it up at some point.
I forgot about my purchase until a few days into winter break. I was already bored out of my mind and figured I’d test it out. The game was instantly like nothing I had ever seen before. With only one game mode, I launched into ugly, yet in-depth, character creation, and tried to model myself in the game. I went through the introductory levels, tutorializing dialogue, skills, and combat, all within the linear and confined spaces of the vault that the game starts you out in. About an hour in, I was launched into the open Wasteland, and the sun rising up over the hills and debris was genuinely awe-inspiring. I had never seen or gotten to appreciate artistic detail like that in a game.
Initially, I played the game like I had played my first-person shooters growing up, following the main quest, step-by-step, going in a straight line between the locations that my map guided me to. Eventually, I picked up enough side quests, that it hit me that I can experience this world in any order, in any fashion that I want. I was offered the choice to disarm or blow up a bomb in the middle of a city, I could side between mercy killing a mutated man or keeping him alive, I could even choose to enslave people that were helping me along the way, and collect the bounty on their head. This revelation that I can mold the experience was reinforced later in some side quests. I had ventured to the south-east of the map, and along the way decided to try to kill some non-hostile wastelanders, squatting at a camp. Up to this point, I had not even thought to try and attack any character that was not already hostile to me, and it blew my mind that a game would allow the player to attack anyone they want. I pondered this mechanic as I traveled, eventually stumbling upon a settlement, Tenpenny Tower. I got into the settlement, did a couple odds and ends for the group, and was dissatisfied with the payouts that they were giving. I decided I wanted all of their money and chose to experiment with how far the game would let me go. So I whipped out my Chinese Assault rifle and wiped it out. I was astonished that I was allowed to do that, and it bent my mind on what I thought I could do in the world.
Fallout 3 opened my eyes on ways a game has the ability to connect with a player’s being. I experienced genuine sadness when my dog, Dogmeat, who had traveled with me for almost a day’s worth of real-time, was killed by the Enclave at Raven Rock. I remember being terrified as I traveled to Rivet City and stumbled upon my first Mirelurk, being killed several times before I eventually used a stealth boy to evade the monster. And I was so curious every time I entered a ruin, excited about what stories, enemies, and items awaited for me around every corner. The game made me really believe that I was experiencing the things that my character was going through, and allowed me to connect with the game in a deeper way than I ever had before.
There are many other things that make Fallout 3 an incredible game. The developers included a mechanic, called VATS, that allows a player to target specific body parts of an enemy, overcoming the poor shooting mechanics and allowing the player to opt into a highly skilled VATS character. The game features a skill-system, forcing the player to choose which skills to upgrade, and by how much, at each level, not restricting abilities by level, but only skill points. The game features very little social rules, allowing the character to kill almost anyone (except for children and a few plot-essential characters), complete any quest in a way they see fit, or ignore quests altogether. There are very often tangible consequences to how you complete a quest, whether it is a shunning from a people group, or an abundance of trees that start to pop up over the otherwise devoid wasteland. All of these rules and mechanics allow the player to experience a beautifully crafted set of stories and interact with a deep world and the people within it.
Junior, Computer Science Major
My favorite game is PlayerUnknow’s Battleground (PUBG). It is an online multiplayer first-person/third-person shooter that falls in the battle royal genre.
This genre was inspired by the 2000 Japanese movie “Battle Royal” in which about 50 students from a middle school go on for a field trip and discover that they have been framed to participate a social experiment. They are constrained within an island by the government and forced to kill each other until there is only one person alive. The movie has been a cult classic since its release, and some developer took inspirations from it and made “battle royal” mods to popular games like Minecraft. Then these mods gradually defined their own genre.
PUBG is based on a mod created by Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene. In each game, a hundred player parachute into a map with no gear and scavenge for weapons and equipments to eliminate other players while avoiding to be killed by others. The safe zone in the map decreases over time and forces the surviving players to come closer and fight as a game goes on. The winner is the last man or team standing, and is awarded with “winner winner, chicken dinner”.
PUBG is packed with details and the learning curve is steep for newbies. Unlike some conventional shooting games such as Counter Strike, the weapons in PUBG are highly customizable. The weapons are divided in to melees, pistols, SMGs, shotguns, assault rifles, designated marksman’s rifles, sniper’s rifles and so on. Each category has its own muzzle attachment, grips, magazines and stocks. Players have to find the combination that works the best for them.
Of course, the most difficult part of the game is to beat all other parties of players to be the last man standing. This rule makes PUBG a very strategic game. When I play the game, I have loot around for equipments in order to out-gear my enemies, find the best route to navigate into the safe zone, and listen to footsteps to spot enemies around me. Sometimes when I spot enemies I can’t shoot them right away because the gunfire will give up my position and attract other player to attack me. People enjoy strategic plays and many streamers play PUBG as their main game to attract audience.
PUBG Global Invitational highlights:
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