7th August 2020




DATE: 18th July, 2020


SUBJECT: Computer Science

TOPIC: Computer Games.

Reference: The Internet – Wikipedia

Brief explanation

Notes for the Students

Computer Games

Computer games are programs that enable a player to interact with a virtual game environment for entertainment and fun. There are many types of computer games available, ranging from traditional card games to more advanced video games such as role playing games and adventure games. In this lesson, we will first discuss the different types of computer games. The architecture of computer games will also be described. Finally, the programming environment that is used to build the computer games is discussed.

Types of Computer Games

Although computer games mainly provide entertainment and fun, it also improves hand and eye coordination and problem-solving skills. Each game has its own strategy, action and fantasy that make each game unique and interesting. Generally, we can classify computer games into the following types:

  1. card games
  2. board games
  3. puzzles games.
  4. maze games.
  5. fighting games.
  6. action games.
  7. adventure games.
  8. role playing games.
  9. strategy games.
  10. sports games.
  11. simulation games.

However, the classification is a fuzzy concept, as many games are hybrids that fall into more than one class. For example, Doom can be classified either as a maze game or an action game, while Monopoly can be classified as a board game or strategy game. The different types of computer games are briefly described as follows:

Card Games

They are computerized versions of traditional card games, or games which are essentially like card games in that they are primarily card-based (such as solitaire). Examples of card games include Blackjack, Bridge, Casino, Solitaire and Video Poker.

Board Games

They are adaptations of classic board games. Examples of board games include Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, Scrabble and Monopoly.


Puzzle games aim at figuring out of a solution, which often involves solving enigmas, navigation, learning how to use different tools, and the manipulating or reconfiguring of objects. Mastermind and Tetris are examples of puzzle games.



Maze games require the successful navigation of a maze. Mazes can be viewed in different ways. For example, they may appear in an overhead view (as in Pac-Man), or first-person perspective (as in Doom).


Fighting games involve characters who fight usually hand-to-hand, in one-to-one combat situations. The fighters are usually represented as humans or animated characters.

Fighting games include Street Fighter, Avengers and Body Slam.


Action games involve the human player in shooting at a series of opponents or objects. Traditional action games include Space Invaders, Asteroids, etc. The recent popular action games are Doom, Quake, Descent, Half-Life and Unreal that involve the human player to control a character in a virtual environment to save the world from the forces of evil by using deadly force.


Adventure games are different from action games. They emphasize more on the story, plot and puzzle solving rather than simply catching, shooting, capturing, or escaping. The human player must solve puzzles while adventuring. Characters are usually able to carry objects, such as weapons, keys, tools, etc. The settings of these games often evoke a particular historical time period and place, such as the middle ages, or are thematically related to content-based types such as Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Espionage. Examples of adventure games include Haunted House, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Superman.

Role Playing

In role playing games, players can take on different types of character. The character’s description may include specifics such as species, race, gender, and occupation, and may also include various abilities, such as strength and dexterity. In the virtual game world, the player goes on quests, fights monsters and improves the capability of the character on strength and magic. Example games include Diablo, Dungeons & Dragons and Ultima. Many role playing games are also networked games that allow more than one player to play and interact in the same game worldwide over the network such as the Internet or LAN (Local Area Network). Everquest and Ultima Online are networked role playing games.


Strategy games emphasize the use of strategy as opposed to fast action or the use of quick reflexes. Traditional strategy games include Chess, Monopoly, and Othello. In recent popular strategy games such as Age of Empire, Warcraft and Close Combat, the player can control many combat units to do battle against one or more opponents. In these games, the player needs to resolve the problem of resource allocation, and organization of defences and attacks.


Sports games are adaptations of existing real-world sports or variations of them. The most popular sports games include American Football, Baseball, Boxing, Fishing, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball and Golf.


There are two types of simulation games: management simulation and training simulation. Management simulation games refer to those games in which players must manage the use of limited resources to build or expand some kind of community, institution or empire. Example management simulation games include Railroad Tycoon; SimAnt, and SimCity. For training simulation games, it refers to games that attempt to simulate a realistic situation, for the purpose of training. Through the game simulation, it helps the player to develop some physical skills, such as steering as in driving and flight simulation games. Examples of training simulation games include Police Trainer, Gunship and Flight Unlimited.

Game Design

A computer game can be just a C application program It consists of the following components: Input, Game Logic, Graphics/Sound Support, Game Output and Networking. They are briefly described as follows:

Input – Users interact with the game program through input devices. Common input devices include keyboard, mouse or joystick.

Game Logic – It implements the game logic or game code that handles most of the basic mechanics of game. Generally, before the game logic is developed, the story line on how the game is played and how the players should interact should be designed. Simple physics, networking support and animations should be planned. In some advanced games, artificial intelligence (AI) and collision detection are also implemented in this step.

Graphics Rendering Engine – It has complicated code to efficiently identify and render the game objects and background from a two-dimensional (2-D) model of the environment. It supports transformation of objects that are moved, rotated and scaled when required.

Graphics/Sound Drivers – The graphics drivers receive requests from the rendering engine to the graphics library using APIs. Windows APIs and Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) provide two-dimensional (2-D) graphics support for PCs. For supporting both 2-D and 3-D graphics, OpenGL and DirectX are the two most popular graphics libraries. DirectX also provides libraries for music and sound support.

Game Output – The generated 2-D or 3-D graphics is output to the display. The generated sound effect or music is output to the sound card.

Networking – It provides networking protocol support that allows several users in remote locations to play and interact in the same game environment. In a networked game environment, a server is needed to maintain information on which the virtual game world is supporting, communicates with game clients that are used by players to provide them with information about the shared environment. The server also needs to synchronize the information, and maintain the consistent scenes of the virtual game world among the networked clients.

When a game program begins execution, it should first initialize the memory, loads images and sound files, start the graphics and set up variables such as scores. After initialization, the game logic then starts.

Computer game architecture.

To design a successful computer game, it is important to have a good story line, together with good 2-D and 3-D graphics, and sound effects to make the computer game seem realistic. The story line should be first developed before we start developing a game. To develop a story line, we need to determine the following:

The type of the game – We need to classify the nature of the game into one of the categories that we have discussed. Different types of game have different requirements, for example, role playing games requires realism in graphics and sound effects, whereas some strategy games emphasize on strategy rather than realism, and simplified display would be enough for such games.

The goal of the game – We need to tell the player what to do to succeed in the game. In a space war game, the goal is to shoot down as many space invaders as possible. In a fighting game, the goal is to defeat or kill the opponent.

The player’s performance in the game – We need to decide how to rate the players for their performance. This should indicate how close they have achieved the goal of the game. In general, we use a total score as a player’s performance indicator. In addition, when the player has achieved the goal, we also need to determine how to reward the player.

The rules of the game – We need to tell the players how to play the game. Instructions on how to operate the keyboard or mouse in order to play the game should be privided.


  1. Define Computer Games.
  2. List 6 categories of computer games.
  3. Explain how to design a successful computer game.
  4. List the components of computer game design.
  5. Explain simulation games and give 2 examples.
  6. The word dexterity means _________________
  7. The word fuzzy means ____________________
  8. List 6 programming languages.