How to Create Algorithms Webinar
Few beginning game designers appreciate just how important algorithm creation is to good game design. While there’s plenty of good educational material for computer science and physics algorithms, there is very little material on how to create algorithms for games. I have therefore created this webinar to meet this need. The presentation starts off by noting how dearly game designers love to think of themselves as competing with the movies, but in fact no game has ever approached the emotional power of cinema.
One reason for this failure is that we simply have not developed algorithms to represent the emotional processes that are central to good drama. It is therefore imperative to learn how to create good algorithms. An algorithm is simply a procedure one carries out to achieve a particular goal; we’ve had books providing us with algorithms for many years.
Unfortunately, algorithms must be expressed in programming languages; just as every musician must learn the language of music, every game designer must learn at least one programming language, if only to understand the basic concepts. Worse, however, is the unyielding requirement that the game designer learn some mathematics.
On the plus side, the student need not learn advanced mathematics; mastery of high school algebra and geometry, but basic symbolic logic, is sufficient.
I then exemplify these principles with a detailed and non-trivial example of how to create an algorithm to determine how one character’s feelings will change in response to a statement (that is either nice or nasty) made by that second character.
I also introduce the idea of “bounded numbers” for calculations of emotional responses. This is a way of using numbers that naturally reflects the style of emotional response, and avoids some of the most tiresome problems involved in such algorithms.
The presentation includes several detailed examples in which I walk the students through the step-by-step process required for creating an algorithm.
This webinar has 69 slides for 45 minutes of presentation time.