3D Game Comparison - Game vs. game. No hype; just facts.™
- For the game genre, see cat:action.
An action (or move or control) in gaming is an action/move/control a character can do within the game. Most characters are pre-animated through scripting (artificial intelligence), inverse kinematics, or motion capture.
- Run: Running was perhaps the first action in a game, though it was just "moving". Pacman moved at one speed while Pong used an analog controller, allowing different movement speeds.
- Pick up (and later put down): Picking objects up ("pickups") in the game world usually meant just "running" (moving) the character over the object; later games actually animate the character to, depending on the kind of character (humanoid, etc), bend over, lean down, crouch down, etc to pick up the object. Most games still do the "run-over" approach, however. Colossal Cave Adventure (1978) was the first game to feature objects that could be picked up, used, and dropped (and that could be carried by an NPC).
- Jump: Jumping (and jumping puzzles) became more prevalent during the platform game era beginning with Frogs and other games like Pitfall! which also combine jumping with grabbing onto things in order to:
- Climb (ladder, pole, rope, rock/wall, etc): Climbing also became more prevalent with platform games like Donkey Kong.
- Attack: A generic action for attacking like shooting/firing a weapon, hitting, punching, kicking, throwing, etc.
- Crouch: Crouching (or ducking) was also introduced in platform games.
- Use: Another generic action that performs various things like picking up (or putting down) something (see above), inserting something (like a key) into something else (a door--or opening/closing one), etc
- Walk: As games became more sophisticated, walking (vs. running) became necessary, like to avoid falling off edges in Tomb Raider.
- Lie down on stomach (also called prone) is used mostly in first person shooting games but was also introduced in platform games like Contra.
A fighting game tends to have more complicated actions involving combination ("combo") moves like flips, twists, somersaults, etc. Other actions include desperation and special attacks and signature and finishing moves. Driving/racing games obviously have driving-related actions like steering, acceleration ("running"/"walking"), breaking (stopping), etc. Dual wielding (holding weapons in multiple hands) is also used in games like Rise of the Triad, Marathon, Tomb Raider, Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.², etc.
As games became (and become) more complex, more and more actions/moves were (are) added, approaching the complexity level of human positions, facial expression, and other expressions. An example of player character move evolution is with Tomb Raider where, in the original 1996 game, Lara Croft, had fewer moves than in the 2007 remake, Tomb Raider: Anniversary.
- ↑ Digital characters learn to move, BBC News, June 25, 2002
- ↑ How do the characters in video games move so fluidly?, How Stuff Works
- ↑ Mark J. P. Wolf, Bernard Perron; The Video Game Theory Reader, Foreward by Warren Robinett, 2003, Routledge, ISBN 0415965780
- ↑ Book Excerpt: 'Better Game Characters By Design' , Katherine Isbister, Gamasutra, June 2, 2006
- ↑ Lara rises from ‘Tomb’ with some new moves, Monty Phan, Newsday, June 26, 2007
- Mark J. P. Wolf, The Medium of the Video Game, 2002, University of Texas Press, pp. 63,80-1,6;116-133, ISBN 029279150X
- Video Game Buttons, basic moves and cheat codes for various games