A computing platform or digital platform is the environment in which a piece of software is executed. It may be the hardware or the operating system a web browser and associated application programming interfaces, or other underlying software, as long as the program code is executed with it. Computing platforms have different abstraction levels, including a computer architecture, an OS, or runtime libraries. A computing platform is the stage. A platform can be seen both as a constraint on the software development process, in that different platforms provide different functionality and restrictions. For example, an OS may be a platform that abstracts the underlying differences in hardware and provides a generic command for saving files or accessing the network. Platforms may include: Hardware alone, in the case of small embedded systems. Embedded systems can access hardware directly, without an OS. A browser in the case of web-based software; the browser itself runs on a hardware+OS platform, but this is not relevant to software running within the browser.
An application, such as a spreadsheet or word processor, which hosts software written in an application-specific scripting language, such as an Excel macro. This can be extended to writing fully-fledged applications with the Microsoft Office suite as a platform. Software frameworks. Cloud computing and Platform as a Service. Extending the idea of a software framework, these allow application developers to build software out of components that are hosted not by the developer, but by the provider, with internet communication linking them together; the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are considered development platforms. A virtual machine such as the Java virtual machine or. NET CLR. Applications are compiled into a format similar to machine code, known as bytecode, executed by the VM. A virtualized version of a complete system, including virtualized hardware, OS, storage; these allow, for instance, a typical Windows program to run on. Some architectures have multiple layers, with each layer acting as a platform to the one above it.
In general, a component only has to be adapted to the layer beneath it. For instance, a Java program has to be written to use the Java virtual machine and associated libraries as a platform but does not have to be adapted to run for the Windows, Linux or Macintosh OS platforms. However, the JVM, the layer beneath the application, does have to be built separately for each OS. AmigaOS, AmigaOS 4 FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD IBM i Linux Microsoft Windows OpenVMS Classic Mac OS macOS OS/2 Solaris Tru64 UNIX VM QNX z/OS Android Bada BlackBerry OS Firefox OS iOS Embedded Linux Palm OS Symbian Tizen WebOS LuneOS Windows Mobile Windows Phone Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless Cocoa Cocoa Touch Common Language Infrastructure Mono. NET Framework Silverlight Flash AIR GNU Java platform Java ME Java SE Java EE JavaFX JavaFX Mobile LiveCode Microsoft XNA Mozilla Prism, XUL and XULRunner Open Web Platform Oracle Database Qt SAP NetWeaver Shockwave Smartface Universal Windows Platform Windows Runtime Vexi Ordered from more common types to less common types: Commodity computing platforms Wintel, that is, Intel x86 or compatible personal computer hardware with Windows operating system Macintosh, custom Apple Inc. hardware and Classic Mac OS and macOS operating systems 68k-based PowerPC-based, now migrated to x86 ARM architecture based mobile devices iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers devices running iOS from Apple Gumstix or Raspberry Pi full function miniature computers with Linux Newton devices running the Newton OS from Apple x86 with Unix-like systems such as Linux or BSD variants CP/M computers based on the S-100 bus, maybe the earliest microcomputer platform Video game consoles, any variety 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, licensed to manufacturers Apple Pippin, a multimedia player platform for video game console development RISC processor based machines running Unix variants SPARC architecture computers running Solaris or illumos operating systems DEC Alpha cluster running OpenVMS or Tru64 UNIX Midrange computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM OS/400 Mainframe computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM z/OS Supercomputer architectures Cross-platform Platform virtualization Third platform Ryan Sarver: What is a platform
Video game music
Video game music is the soundtrack that accompanies video games. Early video game music was once limited to simple melodies of early sound synthesizer technology; these limitations inspired the style of music known as chiptunes, which combines simple melodic styles with more complex patterns or traditional music styles, became the most popular sound of the first video games. With advances in technology, video game music has grown to include the same breadth and complexity associated with television and film scores, allowing for much more creative freedom. While simple synthesizer pieces are still common, game music now includes full orchestral pieces and popular music. Music in video games can be heard over a game’s title screen, options menu, bonus content, as well as during the entire gameplay. Modern soundtracks can change depending on a player's actions or situation, such as indicating missed actions in rhythm games. Video game music can be one of two options: original or licensed. In order to create or collect this music, teams of composers, music directors, music supervisors must work with the game developers and game publishers.
Many of the most notable original sophie game composers have been from Japan, including Nobuo Uematsu, Koji Kondo, Yuzo Koshiro, Yoko Shimomura, Junichi Masuda, Hip Tanaka, Masato Nakamura, Koichi Sugiyama, Yasunori Mitsuda, Michiru Yamane, Yuu Miyake, Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, Manabu Namiki, Shinji Hosoe, Hiroshi Kawaguchi. Notable Western game composers working today include Jeremy Soule, Jesper Kyd, Marty O' Donnell, Jason Graves, Austin Wintory, James Hannigan, Garry Schyman, Peter McConnell, some of whom work in film and television alongside video games. Today, original composition has included the work of film composers Harry Gregson-Williams, Trent Reznor, Hans Zimmer, Mark Rutherford, Josh Mancell, Steve Jablonsky, Michael Giacchino; the popularity of video game music has expanded education and job opportunities, generated awards, allowed video game soundtracks to be commercially sold and performed in concert's. At the time video games had emerged as a popular form of entertainment in the late 1970s, music was stored on physical medium in analog waveforms such as compact cassettes and phonograph records.
Such components were expensive and prone to breakage under heavy use making them less than ideal for use in an arcade cabinet, though in rare cases, they were used. A more affordable method of having music in a video game was to use digital means, where a specific computer chip would change electrical impulses from computer code into analog sound waves on the fly for output on a speaker. Sound effects for the games were generated in this fashion. An early example of such an approach to video game music was the opening chiptune in Tomohiro Nishikado's Gun Fight. While this allowed for inclusion of music in early arcade video games, it was monophonic, looped or used sparingly between stages or at the start of a new game, such as the Namco titles Pac-Man composed by Toshio Kai or Pole Position composed by Nobuyuki Ohnogi; the first game to use a continuous background soundtrack was Tomohiro Nishikado's Space Invaders, released by Taito in 1978. It had four descending chromatic bass notes repeating in a loop, though it was dynamic and interacted with the player, increasing pace as the enemies descended on the player.
The first video game to feature continuous, melodic background music was Rally-X, released by Namco in 1980, featuring a simple tune that repeats continuously during gameplay. The decision to include any music into a video game meant that at some point it would have to be transcribed into computer code by a programmer, whether or not the programmer had musical experience; some music was original, some was public domain music such as folk songs. Sound capabilities were limited; as advances were made in silicon technology and costs fell, a definitively new generation of arcade machines and home consoles allowed for great changes in accompanying music. In arcades, machines based on the Motorola 68000 CPU and accompanying various Yamaha YM programmable sound generator sound chips allowed for several more tones or "channels" of sound, sometimes eight or more; the earliest known example of this was Sega's 1980 arcade game Carnival, which used an AY-3-8910 chip to create an electronic rendition of the classical 1889 composition "Over The Waves" by Juventino Rosas.
Konami's 1981 arcade game Frogger introduced a dynamic approach to video game music, using at least eleven different gameplay tracks, in addition to level-starting and game over themes, which change according to the player's actions. This was further improved upon by Namco's 1982 arcade game Dig Dug, where the music stopped when the player stopped moving. Dig Dug was composed by Yuriko Keino, who composed the music for other Namco games such as Xevious and Phozon. Sega's 1982 arcade game Super Locomotive featured a chiptune rendition of Yellow Magic Orchestra's "Rydeen". Home console systems had a comparable upgrade in sound ability beginning with the ColecoVision in 1982 capable of four channels. However, more notable was the Japanese release of the Famicom in 1983, released in the US as the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985, it was capable of one being capable of simple PCM sampled sound. The home computer Commodore 64 released in 1982 was capable of early forms of filtering effects, different types of waveforms and the undocumented abilit
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System known as the Super NES or Super Nintendo, is a 16-bit home video game console developed by Nintendo, released in 1990 in Japan and South Korea, 1991 in North America, 1992 in Europe and Australasia, 1993 in South America. In Japan, the system is called the Super Famicom. In South Korea, it was distributed by Hyundai Electronics; the system was released in Brazil on August 1993, by Playtronic. Although each version is the same, several forms of regional lockout prevent the different versions from being compatible with one another; the SNES is Nintendo's second programmable home console, following the Nintendo Entertainment System. The console introduced advanced graphics and sound capabilities compared with other systems at the time; the development of a variety of enhancement chips integrated in game cartridges helped to keep it competitive in the marketplace. The SNES was a global success, becoming the best-selling console of the 16-bit era despite its late start and the intense competition it faced in North America and Europe from Sega's Genesis console.
The SNES remained popular well into the 32-bit era having sold 49.1 million worldwide by the time it was discontinued in 2003.. It continues to be popular among collectors and retro gamers, some of whom still make homebrew ROM images, in addition to its popularity in Nintendo's emulated rereleases, such as on the Virtual Console and the Super NES Classic Edition. To compete with the popular Family Computer in Japan, NEC Home Electronics launched the PC Engine in 1987, Sega followed suit with the Mega Drive in 1988; the two platforms were launched in North America in 1989 as the TurboGrafx-16 and the Sega Genesis, respectively. Both systems were built on 16-bit architectures and offered improved graphics and sound over the 8-bit NES. However, it took several years for Sega's system to become successful. Nintendo executives were in no rush to design a new system, but they reconsidered when they began to see their dominance in the market slipping. Designed by Masayuki Uemura, the designer of the original Famicom, the Super Famicom was released in Japan on Wednesday, November 21, 1990 for 25,000 yen.
It was an instant success. The system's release gained the attention of the Yakuza, leading to a decision to ship the devices at night to avoid robbery. With the Super Famicom outselling its rivals, Nintendo reasserted itself as the leader of the Japanese console market. Nintendo's success was due to the retention of most of its key third-party developers, including Capcom, Tecmo, Square and Enix. Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, a redesigned version of the Super Famicom, in North America for $199, it began shipping in limited quantities on August 23, 1991, with an official nationwide release date of September 9, 1991. The SNES was released in the United Kingdom and Ireland in April 1992 for £150, with a German release following a few weeks later. Most of the PAL region versions of the console use the Japanese Super Famicom design, except for labeling and the length of the joypad leads; the Playtronic Super NES in Brazil, although PAL-M, uses the North American design.
Both the NES and SNES were released in Brazil in 1993 by Playtronic, a joint venture between the toy company Estrela and consumer electronics company Gradiente. The SNES and Super Famicom launched with few games, but these games were well received in the marketplace. In Japan, only two games were available: Super Mario World and F-Zero. In North America, Super Mario World launched as a bundle with the console; the rivalry between Nintendo and Sega resulted in what has been described as one of the most notable console wars in video game history, in which Sega positioned the Genesis as the "cool" console, with games aimed at older audiences, advertisements that attacked the competition. Nintendo however, scored an early public relations advantage by securing the first console conversion of Capcom's arcade classic Street Fighter II for SNES, which took over a year to make the transition to the Genesis. Despite the Genesis's head start, much larger library of games, lower price point, the Genesis only represented an estimated 60% of the American 16-bit console market in June 1992, neither console could maintain a definitive lead for several years.
Donkey Kong Country is said to have helped establish the SNES's market prominence in the latter years of the 16-bit generation, for a time, maintain against the PlayStation and Saturn. According to Nintendo, the company had sold more than 20 million SNES units in the U. S. According to a 2014 Wedbush Securities report based on NPD sales data, the SNES outsold the Genesis in the U. S. market. During the NES era, Nintendo maintained exclusive control over games released for the system—the company had to approve every game, each third-party developer could only release up to five games per year, those games could not be released on another console within two years, Nintendo was the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of NES cartridges
The Satellaview is a satellite modem peripheral for Nintendo's Super Famicom system, released in Japan in 1995. Available for pre-release orders beginning February 13, 1995, the Satellaview retailed for between ¥14,000 and 18,000 and came bundled with the BS-X Game Pak and an 8M Memory Pak; the Satellaview system was developed and released by Nintendo to receive signals broadcast from satellite TV station WOWOW's satellite radio subsidiary, St. GIGA. St. GIGA was responsible for file server management and vocalization for "SoundLink" games. Nintendo data broadcasts were given a fixed time slot known as the Super Famicom Hour during which scrambled Satellaview-related data was streamed via radio waves to be unscrambled by St. GIGA's "BS digital hi-vision TV"; as a subscription-based station for ambient and New-age music, St. GIGA listeners were equipped with "BS tuners" prior to St. GIGA's contract with Nintendo. Satellaview owners who lacked a "BS tuner" had to purchase one separately from St. GIGA at a price of ¥33,000, as well as sign up for Nintendo's and St.
GIGA's monthly joint membership fees. Alternatively, users could rent "BS tuners" from St. GIGA for a 6-month period at a price of ¥5,400. At this premium price, St. GIGA reported subscriptions peaking at 116,378 households by March 1997, dropping to around 46,000 by June 2001; the name Satellaview is a portmanteau of "Satellite" and "view". "BS" stands for Broadcast Satellite, a common name of one of the direct broadcast satellites in Japan. Because the Satellaview was only released in Japan, there has been some confusion among English-speaking enthusiasts as to what the "BS" prefix means; as a result, a number of mistranslations have been introduced into common use today and are prevalent on English-speaking fan sites, most either "Bandai Satellaview" or "Broadcast Satellaview". Another common mistake that can be found on English-speaking fan sites is the application of the "BS" prefix to all Satellaview titles. While it is true that a number of Satellaview titles do employ the "BS" prefix, the majority of them do not.
The most standard method used to title Satellaview games used three formats for three different purposes: The "BS" prefix was only used for the Satellaview's SoundLink Games. All "BS-" titles are SoundLink games, but not all SoundLink games bear the "BS" prefix; the "BS version" suffix was used for non-SoundLink Satellaview-original releases. Although all "BS Version" games are Satellaview originals, not all Satellaview originals bore the "BS Version" suffix; the original title was used for Satellaview conversions. A fourth variety of title using the "Satella-" prefix is common for Satellaview games, such as SatellaWalker; these games are Satellaview originals that take the form of Satellaview-themed quiz games or that relate to the world of the BS-X BIOS, BS-X: The Story of The Town Whose Name Was Stolen. As the Broadcast Satellite system was in use in Japan prior to the release of the Satellaview; the basic Satellaview system comprises this: Satellaview adapter, attached to the bottom of Super Famicom and plugged into the expansion port.
L-shaped bracket, supplied power to the Super Famicom via the Satellaview. AC Adapter, an AC power cord. AV Selector, the Audio-visual Selector. Application cartridge, BS-X: The Story of The Town Whose Name Was Stolen, plugs into the cartridge slot on top of the Super Famicom to provide the menu system for the downloading of broadcasts and the playing of games.. 8M Memory Pak, plugs into the BS-X application cartridge allowing players to save game data and other data. Memory paks are rewritable and can be used in conjunction with a handful of other compatible application cartridges; the basic Satellaview set came with a number of rewritable blank labels which could be applied to 8M Memory Paks to allow players to record the name of the data files they had recorded. The deluxe system contains all the above as well as a rewritable 8-Megabit Memory Pak; the Satellaview base unit contains 512 KB of memory of its own. Memory Paks were sold separately as well, today these Memory Paks serve as a primary source of data retrieval for members of the subculture of collectors and enthusiasts devoted to the restoration of these games via emulation.
Bundled with the Satellaview is a slotted application cartridge with the title BS-X: The Story of The Town Whose Name Was Stolen. The application on this cartridge takes the form of a game. On start-up the player enters a name, selects either a male or female character avatar, moves the avatar around a virtual town. Houses and shops in the town serve as download locations where the player directly downloads games, particular game data, or digital magazines; the download writes game data into temporary memory locations which remain until the player downloads a new game to take its place. Apart from downloads, players travel to in-game locations such as the Wall Newspaper Co. to read brief text-only postcard-like messages from St. GIGA and N
A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an important part of the entertainment industry, whether they are a form of art is a matter of dispute; the electronic systems used to play video games are called platforms. Video games are developed and released for one or several platforms and may not be available on others. Specialized platforms such as arcade games, which present the game in a large coin-operated chassis, were common in the 1980s in video arcades, but declined in popularity as other, more affordable platforms became available; these include dedicated devices such as video game consoles, as well as general-purpose computers like a laptop, desktop or handheld computing devices. The input device used for games, the game controller, varies across platforms. Common controllers include gamepads, mouse devices, the touchscreens of mobile devices, or a person's body, using a Kinect sensor.
Players view the game on a display device such as a television or computer monitor or sometimes on virtual reality head-mounted display goggles. There are game sound effects and voice actor lines which come from loudspeakers or headphones; some games in the 2000s include haptic, vibration-creating effects, force feedback peripherals and virtual reality headsets. In the 2010s, the commercial importance of the video game industry is increasing; the emerging Asian markets and mobile games on smartphones in particular are driving the growth of the industry. As of 2015, video games generated sales of US$74 billion annually worldwide, were the third-largest segment in the U. S. entertainment market, behind broadcast and cable TV. Early games used interactive electronic devices with various display formats; the earliest example is from 1947—a "Cathode ray tube Amusement Device" was filed for a patent on 25 January 1947, by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann, issued on 14 December 1948, as U. S.
Patent 2455992. Inspired by radar display technology, it consisted of an analog device that allowed a user to control a vector-drawn dot on the screen to simulate a missile being fired at targets, which were drawings fixed to the screen. Other early examples include: The Nimrod computer at the 1951 Festival of Britain; each game used different means of display: NIMROD used a panel of lights to play the game of Nim, OXO used a graphical display to play tic-tac-toe Tennis for Two used an oscilloscope to display a side view of a tennis court, Spacewar! used the DEC PDP-1's vector display to have two spaceships battle each other. In 1971, Computer Space, created by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, was the first commercially sold, coin-operated video game, it used a black-and-white television for its display, the computer system was made of 74 series TTL chips. The game was featured in the 1973 science fiction film Soylent Green. Computer Space was followed in 1972 by the first home console. Modeled after a late 1960s prototype console developed by Ralph H. Baer called the "Brown Box", it used a standard television.
These were followed by two versions of Atari's Pong. The commercial success of Pong led numerous other companies to develop Pong clones and their own systems, spawning the video game industry. A flood of Pong clones led to the video game crash of 1977, which came to an end with the mainstream success of Taito's 1978 shooter game Space Invaders, marking the beginning of the golden age of arcade video games and inspiring dozens of manufacturers to enter the market; the game inspired arcade machines to become prevalent in mainstream locations such as shopping malls, traditional storefronts and convenience stores. The game became the subject of numerous articles and stories on television and in newspapers and magazines, establishing video gaming as a growing mainstream hobby. Space Invaders was soon licensed for the Atari VCS, becoming the first "killer app" and quadrupling the console's sales; this helped Atari recover from their earlier losses, in turn the Atari VCS revived the home video game market during the second generation of consoles, up until the North American video game crash of 1983.
The home video game industry was revitalized shortly afterwards by the widespread success of the Nintendo Entertainment System, which marked a shift in the dominance of the video game industry from the United States to Japan during the third generation of consoles. A number of video game developers emerged in Britain in the early 1980s; the term "platform" refers to the specific combination of electronic components or computer hardware which, in conjunction with software, allows a video game to operate. The term "system" is commonly used; the distinctions below are not always clear and there may be games that bridge one or more platforms. In addition to laptop/desktop computers and mobile devices, there are other devices which have the ability to play games but are not video game machines, such as PDAs and graphing calculators. In common use a "PC game" refers to a form of media that involves a player interacting with a personal computer conne
Glossary of video game terms
This is a glossary of video game terms which lists the general terms as used in Wikipedia articles related to video games and its industry. 1-up An object that gives the player an extra life in games where the player has a limited number of chances to complete a game or level. It can be used to mean beating someone else at something by a small amount. 100% To collect all collectibles within a game, either indicated within games as a percentage counter or determined by player community consensus. 1CC Abbreviation of "one credit clear". The act of completing an arcade game without using more than one credit, although it can be applied to any console or PC game that uses some form of continues; the term "1LC" or "no miss clear" are used instead when completing a game without losing a life as well. This can be further extended into a "no damage clear" or "no damage completion" in games where the player-character has a health gauge; some arcade games offer special ending sequences or challenges when the player achieves a 1CC.
1v1 Abbreviation of 1 versus 1, which means two players battling against each other. This term is synonymous with the term PvP. See player versus player. 2D graphics Graphic rendering technique in a two-dimensional perspective using sprites. 2.5D graphics Graphic rendering technique of three-dimensional objects set in a two-dimensional plane of movement. 3D graphics Graphic rendering technique featuring three-dimensional objects. 4X A genre of strategic video games, short for "explore, expand and exterminate". 8-bit A descriptor for hardware or software that arose during the third generation of video game consoles, targeting 8-bit computer architecture. 16-bit A descriptor for hardware or software that arose during the fourth generation of video game consoles, targeting 16-bit computer architecture. 32-bit A descriptor for hardware or software that arose during the fifth generation of video game consoles, targeting 32-bit computer architecture. 64-bit A descriptor for hardware or software that arose during the fifth generation of video game consoles, targeting 64-bit computer architecture.
AAA Also triple A. A high-budget game with a large development team, or game studios that make them. AAA games are multiplatform, have multimillion-dollar budgets, expect to sell millions of copies. Abandonware The idea of a game being forgotten about or abandoned by its developers for any number of reasons, including copyright issues. Act Sometimes used to refer to individual levels or groups of levels that make up a larger world or storyline. Action game A game genre emphasizing hand -- eye coordination and reflexes, it includes fighting games and platformers. Action point A subunit of a player's turn. For example, a game may allow an action to occur only so long as the player has sufficient'action points' to complete the action. Action role-playing game A genre of role-playing video game where battle actions are performed in real-time instead of a turn-based mechanic. Actions per minute The total number of actions the player can perform in a minute. Most professional-level players train with an emphasis on high APM in addition to raw skill.
Adds Commonly used in role-playing video game and MMORPGs where the boss calls in for reinforcements to help them take down the party members. Adventure game A game genre which emphasizes puzzle-solving. AFK Away from keyboard. Said through a chat function in online multiplayer games when a player intends to be temporarily unavailable; the term BRB from texting is used, although whether these two terms are interchangeable varies from person to person. Aggro An abbreviation of'aggravation' or'aggression'.'Causing aggro' in a video game means to attract hostile attention from NPCs to attack the player-character.'Managing aggro' involves keeping aggressive NPCs from overwhelming the player or party. The term may be facetiously used in reference to irritated bystanders. See hate. Aimbot A first-person shooter cheat. In most cases, the aiming reticle locks on to a target within the player's line of sight and the player only has to pull the trigger. Aimbots are one of the most popular cheats in multiplayer FPS, used since 1996's Quake.
Compare to the feature auto-aim. Aiming down sights Also aim down sights. Refers to the common alternate method of firing a gun in a first-person shooter game activated by the right mouse button; the real-life analogue is when a person raises a rifle up and places the stock just inside the shoulder area, leans their head down so they can see in a straight line along the top of the rifle, through both of the iron sights or a scope, if equipped. In most games this increases accuracy, but can limit vision, situational awareness and require a small amount of time to change the weapon position. Alpha release An incomplete version of a game. Alpha versions are released early in the development process to test a game's most critical functionality and prototype design concepts. Compare with beta release. Always-on DRM A type of digital rights management that requires a connection to the Internet while playing the game. Analog stick Also control thumbstick. A small variation of a joystick placed on a game controller to allow a player more fluent 2-dimensional input than is possible with a D-pad.
Animatic A animated storyboard with sound effects used during early game development. Animation priority A
Shoot 'em up
Shoot'em up is a subgenre of the shooter genre of video games. There is no consensus as to; some restrict the definition to games featuring spacecraft and certain types of character movement. The genre's roots can be traced back to Spacewar!, one of the earliest computer games, developed in 1962. The shoot'em up genre was established by the hit arcade game Space Invaders, which popularised and set the general template for the genre in 1978, the genre was further developed by arcade hits such as Asteroids and Galaxian in 1979. Shoot'em ups were popular throughout early 1990s. In the mid-1990s, shoot'em ups became a niche genre based on design conventions established in the 1980s, catered to specialist enthusiasts in Japan. "Bullet hell" games are a subgenre that features overwhelming numbers of enemy projectiles in visually impressive formations. A "shoot'em up" known as a "shmup" or "STG", is a game in which the protagonist combats a large number of enemies by shooting at them while dodging their fire.
The controlling player must rely on reaction times to succeed. Beyond this, critics differ on which design elements constitute a shoot'em up; some restrict the genre to games using fixed or scrolling movement. Others widen the scope to include games featuring such protagonists as robots or humans on foot, as well as including games featuring "on-rails" and "run and gun" movement. Mark Wolf restricts the definition to games featuring multiple antagonists, calling games featuring one-on-one shooting "combat games". Critics described any game where the primary design element was shooting as a "shoot'em up", but shoot'em ups became a specific, inward-looking genre based on design conventions established in those shooting games of the 1980s. Shoot'em ups are a subgenre of shooter game, in turn a type of action game; these games are viewed from a top-down or side-view perspective, players must use ranged weapons to take action at a distance. The player's avatar is a vehicle under constant attack. Thus, the player's goal is to shoot as as possible at anything that moves or threatens them.
In some games, the player's character can withstand some damage. The main skills required in shoot'em ups are memorising enemy attack patterns; some games feature overwhelming numbers of enemy projectiles and the player has to memorise their patterns to survive. These games belong to one of the fastest-paced video game genres. Large numbers of enemy characters are featured; these enemies may behave in a certain way dependent on their type, or attack in formations that the player can learn to predict. The basic gameplay tends to be straightforward and many games offset this with boss battles and a variety of weapons. Shoot'em ups have realistic physics. Characters can change direction with no inertia, projectiles move in a straight line at constant speeds; the player's character can collect "power-ups" which may afford the character greater protection, an "extra life", or upgraded weaponry. Different weapons are suited to different enemies, but these games keep track of ammunition; as such, players tend to fire indiscriminately, their weapons only damage legitimate targets.
Shoot'em ups are categorized by design elements viewpoint and movement:Fixed shooters restrict the protagonist to a single axis of motion, enemies attack in a single direction, each level is contained within a single screen. Atari's Centipede is a hybrid, in that the player can move but that movement is constrained to a small area at the bottom of the screen, the game otherwise meets the fixed shooter definition. Tube shooters feature craft flying through an abstract tube, such as Gyruss. Rail shooters limit the player to moving around the screen. Examples include Space Harrier, Captain Skyhawk, Star Wars: Rebel Assault, Panzer Dragoon, Star Fox 64, Sin and Punishment. Light-Gun games that are "on-rails" are not in the shoot-em-up category but the FPS category, the term has been applied to scripted events in first-person shooters such as Call of Duty. Scrolling shooters include horizontal scrolling games. Vertically scrolling shooters: In a vertically scrolling shoot'em up, the action is viewed from above and scrolls up the screen.
Horizontally scrolling shooters: In a "horizontal shooter" or "side-scrolling shooter", the action is viewed side-on and scrolls horizontally. Isometrically scrolling shooters: A small number of scrolling shooters, such as Sega's Zaxxon, feature an isometric point of view. Multidirectional shooters feature 360 degree movement where the protagonist may rotate and move in any direction. Multidirectional shooters with one joystick for movement and one joystick for firing in any direction independent of movement are called "twin-stick shooters."Bullet hell is a shoot'em up in which the entire screen is almost fille