What Is a Game?

We probably all have a pretty good intuitive idea of ​​what a game is. The general term "game" includes board games like chess and Monopoly, card games like poker and blackjack, casino games like roulette and slot machines, military war games, computer games, various kinds of play for children, and the list goes on. In science, we sometimes talk about game theory in which several agents choose strategies and tactics to their profits in a well-defined set of rules. If within the console or maximize Computer Entertainment used the word "game" is reminiscent usually images of a virtual three-dimensional world with a humanoid, animal or vehicle in the lead role in the control of the player. (Or old geezers among us maybe he recalls classical two-dimensional images like Pong, Pac-Man or Donkey Kong.) In his excellent book, A Theory of Fun for Game Design, Raph Koster defines a set of an interactive experience with the players a series of increasingly difficult patterns he or she learns and finally delivers master. Asher-tion Koster is that learning and control activities are at the heart of what we do. As "fun" as a joke is funny for the moment we "get" recognizing the pattern

Video games as a real-time simulations flexible

Most two games and three dimensions are examples of what computer scientists call based agent in soft real-time interactive computer simulations. Let this set in order to better understand what it means to break. In most games, a subset of the real world or an imaginary world is mathematically modeled, so that it can be manipulated by a computer. The model is an approximation and simplification of reality (albeit an imaginary reality), because it is of course impossible to contain all the details down to the level of atoms and quarks. Thus, the mathematical model is a simulation of the real world or imaginary game. Reconciliation and simplicity are two of the most powerful tools of game developers. When used skillfully, even a very simplified model can sometimes make little of reality and a lot more fun.

An agent-based simulation, which interact in a number of separate units as "agents". This corresponds to the description of most computer games in three dimensions very well in the agent, vehicles, characters, fireballs, power points and so on. Given the nature of the agent-based in most games, so do not surprising that most games today are implemented in a programming language, object-oriented, or at least vaguely, object-oriented.

All games are time simulations, which means that the model virtual game world is dynamic changes of the state of affairs of the world at the time, as events and the history of the game takes place. A video game needs to respond interactive simulations also unpredictable inputs from the hard disk (s) of human -this time. Finally, most video games have their stories and meet at the entrance of the player in real time, making it interactive simulations in real time.

A notable exception is in the category of games based around like chess or computerized non-real-time strategy games. But this kind of games usually provide the user with some form of real-time graphical user interface.

What's a game engine?

The term "game engine" was born in the mid-1990s, referring to the first person (FPS) games like Doom insanely popular shooter from id Software. Doom was a relatively well-defined separation between its basic software components (such as graphics rendering three-dimensional system, the collision detection system or audio system) and active type, game worlds and rules of architectural game, the players will play experience. The value of this separation has become clear that the developers started gaming license and upgrade it into new products, new layouts, world art, weapons, characters, vehicles, and rules the game with only minimal changes to the software "engine". This was the birth of the group of individual players and small independent studios, new games, built activated by modifying existing games, with free tools -a "mod community," by the original developers. In the late 1990s, some games like Quake III Arena and Unreal were designed with reuse and "modding". The engines were highly customizable via scripting languages ​​such as C-ID and Quake engine licenses began a viable source of secondary income for developers who they are created. Today, game developers can create a game engine, authorize and reuse of key sections of the main software components to build games. While this practice is always also a significant investment in custom software development, it can be much cheaper than the internal development of all components of the base engine. The boundary between a game and the motor is often blurred.

Some machines have a clear enough distinction, while others are virtually no attempt to separate the two. In a game that can "know" how to draw specifi cally-orc rendering code. In another match, the rendering engine material could be used for general purposes and shadow installations and "Orc-ness" could be defined entirely in the data. No Studio enables perfectly clear separation between the game and the motor This is understandable, since the definitions of these two components move often solidifies the design of the game.

No doubt a data-driven architecture is what distinguishes a game engine from a piece of software that is not a game, but an engine. When a game or game logic contains hard-coded rules or uses special case code to make particular types of objects, it is difficult or impossible to reuse the software to another game. Probably we should reserve the word "game engine" for software that is scalable and can be used as a starting point for many different games without major modification.

It is clear that this is not a black and white distinction. We can choose from a number of reusability, in the thinking of each motor grave. One might think that a game engine could something like Apple Quicktime or Microsoft Windows Media Player, a versatile software for playing almost every imaginable game content. However, this ideal has not reached (and may never be). Most game engines are carefully designed and refined to a particular game running on a particular hardware platform. And even the versatile multi-engines are really only suitable for games in a specific genre built like first-person shooters or racing games. It is safe to say that the general use of a motor component or middleware game is, the lower is ideal for performing a certain game on a specific platform.

This happens because the design of effective piece of software is always a compromise, and these judgments are based on assumptions of how the software and / or on the target hardware on which it runs can be used. For example, a rendering engine that was designed to intimate interiors will deal probably not very good at it, its great outdoor environments. The inner engine could use a binary space partitioning (BSP) tree or portal system, to ensure that no geometry is determined that closed by walls or objects that are closer to the camera. Outboard, on the other hand could use a less precise closure mechanism at all, or not, but it is probably the most aggressive use (LOD) techniques at-detail that distant objects to guarantee a minimum number of triangles, while for high resolution triangle meshes Geome trial it in the vicinity of the device.

The advent of faster hardware and specialized graphics card with increasingly efficient rendering algorithms and data structures that began to soften the differences between the graphics engines from different genres. It is now possible to use a fire truck for the first person to build a real-time strategy game, for example. But the trade-off between generality and optimality still exists. A game can still be impressive performed by refinement of the engine-specific requirements and limitations of a particular game and / or hardware platform.

Motor differences between genres

Game engines are rather specific genre in general. Be construed as a motor for a fighting game of two people in a boxing ring is very different from an online game (MMOG) massively multiplayer first-person shooter engine or engine (FPS) or motor real-time strategy (RTS). However, there are also a lot of overlap all 3D games, regardless of gender, requires some form of user input low level of the joystick, keyboard and / or mouse, making a form of 3D mesh, some form of heads-up display ( HUD), including text rendering in a variety of fonts, a powerful audio system, and the list goes on. So while the Unreal Engine, for example, was designed for shooters in the first person was successfully used to build games in a number of other genres as well, including games simulation than 15 Farming Simulator (FS 15 mods) and the third -person shooter franchise popular Gears of War Epic Games and Smash Hits Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City Rocksteady Studios.

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