Technical Discussion June 17 2009

Topic 1: Game loop

This is a topic that many novice programmers are not familiar with, especially freshmen. A simple game loop could be something like the following code. It is based on the model-view-controller which means game logic is separated from the visual and audio code. You may want to decouple the game code from the graphics code since it needs to be updated less often. This is not the only way you can do it.

while (true)
{
    doInput();
    doGameSimulation();
    doSound();
    doGraphics();
    waitforFPS();
}

A state machine is commonly used to control the game simulation. A simple one could be implemented using enumerations and a switch statement. It is also used in computer controlled entities such as in Quake. Here is some example code that will help you get started.

enum STATE
{
    STATE_IDLE,
    STATE_ESCAPE,
    STATE_SEEK_PLAYER,
    STATE_SHOOT
};

// In some function
STATE state;

switch(state)
{
    case STATE_IDLE:
        //nothing to do
        break;
    case STATE_ESCAPE:
        runAway();
        break;
    ...
}

Topic 2: Should games be released in cartridges now that they cost much less?

  • Cost has come down but might be more expensive than pressed disks
  • Low runs should be fine
  • No seek time so load times are reduced

Topic 3: How is the dust in all the Wiis around the world affecting global warming?

Topic 4: Should you think about establishing an IP when developing a new game?

  • In the past, famous games did not focus on IP
  • Market used to be less saturated
  • IP is based on game mechanics as a whole, not characters and plot.
  • IP happens naturally if it is a good game and players want more

Topic 5: Is it ethical to make addictive games?

  • Achievements are doing harm
  • Miyamoto commented recently that he did not like the idea of achievements
  • MMOs rely on addiction for income
  • When someone said video game addiction is similar to drug addiction, this comment was said: "There is no achievement for crack"
  • As game developers we shouldn't rely on addiction for people to enjoy our games

Members Attended

  • Ryan Bujnowicz
  • Scott Inglis
  • Samantha Derochie
  • Dave Bregman
  • Chris Walters
  • Chris Parsons
  • Peter Zenger
  • Ted Tate
  • Eric Raue
  • Colin Hume
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