I found this academic research paper very interesting as it is in relation to game engine architecture and design, a paper which discuss the essential elements for game engine developments. Also the author presents a number of key characteristics which many help to identify the problem space as well as questions to classify areas of interest for future investigation.
The author stated that there is disagreement in relation to what a game engine is as sometimes fundamental differences between definitions. Game engine are not restricted to individual engine components as It sometimes can be broad and vague. For example, a frame work has an assortment of tools, utilities and interfaces that hides the low-level details of the tasks which assemble a video game.
The author emphasises in this academic research paper that the main problem appears to be where the borderline between the game engine and the game itself, by using other reliable academic source to define that the term “Game Engines” are a set of elements of simulation code which does not specify the game’s behaviour (Game Logic) or game’s environment (Level Data). In other words, this allows player to understand the borderline between game engine and game logic, however there are grey areas in between since there are still some overlaps remain.
In this academic research paper, I am also interested in the design aspect of the game engine which the author has discussed in this paragraph. The author has pointed out that the best practice is top-down design and bottom-up implementation as it is the best solution to develop game engines. However, it is not necessarily to follow those suggestions in order to produce game engines. On the other hand, the author claimed that empirical has suggested that many game engines has grown and evolved over time. This is due to the fact that the organically grown projects is that features can spiral out of control, a phenomenon known as “Feature Creep”. This is because that the original goals was poorly defined during planning or requirement stage as it can has an affect during implementation stage as the goals may have changed.
The author further discuss that the architecture may not be able to support those new requirements. Therefore, developers must workarounds also known as “Hacks” in order to implement those new requirements into the new game engine. The paragraph is mostly examines the implementation of individual engine elements as it approaching the topic in terms of micro architecture rather than macro architecture.
This academic research paper has enabled me to reflect how to design a good game engine by suggesting a few best practice methodology to consider as well as discussed the difference between game and game engine. I found this paper interesting and informative as it related to my current practice. Although, this paper has not gone in-depth enough but it has raised a number of questions which can help to outline the problem space of game engine architecture and design. In addition, I will also try to find some academic books to read about during Christmas break in order to look in-depth into the issues of game engine design and architecture.
Anderson, E., Engel, S., Comninos, P. & McLoughlin, L. 2008, “The case for research in game engine architecture”, ACM, pp. 228-231.