Chapter 40: Game Development
Games Are Difficult
There are a lot of technologies to put together:
- User interface design
- Artificial intelligence
Putting everything together involves some difficulties:
- Timing and sequencing: need to keep track of what things are happening and when
- Performance: there’s a lot going on and it needs to be fast to be playable
Game Designer Liz England has a great motivating example for describing the difficulties of game design, which she refers to as “The Door Problem”. It’s a quick read that I highly recommend.
We can expand the door problem to talk about some of the problems a door poses from a game development perspective.
- You need to find a mesh for the door
- It needs to be transformed in such a way that it can rotate about its hinge
- How do you open the door? Need to tie a key press event to the door opening
- Do you need to be close to it or do you need to look at it? Maybe we need picking
- Can you open a door when you’re dead? Okay, we need to filter door controls
- What happens if the character is in the doorway and the door is closed?
- Is the character pushed out of the way, or is the door stopped?
- Is there a sound effect associated with the door?
- Are AI characters aware the door is open/closed?
- It’s a piece of the scene that can sometimes be seen through, sometimes not
- This poses interesting problems