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CS 638: Computer Games Technology. http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~cs638-1/ Fall 2001. The Professor…. Stephen Chenney [email protected] Office: 6387 Comp Sci Office Hours: Tues 1-2, Thurs 4-5 Might change. The TA…. David Gekiere [email protected] Office: 1347 (Graphics research lab)

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cs 638 computer games technology

CS 638: Computer Games Technology

http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~cs638-1/

Fall 2001

CS 638, Fall 2001

the professor
The Professor…
  • Stephen Chenney
  • [email protected]
  • Office: 6387 Comp Sci
  • Office Hours: Tues 1-2, Thurs 4-5
    • Might change

CS 638, Fall 2001

the ta
The TA…
  • David Gekiere
  • [email protected]
  • Office: 1347 (Graphics research lab)
  • Office Hours: Mon 1-2, Fri 11-12

CS 638, Fall 2001

the interactive entertainment industry
The Interactive Entertainment Industry
  • Hardware makers produce gaming hardware
    • eg Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, …
  • Game Developers create games
    • eg Maxis, Electronic Arts (EA), Raven, a cast of thousands
  • Publishers publish games
    • eg Sony, Nintendo, EA, …
  • The model is similar to books or movies
    • One group creates it, another distributes it, and another supplies the underlying infrastructure

CS 638, Fall 2001

flavors of game developer
Flavors of Game Developer
  • Artists design models, textures, animations and otherwise are responsible for the look of the game
  • Level Designers create the spaces in which the game takes place
  • Audio Designers are responsible for all the sounds used in the game
  • Programmers write code, to put it all together, and tools, to make everyone else’s job simpler
  • And others: Production, management, marketing, quality assurance

CS 638, Fall 2001

course outline
Course Outline
  • Real-time graphics (6 weeks)
    • Lighting and shading, modeling, data management
  • AI: Game term for behavior (4 weeks)
    • Creating characters, path planning, generating motion
  • Networking: Playing together (3 weeks)
    • Protocols for gaming, architectures, managing bandwidth
  • Full syllabus online

CS 638, Fall 2001

disclaimer
Disclaimer
  • Game development requires more than graphics, AI and networking
    • Design, Art, Software engineering, Production, Audio, …
  • This course won’t formally cover any of that stuff

CS 638, Fall 2001

books
Books
  • Official textbook: “Game Programming Gems”
    • Not designed as a textbook, but good coverage for this course
  • Other useful books:
    • “3D Games:…” by Watt and Policarpo
      • Good graphics coverage, not good on AI and networking
    • “3D Game Engine Design” by David Eberly
      • Lots of equations, not much exposition
  • Website: www.gamasutra.com
    • Game developer technical and trade news

CS 638, Fall 2001

what i assume you know
What I assume you know
  • C++ sophistication
    • Class inheritance, sub-classing, etc etc
    • Macros
    • Memory management
  • 3D graphics concepts and programming
    • “Standard” lighting and shading
    • Modeling techniques
    • Vectors, matrices, geometric reasoning
    • All required to understand next week’s lectures

CS 638, Fall 2001

grading
Grading
  • Midterm and final
    • Approx 40% of the grade, might change
  • Project
    • Multiple stages staggered through the semester
    • Work in groups of 2-4, except stages 0.0 and 0.5
    • 4 students will do 2x the amount that 2 students do

CS 638, Fall 2001

project
Project
  • You will begin with a skeletal game
    • User shoots static targets, minimal graphics
  • Each stage will add functionality
    • Improved visuals
    • Moving characters
    • Multi-player
    • Free expression

CS 638, Fall 2001

if you aren t already in
If you aren’t already in…
  • Email me your name and ID num - TODAY
    • Even if you think I already have it
  • I will accommodate all well-prepared students

CS 638, Fall 2001

lithtech
LithTech
  • LithTech is the game engine that we will use in this course
    • A commercial quality product (large and complex but well documented and stable)
    • www.lithtech.com
  • Provides functionality useful in games
    • Eg: Rendering, animation playback, collision detection, particle system, networking
  • Also provides design tools for creating objects and environments

CS 638, Fall 2001

lithtech basics
LithTech basics
  • LithTech works with Visual C++, on Windows machines with DirectX 8.0
  • Stages in game creation (roughly):
    • Create the objects that will be used in the game
    • Do the level design
    • Write code to control the objects
    • Write code to interface to LithTech’s engine
    • Play the result

CS 638, Fall 2001

lithtech tools
LithTech Tools
  • DEdit is a level design tool
    • Design the space in which the game takes place
    • Add objects, define lights, pre-process to improve performance
    • Some of the technology behind DEdit will be covered in class
  • ModelEdit is a simple UI for manipulating 3D objects
    • Prepares objects created elsewhere for use in the game
  • The game engine forms the core of a game
    • You create DLL files that are linked to the engine
    • The DLLs define all the specific behavior you require in your game
    • Some of the technology behind the engine will also be discussed in class

CS 638, Fall 2001

additional tools
Additional Tools
  • Maya is commercial animation software that can export files for LithTech
    • Use it to model objects and specify the animations that go with the models
    • LithTech loads and plays the animations as requested
  • 3d Studio Max (or just Max) is another alternative
  • Can also communicate to DEdit through LithTech’s LTA file format

CS 638, Fall 2001

documentation
Documentation
  • All the LithTech documentation is available in /p/course/cs638-schenney/public/
    • ProgrammingGuide.pdf - a guide to creating game code
    • LT-API.pdf - describes all the functions available
    • GameContentCreationGuide.pdf - how to create game content (models, levels, audio, …)
    • LTASchema.pdf - the LTA file format description
    • IntelligentMult-Player.pdf - how to do multi-player
  • DO NOT PRINT THEM OUT

CS 638, Fall 2001

project stage 0
Project stage 0
  • Set up a minimal LithTech environment
  • It is essential that you do this stage, in order to:
    • Check that you have an account and enough disk space
    • Familiarize yourself with the LithTech environment
    • Appreciate the scope of the course ahead of you
  • Web site will be up today

CS 638, Fall 2001

resources for stage 0
Resources for Stage 0
  • Local expert: Marcin Szymanski, [email protected]
    • Marcin is taking the class but cannot be teamed with for the project
    • Look for help in the documentation first
  • LithTech is installed only on the machines in room B240
    • High performance graphics machines
    • You have highest priority in using the lab, CS559 students come next
    • A limited resource (30 computers) so be courteous

CS 638, Fall 2001

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