Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Figure 3. The three layers of a collaborative FEP system architecture
fully, the leader is able to enact a special action
that concludes the play scenario.
Prior to the conclusion, the leader or another
nominated partner is given the opportunity to sum-
marize or present the outcomes of the scenario to
the other participating human and virtual beings.
Outcomes can include gauging the success/failure
of the play scenario based on the goals defined
at the beginning by the leader; can also result on
actions required beyond the scope of the current
play scenario and could also be the determination
that additional play scenarios are required.
understanding of each layer's function within a
collaborative computer game.
We refer to our approach to a layered collab-
orative computer game architecture for FEPs as
the TeamMATE © Architecture (Thomas & Vlacic,
2005). Each layer of the TeamMATE © Architecture
is described in the following sections, demonstrat-
ing how this layered approach to collaborative
FEPs permits a socially driven environment to
exist.
Communication Layer
The communication layer is a very fundamental
element of a collaborative computer game. This
layer defines the technical protocols used to con-
vey information from the game or other entities
from or to the FEP beings situated within the
computer game.
The communication layer is effectively a low
level transport layer used to pass information from
one place to another for example: DirectPlay,
TCP/IP, radio signal etc. These protocols, along
with the format of the data being transmitted are
then available to a FEP's sensors. A FEP may also
transmit using these communication protocols via
their defined effectors.
A LAYERED COLLABORATIVE
ARCHITECTURE
In our work with collaborative computer games,
we see a collaborative computer game architec-
ture consisting of three distinct layers (Figure
3). This layered approach allows us to formalize
the necessary attributes required starting from
atomic technical concepts through to abstract
concepts of the cognitive layer. Since each layer
creates an additional abstraction, built upon the
previous layer, it is important to provide a firm
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