Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Table 1. Simplistic Physical Layer Rules
Physical Layer
Available Actions
The physical layer within a collaborative computer
game defines a FEP's available sensors and ef-
fectors within the context of the game. The term
“physical” is used to refer to this layer as it defines
the characteristics of sensors, effectors and entities
within the computer game. Before we are able to
work with the more abstract cognitive layers of
TeamMATE © , it is necessary to define a layer that:
Sit, Stand, Move
Place Item, Pick Item
Call, Hang Up, Speakerphone, Listen
Buy, Sell, Report
Whisper, Tell All, Listen
by the physical layer, it would be necessary to
provide a mechanism to interact with the sensors
and effectors through a human user interface.
Likewise, if a virtual FEP was to interact with
other beings within a collaborative computer game,
the physical layer would possibly be accessed as
some form of software interface.
1. Is able to define the physical objects of the
collaborative computer game;
2. Provides a common pattern of sensor and
effector abilities available to human and
virtual beings situated within the game and;
3. Defines the possible actions that may be
performed using the available sensors and
Cognitive Layer
The Cognitive Layer describes the intelligent
mechanisms within a human or virtual being that
are capable of manipulating, communicating and
collaborating intelligently using the defined sen-
sors and effectors provided by the physical layer.
The cognitive layer also defines the roles, goals
and processes by which FEPs can collaborate
within a computer game and provides methods
for expressing this information in a meaningful
manner in order for decision-making to occur.
Human players engaged in computer games
are assumed to have an innate cognitive ability,
and that a human player engaged in a computer
game does so through an interface that presents
sensor and effector information in a meaningful
way. This interface for human players is what they
would simply perceive as the computer game's
user interface.
Unlike a human player, a virtual being's cogni-
tive layer is designed to include decision-making
processes as opposed to an innate ability to make
intelligent decisions within a collaborative context
(Figure 4). The following section describes how a
virtual being's cognitive layer may be constructed.
Human and virtual partners must be able to
work with the appropriate rules/constraints of the
specific play scenario being undertaken. Physical
rules for a given play scenario consist of infor-
mation about objects in the computer game and
how they may be used. Using or enacting some
change upon an entity using the defined effectors
is referred to as performing an Action. Take as
an example, a simple play scenario that contains
these physical layer rules (Table 1).
When working with more complex games, and
also collaborative games that may occur within
the physical world, defining all objects and all
actions is not feasible. However, it is possible to
define the available sensors and effectors for a
FEP, while the task of relating objects and actions
becomes a function of the cognitive layer.
While a collaborative computer game and the
human and virtual beings that are situated within a
given play scenario may share a common physical
layer, it is not necessarily required that the mani-
festation of the physical layer will be the same.
For example, in order for a human being to
interact with the sensors and effectors provided
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