Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Figure 4. Human and Virtual beings utilizing a layered collaborative architecture
munication Foundation (WCF), The most impor-
tant abstraction for engaging human and virtual
partners is the cognitive layer. By providing this
layer of abstraction, FEPs can interact with equal
ability while their decision making processes are
vastly different.
This layered approach allows the resulting
computer game to facilitate collaboration while
supporting many desirable features of multi-agent
environments such as exogenous events, causal
structures (Hanks, Pollack, & Cohen, 1993), con-
cepts of time (Vincent, Horling, & Lesser, 2000),
experimental support as well as many practical
features that allow the environment to be worked
with effectively (Thomas & Vlacic, 2003).
To satisfy these requirements and facilitate
FEP collaboration, an embodiment of this archi-
tectural concept was developed around the notion
of an Electronic Boardroom called TeamMATE © .
This computer game provides a virtual “sandbox”
within which it is possible to investigate various
scenarios and elements of FEP collaboration.
To facilitate collaboration amongst human and
virtual FEPs a Layered architecture consisting of
Communication, Physical and Cognitive layers
was created. Each of these layers provides a level
of abstraction from each other, allowing elements
within each layer to be replaced and/or modified
without affecting the others (Figure 3).
From a practical perspective, the current imple-
mentations of this collaborative computer game
architecture have been developed using Microsoft
Visual Studio 2008 in Visual Basic. Some related
technologies utilized in development include
Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) as a
data transport method; and SQL Server Compact
Edition, a lightweight database for storing con-
figuration, rules and domain related game data.
Some examples of this abstraction include
changing parts of the communication layer from
utilizing Microsoft DirectPlay to Windows Com-
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