Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
As time progresses, the technology powering games improves at an exponential
rate, and gamers begin to expect more out of a game as each year goes by. Almost
all cutting-edge games these days use 3D hardware to render virtual environments
that immerse the player in a sort of simulated reality. Earlier 3D games such as
Castle Wolfenstein , with its 2D ray caster and vertical scan-line rasterization, were
rudimentary enough that simple tools could produce suitable game content. Over
the years, the capabilities of computers and 3D hardware have grown considerably,
and more complex tools are required in order to produce content suitable for
today's games.
A large number of content tools for game development visualize data using a 3D
API, such as Direct3D. These tools require additional consideration and planning
in regards to performance and functionality. The chapters in Part III focus on top-
ics such as swap chain management, texture browsing control creation, converting
from screen space to world space, and asynchronous input polling to improve
responsiveness and performance.
A graphical tool can be anything that visualizes data using some sort of drawing
or rendering API, but the majority of these tools are world editors that create envi-
ronments for games, or are tools that perform some sort of 3D geometry process-
ing to create static assets like radiosity lightmaps or ambient occlusion maps, and
visually display the in-process results to the user. These tools must be designed
carefully and pragmatically if they are to be of any value to the intended users.
Graphical tools are typically processor- and resource-intensive, so more time must
be spent developing these tools than any other.
The chapters in this part will cover some common techniques and approaches to
problems that exist in the majority of graphical tools.
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