This is a list of published books and articles on ORPGs and game development compiled by Peter Blake. Please send any comments his way.
Nb. Having thought a bit more about what subjects WorldForge as a whole would be interested in, I'm in the middle of altering this list to list research by subject...
Material to sort
- Boulanger, J.-S., Kienzle, J., & Verbrugge, C. (2006). Comparing interest management algorithms for massively multiplayer games. In Proceedings of 5th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Network and system support for games. New York: ACM Press.
- Abstract: Broadcasting all state changes to every player of a massively multiplayer game is not a viable solution. To successfully overcome the challenge of scale, massively multiplayer games have to employ sophisticated interest management techniques that only send relevant state changes to each player. This paper compares the performance of different interest management algorithms based on measurements obtained in a real massively multiplayer game using human and computer-generated player actions. We show that interest management algorithms that take into account obstacles in the world reduce the number of update messages between players by
- Chen, K., Jiang, J., Huang, P., Chu, H., Lei, C., & Chen, W. (2006). Identifying MMORPG bots: a traffic analysis approach. In Proceedings of the 2006 ACM SIGCHI international conference on Advances in computer entertainment technology. New York: ACM Press. Retrieved May 23, 2007, from http://mll.csie.ntu.edu.tw/papers/bot_ident.pdf
- Abstract: MMORPGs have become extremely popular among network gamers. Despite their success, one of MMORPG’s greatest challenges is the increasing use of game bots, i.e., autoplaying game clients. The use of game bots is considered unsportsmanlike and is therefore forbidden. To keep games in order, game police, played by actual human players, often patrol game zones and question suspicious players. This practice, however, is labor-intensive and ineffective. To address this problem, we analyze the traffic generated by human players vs. game bots and propose solutions to automatically identify game bots.
- Taking Ragnarok Online, one of the most popular MMOGs, as our subject, we study the traffic generated by mainstream game bots and human players. We find that their traffic is distinguishable by: 1) the regularity in the release time of client commands, 2) the trend and magnitude of traffic burstiness in multiple time scales, and 3) the sensitivity to network conditions. We propose four strategies and two integrated schemes to identify bots. For our data sets, the conservative scheme completely avoids making false accusations against bona fide players, while the progressive scheme tracks game bots down more aggressively. Finally, we show that the proposed methods are generalizable to other games and robust against counter-measures from bot developers.
- Merrick, K., & Maher, M. L. (2006). Motivated reinforcement learning for non-player characters in persistent computer game worlds. In Proceedings of the 2006 ACM SIGCHI international conference on Advances in computer entertainment technology ACE '06. New York: ACM Press.
- Abstract: Massively multiplayer online computer games are played in complex, persistent virtual worlds. Over time, the landscape of these worlds evolves and changes as players create and personalise their own virtual property. In contrast, many nonplayer characters that populate virtual game worlds possess a fixed set of pre-programmed behaviours and lack the ability to adapt and evolve in time with their surroundings. This paper presents motivated reinforcement learning agents as a means of creating non-player characters that can both evolve and adapt. Motivated reinforcement learning agents explore their environment and learn new behaviours in response to interesting experiences, allowing them to display progressively evolving behavioural patterns. In dynamic worlds, environmental changes provide an additional source of interesting experiences triggering further learning and allowing the agents to adapt their existing behavioural patterns in time with their surroundings.
- Vik, K.-H., Griwodz, C., & Halvorsen, P. (2006). Applicability of group communication for increased scalability in MMOGs. In Proceedings of 5th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Network and system support for games. New York: ACM Press.
- Abstract: Massive multiplayer online games (MMOGs) are today the driving factor for the development of distributed interactive applications, and they are increasing in size and complexity. Even a small MMOG supports thousands of players, the biggest support hundreds of thousands of concurrent players. Since they are typically built as strict client-server systems, they suffer from the inherent scalability problem of the architecture. Computing power and bandwidth limitations close to the server limit the possible number of players. Also, the latency of communication between players through the server will be higher than using direct communication. In the paper, we address these issues and investigate improvement options.
- A typical MMOG consists of a virtual world with a concept of time and space that is similar to the real world. In it, players are represented by avatars. Only subsets of these avatars interact with each other at any given time. This allows us to divide them into groups, and communication among group members becomes a multi-party communication problem. Thus, to reduce resource consumption, we compare the performance of several algorithms for group communication with the current central server approach. We use overlay multicast as the means of providing group communication, and research algorithms for creating shortest path trees, spanning trees, delay-bounded spanning trees and, more specific, applying Steiner tree heuristics.
- Our experimental results indicate that different approaches are useful to reduce resource consumption while achieving a good perceived quality under varying conditions, such as frequent changes in group membership and the demand for low latency.
- Chen, Y.-C., Chen, P. S., Hwang, J.-J., Korba, L., Song, R., & Yee, G. (2005). An analysis of online gaming crime characteristics. Internet Research, 15(3), 246-261.
- Abstract: Purpose – To arouse the public awareness of online gaming-related crimes and other societal influences so that these problems can be solved through education, laws and appropriate technologies.
- Design/methodology/approach – A total of 613 criminal cases of online gaming crimes that happened in Taiwan during 2002 were gathered and analyzed. They were analyzed for special features then focusing on the tendency for online gaming crime. Related prosecutions, offenders, victims, criminal methods, and so on, were analyzed.
- Findings – According to our analysis of online gaming characteristics in Taiwan, the majority of online gaming crime is theft (73.7 percent) and fraud (20.2 percent). The crime scene is mainly in internet cafe´s (54.8 percent). Most crimes are committed within the 12:00 to 14:00 time period (11.9 percent). Identity theft (43.4 percent) and social engineering (43.9 percent) are the major criminal means. The offenders (95.8 percent) and victims (87.8 percent) are mainly male and offenders always proceed alone (88.3 percent). The age of offenders is quite low (63.3 percent in the age range of 15-20), and 8.3 percent of offenders are under 15 years old. The offenders are mostly students (46.7 percent) and the unemployed (24 percent), most of them (81.9 percent) not having criminal records. The type of game giving rise to most of the criminal cases is Lineage Online (93.3 percent). The average value of the online gaming loss is about US$459 and 34.3 percent of criminal loss is between $100 and $300.
- Research limitations/implications – These criminal cases were retrieved from Taiwan in 2002. Some criminal behavior may have been limited to a certain area or a certain period.
- Practical implications – Provides a useful source of information and constructive advice for the public who will sense the seriousness and influence of online gaming crimes. Further, this topic may have implications on e-commence, e-services, or web-based activities beyond gaming.
- Originality/value – Since there is little published research in this area, this paper provides the public with a good and original introduction to a topic of growing importance.
- Barlow, N. (2004). The Themis Report on Online Gaming [preview excerpts]. Retrieved May 2, 2007, from http://www.themis-group.com/uploads/Themis%20Report%202004%20-%20Preview.pdf
- Ki, J., Cheon, J. H., Kang, J.-U., & Kim, D. (2004). Taxonomy of online game security. The Electronic Library, 22(1), 65-73.
- Abstract: Presents a classification of known attacks in online games and provide security solutions against them. While previous works just presented attacks and solutions case by case, this paper newly classifies attacks by objectives and methods. Moreover, presents attacks in each of four layers: client, server, network, and environment. Through this systematic classification, solutions can be provided more efficiently against even unknown future attacks.
- Falstein, N. (2003). Beyond "save the world". Game Developer, 10(4), 28.
- Abstract: This month's rule harks back to the very first "Better by Design" column (March 2002), which introduced the rule "Provide Clear Short-Term Goals." I mentioned that the rule was trumped by "Provide an Enticing Long-Term Goal," but did not explain in detail what that meant—until now.
- Mine, M. R., Shochet, J., & Hughston, R. (2003). Building a massively multiplayer game for the million: Disney's Toontown Online. Computers in Entertainment (CIE), 1(1), 15.
- Abstract: This paper presents an overview of the lessons learned building Disney's Toontown Online (www.toontown.com), a 3D massively multiplayer online game (MMP) for children ages seven and older. The paper is divided in three main parts. The first presents design highlights of Toontown Online and focuses on the challenge of building an MMP for kids. In particular, we discuss ways of incorporating kid-friendly socialization into an MMP. The second part of the paper presents an overview of Panda-3D, the VR Studio's open source 3D graphics engine. We focus on the aspects of Panda-3D that helped to facilitate the development of Toontown. In particular, Panda's expressive, platform-agnostic scene graph architecture, and flexible scripting language tools for distributed storytelling. We finish with an overview of Toontown's server architecture and present our nothing-but-net strategy for downloading a full-featured 3D online game.
- Saha, D., Sahu, S., & Shaikh, A. (2003). A service platform for on-line games. In Proceedings of the 2nd workshop on Network and system support for games (pp. 180-184). New York: ACM Press.
- Abstract: Providing a satisfying experience for players of on-line first-person and multiplayer role-playing games is greatly influenced by the distribution and scalability of the game server infrastructure. Deploying a large, dedicated server infrastructure to support a single game title, however, is an expensive approach that does not make the best use of available resources. In this work-in-progress report, we propose a shared, on-demand service platform for hosting on-line games based on grid technology. A standards-based grid infrastructure provides economies of scale and high availability, necessary prerequisites for a successful on-line gaming service. We give an overview of the service architecture, and a detailed description of a number of middleware services that comprise the game hosting platform. In addition, we describe existing standards in grid technology and show how standard grid toolkit services can be leveraged to realize a gaming grid.
- Bauer, D., Rooney, S., & Scotton, P. (2002, April 16-17). Network infrastructure for massively distributed games. Paper presented at Netgames 2002, Braunschweig, Germany.
- Abstract: The popularity of hypertext documents led to the need for specific network infrastructure elements such as HTML caches, URL-based switches, web-server farms, and as a result created several new industries as companies rushed to fill that need. We contend that massive distributed games will have a similar impact on the Internet and will require similar dedicated support. This paper outlines some initial work on prototyping such support. Our approach is to combine high-level game specific logic and low-level network awareness in a single network-based computation platform that we call a booster box.
- Caltagirone, S., Keys, M., Schlief, B., & Willshire, M. J. (2002). Architecture for a massively multiplayer online role playing game engine. The Journal of Computing in Small Colleges, 18(2), 105-116.
- Abstract: Faster networks, faster processors and 3D accelerator cards have contributed to the push for a new genre of online games, the Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, MMORPG. This paper presents a high-level software architecture for building a MMORPG engine. Six goals for the architecture are set, the architecture is presented and then examined to determine how well the goals have been met. The architecture blends in a unique way several classical software architecture patterns, using the strength of each to achieve the goals for the system.
- Charles, F., Mead, S. J., & Cavazza, M. (2002). From computer games to interactive stories: interactive storytelling. The Electronic Library, 20(2), 103-112.
- Abstract: Interactive storytelling can be based either on explicit plot representations or on the autonomous behaviour of artificial characters. In such a character-based approach, the dynamic interaction between characters generates the actual plot from a generic storyline. Characters' behaviours are implemented through real-time search-based planning techniques. However, the top-down planning systems that control artificial actors need to be complemented with appropriate mechanisms dealing with emerging ("bottom-up") situations of narrative relevance. After discussing the determinants that account for the emergence of narrative situations, we introduce additional mechanisms for coping with these situations. These comprise situated reasoning and action repair: we also illustrate the concepts through detailed examples.
- Yan, J. J., & Choi, H.-J. (2002). Security issues in online games. The Electronic Library, 20(2), 125-133.
- Abstract: The traditional target of computer game security is mainly copy protection. The emergence of online game fundamentally changes the security requirements for computer games. Although computer game development often utilizes cutting edge technology in computer graphics, artificial intelligence, human computer interaction and programming, game providers (developers or operators) do not pay much attention to security techniques. In this paper, we look into security failures that have happened or might happen in online game, and discuss some key security issues that have to concern online game providers. Specifically, we look into various kinds of online cheating, and introduce security techniques to deal with cheating prevention, though meanwhile other security issues are also discussed.
- Khaslavsky, J., & Shedroff, N. (1999). Understanding the seductive experience. Communications of the ACM, 42(5), 45-49.
- Abstract: Extraordinary products seduce the casual user, as well as the paying customer. Software is no exception, as long as it fulfills its promises.
- Seduction is an aspect of the growing field of captology, the study of how technologies persuade. This view of seduction is derived from interactions with many products and experiences and can be used to create software that is more enticing and valuable for its users. But be aware that the process of seduction is highly subjective, not measurable in the same ways other forms of software development are measured. That's why we include theory and not experimental data here.
- Simpson, Z. B. (1999). The in-game economics of Ultima Online. Paper presented at Computer Game Developer's Conference 2000, San Jose, California. Retrieved May 2, 2007 from http://www.mine-control.com/zack/uoecon/uoecon.html.
- Abstract: This paper begins with an introduction to the virtual universe of Ultima Online for those that are unfamiliar. We then turn to the economy and describe the micro and macro elements of it in detail. This is followed by an analysis of the evolution of the economy – what went wrong, and how it was fixed. Finally, the paper concludes with a proposal for several specific research topics.
- Herz, J. C. (1998). High concept disease. Game Developer, 5(2), 64.
- Abstract: A commentary discusses the tendency toward complexity in computer games without a corresponding increase in innovation. If there is nothing original in the game play, if the game harbors no independent spirit or innovative design, there is nothing to brag about.
- Lewinski, J. S. (1998). The role of story bibles in games. Game Developer, 5(2), 44-49.
- Abstract: The use of story bibles in computer games is discussed. In game development, a bible systematically catalogs the plot-lines, characters, character histories, settings, and potential future stories for the game.
- Crawford, C. (1997). The art of computer game design. Retrieved May 2, 2007, from http://www.vancouver.wsu.edu/fac/peabody/game-book/Coverpage.html.
- Deussen, O., & Lintermann, B. (1997). A modelling method and user interface for creating plants. In Graphics Interface '97: proceedings. Mississauga, Ontario: Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society. Retrieved May 14, 2007, from http://graphics.uni-konstanz.de/publikationen/1997/creating_plants/Deussen%20et%20al.%20--%20A%20Modelling%20Method%20and%20User%20Interface%20for%20Creating%20Plants.pdf.
- Abstract: We present a modelling method and graphical user interface for the creation of natural branching structures such as plants. Structural and geometric information is encapsulated in objects that are combined to form a description of the model. The description is represented graphically as an icon tree and can be edited interactively. Global and partial constraint techniques are integrated on the basis of tropisms and allow the modelling of specific shapes. We show examples to illustrate the design process and evaluate the user interface.
- Myers, D. (1990). Chris Crawford and computer game aesthetics. Journal of Popular Culture, 24(2), 17-32.
- Abstract: The article focuses on the inclusion of aesthetic guidelines by computer game designer Chris Crawford in the computer games designed by him. In his designs, the problem of quality was addressed sufficiently to allow aesthetic analysis. The games designed by Crawford, because of his self-documentation of their design process, have clearly defined goals set according to explicit aesthetic criteria. His games displayed more of the possibilities of computer game as art. The computer games are not aesthetically equivalent to the short story or a novel, they are provided the separate status by the technology. Also are mentioned the video games designed by Crawford.
Material on game AI
- Krajewski, J. (2006). Creating all humans: a data-driven AI framework for open game worlds. Game Developer, 13(11), 21-25.
- Abstract: This article discusses the data-driven AI architecture constructed for Pandemic Studios' open world title Destroy All Humans 2. It describes the framework that holds the data-defined behaviours that characters perform, and how those behaviors are created, pieced together, and customized.
- Combs, N. (2004). Artificial intelligence and the narrative experience in the virtual world. On the Horizon, 12(3), 117-122.
- Abstract: Interactive learning seeks to leverage ideas and techniques from entertainment games to enhance its own quality. The challenge posed by a video game is that it can be a complex dynamic of technologies, craft, and art shaped into a coherent and engaging whole. The relationship between the participant and his virtual world is an intelligent one – varying through the twists and turns of the interactive narrative. The artificial intelligence used by a game is the glue that binds the game elements to a complete user experience. Understanding how it is used in this brave new world of immersive, interactive, education is necessary if we are to understand its capabilities and limitations.
- Nareyek, A. (2004). AI in computer games. Queue, 1(10), 58-65. Retrieved May 2, 2007 from http://acmqueue.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=117.
- Abstract: Smarter games are making for a better user experience. What does the future hold?
- Stout, B. (1998). Adding planning capabilities to your game AI. Game Developer, 5(1), 38-45.
- Abstract: Many complaints about artificial intelligence (AI) in games can be attributed to a single cause: the AI does not understand what it is doing. Programmers need to define the reasons for particular actions and represent them in a way that the computer can manipulate. Research results in the AI subfield of planning are presented in order to help developers understand how reasoning can translate into action.
Material on game architecture
- Aggarwal, S., Christofoli, J., Mukherjee, S., & Rangarajan S. (2006). Authority assignment in distributed multi-player proxy-based games. In Proceedings of 5th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Network and system support for games. New York: ACM Press.
- Abstract: We present a proxy-based gaming architecture and authority assignment within this architecture that can lead to better game playing experience in Massively Multi-player Online games. The proposed game architecture consists of distributed game clients that connect to game proxies (referred to as "communication proxies") which forward game related messages from the clients to one or more game servers. Unlike proxy-based architectures that have been proposed in the literature where the proxies replicate all of the game state, the communication proxies in the proposed architecture support clients that are in proximity to it in the physical network and maintain information about selected portions of the game space that are relevant only to the clients that they support. Using this architecture, we propose an authority assignment mechanism that divides the authority for deciding the outcome of different actions/events that occur within the game between client and servers on a per action/event basis. We show that such division of authority leads to a smoother game playing experience by implementing this mechanism in a massively multi-player online game called RPGQuest. In addition, we argue that cheat detection techniques can be easily implemented at the communication proxies if they are made aware of the game-play mechanics.
- Assiotis, M., & Tzanov, V. (2006). A distributed architecture for MMORPG. In Proceedings of 5th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Network and system support for games. New York: ACM Press.
- Abstract: We present an approach to support Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. Our proposed solution begins by splitting the large virtual world into smaller regions, each region handled by a different server. We present techniques and algorithms that (1) reduce the bandwidth requirements for both game servers and clients, (2) address consistency, hotspot, congestion and server failure problems typically found in MMORPG and (3) allow seamless interaction between players residing on areas handled by different servers. By implementing a simple game, Kosmos, we show the applicability of our approach as well as the relative performance benefits of designing new games using our architecture.
- Chambers, C., Feng, W., & Feng, W. (2006). Towards public server MMOs. In Proceedings of 5th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Network and system support for games. New York: ACM Press.
- Abstract: While massively multiplayer on-line games (MMOs) are enormously popular, their use of the client-server architecture causes them to suffer from scalability issues and high maintenance costs. In contrast, the public server architecture employed by most first-person shooter (FPS) games scales more easily by relying on user-supplied hosting and user-generated content, but lacks persistence between servers that is required in the MMO genre. This paper examines an architecture that leverages the resources of the public server approach to support a scalable, persistent MMO.
- Chen, A., & Muntz, R. R. (2006). Peer clustering: a hybrid approach to distributed virtual environments. In Proceedings of 5th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Network and system support for games. New York: ACM Press.
- Abstract: This paper proposes a hybrid architecture for distributed virtual environments, utilizing servers alongside peer-to-peer components. Current research into peer-based systems seeks to alleviate resource constraints, but it largely ignores a number of difficult problems, from bootstrapping and persistence to user authentication and system security (i.e., cheat resistance). This work proposes a hybrid architecture that turns the massive scale of the system from a problem into an asset, while still providing the features essential to a distributed virtual environment. Peers work together to distribute the workload, allowing redundant peer clusters to overcome failures and detect unacceptable behavior. The goal is to reduce cost and significantly increase the size of the concurrent user base while providing equivalent levels of robustness, persistence, and security. Simulations show that the hybrid architecture can handle massive populations.
- Henning, M. (2004). Massively multiplayer middleware. Queue, 1(10), 38-45. Retrieved May 2, 2007 from http://acmqueue.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=115
- Abstract: Building scaleable middleware for ultra-massive online games teaches a lesson we can all use: Big project, simple design.
- Lu, F., Parkin, S., & Morgan, G. (2006). Load balancing for massively multiplayer online games. In Proceedings of 5th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Network and system support for games. New York: ACM Press.
- Abstract: Supporting thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of players is a requirement that must be satisfied when delivering server based online gaming as a commercial concern. Such a requirement may be satisfied by utilising the cumulative processing resources afforded by a cluster of servers. Clustering of servers allow great flexibility, as the game provider may add servers to satisfy an increase in processing demands, more players, or remove servers for routine maintenance or upgrading. If care is not taken, the way processing demands are distributed across a cluster of servers may hinder such flexibility and also hinder player interaction within a game. In this paper we present an approach to load balancing that is simple and effective, yet maintains the flexibility of a cluster while promoting player interaction.
- Shaikh, A., Sahu, S., Rosu, M., Shea, M. & Saha, D. (2004). Implementation of a service platform for online games. In Proceedings of 3rd ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Network and system support for games (pp. 106-110). New York: ACM Press.
- Abstract: Large-scale multiplayer online games require considerable investment in hosting infrastructures. However, the difficulty of predicting the success of a new title makes investing in dedicated server and network resources very risky. A shared infrastructure based on utility computing models to support multiple games offers an attractive option for game providers whose core competency is not in managing large server deployments.In this paper we describe a prototype implementation of a shared, on demand service platform for online games. The platform builds on open standards and off-the-shelf software developed to support utility computing offerings for Web-based business applications. We describe our early experience with identifying appropriate performance metrics for provisioning game servers and with implementing the platform components that we consider essential for its acceptance.up to a factor of 6, and that some computationally inexpensive tile-based interest management algorithms can approximate ideal visibility-based interest management at very low cost. The experiments also show that measurements obtained with computer-controlled players performing random actions can approximate measurements of games played by real humans, provided that the starting positions of the random players are chosen adequately. As the size of the world and the number of players of massively multiplayer games increases, adaptive interest management techniques such as the ones studied in this paper will become increasingly important.
- Cronin, E., Filstrup, B., Kurc, A. R., & Jamin, S. (2002). An efficient synchronization mechanism for mirrored game architectures. In Proceedings of the 1st workshop on network and system support for games (pp. 67-73). New York: ACM Press.
- Abstract: Existing online multiplayer games typically use a clientserver model, which introduces a single bottleneck and point of failure to the game. Distributed multiplayer games remove the bottleneck, but require special synchronization mechanisms to provide a consistent game for all players. Current synchronization methods have been borrowed from distributed military simulations and are not optimized for the requirements of fast-paced multiplayer games. In this paper we present a new synchronization mechanism, trailing state synchronization (TSS), which is designed around the requirements of distributed first-person shooter games. We look at TSS in the environment of a mirrored game architecture, which is a hybrid between traditional centralized architectures and the more scalable peer-to-peer architectures. Mirrored architectures allow for improved performance compared to client-server architectures while at the same time allowing for a greater degree of centralized administration than peer-to-peer architectures.
- Smed, J., Kaukoranta, T., & Hakonen, H. (2002). Aspects of networking in multiplayer computer games. The Electronic Library, 20(2), 87-97.
- Abstract: Distributed, real-time multiplayer computer games (MCGs) are in the vanguard of utilizing the networking possibilities. Although related research has been done in military simulations, virtual reality systems, and computer supported cooperative working, the suggested solutions diverge from the problems posed by MCGs. With this in mind, this paper provides a concise overview of four aspects affecting networking in MCGs. First, networking resources (bandwidth, latency, and computational power) set the technical boundaries within which the MCG must operate. Second, distribution concepts encompass communication architectures (peer-to-peer, client/server, server-network), and both data and control architectures (centralized, distributed, replicated). Third, scalability allows the MCG to adapt to the resource changes by parametrization. Finally, security aims at fighting back against cheating and vandalism, which are common in online gaming.
Material on game programming
Material on graphics programming
Material on world simulation
Material by WorldForge contributors
- Häggström, H. (2006). Real-time generation and rendering of realistic landscapes. Unpublished Masters thesis, University of Helsinki. Retrieved May 2, 2007, from http://hans.haggstrom.googlepages.com/landscapegeneration
- Abstract: With the increasing size of virtual landscapes in games and other applications there is a growing need for generation algorithms that can help designers to produce large realistic landscapes. Parametrized procedural and fractal systems provide this, and also enable on-the fly data generation that minimizes required storage space. Ecotopes provide a way to introduce natural variation in automatically generated landscapes by varying the generation parameters based on the location. Interactive performance can be achieved by using geometry with a level of detail that decreases with the distance to the observer. In this thesis I evaluate different algorithms for generating and rendering terrain, vegetation, buildings, cities, and the sky. New algorithms are sketched out for terrain generation through successive uneven mass deposit, elevation map modifying textures, river system generation, pattern based city generation, and weather modeling. A subdivision based house generation algorithm is also presented and partially implemented. Finally opportunities for further research in conveying emotions with landscapes are identified.
- Riddoch, A., & Turner, J. (2003). Technologies for building open-source massively multiplayer online games. Paper presented at the UKUUG Linux Developers Conference. Retrieved May 2, 2007, from http://alistairriddoch.org/LDC2002/Tech4OSMMG.pdf.
- Abstract: Open Source and Free Software have so far failed to make inroads into the games industry, where intellectual property is still seen as essential for successful business. The WorldForge project aims to break into the massively multi player portion of the games market, where subscription payments outweigh software sales revenue, and a development model based on Open Source or Free Software can work. Through solid software engineering principles, reusable code, and Open Source peer reviewed development, WorldForge have developed protocols, tools and frameworks for developing large scale online game worlds. The Atlas protocol provides a solid, scalable, extensible, game independent protocol for on-line games, and aims to provide for generations of on-line games to come. The STAGE server framework provides a solid base on which games can be developed using the Atlas protocol. In introduction to the Atlas protocol is given here, with an explanation of its strengths for game development and demonstrations of its use in a working game, followed by an overview of the STAGE server framework’s development. The challenges of large scale game servers are discussed, including database, networking and performance issues.
- Riddoch, A. (2001) Internal workings of Acorn. Retrieved May 17, 2007, from http://alistairriddoch.org/AcornInternals/AcornInternals.pdf.
- Abstract: The aim of this document is to provide an up to date description of how Acorn works. Much of what I describe in the rest of this document is standard Atlas use, which I include because it is not well documented elsewhere. It is important that this information is readily available as it can be used by client developers to develop the functionality required in their clients, and it allows the mechanisms involved to be reviewed by all WorldForge developers. All this experience is wasted if the benefit of our wisdom is not passed on to future game projects.
Material that comments on WorldForge
New Media Consortium, & EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (2007). The 2007 Horizon Report. Retrieved May 2, 2007 from http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2007_Horizon_Report.pdf.
- Abstract: Highlights six technologies that the underlying research suggests will become very important to higher education over the next one to five years. These include virtual worlds and massively multiplayer educational gaming.
- "In general, these games are still relatively rare, due to the difficulty and cost of producing them. Cost will become less of a factor as open-source MMO gaming engines are further developed, and within a few years it is likely that educational MMO games will be commonplace in a variety of disciplines. Open-source efforts like WorldForge (www.worldforge.org), and low-cost engines like Multiverse (www.multiverse.net) may be successful in lowering the barrier to development of these complex games."