Inside The Game – General Game Structure

This article is third part of the series called as Inside The Game. For those, who are not familiar with Inside The Game series, this series will provide the articles and tutorials related to mechanisms and architectures of the game. Also, in this series, you will learn to think like a game developer. Now, if you have not read the last part of this series, please click here to read it. I am summarizing the last part here for those who have not read. In the last part, it was discussed about animations, simulations, and games. In simple words, game is a controlled animation, which takes the input from user unlike animation and simulate the world like interaction. This part is more technical than last two parts but it is also sort of general as compared to the implementation or programming in any computer language. But, this article will be very important to know when it comes to game development.

Okay!!! Let’s start our article today. Today, we will discuss about the general structure of any game. You might know that there are many different types of the games such as platform games, First Person Shooter (FPS) or Third Person Shooter (TPS) games, strategy games, board games, and so on. So, it is very important to know about the structure of these games. The structure keyword means how the game is designed and what components together make a game. I am not explaining here about any specific type like how platform games are developed, Today, I am explaining about how any type of game is structured. Software include lot of coding, and sort of graphics as well for User Interface. But, normally, all software contain same Operating System’s User Interface Components like Buttons, Combo Boxes, Radio Buttons etc. So, it doesn’t become a problem to focus on User Interface more than the functionality of the software. However, in games, story takes turn to other side. Games includes many disciplines and field other than just coding. Following figure shows some of the disciplines involved in any game. It is not necessary that all the disciplines can be used in the game, but it is also possible that some of the disciplines are used in the game.

As in the figure, it is clearly shown that game contains very different disciplines to work on at the same time. For example, let’s take graphics here. Graphics is a very important part in any game, because it is the first impression of the game. The most first thing user observes in any game is the graphics. So, the more good are graphics, the more users are likely to play the game. But, let’s say that your game has got amazing graphics, but the game is slow and not good in interaction and gameplay, then users will not play the game. Because, they already observed the graphics, and they liked it so they gave a chance to your game, but when they played it, they didn’t find it enjoyable and interactive, so they just left your game. Interestingly, you can see Game Effects & Gameplay in above figure as part of the game. These all parts play almost equal role in making of any game. Let’s take Artificial Intelligence shortly AI here. You can say AI like it is the brain of the game. How computer will react and respond to the user input is the AI of the game. The enemies in the game, called as game bots or game agents, use AI to make decision. We will come to AI in details soon. Another important part of the game is Game Logic & Game Flow. Now, this is completely coding work, and in this part, all other disciplines like graphics, resources like images, sounds from Game Music part, databases, networking, etc. are assembled. You can say it the most important part of any game, but this part becomes zero, if no other part is available to you. So, all the components are tightly dependent on each other.

Well! I hope that you have known about different disciplines of the game, so let’s talk about the structure now. Behind each game, there is an engine running called as Game Engine. In the business world of games, game engine is like gold mine. You can make many games with game engine. Game engine’s objective is to manage all the data involved in any game. Following figure shows the role of the game engine.

As you are seeing the figure, game engine is managing and controlling other sub-engines like Graphics engine, AI engine, Physics engine, Sound engine, and so on. Game Engine manages all the game data and makes any game come to life. The way of game engine is to keep connected all the engines through one medium, and that medium is game engine itself. It basically takes game data, sends it to the AI for decision making, then sends it to Sound for playing, then sends it to Physics for real-life interaction, and finally sends it to the Graphics for rendering and displaying on the screen. This process keep to be repeated as long as the game is running. This is how a game engine gives birth to a game. On completing this article, I would like to ask you a simple question here:

Thanks for reading this article and series. I hope you liked it. Any suggestions, comments, or feedback is open. Thanks…. In the next part, I will discuss about some basic concepts used in game development like Graphics Engine, Game Engine, and so on. To read the next part, Inside The Game – Graphics Engine, Game Engine, and The Game, please click here.

About Wajahat Karim (GamyGuru)

I am Wajahat Karim living in Islamabad, Pakistan. I am currently a Facebook Game Developer at White Rabbit Studios, Islamabad. I am passionate about game development for Android, iPhone, browsers, computers and more. I just wanna say that "Me, The Entertainer, Coz Everyone Needs Entertainment .... :D"

Posted on July 16, 2012, in Game Engine, Games, GamyGuru, Inside The Game, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

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