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Game Development Tools





ISBN 9781568814322
Published May 24, 2011 by A K Peters/CRC Press
360 Pages

 
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Book Description

This book brings the insights of game professionals, DCC creators, hardware vendors, and current researchers together into a collection that focuses on the most underrepresented and critical part of game production: tools development. The first gems-type book dedicated to game tools, this volume focuses on practical, implementable tools for game development professionals. Topics range from asset tracking to improving remote version control performance to robust and efficient IO. Technical artists, as well as game play, audio, and graphics programmers will find new tools to improve work flow and help build games faster.

Table of Contents

PHILOSOPHY AND METHODOLOGY
Taming the Beast: Managing Complexity in Game Build Pipelines,
Fernando Navarro
Introduction
The Asset Build Pipeline
Dependencies
How to Determine Dependencies
How to Use Dependencies to Your Benefit
Advanced Techniques
Minimizing the Impact of Build Failures
Conclusions
Bibliography

Game Streaming: A Planned Approach, Jeffrey Aydelotte and Amir Ebrahimi
Introduction
Integrating Streaming from Day One
Passive Requests: The Art of Asset Streaming
Bluer Skies
Conclusion
Bibliography

Workflow Improvement via Automatic Asset Tracking, Matt Greene and William Smith
Introduction
Historical Drawbacks of Manual Asset Tracking
Automatically Building an Asset Database Using the Xbox 360
Rapid Development of the MATT Tool Using Python
Automating In-Game Search with the BugViewer
Lessons Learned

Continuous Integration for Games, Steven Ramirez
Introduction
Build Pipelines: How Do They Work?
Using CCNet and More!
Conclusion
Bibliography

Persistence Management of Asset Metadata and Tags, Jaewon Jung
Introduction
Usual Metadata
Tags
Other Considerations
Conclusion
Bibliography

Real-Time Tool Communication, Alan Kimball
Introduction
Integrated Editors
Real-Time Communication
Properties
Robust Data
Null Checking
Copying Data
Complicated Assets
Conclusion

Robust File I/O, Alan Kimball
Introduction
Existing Technologies
Object Databases
Disk Image
Conclusions

BUILDABLE TOOLS
Real-Time Constructive Solid Geometry,
Sander van Rossen and Matthew Baranowski
Introduction
The CSG Algorithm
Mesh Optimization
Conclusions
Bibliography

A COLLADA Toolbox, Remi Arnaud
Introduction
Conformance Test
Schema Validation
Editing a COLLADA Document
Coherency Test
Patching XML Notepad
Unique ID, Name versus ID
XPath
Absolute versus Relative Paths
Refinery
XSLT
Conclusion
Bibliography

Shape-Preserving Terrain Decimation and Associated Tools, David Eberly
Introduction
The Decimation Algorithm
Processing the Lofted Roads
Variations in the Content Pipeline
An Example
Bibliography

In-Game Audio Debugging Tools, Simon Franco
Introduction
Tools to Debug Sound Systems
Conclusion

Pragmatic XML Use in Tools, Amir Ebrahimi
Introduction
XML Specification
Parsing XML
Enter Stage: XML Serialization
Minimaxima: A Case Study
Conclusion
Bibliography

Low Coupling Command System, Gustavo A. Carrazoni
Introduction
The Most Basic Command
Low Coupling
Improvements to the Command System
Bibliography

Object-Oriented Data, Alan Kimball
Introduction
Data Inheritance
Constants
Conclusion

Improving Remote Perforce Usage, Mike O’Connor
Introduction
Remote Reality
Productive by Proxy
Here Comes a New Challenger
A Parallel Approach
Putting It All Together
Conclusion

THIRD-PARTY TOOLS
Vector Displacement in the Sculpting Workflow,
Craig Barr
Introduction
Overview: Vector Displacement
Creating Vector Displacement Maps: A Workflow Example in Mudbox
Vector Displacement and the Art Pipeline: Further Applications and Considerations
Conclusion
Bibliography

Optimizing a Task-Based Game Engine, Yannis Minadakis
Introduction
From Threads to Tasks
Profiling a Task-Based Game Engine
Task, Task, Task

Efficient Texture Creation with Genetica, Ichiro Lambe and Atlas Roufas
Introduction
Genetica’s Workflow and Philosophy
Principles for Efficient Asset Creation
Conclusion

Reducing Video Game Creation Effort with Eberos GML2D, Frank E. Hernandez and Francisco R. Ortega
Introduction
Reducing Effort
Conclusion
Bibliography

YAML for C++: Applied Data-Driven Design, Sebastien Noury and Samuel Boivin
Introduction
YAML Ain’t Markup Language
Seamless C++ Integration
Applying DDD to Real-World Scenarios
Conclusion
Bibliography

GPU Debugging and Profiling with NVIDIA Parallel Nsight, Kumar Iyer and Jeffrey Kiel
Introduction
Debugging a Full Direct3D Frame with the Graphics Inspector
Debugging an HLSL Shader
Profiling a Direct3D Frame using GPU Hardware Counters
Tracing Activity across Your CPU and GPU
Conclusion

FBX Games Development Tools, Trevor Adams and Mark Davies
Introduction
Exporting and Importing Game Assets
Extracting the Information from the .fbx File
FBX for QuickTime as a Game Development Tool

Index

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Author(s)

Biography

Marwan Ansari is a software engineer for a Chicago-based games company. He has a B.S. in computer science and mathematics from DePaul University and an M.S. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has 15 years of experience in console games development, video drivers and demos, military simulators, and application and tools development. He specializes in 3D computer graphics and has been published in ShaderX^2 and Game Programming Gems 4.

Reviews

The individual topics are very thoroughly and clearly explained with high-quality graphics. This is a good resource for experienced game designers seeking to optimize game development pipelines. Recommended.
—E. Bertozzi, CHOICE, November 2011

Game Development Tools offers the insights of game professionals, researchers, and more and provides guidelines, assessments of tools, and third-party applications for game developers. From building pipelines that work to GPU debugging and using in-game audio tools, this book offers discussions, color images, charts, and more and surveys commands, improvements, workflow, and more. No game developer’s reference library should be without this in-depth coverage for advanced developers.
Midwest Book Review, August 2011