Popular Science: The Hard Science of Making Video Games

See the top ten hurdles facing game designers today, and the cutting-edge tech that will soon make them relics of the past.

Put the stereotypes out of your mind. Forget the zits, the Cheetos, the smell of too much time on a couch with the curtains drawn. Today's videogames draw on sophisticated science like biomechanics, fluid dynamics and computational geometry to be lifelike and exciting. Here are the 10 greatest challenges of making them. See for yourself-it's virtual reality, but it's real work!

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WoundedMoon3406d ago

I asked myself: "Would I rather play a game with low end graphics, but amazing physics; or a graphicly awesome game, but when my 4 ton tank runs into a cardboard box, it gets stuck? Which is more important, sandbox physics, or graphics?" I personally favor sandbox physics over graphics.

I was impressed by DMM, and the euphoria articles, and think this would give games almost infinite replay value if implemented properly and smoothly. Both these technologies will be in the Lucas Arts game, "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed!" Although the lack of news on this title makes me wonder if things aren't as smooth as they'd hopped, and I especially hope that the PS3 and 360 each get competent versions of the game (PS3 would probably get the short stick if anybody does, and as a PS3 owner, I wouldn't be happy). I also must say that the Wii version of this game will probably be much inferior, as the Wii can't pull off euphoria and DMM calculations quite as well as the PS360 powerhouse.

xav09713406d ago

I want both sandbox physics and graphics. Next gen systems are powerful enough for both. Although I would lower the graphics a little bit to get better physics but I also want 60 fps! Fluidity is important too. Damn it when is xbox 720 coming out!!

Rooftrellen3406d ago

The format war is too popular for most people to take time out of their busy days to read this, but it's a wonderful read, much more interesting than most things in the tech section.

As far as graphics vs physics goes, I'd say physics are far more important. SNES graphics were good enough for me, and, while I value good storylines and good gameplay more than anything, physics can be important to both.

Look at Monkey Ball to see how a good idea and good physics, without great graphics, can make a game addictive. If you wanted to play SSBM in any real compitition, you had to know how the physics of the game worked, and that made it a deep game, in spite of its mediocre appearance.

Physics, not graphics, is what can seperate the wheat from the chaff.