Extending a game engine with custom tools

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Perustieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Date
2018-10-08
Department
Major/Subject
Game Design and Production
Mcode
SCI3046
Degree programme
Master’s Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences
Language
en
Pages
40+4
Series
Abstract
Video games are primarily made using game engines nowadays with an ever increasing abstraction on the details of individual components. The research on the software development methods, software architectures and team and project management is a vast area of interest and has been applied to game development topics widely. However, there has been less focus on how to utilize and manage the individual game development components from the perspective of the entire development team and the creative process. In this thesis the game development is examined through individual game development components called tools. A definition of a tool is presented and their usage and presence in different popular game engines is explored. The tools are categorized to built-in, 1st party and 3rd party tools and their benefits and use-scenarios are compared against each other. In addition the thesis presents and adapts a "Tools Focused Development" methodology, which proposes a set of guidelines that aim to improve the possible benefits gained from developing and utilizing tools during development. The thesis also analyzes several built-in, 1st and 3rd party tools of a popular Unity game engine in the context of tools focused development, and their features and limitations are documented from the usage and management perspective. Finally the thesis reflects on how tools development was present in the development of a critically acclaimed commercial game Bucket Detective, and how their use affected the final completed game. The tools were found to be the source of emergent game design, and improved non-programmer participation in creating content along with making adapting to design changes easier from programmer standpoint.
Description
Supervisor
Hämäläinen, Perttu
Thesis advisor
Hämäläinen, Perttu
Keywords
game engines, game development, game development tools, game design
Other note
Citation