Sunday, October 23, 2011

Customization Engine Model


My current REU focuses on the development and application of three projects. The first project is a video game developed in the Microsoft XNA Game Development Studio, titled Elemens. Elemens is a continuation of the game started during this Summer 2011’s REU, and will continue the same theme of heavy player customization to strengthen small Elemental Creatures, or Elemens, for high octane battles. The second portion of the project will be to construct a template to assist in construction of player customized graphics for the Video Game Development community, dubbed the Customization Engine Model. The last project of the REU will be to assist Jonathan Fisher with the Football Fan App by using it as a platform to strengthen our Android Developmental skills.


The purpose of the Customization Engine Model is to provide a platform by which members of the Video Game Development Community can utilize a provided layout to assist with the graphical construction of in game images, specifically player customized characters. I plan to develop this template by comparing the most relevant games with thorough and intensive character customization features and extracting the most efficient portions of each. I will perform an extensive analysis of specific video games and note the potential benefits to character customization provided by each. I will construct pseudo code based interpretations along with theoretical assumptions of how to apply these methods, ultimately combining each set of coding to obtain a model with characteristics to help develop a working in game, character image producer based on player customizations.

There are a multitude of games that have a heavy level of character customization, expanding through several different video game genres. Video games that I currently plan to analyze include games from The Sims Franchise, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Soul Calibur IV, MapleStory, and Madden NFL 12. From this selection, we have two Role Playing games (The Sims and Elder Scrolls series), one fighting game (Soul Calibur IV), one MMORPG (MapleStory), and one sports game (Madden). By not limiting the selection of video games to one or two specific genres, I will be able to fully encompass a multitude of features that may be specifically invented with features that may prove necessary for different genres. This week, I’d like to devise a strategy to appropriately categorize several important factors that go into player customization in video games, such as how the images of customized players are rendered, and whether a player’s sprite is merely a combination of overlapped images or actually one single fully rendered model based on a player’s input. I will be starting with the The Sims series this week to begin this process.