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Absrtact: PC games are ready for a rebirth or, at least, a change. This is the first time since the 1990 3D Accelerator was born. Thanks to the mobile revolution and its associated technology. Game developers can now use accelerometers,
PC games are ready for a rebirth-or, at least, a change. This is the first time since the 1990 3D Accelerator was born.
Thanks to the mobile revolution and its associated technology. Game developers can now use accelerometers, touch screens, and cloud computing to add new features and game patterns. And even the new development model of Microsoft Windows--covering desktop devices, tablets and smartphones with a set of code--is also changing the direction of game developers.
These developments were evident at the recent Microsoft Build Convention. Justin Saint Clair, the Microsoft Business Development Manager, once encouraged game developers to redesign their development strategies instead of focusing on graphics, themes, and plots, but first asked themselves: "What is a PC?"
The literal definition of PCs is "personal computer", but in recent years this definition has been completely overturned. Now, PC games have finally begun to subvert the traditional model. We are no longer dependent on the keyboard and the mouse, not even the same game in the same device. In this article, I'm going to take you through the various patterns used by game developers today. Their work will be reflected in a variety of PC gaming genres, from casual gaming on tablets to 3D of steam.
A game, many of the embodiment
Soon after the ipad was released a few years ago, the tablet computer quickly redefined the role of video games. Thanks to the built-in accelerometer and touch screen, the ipad can be both a game screen and a game handle. Not only can you control the steering wheel of the car game by tilting the tablet computer, but you can also manipulate the game with your fingers directly.
But that was in 2010, and today, accelerometers and touch screens are already standard. In the 2013, Microsoft will encourage developers to break through the limitations of tablets and recreate the tablet gaming experience-that is, a game can be embodied in a variety of platforms and devices in a variety of creative ways.
Microsoft is developing a series of APIs (application programming interfaces) to help developers create a game with similar experiences in PCs and tablets, but there are different modes of control in a tablet, and a lower demand for graphics. For example, the Xbox Live Multi-person API will be compatible with both Xbox and windows, allowing developers to develop seamless, cross-platform multiplayer games.
Another development model of Microsoft uses the so-called "second screen". In this model, a game uses both large-screen TVs and tablets-a mechanism that is already implemented in a Windows 8 tablet computer that uses the Xbox Smart glass. For example, in the Xbox 360 racing game "Forza Deepwater", a player can drive a car by looking at a map on a tablet computer while driving through the joystick's handle. In fact, through this tablet, the player can introduce a second player in the position of "copilot" and act as his navigator.
Microsoft is also leveraging the Windows Runtime platform (which is the foundation of all Windows Store apps) and the Xbox Live Networking feature to reshape the gaming experience in unprecedented ways. In the third-person sci-fi shooting game "quality effect" (Mass multiplying), for example, "quality effect 3" is already a popular PC single game, but now, a section named "Quality Effect: Infiltrators" (Mass effect:infiltrator) 's affiliate game has landed on the iOS platform, which can use the "galactic War" cloud computing system for the series of two games. How did it go? In the infiltrators, when you collect intelligence data, your accomplishments can enhance the galactic readiness level that integrates PC games.
Of course, cloud computing makes this pattern easier and simpler. Just think: Start the game on your PC, play for a few minutes, and then save the data to a Microsoft server. Then you go to a hotel room in the distance, then you can load the same game data into a tablet, and then continue to play. Desktop PC games such as "quality Effect 3" and "Dust: Armageddon" (Dirt Showdown) have been adopted, but more games are expected to follow. It is also noteworthy that even a few simple Windows Store apps will save status and progress to the cloud to ensure that users are able to get a seamless experience in the "Start-close-restart" process, regardless of where they are and what Windows 8 devices they use.
But at the build Convention, Microsoft's St. Clare also shared a new vision for multiplayer online games. He encouraged developers to envision a multiplayer game across PCs, Xbox 360 consoles and Windows 8 tablet computers, allowing users of the three platforms to interact in exactly the same network environment. "Hurricane Thunder Rowing" (Hydro Thunder Hurricane) has adopted this model.
There are also LAN games, which also need to be redefined. Today's LAN games often require multiple desktops or notebooks to be in the same location, connected to each other through a variety of cables and switches, and then join multiple-person servers together. However, Windows 8 support for mobile devices can significantly reduce the use of physical devices. "What happens when everyone in the room has a tablet computer?" asked St. Clare.
Tablet computers change everything.
Tablets are not just PCs with touch screens. A good tablet game also uses a range of behaviors and techniques designed for modern mobile devices: In addition to touch gestures, it includes accelerometers, GPS, NFC, gyroscopes, etc. As a new development architecture that unifies PCs, tablets, and even Windows Phone 8, Windows Runtime consolidates all of these possibilities, allowing game developers to leverage these new mechanisms and new patterns. As a result, any game developed by developers adapting to Windows runtime can have the same rich experience as iOS apps.
However, while tablets can bring rich and creative opportunities for development, performance is not satisfactory. The inability of tablets and hybrid devices to provide CPU and GPU performance on top desktop PCs has also become a major constraint on traditional game developers. Worse, the built-in GPU for Windows RT tablet and Windows Phone phones does not support the full DirectX 11 feature, which is the essential feature of modern desktop PC graphics. Game developers must make sure that games in Windows store only use direct 3D 9 to display 3D content in Windows Rt.
But this is to say that the game display in the tablet is going to be bad, and the negative effects of lower polygon generation and resolution are less noticeable in the small screen of a tablet computer than in a large size desktop display. Moreover, many of the games sold in the Windows store are smaller and more casual, so performance is not a big deal.
"Minesweeper": an excellent example
The upgraded version of Minesweeper is an excellent example of this casual game taking advantage of the new features of Windows 8.
Since Windows 3.1, minesweeper has been provided to users free of charge with the Windows operating system. Like Solitaire, it is probably one of the biggest killers of efficiency. Microsoft wants to completely refactor the minesweeper to fully demonstrate the potential of a Windows store game. To achieve this, Microsoft has hired an experienced leisure game development company Arkadium to fencing. Also, the new version of Minesweeper is more than just a touch control.
First, the game is no longer confined to a single window, but a full-screen game on a tablet, but the effect is still good on desktop PCs. Arkadium also adds new skin to the theme of the garden. In addition, the revamped game adds a new adventure model, allowing users to explore a group of caves through a cartoon character.
Unlike the original "minesweeper", you don't need to clear or mark all the squares to pass. In fact, there is no single "perfect" way to go about it: you can explore every inch of the place to collect as many coins as you can, or find the quickest way to exit. It all depends on you.
However, if you do not mark or open most squares, the score will be relatively small. Monsters and other obstacles will hinder your progress, but you can also use tools and weapons to clear the way.
In short, the Adventure model changed minesweeper, turning it from a simple scavenger game to a game like "roguelike", exploring various hurdles and overcoming obstacles. The game also integrates social media sharing: Every time you pass a pass, you have the opportunity to share your accomplishments.
Minesweeper also adds to the social dimension of daily challenges and achievements. The daily challenge allows you to collect virtual coins by winning a variety of badges, and then look forward to a mysterious reward. But these challenges will also integrate advertising. Yes, the game's built-in ads have entered the "minesweeper", usually in the form of short films, or a clickable hotspot, the user jumps to the external site. This business element, and the limitations of not being able to run minesweeper in a window, is bound to reduce the fun of the game. But the new social elements clearly show how much Microsoft is eager for progress, even the most basic game in the Windows platform.
Improve desktop gaming in Windows 8
Windows desktop is still an important part of the Windows 8 system, including tablets and hybrid PCs that carry the system. The All-in-one machine with touch screen also occupies a prominent position in the area of Windows 8 desktop hardware. The high-end all-in-one, such as Dell XPS One and Lenovo A720, also includes a stand-alone video card that can run 3D graphics-intensive games.
Even desktop gaming can benefit from the additional features built into Windows 8, such as the improved touch interface. Intel has been working with a number of developers to introduce touch functionality into desktop gaming. Firaxis has introduced touch functions such as gestures into the Games of Civilization 5 (Civilization V), one of the most important strategic games of the past year.
At least one desktop PC game has been integrated into the touch element from the outset, which is the Eugen BAE development of the war Game: European expansion (Wargame:european escalation). Eugen's first game, R.U.S.E, has been able to support touch operations in Windows 7 environments, but the interface is not fluent enough. In contrast, the "War games: European expansion," The Top-down map interface is the main optional element of the user interface, rather than the use of smaller buttons. The effects of touch selection and other gestures are also in line with expectations.
"Civilization 5" and "War games: European expansion" are well compatible with Windows 8. Like the early games of Eugen, war games: European expansion will also be compatible with Windows 7 systems that support touch operations.
Interestingly, these two games are also optimized for Intel's HD 4,000 set integrated, which is sufficient to accommodate hyper-polar, tablet, or two hybrid devices. This is what all game developers will have to face in the future: in terms of raw performance, these trendy systems use less graphics hardware than stand-alone graphics used in desktop PCs.
New Generation Games
For users, more importantly, the new gaming experience is gradually rising. In many Windows store applications, you can easily convert games between different platforms. The popularity of Windows 8 games in mobile devices such as hybrid hyper-polar and flat-panel computers will also drive the spread of some of the current mediocre game genres, such as location-based games or augmented reality games. New sensors in tablets and hybrid notebooks will help game designers develop new game controls, prompting them to develop new games.
While Apple's iOS fans scoff at the view that these features are already integrated into iOS, there are few cross-platform games between iOS and Mac OS. In addition, Apple notebooks seem to be moving toward high-end display technology rather than touch screens as a key component of the system.
On the other hand, the next generation of Windows games will integrate desktops, notebooks, smartphones and even Xbox consoles to create a new experience for a variety of gamers, not just casual games but also traditional big games. Considering that so many platforms and so many innovations will be integrated into a unified platform, what kind of games will emerge in the future is full of anticipation.
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