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What exactly is considered a system?


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#1 warnexus   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1506

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:51 PM

So I am building a Java class that manages the health of a ship I am building for my arcade shooter game. So can I call the class a health system then?

 

Can I say a system is just a Java class that is made up of components(in my case is just a heartJPanel that is added on to the gamePanel that holds the canvas and an array of JLabel added on to the heartJPanel that displays the hearts that represents the health condition of the ship).

 

I never really understood what exactly make something a system(like a battle system, lighting system, physics system, combo system) in the software development side of game programming. 

 

I worked on my arcade shooter game for 3 months so I just want to make sure I understand what a system is.


Edited by warnexus, 12 April 2013 - 08:45 AM.


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#2 ultramailman   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1585

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 02:48 AM

I think the meaning of "system" depends on the context. For example, it can mean a whole computer, an operating system, etc..

 

In terms of gameplay, a system can refer to a feature of the game. For example, a craft system, a trade system, etc..

 

In terms of game programming though, I think it can mean a mediator, a controller, etc... Something that manages parts of a game, something higher level than the smaller parts that make up a game.

 

You can call your "health system" a system, but I think it's a system in the sense of gameplay.


Edited by ultramailman, 12 April 2013 - 02:50 AM.


#3 Pyrocute   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 04:21 AM

The immediate focus of interest which involves some input and output equal to input, overall is a system. Remaining all is surroundings.

In thermodynamics the system which is governed by a boundary, you will find resemblance the above statement.

 

So apply it to gaming which is a system of effects related to some initial condition. for example weapon fire, flash light, pickups, barriers, all these can be considered as independent systems for easier programming.

so in case of the systems of weapon that fires.

Keyboard input is the input, and output is bullet and flash, also another output is the sound of weapon fired. etc..

Luckily, in games the relation or sequence of these events of the system can be manipulated instead of governed by laws of physics as in case of real life systems.

So you can create a bullet that is metal but weapon fires with birds chirping ;)

 

if there is some code that manages these systems , it itself is also a system that consists sub-systems. hence to differentiate these kind of classes are called as manager class.

Basically your free to call it anything, for a farming game , it will be either farm manager or farm system, or bla bla :)

 

Saurabh



#4 Nercury   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 774

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 04:28 AM

System is a way to do things, or a way things are done. If there is no system, there is chaos.



#5 Orangeatang   Members   -  Reputation: 1779

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 04:46 AM

I never really understood what exactly make something a system(like a battle system, lighting system, physics system, combo system)

As far as game development goes (from a code perspective) I think of a system as something that is updated on a per-frame basis and manages dynamic content - physics, sound, lighting. On the flip side, managers take care of static content like textures. 


Of course that's just my interpretation, based on the last couple of engines I've worked with and the engine I'm currently building.


Edited by Orangeatang, 12 April 2013 - 05:14 AM.


#6 Nercury   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 774

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 05:02 AM

To iterate previous responses, there may be systems on different levels:

 

Game

 

You may have a crafting system. You can craft a tool using a defined amount of wood and steel. Players can learn this system and expect it to work the same way.

No such system would mean no defined way tools appear. They may be raining from the sky one second, the other second they will degrade into worms.

 

Game engine

 

For example, you may have a material system. You can have a documentation which describes how to load textures, apply materials - how to generally use this system.

No such system would mean that there is no defined way to do material management, and every use case may be completely different.

 

Project management

 

You can have a bug-tracking system which sets a way in which bugs are reported, checked and resolved.

No such system would mean fixing bugs as they come. Joe and Jones may be fixing the same bug at the same time, no one cares.


Edited by Nercury, 12 April 2013 - 05:04 AM.


#7 warnexus   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1506

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:54 AM

Thanks everyone for the replies! I understand what a system is because of you all.






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