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girish

Masters dissertation topic help

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Hi, I am a student at the University of Abertay Dundee in Scotland, studying for an MSc in Computer Games Technology. I need to submit a topic for my dissertation and wanted to do something on Online Gaming. I would appreciate if anyone could suggest a few research topics/ideas in this area... Thanks! -Girish.

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How about developing a game engine for online gaming?

A game engine itself is pretty huge so with the prospects of internet gaming being thrown into the mix it'd be pretty impressive?

Or are you looking for something more specific, game area, design patterns etc?

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Well, as a specific (but not to specific) topic that came up a few months back, how about researching distributed game networks? What I mean by that is systems where the clients have copies of part of the game data and use P2P to ocommunicate that data with each other with a central server that can be trusted also communicating among them.

Try to find out how to distribute the data to make it the most difficult for clients to cheat by modifying the data/sending bad data over the network. If you look back in our networking forum you should find our topic on this, I posted some of my own ideas for solving this.

If you actually can create a good system fo rthis it would be highly valuable, cutting down on server costs for any game with large amounts of data that usually has to run in a pure server-client architecture (like an MMORPG). Bandwidth costs and hardware costs could go down (with the servers being less responsible for the load).

Hope you find a topic you like.

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How about a continuing investigation into the whole Player motivation thing (Killer/Socializer/Explorer/Achiever).

Lots of background and previous work done on it, but i'm sure there is tons of intersting crap left to talk about.

Not sure what your background is. That whole topic seems kinda Socio-psuedo-Psychology.

But I always thought it was a solid Idea that system interfaces nuture particular motivations.

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I always thought it would be fun to have an AI project that would monitor many many games of Human-only PvP, and trying to find a model for the best players.

For example, set up a Joint Ops server with lots of bandwidth, open it to the public, and collect a few months' worth of player motion data + scores. Then propose AI models of a player's strategy, and let your AI try to discover which ones worked best, and against which other strategies/set-ups. When you have optimized a model, let your bot play on the server (no human direction, other than initial goal setting).

Then you could sell your srategy models as a game-AI library.

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girish, what particular aspect of online gaming are you interested in? Are you more interested in the techinical side (programming etc.), the artistic side (creation of game worlds), or the social aspects (people interacting in games)? If you are doing a masters, there's probably something specific about online gaming that you want to research further, so that will be the start in picking your thesis.

I've already got a M.Comp.Sci. in the area of games, and I focused on the aspects that I wanted improved; methods for building games with interactive plot structures. However, at most institutions you can change your topic a bit after you submit it (orginally I was working on believable character A.I., changed after a year, though I don't recommend that you change so late! [smile]).

Best of luck with your degree! There needs to be more qualified academics in the area of game studies.

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Improving or devising your own variation of A* Pathfinding (possibly finding tweaks in binary heaps) could be very interesting. I've only done very light research in A* just to implement the basics in my own projects, but always found it to be fun discovering better methods.

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Hello everyone,

Thanks for the suggestions... I am definitely more interested in the technical side of online gaming and am looking more at the networking issues. Maybe even something related to the security aspects of online gaming. I don't think a game engine would be a good idea simply cause it would be too big, as I need to submit my dissertation by December 2005.

intrest86, I really like your suggestion about the distributed game networks. Is the topic you mentioned (in the Networking forum) based on the article on Distributed Gaming by Omar A. Abdelwahed? I searched for 'distributed game networks' on the gamedev search and got that as the first search result. Any other article/link you can point me to, where I can read some more about the topic?

Trapper Zoid, thanks for your wishes...

Appreciate all the help guys, would love some more.

Thanks,
-Girish.

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You could create some hardware to make a real-time raytraced 3d first person shooter.

Mike
http://www.coolgroups.com/

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