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Mikea15

Master Thesis Theme and Inspiration Needed

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Hello, I'm Michael. I'm a game developer, at least I want to be. I'm currently finishing my MSc in Computer Science and Engineering. I'm in my last year, and I need to make a thesis, but the thing is, I'm really undecided.

 

I like making video games, I've been making small demos and games since I know how to program. I finished only 2 or 3 minigames in the large number of projects I've started, mostly due to lack of time and school. But I'm about to release a game for Android/iOS/WP8 next month, so hopefully that will change :)

 

To be honest, all the themes our teachers give us here for our thesis, suck. I want to do something else than a "Casual Game for iPhone". And I don't want to make something that would take 1 month to make, if you know what I mean. That said, I want something new and challenging.

 

What I would like to know is what are the trends the gaming industry is going to? Where could I make a difference?

 

What I know, What I do, what I like.

  • Work with Hardware device Microsoft Kinect. ( 3 years )
  • Work with Unity3D ( 1+ year )
  • I like Computer Graphics ( not much experience, but not afraid to learn )
  • I like making video games
  • I love planning video games.
  • I've played a little with Augmented Reality ( Qualcomm Vuforia )

So far, I'm more experienced with C#, but I know C++. I also know some OpenGL / OGL ES.

 

So based on that, I'd gratefully accept your help in my "quest" in finding a good master thesis. In Computer Graphics, Video Games, or even Artificial Intelligence, just as long as I can use that in video games as to not loose interest and stay motivated through the end.

 

So basically, what are the trends? Where is the industry lacking? Where could one technology be helped? What could be optimized? 

 

Thank you. :)

 

PS: Also, I'm from Portugal :) Cheers.

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Maybe a little too specialist/tricky, but one area that is lacking in my view is the gulf between coding and stuff happening on a screen.

 

Take a look at this talk:

https://vimeo.com/36579366

 

The leap between immediately seeing the results of what you're coding versus the current "make changes (based on your best internal understanding of a program) and iterate" is exactly where I think things should be heading.

 

I'm a reasonable coder so it's less of a barrier for me, but this sort of tool that facilitates creative without bogging it down in the technical details too much, is amazing.

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Maybe a little too specialist/tricky, but one area that is lacking in my view is the gulf between coding and stuff happening on a screen.

 

Take a look at this talk:

https://vimeo.com/36579366

 

The leap between immediately seeing the results of what you're coding versus the current "make changes (based on your best internal understanding of a program) and iterate" is exactly where I think things should be heading.

 

I'm a reasonable coder so it's less of a barrier for me, but this sort of tool that facilitates creative without bogging it down in the technical details too much, is amazing.

 

I've actually seenthis talk, it is very good :) 

Unity3D already "does this", by that I mean, that you can edit your inspector settings in runtime, and save the changes to apply on edit mode. That's really great. You still have to compile your code, but if you expose a property or variable, you can edit it live in runtime, which is amazing :)

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I'm really into Unity, but I think this guy's talk goes quite a bit further.  Exposing properties in the inspector is one thing, but every time I update actual code, I find I have to restart.  A cursory google showed this http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/195537-Livity-The-Live-Coding-Tool-for-Unity which looks interesting :) 

 

Anyway, a diversion now from your task- good luck finding the right idea!

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While I don't have any ideas for you, you should try to find a professor that is into video games (if you can choose which one supervises you thesis). They may even be able to suggest  related areas of research or you can have a discussion and try to come up with a solution.

 

When I was doing my undergraduate thesis I was working with a professor who allowed me to build a 3D level editor for my project, but he really wasn't interested in it (he loved robots, and pretty much only robots). If I had found another professor who had an interest in video games, which there were a few of, I think I would have gotten much more out of it.

 

Remember, professors will generally suggest you topics in their preferred area of research, as they often have a lot of things they'd like to research but only so much time of their own.

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AI and automation are always areas that can be improved in game development.  AI in the sense of making game characters appear to be "smart".  Be it react to the player in realistic ways or appear to have a mind of their own.  Automation is a little different, game developers and studios always want to be able to create games faster, so anyway to automate the development process will help thus reduce cost in developing the game.  Examples of automation would be ways in capturing motion from live people and converting that to in game character animation.  Modeling 3D objects, characters.  Integrating different tools together for seamless development etc.

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Trends in gaming reflect pretty much the same trends in computing overall, move toward cloud based services and more mix computation/data model with cloud backend services. Something like rendering sub-set of the world on the cloud while local rendering is done on device or using the cloud to store data which can be accessed from multiple clients on various devices such as mobiles, handhelds, tablets, browser.

 

With the increase in computational power of the next gen console better AI, procedural technology and more advance fluid simulations will make their way into games. Vision based AI might be possible, allowing the AI to actually "see" things. Realtime computer vision algorithms will also be possible with high res cameras and  GPGPU on the next gen, will be interesting to explore that like scanning realworld objects using the camera or hyper-realistic overlays or video effects like super slow mo..

 

Where gaming is going? I think the trend is toward more integrated platforms ( using cloud backend services ) and more user created content.

 

Good Luck!

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Hey guys, 

 

Thank you for your help. I ended up to talk with a different teacher, and we talked about different tecnologies in video games that can be optimized and where problems can be solved.

 

Namely, Procedural City Generation, Procedural Mesh Subdivision, Pathfinding Optimizations etc..

 

I think I'm going for the Pathfinding path.

 

Again, Thanks a lot for your help :)

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