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Games Development Dissertation

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Hello Gamedev.net community,

I am a 3rd year Computer Games Development Student(Programmer) and I am having a problem with picking a topic for my Dissertation. I am working on an RPG in Unreal Engine 4.17 (C++), which I would like to use for my Dissertation, but nothing comes to my mind, when I try to think about the topic and look at other research in my University's Library, which includes journals and articles on the internet.

The topic I initially chose, can not be used anymore, since I needed the Nintendo Switch SDK for that. Nintendo doesn't hand out the Switch SDK for academic purposes.

How would I be able to come up with a topic/topics for my dissertation? I'm not asking for people to give me the topics, but ways of finding topics.

 

Thank you very much.

 

Edited by UmeerR

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In general pick a topic you like, because as you study it you'll start to hate it.  The more you liked it up front the better you'll feel as you approach the ending.  Also, generally don't pick something that can be answered with yes/no, usually the best are comparing various things or proposing an alternate way to do things.

Keep it simple and within a scope you can complete. 

Beyond that, picking a topic is a highly personal thing. 

Look at the topics you like. Image processing you may review and propose a use of a convolution kernel, signal processing and you're good at math maybe some new band-pass filters. If you can handle statistical comparisons, perhaps something reviewing a large number of projects on GitHub or SourceForge or similar. If you want to build something, maybe comparisons of symbolic play versus more realistic play, comparisons of interfaces between traditional screens versus 3D VR environment interfaces versus 3D AR interfaces.  Maybe something involving phones, maybe something related to power consumption in actual games. Maybe something involving better visualization of memory usage in real-world games to identify waste.  Or whatever else your interest may be.  Basically, pick anything you're interested in and start asking questions that start "why does this..." or "why are these ..." or "how do those" or "how do I fix ..." and you'll be on a good track.

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10 minutes ago, frob said:

In general pick a topic you like, because as you study it you'll start to hate it.  The more you liked it up front the better you'll feel as you approach the ending.  Also, generally don't pick something that can be answered with yes/no, usually the best are comparing various things or proposing an alternate way to do things.

Keep it simple and within a scope you can complete. 

Beyond that, picking a topic is a highly personal thing. 

Look at the topics you like. Image processing you may review and propose a use of a convolution kernel, signal processing and you're good at math maybe some new band-pass filters. If you can handle statistical comparisons, perhaps something reviewing a large number of projects on GitHub or SourceForge or similar. If you want to build something, maybe comparisons of symbolic play versus more realistic play, comparisons of interfaces between traditional screens versus 3D VR environment interfaces versus 3D AR interfaces.  Maybe something involving phones, maybe something related to power consumption in actual games. Maybe something involving better visualization of memory usage in real-world games to identify waste.  Or whatever else your interest may be.  Basically, pick anything you're interested in and start asking questions that start "why does this..." or "why are these ..." or "how do those" or "how do I fix ..." and you'll be on a good track.

Thank you very much for your reply! I greatly appreciate it!

I am interested in Game Graphics, RPG's, Motion Camera's, that's why I would like to create an RPG for my Dissertation, but also incorporate a topic that would revolve around RPG's, like Implementing Functionalities for the Motion Camera in the RPG World.

Better Visualization of Memory Usage in Real-World Games to identify waste sounds interesting. What would this topic include? Memory Leakage and Parallel Programming?

I am really sorry about the late reply from me.

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This is a discussion board, not chat like Discord. Discussion replies are often measured in days.

Creating your own RPG or RTS world by yourself is highly ambitious. Over the years working with students through SIGDA I only knew three who managed to complete such projects to reasonable quality within a single year, out of perhaps a hundred who tried. Those few worked on the project to the exclusion of everything else, and had family and scholarships so they did not need to spend time with work, living away from home they had no family commitments either.

The biggest issue with a student project is you are unlikely to know the pain points of actual professional workers since you don't have experience in the role.

As for memory utilization concerns, there are already many great tools, but there are some hard problems remaining.  For example, automatically discovering what systems are allocating and releasing memory mid-game, what systems allocate large blocks but rarely use it, possibly leveraging data from Pix or Razor or CodeXL or Valgrind or VTune to identify possible cache gains within systems, those are real issues in the industry. However, those are also hard problems, probably far beyond the project you and your school are expecting.  Some are harder problems than writing those complex games within a year.  The tools are built by major companies like Microsoft and AMD with industry professionals trying to crack the problems, so unless you're working with the companies you're unlikely to 

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