I'm a 3rd year CS major and former hobby game programmer throughout highschool and during my first year of uni. I have to do an honors project next year so it's time to start thinking of a good topic to work on. I know this forum is filled with great people, so it's the first place I thought I would come to ask for any ideas.
I want the project to have a large programming component, but it also needs to have something that is academically interesting.
My interests include:
1. Game development, specifically interested in persistent online (not neccessarily massive) multiplayer player worlds
2. Parallel programming, I would love to be able to find something related to games and parallel programming
4. Procedural generation of things related to games, something that is NOT terrain related
Does anyone have any ideas that could help me find a topic? I'm open to ideas that aren't related to my posted interests.
How about a Diablo like action RPG? You could do procedural generation of the dungeon layouts, as well as things like the enemies, the loot, and even the textures if you wanted. It also lends itself well to a semi-persistent multiplayer world. I'm not sure if there's anything you could put into the design to really take advantage of parallel programming, aside from moving things like physics and audio processing to their own threads.
Well, I'd say items 1, 2, and 3 go nicely hand in hand.
I wouldn't push too much into the project though, as I find it's better to underpromise and overdeliver than overpromise and fail miserably.
Since parallel programming is an interest, perhaps you could evaluate ways to improve performance of some small game using parallel processing (i.e. profile your game running completely serially VS running sections in parallel using up-to-date research of course). You could also show how the simulation's performance scales nicely as you add characters for instance (i.e. profile the parallel version running a single character VS a large number of independant characters).
Often professors have different criteria and interests so it's also a good idea to run any ideas by a professor you're interested in working with as they can suggest changes to scope and interesting research areas to incorporate. If there's a professor interested in games it's a good idea to go see them for validation of your ideas and suggestions.