Welcome to Game Engine Architecture. This book aims to present a complete discussion of the major components that make up a typical commercial game engine. Game programming is an immense topic, so we have a lot of ground to cover. Nevertheless, I trust you’ll fi nd that the depth of our discussions is suffi cient to give you a solid understanding of both the theory and the common practices employed within each of the engineering disciplines we’ll cover. That said, this book is really just the beginning of a fascinating and potentially life-long journey. A wealth of information is available on all aspects of game technology, and this text serves both as a foundationlaying device and as a jumping-off point for further learning. Our focus in this book will be on game engine technologies and architecture. This means we’ll cover both the theory underlying the various subsystems that comprise a commercial game engine and also the data structures, algorithms, and soft ware interfaces that are typically used to implement them. The line between the game engine and the game is rather blurry. We’ll focus primarily on the engine itself, including a host of low-level foundation systems, the rendering engine, the collision system, the physics simulation, character animation, and an in-depth discussion of what I call the gameplay foundation layer. This layer includes the game’s object model, world editor, event system, and scripting system. We’ll also touch on some aspects of gameplay programming, including player mechanics, cameras, and AI. However, by necessity, the scope of these discussions will be limited mainly to the ways in which gameplay systems interface with the engine. This book is intended to be used as a course text for a two- or three-course college-level series in intermediate game programming. Of course, it can also be used by amateur soft ware engineers, hobbyists, self-taught game programmers, and existing members of the game industry alike. Junior engineers can use this text to solidify their understanding of game mathematics, engine architecture, and game technology. And some senior engineers who have devoted their careers to one particular specialty may benefi t from the bigger picture presented in these pages, as well.
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