Author: 07raycheljudge

Be able to connect and configure platforms and devices to enable game play

In this LO I will be connect different devices to a gaming console. The different things I will be connecting and configuring will be:

  • Console to display
  • Console to console
  • Local area network (LAN)
  • Wide area network (WAN)
  • Wireless
  • Cabled devices to platforms e.g. mouse, paddle, joystick, wheel, guitar, pedals, 360 kinect
  • Wireless devise to platforms e.g. joystick, controller, wheel
  • PC devices e.g. graphics/sound cards, network interface controller (NIC)

 

Not only will I be connecting devices, I will also be configuring and installing games on PCs, Mobiles and Game consoles:

  • Install PC games
  • Install consoles games
  • Install mobile games
  • Configure PC games
  • Configure console games
  • Configure mobile games

 

As evidence I will be taking pictures as I am connecting the consoles and also while games are installing and configuring.

 

 

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Local area network (LAN) & Wireless

These pictures it shows me connecting the gaming system to the internet, first of all I had to go to the settings of the system which is shown in the first, picture, secondly I had to choose the network on the settings, on the network setting I chose the set up internet connection, within setting up internet connection I chose to connect to the LAN (local area network), but was unable to connect.

 

 

 

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Installing and Configuring mobile games

These pictures show me installing and configuring a game on to a mobile device. First of all I had to go on to the app store and chose which game I would like to install, once I had chosen I selected the install button, once that is done it would ask me for a password to my account to make sure it is me and no one trying to hack my app store, once the passwordhas been verified, it would begin the configuratio n process, and once that has been done I was able to play the game whenever I want.photo 2photo 1

Cabled devices to platforms

These pictures show connecting the cabled to device to gaming platform, we had to connect the control to the system,

It shows the wire connecting the control to the system and once it was connected it lit-up that meant it was ready to use.

 

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Wireless devise to platforms

These pictures show the wireless device connecting to the gaming platform. It was the same control as the previous pictures, all we had to do is turn it on and it configured and connected to the device, once it had connected the front of the control again lit-up in a blue colour.

 

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Wide Area Network

These pictures show us connecting to a wide area network (WAN), again like connecting to the local area network, I had to go on to the setting and go on the network settings but I had to choose a different connecting such as the wireless, when I went to connect to the wireless it was a proxy, so I had to type in a password so it was able to connect, once it had connected I was able to get online.

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Installing and Configuring console games

These pictures show installing and configuring a game onto the gaming platform. First of all I had to put the disc into the system, once it had loaded it menu screen on system appeared and asked if this was the correct game and what we wanted to do, I selected the game I wanted to play, once it had loaded and installed the game opened up and began configuring, once it configured I was able to choose which game mode I wanted to play and begin playing.

 

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Console to Console and Console to display

These pictures show the connection of console to display, and the display was a projector in the class room on to a white board. We had to get the cables from the projector which are the grey and black ones and connect them to the PS4. Once we had connected them the menu of the PS4 appeared on the board so we were able to do whatever we needed to do.

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PC Device – Sound Card

These pictures show the connection of a sound card being placed into a computer system. As there were 2 different slots, I had to figure which one I would have to place it into, it was the one that is closest to the outside, so I had to position it above the slot and then push it into the slot until it clicked into place.

 

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PC Devices – graphics card

These pictures show the connection of a graphics card being placed into a computer system. As I said previously there were 2 slots to choose from, and the sound card went into one of them, this meant that the graphics card must of gone into the other one. I did the same procedure as slotting the sound card, I positioned it above the slot and then pushed it down until it clicked into place.

 

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Installing and configuring PC games

In these pictures it shows me installing and configuring a PC game off the internet on to my laptop computer.

First of all I had to type into the internet a game downloading site, then I chose the game I wanted which was bomber Mario, I then had to download it on to the laptop, go on to my download, once I had got it up I downloaded it on the laptop and it was ready to play

 

 

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Understand Software Technologies – Software Scripting

In this part of my blog I will be discussing and giving examples of how scripting languages are used and how they can have an impact on game and app creation using appropriate use of subject terminology.

Scripting languages are computer programming languages are used primarily to reduce the edit-compile-link-run process which means editing the code, compiling it and then running the code. Scripting tools were first originally used as a batch of command tools. They were used to run a specific set of easily editable tasks or commands on a computer. Later on scripting languages began to show up on computer games.

Some scripting languages have other important roles other than coding, and those other roles are things to the extent of extending some of the other programming languages such as C or C++. Some of the of the other languages are standalone, general purpose languages such as Perl and Smalltalk, bit some of the others like Python and Lua can be rooted within the native code of application and serve to extend its set of available types and functions, this means that it is able to add on to another language.

 

The biggest negative to script languages is the performance of speed. Usually the scripts run a little, or even a lot slower than compile code like C and C++, this means that it is slower than the application. The reason that the scripting is slower than that application is because the scripts are understood by a thing call Virtual Machine (VM). VM is a separate piece of software that sets apart from the main application from the computer, the application is running on and the VM places itself between the application and the script.

 

Scripting can give you the ability to code your games major functionality without having to compile the game engine at all. Some of the games components are Artificial Intelligence (AI), User Interface (UI), game events, save and load game functionality and so on. Scripting can also provide the vehicle for modders to change the way the game is currently running. The modder can change the look-and-feel and the behaviour of commercial games that have scripting engines included.

Scripting can allow the people of the gaming company of various disciplines to work on their part of the game, and do not have to ask the C++ programmers to change one thing in the game engine. Because you see the slower the execution speed of the script compared to the native code, you would not want to write any high performance code using it. C++ functions can be written in the engine so that the script can get access to it.

 

For example, say that you have a class for a tree mesh that you want and need to be placed somewhere in your scene, that class can be written in C++ and the rendering code would also be in C++, you want to make sure that you have the fastest rendering as possible.

The script engine can also have the ability to create an instance of object of that C++ class before it places it in the scene, this means that something will appear in the scene and will be generated into the scene before you get there, is can be known as ‘texture POP in’.

 

The different programmers working with the script language could create all their own script files without interfering with other programmers. The UI programmers could use a copy of the current release of the game engine to create and place their UI object on to the screen. At the same time the AI people will be developing paths and decision trees in script.

So essentially Scripting is just copy and paste within a game, and can be a benefit to game makers.

Understand Software Technologies – OS’s (Operating System’s)

In this part of my blog I will be discussing and talking about operating systems (OS’s). I will be doing research and describing examples of how the dependency of OS’s can have an impact on game creation and game compliance. I will be discussing these using the appropriate use of the subject terminology.

An operating is a software programme that allows the computer hardware to communicate and operate with the computers software. Without the computers operating system, the software programmes that would be in a computer would be absolutely useless.[i]

All gaming consoles and handheld devices have different operating systems. Even the operating systems that are similar have a slight difference that can affect the compatible coding of a game. There are a range of OS’s that are available, these include:

  • Windows
  • Android
  • IOS
  • Mac

Many of the operating systems that are available have their own operating systems. Windows and IOS have many different versions of their OS’s, and theses operating systems are capable of supporting the recent games that are being released.

 

Apps, certain apps are only programmed to operate on certain operating systems. An example of this is android phones, if someone with an android phone was to get and an android app, that app will only work on other android phones, this is due to the fact that the phones will being running on the same operating systems. If someone was wanting to use and play that app on a different device, they would have to change the coding of the app to make it compatible to be played and used on other operating systems. Another example of this was the Nintendo, they used a similar language in all of its systems, this allowed the systems to have backwards compatibility between the different generations of consoles.

 

[i] http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/o/os.htm

Understand Software Technologies – Drivers

In this part of my blog I will be discussing and giving examples of what a driver is, and how driver issues can have impact on game creations and game installation, I will be using appropriate use of subject terminology.

A drive is a piece of software that allows your computer to communicate with hardware or devices. Without drivers, the hardware that you connect your computer will probably not work to its full extent or capacity, for example a video card or a printer. [i]

The biggest benefit indicated when discussing programming for the PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo, is that one size fits all most of the time when it comes to hardware and compatibility. The same thing and rule applies to the handheld devices, games that work in the DS will work straight away on the DSX and DSi, there would be no need for us to download any additional downloads, or any need to install driver to configure for screen issues. Again the same rule applies for controllers, any Xbox controller will work on any Xbox system, as the keys are the same, the buttons are the same but possibly located somewhere, and there could also be a few extra things, but that would be just adding to what is already there, it would actually effect the game its self, as there is no need to change any of the coding of the game for it to work with a different control.

When it comes to PCs and Apples, there can be an issue. Compliant drivers for any game that you want to play could slow down the installation and quality of the game processes. On all games, the boxes that come in states on them what PC the game will play and work best on, this is due to the fact that different PCs have different hardware’s, this means that there would be different graphics cards, sound cards, screen sizes and resolutions, motherboards, different controllers on the keyboard and beyond the keyboard and different cameras and microphones. Bu when it comes to making these games for PCs, the gaming programmers cannot include a one size fits all for these; this is because every card is different and requires different drivers.

Companies and developers such as Windows, also produce the gaming console Xbox, this is very useful and handy when it comes to producing and building the devices and the technology and software that needs to go into them such as drivers. As they will both probably working off the same operating systems, there is no need to mess with the coding of any of the games that they produce and no need to download any extra plug-ins as they will be made to work exactly the same.

There is a solution for avoiding any disruption when playing games on PCs or gaming systems and that is to put the driver files on a site where you download plugins, add-ons, updates and bug fixes for free. If you do not have the right drivers there can be glitches dropped frame rates, dropped baud rates on the sound card, or lag on the network. Configuring a game on a PC or Apple for the right drivers will overcome most of these issues. .

 

 

[i] http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/what-is-driver#1TC=windows-7

Understand Software Technologies – Dependencies

In this part of my blog I will be discussing and giving examples of how types of software in different gaming and PC platforms are dependent on certain types of hardware. I will be discussing the impact on game creations and game compliance using appropriate use of subject technology.

Dependencies in my opinion mean that a piece of software in a PC of gaming system is dependent on a piece of hardware for it to be able to work to its full potential. An example of this is a game maker wanting to produce a game will have to put this into deep consideration to make sure that the game is able to be played on not only one gaming platform but also different ones, and make sure that is coding is right for each different platform.

Due to the increase in software content that is fixed into pcs and gaming systems now have, hardware dependent software (HdS) is now a crucial thing when it comes to designing a system.

For example, if and when a team of people want to produce a game, there is not 2 or 3 different teams of people working on the same game but for different gaming platforms, this is because yes maybe it will definitely work on the system, but the games could be completely different to each other, doing different things, but have the exact same name.

But, no a team of people will sit down together and discuss the game both consoles; this could be for an Xbox or a PS4. They would discuss, what would happen in the game, what the game will be about, the graphics, the sound and everything that will be put into the game. They will then go and make the and produce the game as a team so that it is all the same, but when it comes to putting it onto a disk, they will have to find a coding that will be able to work on both consoles, a code where the graphics are clear without any lag, and the sound is clear enough to hear.

All normal consoles and handheld consoles have different ways of operating. These difference can either be a very big significant different or just a slight difference in the graphics, but despite what the difference is or how big it is, the coding needs to be compatible to be able to work on whatever system you choose.

If and when a game is written for a PS4 for example, all the sound for that game is linked, flowing action and routines etc., will be all be written in the language and coding that is used on a PS4, if you were creating something that is written for an android phone, it is almost guaranteed that it will work on other android devices, this is because of the cross compatibility with OS’s.

Understand Software Technologies – Application Languages

In this part of my blog I will be discussing and describing, whit examples of how programming language and the choices can have an impact on game and App creation, using appropriate use of subject terminology.

All games are written in code, it is what computers understand. The coding that is used in computers has changed over the years, and some computing programming courses do struggle to keep up to date with what is new and what isn’t, what is trendy, what is good and what is necessary to learn. Now there are loads of different languages but ones such as Pascal, Fortan, Basic and Cobol have all gone now, but the basis of their languages still exists, even the skills that are learnt from them, the techniques and the methodology is the same, even with the new languages.

C++ and C# (also known as C sharp), these are the current main contenders in the higher level of programming languages. With the engines such as CryEngine, Unreal and Rockstar, they all use C++ as their backbone for programming. Programmers around the world, have taken a firm grip to Cm this is because it gives out maximum control and efficiency to the programmer. C is an easy language to learn, it is a bit more puzzling in its style than some of the other languages, but you get beyond that fairly quickly.

C is what they call a complied language, this means that once you have written your programme in C, you must run it through a C compiler to turn your program into an executable that the computer can run. An example of compiled language is:

  • #include<stdio.h>
  • int main()
  • {printf(“This is output from my first programme!\n”);
  • return 0;}

 

C sharp or C# is a language which has been designed to use in programmes and to be fully compatible with Microsoft. Is it designed to be a platform independent language in the same custom as Java. It is a similar language to C and C++, and C# is designed to be an object-oriented language. When talking about similarity to Java, C# does not have or support multiple inheritance; instead is will provide Java a solution; interfaces. By having interfaces, it can avoid having the messy dangers of multiple inheritance, but when doing this it will also maintain the ability to let several classes implement the same set of methods.

 

C# is part of the .NET framework that is also assembled to Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL), this is a similar language to Java’s bytecode. MSIL allows C# to be an independent platform and runs just in time compiling, therefore the programmes that are used under .NET can gain speed with repeated use.

 

Java is a programming language and computing platform that was first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are numerous amounts of apps that will not work unless you have Java installed. Java is a fast, reliable and secure programming language. From laptops to data centre, game consoles to scientific supercomputers mobile phones to the internet, Java is everywhere. Java can allow you to play games online, chat with people around the world and view images in 3D to name just a few of the many things it can allow you to do. It is also essential to the intranet apps and the other e-business solutions.

One characteristic of Java is portability; this means that the computer programmes are in written in the Java language must be able to run similarly on any other hardware that is operating on the same system platform. This achieved because they compile the Java language code into an intermediate representation called Java Bytecode.

Understand Software Technologies – APIs

In this blog I will be discussing and giving examples of what an API is, I will be showing examples of how graphic APIs are used and how they can have an impact on game and app creation using appropriate use of subject terminology.

An API stands for Application Programming Interface, and it is the interface implemented by an application which allows other applications to communicate with each other. It is a set of commands, functions and protocols which programmers can use when building software that is specific for the operating system. [i]

In API the most important word that you should pay attention to is Interface. An Interface is a common boundary between 2 separate systems. It is the means or the medium via which these 2 systems can communicate.

API is needed for communication. Copy and Pasting things to and from Microsoft word and google chrome is a prime example of how the APIs communicate between each other and one another. There can a piece of text in one application, and if you are wanting to type the exact same thing into another app, without API communication there is no way that you could copy and paste it into another application.

API communication is not only used of apps such as Microsoft Word and Google Chrome, but also social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. These are classed as API communication because you are and can be communicating with friends and other people around the world.

 

An API is a software to software interface, not a user interface. With APIs applications are also able to talk to each other without any knowledge or intervention. If you but concert tickets online and you enter your credit card information, the concert ticket website will use an API to send your credit card information to a remote application that will verify whether your information in correct or not. Once the payment for the tickets has been confirmed, the remote application will send a response back to the concert ticket website saying that it is ok to the issue the ticket to the customer.

 

An API resembles Software as a Service (SaaS), this is since software developers do not have to start from scratch every time they write a program. Instead of building once core application that will try to do everything, the same application can contract out certain responsibilities to remote software that does it better.

 

Java/Java SE API’s, A Java API is a collection of prewritten packages, classes and interfaces with their respective methods, fields and constructors for the Java enable environment, Similar to a user interface which can facilitate the interaction between humans and computers, Java APIs serve as a software program interface facilitating interaction.

In Java, most basic programming tasks are performed by the API’s classes and packages, which are helpful in minimising the number of lines written within pieces of code. These come as part of the Java Development Kit (JDK) and comprise of three basic components, as follows:

  • Java compiler
  • Java Virtual Machine (JVM)
  • Java Application Programming Interface (API)

 

 

 

[i] http://www.techterms.com/definition/api

Understanding Hardware Technology for Gaming Platforms

In this blog I will be talking about the different hardware in technology for the different gaming platforms. I will be describing their features and their purpose of the technology and also talking about what platform types it can be used for.

 

 

Graphic Processor

A graphics processing unit (GPU) which is sometimes called a visual processing unit (VPU) is a dedicated graphics translation device for a personal computer, workstation or game console. The modern GPUs are very efficient at controlling and displaying computer graphics. It is a computer chip that performs rapid mathematical calculations, primarily for the purpose of translating images.

They are sometimes known as graphic cards and video cards and they come in a variety of different models with different options available for different reasons, depending on what you need them for. Although there are many different graphic cards to choose from, all graphic cards come in 4 simple and basic types. If anyone is upgrading their computer, buying a new machine of just learning a little about how their machine works should be aware of what different kinds of graphic cards you can get.

Here are the 4 main types of graphics cards:

  1. Integrated: if you have a computer and did not assemble it yourself, or haven’t upgraded it in anyway, the chances are that it is using an integrated graphics card to display images on your screen. When someone describes a graphics card as integrated, they are referring the cards relationship with the computers motherboard. The integrated graphic cards are sometimes known as on-board graphics cards, they are the default option that comes with a standard motherboard. They can be upgraded, but it requires plugging a new graphics card into the computers motherboard and ignoring the old card. The integrated card is the least powerful out of all 4 of them. If you have an integrated card and you want to play the latest videos games off it, you will need to upgrade.
  2. PCI: Theses type of graphic cards is used in the PCI slot on the computers motherboard to connect to your computer. PCI cards do work, but they are quickly dying out, this is because the PCI is not fast enough to keep up with many of the graphics on today’s computers. Many older motherboards do have PCI slot, but lack in newer varieties of connections, for this reason there is still a definite reason to buy these cards, but only if you are trying or thinking of upgrading an older system.
  3. AGP: known as the Accelerated Graphics Port, these graphics cards are named for the same thing as PCI graphics cards, the slot they connect to on a motherboard. AGP cards can have up to 4 speeds, 8x being the fastest. If the motherboard you have in your system only funds a lower speed such as 1x, 2x, and 4x, then the graphics card will behave as if is it of that slower speed, rather than its regular speed. The AGP connections are not as fast as the PCI-express slots, this is due to technological limits, and as a result of this they will not be developed to run at higher speeds. There have actually been 4 generations of AGP cards, the only difference between the generations is the cards throughput, and the throughput refers to the amount of data that the bus can accommodate. The different generations of AGP cards are stated in the terms of a multiplier. The first generation of AGP are known as AGP 1X and it has a throughput rate of 264 Mbps. AGP 2X devices have double the throughput of AGP 1X with a total of 528Mbps of throughput.

 

NURBs (Non-uniform Rational B-spline)

These are mathematical representations of 3D geometry that can describe any shape, from a simple 2D line, circle, arc or curve, to the most complex 3D form surface or solid. Because of how flexible and accurate they are, NURBs can be used in any process, from illustration and animation to manufacturing. NURBS are used in computer graphics and the CAD/CAM industry and have become views as a way to create represent complex objects. NURBS are compact terms that can be evaluated and displayed quickly, the work especially well in 3D; this allows a designer to easily work control vertices, also called ISO curves. NURBS are described by both control points, it takes very little data to define a NURB.

A spline is normally a curved pattern that is used to guide someone shaping something large, such a base of a boat. The B-spline (B stands for basis) is based on 4 local functions or control points that lie outside the curve itself. Non-uniform is the idea that a section of a particular o shape between 2 points can either be shortened or made relatively longer to other sections of the shape. Rational describes the ability to give more weight to some points of the shape than to other points of the shape, only if the positions are in relation to each other.

 

Polygons

These are used in computer and gaming graphics to compose images that will be three-dimensional when they appear on a screen. Usually, but not all the time, they appear in a triangular shape. The polygons arise when the surface of an object is modelled, the vertices are selected and the object is reduced in a wire frame model. This is a much quicker way to display rather than a shaded model, therefore the polygons are a stage in the computer and gaming animation process.

Polygons are named according to the number of sides they have, combining a Greek-originated number and adding ‘gon’ at the end of it, e.g. pentagon, octagon.

 

 

Pixels

When you see an image appear on your screen, that image is made of tiny little dots called pixels. At common resolution settings, a screen can display over a million pixels and the computer has to decide what to do with every single one of them pixels in order to create an image. To do this a translator is needed, something that will take the binary data from the CU and turn it into a picture that you can see.

 

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/graphics-card.htm

http://graphics.wikia.com/wiki/Polygon

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080206091817AAKmXHUhttp://computer.howstuffworks.com/graphics-card1.htmhttp://www.videocardshop.co.uk/docs/card_ident.pdfhttp://www.doityourself.com/stry/4-types-of-graphics-cards

http://www.rhino3d.com/nurbs

http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/nonuniform-rational-B-spline-NURBS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygon_(computer_graphics)

 

 

Memory

Memory is essential to system performance. By adding more memory to your system you will be able to increase the systems performance. The most current type of memory for computer gaming is DDR3 SDRAM (Double Data Rate type Three Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory). Compared to the older DDR2 SDRAM the DDR3 has a higher bandwidth performance, that can transfer data over twice as faster and it also consumes less power.

Computer memory is a physical device that is capable of storing information temporarily or permanently. For example RAM (Random Access Memory) is a type of explosive memory that store information on an integrated circuit, and it can used by the operating system, software, hardware or the user of the computer. If you think about it, there are so many different types of electronic memory that you come across in your daily life

It can be very common for people who are new to using computers to get confused by what parts of the computer are memory. Although both the hard drive and RAM are considered memory, it is more correct to refer RAM as memory of primary memory that hard drive as storage and secondary storage and not memory.

If you were planning on building a new gaming computer, then you probably know that having the correct memory is important. In the simplest of terms, your computer’s memory gives your processor a place to carry out its processes. The more memory you have, the quicker it will function and the faster your processor can access important files, but of course in gaming, there is only so much memory that can be held.

4-8GB is all that is needed in order to max out the potential of adding more RAM, however, if you are planning on doing other process-intensive tasks like video and image editing, and then more RAM would come in handy.

 

Types of RAM

There are different types of RAM. The most common ones are SRAM, DRAM, SDRAM, DDR, and DIMM. Each one of these has their own speed and capacity that will specific for your computer’s needs.

  • SRAM: Static Random Access Memory, this uses multiple transistors, normally about 4 to 6 for each of the memory cells, but does not have a capacitor in each cell. This is normally and primarily used to cache things.
  • DRAM: Dynamic Random Access Memory, this has memory cells that a paired with the transistor and capacitor that requires constant refreshing.
  • SDRAM: Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory takes advantage of the burst mode concept to greatly improve performance. It does this by staying on the row containing the requested bit and moving rapidly through the columns, reading each bit as it goes.
  • DDR SDRAM: Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory, this is just like the SRDAM, apart from the fact that it has higher a bandwidth, therefore meaning a greater speed.
  • DIMM: Dual In-live Memory Module, this comprises a set of dynamic random-access memory integrated circuits These modules are mounted ona printed circuit board and designed for use in personal computers, workstations and servers.

 

The memory demands for the gaming world have dramatically of the over the years, it almost double every time a new version of windows or a new console is released. At the moment, having 2gb of memory would be enough to run windows 8 smoothly, but it would not be enough to be able to play a game well or smoothly. But if you had 3gb it would be ok for playing games, but having 4gb would be even better. When windows 98 was out about 15 years ago, 256mb of memory was enough or a standard game on a PC, but 512mb would be even better for the hard core gamers. But memory is needed whether it is on a computer or a gamin console, there more memory there is the faster and smooth the games can be played.

 

Unified RAM

Unified RAM is a computer memory design that is used in parallel computers, and it allows a GPU to share system memory. In computer designs, shared graphics memory refers to a design where the graphics does not have its own dedicated memory, and it shares with the main system RAM with the CPU and other components of the system. As the RAM is being shared by the graphics processor, this is allowing the on-board RAM to be set aside for graphics when it is needed. This is a new thing that has happened and even though it is not a pure graphics RAM, it will allow memory usage by the core processor; this is so that the graphics card can do good stuff with the problem of doing the same boring routines.

 

 

http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/m/memory.htm

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/computer-memory.htm

http://elitegamingcomputers.com/the-best-memory-for-gaming/

http://www.squidoo.com/best-gaming-ram

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/ram3.htm

http://uk.ask.com/question/different-types-of-ram

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIMM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_graphics_memory

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaming_computer#Memory

 

 

Sound

Sound is used in computer and gaming. In computers it used to alert any problems that may be wrong with the system, but also to play videos and music out loud. In gaming it is used to make games more interesting

 

 

Sound Cards

Sound cards can also be called and stated as a sound board or an audio card. It is an expansion card or an integrated circuit that provides a computer or gaming console with the ability to produce sounds that can be heard by the use of speakers or headphones. The computer sound card is considered minor piece or hardware. Although the computer does not need a sound card to function, almost every computer made today will include a sound card in the expansion slot or on the motherboard.

Sound cards are able to provide improved audio in computer games. These cards provide improved 3D audio and provide an improvement to the audio that is not normally available with integrated alternatives, at the cost of it is slightly lower for the overall performance.

The sound card used to be separate from the motherboard, but now they are part of the board, this is now taking away some of the compatibility issues, but by having the card integrated into part of the motherboard, the quality of the sound will not be as good as it would be if it was on a separate card.

The soundcard has different connections called audio ports or audio jacks, and the different connections are associated but different colours and usually have a connector symbol next to each of the connections:

  • Digital Out, this is either a yellow or white connection with the words ‘digital’ or ‘digital out’ next to it connection, and this is used to connect surround sound or loudspeakers.
  • Sound in or line in, this is normally blue, with and arrow pointing into some waves, this is used for external audio sources, such as a tape recorder, record player or a CD player.
  • Microphone or Mic, this is normally pink with a microphone pictured next to it, this is for the connection of a microphone or headphones.
  • Sound out or line out, this is normally green, with an arrow pointing out of some waves, this is its primary connector for headphones or speakers but it also has a second connection which is black and a third which is orange.
  • MIDI or Joystick, this is a 15 pin yellow connector and was used in earlier sound cards and it is used to connect MIDI keyboards or a joystick for gaming.

 

 

Mono Sound

Mono sound also known as monophonic sound reproduction is a single sound channel. Normally there is only one microphone and one loudspeaker, and the channels are fed form a common single path. In the case of multiple microphones the paths and channels that reach them are mixed into a single at some stage.

Mono sound has been replaced by stereo sound in most entertainment products, but however it still remains the standard for radiotelephone communications, telephone networks and audio induction loops which are used in hearing aids.

Stereo Sound

Stereo sound, also known as stereophonic sound is a method of sound that has two independent audio channels. Theses tow channels are played back all together via separate speakers. This creates a fuller sound and provides the ability to mix certain sounds between the two channels.

3D Audio

3D Audio effects are a group of sound effects that operate the sound that is produced by the stereo speaker, surround-sound speakers or headphones. In sometimes involved the near placement of sound sources anywhere in a three-dimensional space, this can include behind, above or below the listener.

 

http://3daudio.info/gamesound/pcsound.html

http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/s/souncard.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monaural

http://www.mcsquared.com/mono-stereo.htm

 

 

Connectivity

Standalone

A standalone device is something that is able to function, freely of other hardware, this means that it is not integrated into another device.

When computer gaming was first produced, gaming was a standalone thing. You could have up to 4 players and each player would play in the corner of the screen. Today games are still standalone, but that is not why we still buy them, we could all play COD until we have completed it and it is done, that could take up to 6 hours, but then once we have done that we will go online and spend weeks or even months still playing it. The individual play and nature of games has always been around, and two player games have been around since Pong and 4 player games came around later on with the game Sega Rally in the arcades.

Standalone can also refer to a piece of software programming that does not require any software, other than the operating system to run, this means that most software programmes are standalone programmes.

 

Controller Ports

As a girl, playing a game fifa on a Friday night is not my cup of tea, but if I was one of the lads, I would probably think a lot more different, a night in playing against friends! Well by having controller ports it allows us to have more players. The Sega Saturn was one of the first gaming consoles to do this, followed by the PS2 and the Dreamcast. Nowadays having a games console or game that doesn’t have multiplayer is probably unheard of. The ports and connections have changed with each generation of console until the USB became standard, but the 4 way option makes gaming more of a group thing.

It was originally release by IBM in 1981 as separate part of the expansion card for the first IBM PC. This design allowed it to have 4 analogue axes and 4 buttons on one port; this allowed 2 joysticks or 4 paddles to be connected via a special Y splitter cable. The game port was traditionally the connector for joystick input devices until it was replaced by the USB in the 21st century.

Now even on handheld gaming devices it became accepted on the Gameboy Advance that having 2 players connect with a wire was better than one player, and gaming companies took advantage of this. The other player who you would be playing with, would become called A1 on the screen of the opposing player, this would process more power to the CPU. But it also gave the device less storage thinking in terms of movement.

 

Network

Network gaming play came into place when games such as Doom, Quake and ROTT were released, and when midnight gaming clubs became fashionable. But today network gaming is a global trend with the internet, but before all that the rise in the number of multiplayer games and multiplayer contests grew out of proportion the numbers were that high.

A social network game is a type of online game that is played through the use of social networking sites and it allows friends to play head to head against each other or player together online. Social networking games are often executed as browser games, but they can also be put into action on other platforms such as mobile devices. While there many aspects that they share with traditional video games, social networking games often engage and incorporate different aspects to the game to make them more distinct.

 

Internet

Playing games on the internet as a group is the current wave of team playing relationships. With every FPS (first-person shooter) game that is released has internet play as its hope, the more players that play the more game, the loyalty they have. The communication lines that are now available can now allow for the mass play within games and new game to expect at least 30,00 players battling and playing against each other in a single conflict. A fine example of communication lines and how many people use them, the crashing of the game GTA online, this is a key indication of the amount of player who believe that online play is the only type of play.

 

 

 

Wireless and Bluetooth

Wireless and Bluetooth are the more subtle way or compensating for the amount of network and internet play. To be able to link to someone close with wireless or Bluetooth like a Nintendo DSI for more of a private play. A game I know that took advantage of this was the nintendogs game for the Nintendo DS, you were able to go something called ‘dog mode’ and this allowed you to connect with your friends via the wireless connection and play together on your own private game.

Another game that took instant advantage to the private communication was Draw It which is a game that allowed you to draw a something and another person a friend for example would have to guess what it is.

 

http://www.techterms.com/definition/standalone

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_port

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network_game

 

 

Game Storage

Storage limitation’s alongside graphics has been a large interruption when it comes to moving the market forward. The Gameboy dominated the gaming market for at least 10 years, without moving forward, this is because the technology was not there to replace it. The first arcade gaming machines had about 4k of memory, and at the end of its era, that memory had expanded up to 64mb.

Home consoles such as Odyssey, Magnavox and Atari 2600, left the memory capacity up to the cartridge, with 48k on board to store the scores players were gaining. Every generation of gaming console since these home devises has double the memory capacity on release. When the Xbox was being released, it had a hard drive memory of 20gb. This was a revolution in the gaming industry, unless you were a PC owner.

The cartridge and game discs were an issue when it came to memory; the Nintendo 64 had 8mv of storage, and the cartridge had up to 16mb for its later games. To store a whole game in there on the amount of memory available, it meant that system and game would have to compromise. This meant that graphics could not be as realistic as they could be, game could not have hundreds of different level with different graphics, so they would have to repeat the previous graphics form previous levels. Some games even limited to bitmap or vector images, but they were rarely in the same game. For example Mario Kart, the trees incorporated in the game were not solid, but they were X shaped, not 3D modelled.

Storage is important when it comes to the development of games. When the PlayStation and Saturn we released, the gaming world had moved over to CD, 660mb of data. This meant they could have more cut scenes, more levels vector and bitmap images and also they could include and incorporate more realistic voices and sounds. When games like FF7 were released and came into stores, it had up 20 hours of film sequences added to it, realistic faces. Gaming consoles would finally have what PCs had, and that was the real difference. The DVDs and BluRay were released, this gave more capacity for more, bigger and better sequences with more film and more realism with hardly any restrictions.

 

 

 

Power Supply

Power supply unit (PSU) is a piece of hardware the supplies power to an electrical device. It does this by receiving an electrical outlet and converts the current from an alternating current (AC) to a direct current (DC), this is what the computer requires.

The power supply is in essential part of any computing system and must be able to function correctly for the rest of the components of the device to work.

The power supply unit can be located on the system unit; this is simply by locating and finding the input of where the power cord is plugged in. Without having to open up your computer, it is typically the only part of the power supply that you will be able to see.

 

Internal Power Supply

The internal power supply (IPS) is the actual element that is used to supply the parts of the computer with power. It does this by converting possibly lethal 11-115 or 220-230 volt (the AC) into a steady and low-voltage direct current (DC). The power supply is rated by the number of watts that is generated, for example, the Antec True 330 has a watt of 330 power supply.

 

External Power Supply

External Power Supply (EPS) convert a household electric current into a direct current (DC) or a lower voltage. As most actually probably al computers and gaming systems have an internal power supply, many electronic devices also have external power supplies as well. For example, some monitors and external hard drives have a power supply that is often outside the main unit.

 

Uninterruptible Power Supply

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), is a power protection device that will regulate the incoming power to acceptable limits and will also supply a limited amount of power when there is no more mains power. It has number of different functions that are designed to protect almost every electronic device.

 

Power supply is often over looked, but the Power Supply Unit (PSU) is still an important component to consider. The wattage that is needed to run a system is very much dependent on the type of hardware it has, so often the PSU will have to calculate and determine what wattage is needed. In addition to all this, the future upgrades in the gaming industry will possibly require more power, as the PSU lose power as they age and get older, so sometimes it is often a good idea to but a new PSU that has the capability of lasting a good several years and through all the upgrades, but not only must the PSU last, but it will also need to be well-suited an be able to work with the other pieces of hardware.

 

There are two different types of PSU, these are:

  • Modular PSU (MPSU)
  • Non-Modular PSUs

The non-modular PSUs come with fixed cables, this means that unused ones will be left unconnected. Both is the PSUs fulfil the same purpose, but very often the modular PSUs (MPSU) are preferred as they allow for better cable management, as they remove the issue of the unused cable clutter that the non-modular PSUs have.

 

 

http://www.techterms.com/definition/powersupply

http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/p/ps.htm

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/product.aspx/productid/23

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaming_computer#Power_supply_units

 

 

 

Mobile Platforms

A mobile game is a video that is played on a feature phone, smartphone, PDA or tablet computer. This can also include games that are played on handheld video game systems such as the Nintendo DS or the PlayStation Portable (PSP).

The first game on a mobile phones was Tetris on the Hagenuk MT-2000 device and this was from 1994, but 3 years later the infamous game Snake was released on the Nokia phone models in 1997. Snake and the other games like it were already preinstalled on the mobile devices, that were manufactured by Nokia. Snake became the most played game worldwide, and was found on more than 350 million devices across the whole world.

Now games are usually downloaded via the mobile operator, but still in some cases the games are embedded in the handheld device.

The first downloadable content was introduced in 2000, but mobile games that were distributed by the mobiles operator still remained, this was until the Apple App Store was launched in 2008. The App Store was the store that was directly operated by the mobile platform holder.

 

iPhone

The iPhone is a line of smartphones that is designed and marketed by Apple Inc. each device that is owned by Apple runs on Apple’s iOS mobile operating system.

The first generation of iPhone was released in 2007, and the most recent iPhone was the seventh generation of the phone and they were released and introduced in 2013.

The iPhone is built around the device’s multi-touch screen, also including a virtual keyboard. It has a Wi-Fi connection that can connect many different networks. Functions of the iPhone are things such as referencing work, social network and video game, this able to happen by downloading things and apps form the App Store, which offers over a million apps provided by apple and third parties.

 

 

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/iphone.htm

 

 

Understanding game platform types

In this blog will be talking to you about the development of gaming over the last 40/50 years. I will be talking about how they have changed from then to now. I will also be talking about how the gaming industry has changed from being a big bulk of a system, to being to play them on the move on phones and tablets.

  • First of all I will be talking to you about the evolution and development of home video game consoles.

Video gaming has come a very long way since Pac-man and pong days. We can now play affordable games, with high quality, 3D graphics and interactivity from the comfort of our sofas at home. The aggressive competition between different companies of video game consoles has shaken out the greater features of video gaming to bring us the excellent quality of gaming which we see today.

  • 1967 – The Brown Box: in this year the first game console was brought to the world and was called the “Brown Box”. A German television engineer (Ralph H. Baer) and his co-workers designed first video game that was able to work on a standard television. It was known as the “The Father of Video Games”. There were only 6 simple games made for the console, which were ping-pong, tennis. Handball, volleyball, chase games and a light-gun game. The name of it came from the brown- wood-grain, self-adhesive vinyl that was used to make the console look more attractive to potential buyers. The ‘Brown Box’, although it was only a prototype, it had the basic feature that most consoles still have today, such as, 2 controls and a multigame programme system.[i]
  • 1972 – Magnavox Odyssey: After Baer and his team presented their “Brown Box”, to the company Magnavox, the company then began production on the Magnavox Odyssey, which was to be the first commercial video-game console. Like how the earliest films were, the console did not feature any recorded sound, the video game console was silent as well, with just graphics. The consoles used 6 cartridges to play up to 12 games, which featured dots and lines on the screen. The Odyssey’s newness was part of its downfall, as many TV dealerships failed to see the consoles potential, and the false rumour that went round, that the system only worked on Magnavox TVs damaged it popularity.
  • 1975 – Pong: After Nolan Bushnell founded Atari in 1972, and created the popular arcade game PONG, which was incredibly popular in 1973, Atari decided to market the game as a home console 2 years later. PONGs unique features was that it used a single chip which produced both an on-screen score and a sound that the game makes when the paddle meets the ball on the screen. The home video-game console gave Atari a high household name status, and introduced home video gaming to the world.
  • 1975 – Magnavox Odyssey 100 & 200: in the same year as the release of PONG, Magnavox decided to improve its previous console and release 2 more versions. They were 2 improved, but different improved versions of the original consoles.
  • 1976/77 – Magnavox Odyssey 300 & 400: another series of Magnavox Odyssey consoles were then produced, each new one was only slightly better than the previous one. The consoles had the same games with it, but some modified graphics, controllers and digital on-screen scoring.
  • 1977: in this year Atari came up with new consoles, such as the Atari 2600, video pinball and stunt cycle, this was to compete with Magnavox. Also in this year new companies jumped on bored and began to bring out even more home gaming consoles, such as companies Fairchild, RCA and Coleco.

Fairchild and RCA did not manage to meet success with their first consoles, while on the other hand Coleco’s first gaming system Telstar was well received, as it had the capability to play games in colour and having different difficulty levels with the game.

  • 1978/79 – Nintendo: the company that has become one of the most major video gaming industries, released their first series of video gaming from 1977 to 1979. The colour game series were only on sale in Japan, but these followed in the footsteps of Atari and featured Pong-style games.
  • 1980 – Intellivision: when Mattel released their console at the start of the early 80s, it was a console war between Atari and Mattel as it intimidated the Atari 2600 with its exceptional capabilities. The Intellivision features were slightly better than those on the Atari 2600, as it had slightly better graphics and it also had the first synthesized voices within the video games.
  • 1980s: The 1980s was the period of genre innovation, when the gaming industry began experimenting with non-pong games like fighting, platform, adventure and RPG games. In this era we also saw the releases of the all-time classic games such Pac-man (1980), Mario Bros (1983), The Legend of Zelda (1986), Final Fantasy (1987), Golden Axe (1988). There was also a major shift from dedicated consoles to cartridge-based video games.
  • 1985 – Nintendo Entertainment System: Nintendo release the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in the USA. Known as the Famicom in Japan, the retailers in Japan were sceptical at first about the marketing of this new console after the video-game crash, but with popular in-hose titles like Super Mario Bros, Metroki and The Legend of Zelda and a strict licensing policy that encouraged high-quality third-party game development contract. The NES managed to break sales records and became the best-selling console in video gaming history.
  • 1989 – Game Boy: Nintendo manages to get its second smash hit with the introduction of the Game Boy in 1989. It was the first major handheld game console. The game boy featured an 8-bit CPU like its previous system, the NES and a black and what LCS screen. With thanks to the release of the game Tetris for Game Boy, the soles of the console and the game went through the roof. The Game boy went under several makeovers and upgrades over the years, this included the Game Boy Pocket in 1996 and the Game Boy Colour in 1998.
  • 1990 – Neo-Geo: The debut of SNKs 24-bit Neo-Geo in 1990, marked a home game console system that was years ahead of is other competitors in the gaming world. With its huge detailed 2-D graphics, the Neo- Geos appeal was at professional arcade level quality for home use. But, the price of this gaming console was out of the question, with paying $650 that today would be about £392 and then an extra $200 (£120) per game, these prices kept the console for achieving massive popularity.
  • 1991 – Super NES: After getting beat by the 16-bit punch by Sega Genesis, Nintendo released its own 16-bit punch by releasing the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in 1991. After a slow start after the release of the SNES it eventually caught up with the Genesis, thanks to its slight technological superiority (exploited in a major way by Donkey King Country) and the strength of their existing games and brands such as Super Mario Bros, Metroid and Zelda, all of these were upgraded to the SNES versions. By the end of the 16-bit era in the mid-1990s, the SNES outshined the Genesis and became the top-selling 16-bit gaming console system in the USA.
  • 1995 – PlayStation: The launch of Sony’s PlayStation marked the arrival what was to be the most successful and popular game console of its time. The PlayStation was a 32-bit game console, and the PlayStation was the first 2D game that dominated the 16-bit and the earlier systems. With CD-ROM technology coming, the PlayStation games did drop dramatically from those of cartridge-based games.
  • 1996 – Nintendo 64: In 1996 the next generation of Nintendo was released, which was the last mass-market system to use cartridges. Though the cartridges were more expensive to produce, the Nintendo 64 cartridges did load a lot more faster than the CD-ROM games and therefore lace the PlayStation’s load screen screens, and the cartridges eliminated the need for memory cards, as the games data could be stored within the cartridge. However the Nintendo 64 did lack in a broad range of games released for the PlayStation, but did manage to score high with the games like Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda.
  • 2000 – PlayStation 2: in 2000 Sony released the PlayStation 2, this was to be the first 128-bit system. It featured backwards-compatibility, this meant it has the ability to play the older 32-bit PlayStation games on the PS2, and it also had the function of a DVD player. On the strength of titles like the GTA series and PlayStation holdovers like Final Fantasy, the PlayStation 2 became one of the most popular console of 128-bit era. The PS2 also marks the rise in popularity of console games played over high-speed Internet connections.
  • 2001 – Xbox: In 2001 Microsoft made its first independent venture into the console market with the release of the Xbox. The company’s use of PC technology in building its Xbox console allows for greater performance when compared to other 128-bit consoles, like the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube, but the sales of the Xbox still remained far behind that of the PlayStation 2.
  • 2002 – Game Boy Advance: The next step in the Game Boy’s evolution was the release of the Game Boy advance. This was a backwards-compatible system, this is because the portable system could play games from both the Game Boy and the Game Boy Colour portable consoles. The LCD screen can display more than 32,00 colours and then the updated Game Boy Advance SP featured rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and a folding case.
  • 2004 – Nintendo DS: in 2004 Nintendo released the Nintendo DS, this console was an attempt to integrate more computing functions into its handheld gaming consoles. The DS featured dual screen, and a touch screen which was similar to a tablet PC. And again like the Game Boy Advance, the Nintendo DS featured backwards-compatibility for the older Game Boy games.
  • 2005 – PlayStation Portable (PSP): In a direct challenge to Game Boy’s dominance of the handheld console market, Sony were set to release the PlayStation Portable in early 2005. Like the Nintendo DS though, the PSP featured wireless capability, high quality graphics and non-gaming functions like photo storage and digital audio/video capabilities. [ii]
  • 2005 – 2011: The current generation f video game consoles only has room for the 34 major competitors: the Xbox 360, The PlayStation and the Nintendo Wii. With full 1080p HD graphics for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and the Wii’s innovation remote for sensing 3D movements, it seems that video gaming has come a long way since when the first console was released. [iii]

 

 

[i] http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1301997

 

[ii] http://content.time.com/time/interactive/0,31813,2029221,00.html

[iii] http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/evolution-of-home-video-game-consoles-1967-2011/