All posts by Maneel

Graphical and Sound API’s- (Open GL, Direct X)

Graphical and Sound API’s-( Open GL, Direct X)

Open GL

Open GL

 

OpenGL or Open Graphics Library is the most widely adopted 2D and 3D graphics API in the industry, bringing thousands of applications to a wide variety of computer platforms. It is window-system and operating-system independent as well as network-transparent. OpenGL enables developers of software for PC, workstation, and super computing hardware to create high-performance, visually compelling graphics software applications, in markets such as CAD, content creation, energy, entertainment, game development, manufacturing, medical, and virtual reality. OpenGL exposes all the features of the latest graphics hardware.

Direct X

Direct X

Direct X is an application program interface (API) for creating and managing graphic images and multimedia effects in applications such as games or active Web pages that will run in Microsoft’s Windows operating systems.

 

 

 

Graphical and Sound API’s- (Open AL, Java, Sound API)

Sound API- OpenAL, Java, Sound API

OpenAL

OpenAL

Also known as Open Audio Library, this interface software has multiple functions that programmers may use to help to produce high-quality audio output.  Designed to cater for a multi-channel output for 3D sound sources, this platform can because across any platform/ The coding style is similar to that of OpenGL as it uses syntax to function. The basis behind OpenAL is to make it possible to generate audio in 3D space. By doing this it enhances player experience, as mimicking 3D space using audio includes the addition of the Doppler effect by utilizing sound frequencies. This adds a much more immersive experience to video games.

When developer release games that are compatible with the 3D sound developer will have use an API like OpenAL so when the game is being played it produces 3D sound, which is sound output that has multi-channels allowing it to be very high-quality audio. It also gives the developers the control over the pitch, tone, and loudness of audio which gives players a better overall experience with the distance of sound effects to be easily distinguished. OpenAL is also cross-platform so it can be used on several game platforms. The other main sound API used for writing functions for sound output is Java sound API. Java sound API works in a very similar way but is used for Java games on devices like mobile and website games; Java sounds API other functions to developers such as capturing, processing, and playing back audio. It also gives developers access to 8-bit and 16-bit audio data, in mono and stereo, with sample rates from 8 kHz to 48 kHz.

Java

Java

This API is designed to help users write programs, and is a low level API which controls the inputs and outputs of sound, it has an excellent degree of control over audio capability. It is a pretty straight forward API when compared to the others, as it follows the already mentioned conventions.  Java Sound API this is another sound API. The purpose like the purpose of the other API is to help you write programs. Its essential in any game to have a sound API without them the game would be dull and you wouldn’t be able to capture the mood of feel of cut scenes or events you may walk into.  Java sound is low level this affects the controls the input and the output of sounds. It has a really good degree of control over audio capability.

Sound API

Sound API

Pretty much the same as a graphic API, however instead of focusing on visuals, it focuses on audios instead. There are tow main sound API which i will be talking about, and this is OpenAL, and Java Sound API.

Connectivity

connectivity

Stand alone connectivity

Virgin media
Virgin media

The definition of standalone is when a device is able to function interdependently of another hardware. What this means is that it is not integrated with another device. An example of this can be seen if you look at TiVo box. This is a popular TV box by virgin media which offers an array of features, including recording shows when they on TV. The TiVo box is independent, as it can record TV. Whereas a DVR is not standalone as it must be integrated into a digital cable box to record. In terms of software, stand alone refers to programs which don’t need any other software to run aside from  the operating system. So most software programs are in fact standalone, but software like expansion packs for video games are not standalone, as they need the original game to be installed. This standalone connectivity is important for video games which don’t use the internet or any other connection, like many of the older consoles, as there is nothing to patch them or fix them without an internet connection. However with the power of the internet growing, consoles are become less and less Stand alone, with games like Titan fall which can only be played online.

Controller Ports

controller ports
controller ports

Many years ago, controllers required a controller port. Being the yellow DB-15 socket. Now however, most game controllers use USB connections. USB is used almost everywhere now all the way from your console plug ins to even now which is in wall sockets which is great so you wont even need the plug when charging your phone you can just use the wire which is good.

Local Area Network (LAN)

Local Area Network
Local Area Network

Most commonly referred to as LAN, this is a computer network which spans a small area, unlike the internet which covers the whole world pretty much. The general conventions of a LAN is that it will be confined to a single building or group of buildings. Using telephones lines or radio waves can connect one LAN to another LAN over any distance though, however i will come on to that in a moment under WAN. The use of a LAN line is restricted to small tasks such as sending emails to each other, assuming all computers it is sent to is connected to that specific LAN, as well as connecting to chat sessions. However the main use of a LAN is that each individual computer is able to access data and devices that the most up to date computer can, so a computer that cannot connect to a device like a laser printer can connect to a computer which can. The use of Ethernet’s are the most common way to connect PC’s, however there are many other types, such as topology, which is where devices can be arranged in a ring or straight line. While LANS are relatively restricted, they can be used during events such as video game  tournaments, by connecting each computer at the event to a single LAN, and hosting a game on said LAN. This means all participants will be connected to that specific game, making it easier to organize, and less dependent on internet connections.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

wide area network
Wide Area Network

A WAN is two or more LAN that are connected to each other over a long distance. These LAN are connected via public networks like telephone systems. The largest WAN in existence is actually the internet, as it connects every computer to each other. Well the majority of computers at least. Here is a simple diagram which shows both what a LAN is and a WAN.

Internet

Internet
Internet

The internet is a global network which connects millions of computers. Over 190 countries are linked into exchanges of data. The internet is decentralized, which means that each host, or internet enabled computer, is independent. Operators may choose which internet services to use along with which local services to make available to the global internet community. No one owns the internet, as it is considered more of a concept rather than an actual entity, and it relies on physical infrastructure that connects networks to other networks. Unlike the common misconception, the World Wide Web  is not the same as the internet. The internet is a massive network of networks, whereas the web is a way of accessing information over the medium of the internet. Every computer connected to the internet has a unique numerical address, like the equivalent of a finger print to identify a human. This is called an Internet Protocol or IP for short. The IP address of a computer is made up of your bytes of information totaling 32 bits. Because the internet is connected to so many things, we have become dependent on it, using it on our computers, phones, and gaming consoles. the connections around the world help unite people, especially players, as multiplayer online matches are possible because of it. This has helped form a whole genre of player vs player action,sparking interest in many people. However there are issues which ca occur, directly based to the internet connection strength of a user. For example the further away a user is from whoever they are connecting with, the further distance the connection must ping. Because the internet is essentially massive LAN, it means the connection must travel through the networks in the quickest path possible, which in this case would be via satellite. So the longer the distance, the weaker the connection. This can result in issues such as lag,or a complete lack of connection all together.

Broadband

Broadband is the high speed data transmission carried out by a single cable which s able to carry large amounts of data at a time. The most common types of internet broadband are devices which use the same connection as cable TV named cable modems. As well as DSL modems which rely on phone lines.  Fiber optic broadband is also becoming more and more popular, this technology converts electrical signals carrying data into light, allowing it to be sent much faster through transparent glass fibers, which are about the diameter of a human hair.  The transmitted data is way faster than DSL technology. The downside to fiber optic however is that it is very expensive, and because it is a new and upcoming type of broadband, it is not currently as available as others. Other forms of broadband include wireless, which connects to the internet via radio link between customers and their service provider’s facility.

Wireless General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)

AKA GPRS, this is a packet based wireless communication service that promises data rates from 56 up to 114 Kbps as well as a continuous connection to the internet for mobile phone and computer users. Being on the GPRS means that you can use video calling technology such as Skype, and because of the speed, there is less chance of there being lag. However the most beneficial aspect to this is the strength in mobile support, making it easier to make applications available to users due to the faster data rate. GPRS has become more and more popular since the popularity of smart phones has grown because of the 3G network it provides for its phone users. This is internet connection available wherever the user is, as the connection is intercepted via the radio service. Even handheld gaming devices are making the most of services such as this, like the PS Vita which includes 3G connectivity. This is helping boost online features within a handheld, something which has not really been a focus on that platform since it is designed to be played on the go.

Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)

Once again accompanied by a acronym, WAP. this is a  secure specification, which means that it allows users to access information instantly using handheld wireless devices like a mobile phone, two way radios, and handheld gaming consoles. WAP is supported by al operating systems, making it very flexible, and the internet which runs on WAPs that use displays are called micro-browsers. This is simply browsers which have a small file size to take into consideration the low memory constraints of handheld devices. Although it is a relatively new network, WAP supports most wireless networks. Once again, with this sort of technology becoming more and more popular, it is helping the gaming platform immensely. In fact the popularity of mobile games is a direct result of the internet capabilities now available. And multiplayer mobile games like “Clash of Clans” which require an internet connection to play are becoming immensely popular because of the ease of access to the internet on the go.

WIFI

WIFI
WIFI

Most devices these days can access WiFi, and everyone sort of just accepts it as something that gives us internet if we connect to it. But what exactly is WiFi? Well it is a wireless network technology that allows computers and phones etc. to communicate with each other. It is the standard way of computers to connect to wireless networks, such as the ones covered above, and nearly all modern computers have a built in WiFi chip allowing them to connect to routers. Video game consoles also have a heavy dependence on WiFi connection within most of the modern games. So much so that before the release of the Xbox One, it was proposed that was going to be needed to be connected to the internet for it to work at all. This was changed before the release when people began complaining, but it just goes to show the dependence the gaming genre has on it. Although it is very popular, WiFi isn’t always the best way to connect to the internet, as it can be unstable and unpredictable because of its nature. This is why physical connection to a router via Ethernet cables are always more reliable, although less practical.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth
Bluetooth

The whole point of Bluetooth is to reduce the amount of wires required for technology, allowing for a less cluttered space and for more freedom of movement. This is why one of the most recognizable pieces of Bluetooth technology is the wireless earpiece, which allows people to talk to people on the phone but hands free. This is done by using a special radio frequency to transmit data, the downside to this however is the lack of range, meaning there will always need to be a main transmitter near by. In the case of hands free ear pieces, this would mean that the actual mobile phone would need to be near by to connect to the ear piece. Another common use for Bluetooth is the transferal of data such as songs or photos between devices without having to use wires, as most mobile devices have Bluetooth capabilities. The PlayStation 3 is most notable within the gaming genre to use Bluetooth, as their wireless controllers work on the frequency, as well as their headsets. This proves the use of Bluetooth can also help in not just conventional calls but also online chatting as well.

Mobile Telecommunications Device Games Group Composition

Old vs New Phone
Old vs New Phone

Handheld Mobile Devices

Mobile gaming has come a long way. Over the past few years we’ve gone from simple distractions like SnakeWords With Friends and Doodle Jump to full-on narrative experiences crafted specifically for Android and iOS devices. What’s more, at least a few traditional console game developers have shifted entirely to mobile at this point, and, in a bit of a reversal, they’ve ported their games to consoles. By 2012, game-design tool sets like Unity and Unreal made a charming indie designed for mobile devices indistinguishable from one you’d play on a PlayStation or Xbox. As such, for the purposes of this list, we’re focusing on games that have been released within the past five years. There is a growing market in mobile gaming and continues to grow in conjunction through the development of console games.

Mobile Phone Timeline
Mobile Phone Timeline

As seen in the time line above the use of mobile phones have come along way. Back in 1983, there were mobile phones but they are too heavy and bulky to carry around let alone game on them. They did not have the technology and the user interface to have some serious and small games on it. Moving onto late 90’s and early 2000’s the break through in small mobile gaming came along such as the very popular “snake” game which is still popular in some nostalgic people. As time moves on, the technology advancements is mind blowing such as better graphics, bigger screens and faster processors have allowed for better development of games. Companies such as Apple and Android have developed app stores to allow for developers of games to create their own mobile game which is good and publish them on the app stores for people to play.

Snake

Snake VS Angry Birds
Snake VS Angry Birds

The two images above show how far games have come. Both games are played on mobile devices but look very different graphically. As seen in the image with the Nokia “Snake” was a stand out integrated game which many people played in their spare time. To this day people do play this game for a trip down memory lane. It it a pixel based game where you have to control a snake and get it as big as possible within a confined space. With Angry Birds, it is more complicated as you have to fire the birds via slingshot and aim for the pigs in order to progress onto the next level. Even with this brief description, the Angry Birds game sounds more complex as there is levels and you have more than one objective which is good.

GSM

GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) is a digital mobile telephony system that is widely used in Europe and other parts of the world. GSM uses a variation of time division multiple access (TDMA) and is the most widely used of the three digital wireless telephony technologies (TDMA, GSM, and CDMA). GSM digitizes and compresses data, then sends it down a channel with two other streams of user data, each in its own time slot. It operates at either the 900 MHz or 1800 MHz frequency band. This allow for online gaming perhaps and being able to connect to the internet to play against other players or games that are based off of servers such as world wide popular Clash Of Clans which in which internet connection is need in order to play the game.

3gpp

3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is a collaborative project aimed at developing globally acceptable specifications for third generation (3G) mobile systems.The 3GPP caters to a large majority of the telecommunications networks in the world. It is the standard body behind UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System), which is the 3G upgrade of GSM. Most cellular networks on the planet are based on GSM. This is an evolution of GSM, this is more reliable and faster when having access to the internet and is used on mobile phones during this modern day. 4G has now been released and is said to be faster than a standard 3G connection so it can be better for gaming which is good on mobile devices.

Mobile Gaming Limitations

  • Some games cost money to download of the app stores.
  • Have to download the game to be able to play it.
  • Lag and advertisements within the game with may cause irritation to the use.
  • Not all phones support flash e.g. some windows phones.