That’s the term for the delay, in milliseconds, between a TV receiving a signal and the results of that signal appearing on the screen. Those milliseconds are irrelevant for TV shows and movies, and they don’t even matter for most games — the majority of gamers probably wouldn’t even notice if their TV was laggy. But if you’re an attentive, skilled gamer, especially one who plays “twitch” games like Call of Duty, Halo, or fighting games, especially in online multiplayer environments, input lag can mean the difference between virtual life and death.
Computer game development is a collaborative process involving multi-disciplinary teams. Game designers should have a full understanding of the capabilities and benefits of the different hardware platforms (such as PCs, consoles and mobile devices) as well as familiarity with software technologies and techniques appropriate to each platform. Sound knowledge of contemporary game hardware platforms, as well as the latest software technology, is highly desirable when seeking a career in this industry.
Game designers must be able to communicate their vision to artists, programmers, producers, marketing staff, and others involved in the development process, be able to offer constructive criticism on the work of others and accept feedback on their own work. Each person entering this industry needs to have a basic awareness of the systems used to support gameplay, and have some grasp of how today’s sophisticated interactive games have been enabled by hardware and software developments. In this way a common agreed language can be established for the interchange of the technical and marketing considerations of every game design.
For any job in the industry, good technical knowledge is required, with awareness of the various game platforms and technologies. In order to communicate effectively with others, it is necessary to understand the technical language used to describe elements of game systems, and be able to recognise the limitations inherent in the destination platform selected for any game. To avoid making impossible demands of the specified platform, those working in the industry must be aware of the function and purpose of each component of the modern interactive game system.
Game systems are dedicated computers, requiring software instructions to organise their processing. Different platforms have particular programming requirements. In this unit learners will have opportunities to examine the features and limitations of the basic software employed in typical game platforms.
The games industry is constantly evolving, both creatively and technologically, and it is important that learnerskeep up to date with the latest developments. This unit encourages not only the study of hardware and software technologies, but also the combination of these components into playable systems for use by single players and interactively among teams.