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Steven Purdie - 0600582

CS1004A – Honours Project Planning and Reporting


Formal Proposal

Introduction: What is the aim of the project (general overview)?

The aim of the project is to determine the best collision detection techniques that are
available to the games industry and to discover why these are the best and how they compare to the
others. I will be researching through as many collision detection techniques as I can find so that I
can get a good view as to how many there are to choose from as so to get a clear idea of why certain
techniques are preferred and how they all compare against each other. I will make use of these
techniques in a variety of common situations that could be found within a games environment
between players or players and the environment. With the results obtained from performing this
work will allow me to make a judgement on how techniques may be best put to work in a real-time
computer games, be it one particular techniques or a combination of a few or several to provide the
best results for the situation that any particular technique may called upon to be used in. The final
aim of this project is to provide thorough overview of collision detection techniques that are
available for use within a real-time 3D computer game application, which are the are considered to
be the best and how they can be properly implemented.

Motivation: Why do you want to do this and why would anybody be interested in what you
want to do?

I want to carry out this project so that I can learn more about collision detection techniques,
which techniques are considered to be the best in certain aspects and how to correctly implement
them within a game environment, as collision is one of the most important aspects of any real-time
3D game being playable. By being able to correctly use collision detection techniques within a
game program will not only allow for improvements to the performance of the program because
there will be less overhead related to improper use of techniques, but also will lead to a better
looking final game because the collisions within the game will not only be accurate but will look as
the player thinks they should look. It will also be interesting for others, hopefully, to see what
results are obtained relating to how well the different techniques perform what they are supposed to
do and how well they compare against each other, allowing for others to hopefully utilise my
findings to improve any work that they are working on that makes use of collision detection. My
main motivation for pursuing this project will be being able to experiment with collision detection
techniques and making some applications to make use of these techniques.

Issues: What issues do you want to address.

Issues that I will want to address while undertaking the project are that of determining the
which techniques will be suitable for use within my project as there are many techniques that can be
used, however consideration must be given to the fact that my project focus is that of use within
real-time computer games. As such I will have to consider that of some of the techniques although
being very accurate and also might look good but with the focus of this project being on real-time
rendering the collision detection techniques must also be able to run in real-time. This will also
mean that considerable focus will of the project will have to be on increasing performance and
resource management of any techniques as so to be useful for use in any real-time game application.
Another issue that I may face is that of how to collect information and translate it into results that
can be viewed by others and understood as so that it can be used to aid any relevant project they
may be under taking. As although my project will involve the testing of various techniques for
Steven Purdie - 0600582

collision detection between objects in 3D which should provide a graphical view of what is
happening with the collision of these object there will also be the need for data that can be
interpreted by anyone reading the paper. Another issue that will require some attention is that of
adequate description as to why each technique is chosen and for what reason they deemed more
suitable for the job than another in such a manor to be understood.

Research question: The research question to be answered

Why are certain collision techniques in computer games used over others?

Addressing the question: What will be done to answer the question?

To answer the question I will firstly research all the collision techniques that are currently
used in the games industry, as well as techniques that were formally used in game applications and
also any that are not widely used. Researching through these techniques should give me the
knowledge as to why these techniques were first used and also as to why any have been superseded
by new and improved techniques or have stood up through the ever changing industry. I will then
test these techniques in common game scenarios and compare each similar technique against the
other. When I compare these techniques against each other I will look to how accurately they
portray the collisions that they are detecting, how nice or natural they look when applied in-game
and also how well each of them operate in terms of memory usage. As a technique that performs
well in the previous two instances but then cannot be implemented in real time within a game is not
really a viable option. So for the project I will create a number of interactive and non-interactive
applications that can be used to portray and test the various techniques and situations that will be
required to provide a thorough overview of these techniques as so to collect the data tat will be
required to analyse the effectiveness of each technique.

Resource requirements: What equipment/resources will be needed/used?

For the project I will need the use of a PC with adequate processing power so as to allow for
the creation of any program that will be required to run the collision detection techniques easily,
even if they are techniques that are heavy in resource usage in the beginning before the stages of
performance enhancement has begun to improve each technique. There will also be the need of an
adequate graphics card to allow for any program to have some degree of 3D graphics so that
programs created will look more acceptable for the project, also being able to display the techniques
within an immersive environment. I will also need access to Visual Studio 2005/8 to make any
programs/game applications that will be required along with any libraries that may also be required
such as OpenGL or DirecX depending on which is chosen to create any environment. I will also
require further access to reference material or examples or previous research into the area; be it
through the library, ebrary, websites or any other sources that are relevant to my research. I can find
most of my required equipment within the game labs at Abertay and as such will require ample lab
time to utilise the equipment throughout the entirety of the project.

Progress: What have you managed to do so far and how has this influenced your vision.

Currently I have read my way through works that have either a complete focus on my
subject of collision detection or have chapters devoted to a certain aspect of my projects subject.
These works have allowed me the insight into the area of collision detection techniques that have
and are being used within real-time computer games or graphics applications, as such I have begun
Steven Purdie - 0600582

to pick out techniques that will be best suited for the applications that I wish to make to test out
simple situations found within game applications already produced. Through the planning stages of
the project I ave found adequate amounts of material relating to my projects focus from just a small
selection of material. From these I ave created a solid baseline of knowledge to propel me into the
execution stage of the project and to begin the implementation of chosen techniques and also the
creation of the applications to be used for the testing of these techniques.

References and Bibliography

Akenine-Moller, T (2008). Real-time Rendering. Wellesly: A K Peters. p793-826.

Hubert Nguyen (2007). GPU Gems 3. United States of America: Addison Wesley. Chapters 32-33.

Christer Ericson (2005). Real-Time Collision Detection. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufman.