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Fall01 Final Exam Review: Design Networked Games

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a) Yes. VM are excellent for producing highly portable code and since one of the primary goals is cross platform compatability then VM is the correct choice.
Jared Parsons

a) VM are very portable and work on many platforms. They are also more secure, which is an important factor since this game's target audience will be children.

b) Flash would be a beter choice because it is faster and cartoon graphics display very well in Flash.

c) It depends on the scope of the game. If it is to be adequetely funded and distributed on CDs then MP3s are higher quality, but cost more to develop and take more space (but if using already existing Rugrats music is an option then MP3s would be easy). Midi format would be faster, cheaper, and probably adequate for children's ears.
For voices, it also depends on the budget. Voice actors would be preferable, but expensive. Simulated voices would have MUCH lower quality, but once again, for children it would probably suffice.

Matt Quigley
Let's chat about MIDI vs. MP3. MIDI can be very high quality – depends on the sound bank at the user's site. But what CAN'T you do in MIDI? Mark Guzdial

Voices are very tuff in MIDI, because you would need a bank of all the words that you were going to use (or individual pnemonics wc?, which would be a nightmere). Also, you couldn't create your own tracks and upload them if they contained items that aren't currently in the soundbank (or you would need to upload them). However, for a cartoon style background music, MIDI would be ideal. Joaquin Madruga

b) Why are we sending the actual image? If were are only going to be projecting atmost say 10 characters shouldn't they be cached locally, or am I missing something. This just seems like an overhead that can be avoided. Also since nobody seems to be talking about the difference of MIDI and MP3 is there a good place on the web that explains the details
Robert Schierholz

Yes, we should serialize the objects [just their positions and attrib's] and send them through the network. EW Looney

MIDI files are very small files particularly useful in a website environment due to the size . The data is recorded in the form of series of numbers. However, theyquality of sound totally depends on the output device eg. the instrument or the quality of the sound card that the MIDI file is played on. They are good for vocals and in this case can be excellent for background music and stuff.
MP3 on the other hand is a big audio file using a MPEG Layer 3 encoding such that the actual sie of 40 megs is shrunk to only a couple of megs.
Though the choice of MP3 vs MIDI will depend on the programming language as the language should have the capability to support MPEG encoding is kinda hard. My choice in this case would be MIDI. The lanuage has good suppor for it and owing to small sie it can be quickly transferred over the net. Only possible disadvantage is if you have a crappy sound card then the sound would be not that good.
Mohammad S Khan




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