With the help of advanced 3D game engines like Unity 3D, it is now easier than ever to develop 3D games for the growing gaming market. However, developing top grade 3D games still requires substantial monetary and time investment. Furthermore, 3D games are all too common, if not standard, and if you want to stand out from the crowd, you will need to do more. So how can we take the 3D gaming experience a step further? Can we make 3D games even more engaging?
Using Hardware to Create the 4th Dimension in Gaming
In events where 3D games are used as a focal point or marketing tool, a fourth dimension can enhance the user experience with the brand. Imagine playing a 3D racing track computer game, overcoming difficult terrain and environments. A fourth dimension could provide strong wind or heat from different directions. Hardware, in this case fans, would be required.
In the world of software development, however, hardware is something many would rather not touch. Hardware requires inventory management, delivery and servicing, amongst others. All these are additional troubles that software developers do not want to bare. However, if you want to provide a 4D experience to your clients, hardware may be necessary to complement the 3D gaming. With the use of Arduino, an open-source electronic component bridging the gap between hardware and software, video games can “talk” to electrical or electronic devices easily.
Using Arduino in Gaming
Arduino basically allows you to interact with electronic devices. A simple application is programming the Arduino to switch different LED lights on or off should the players answer computer game questions either correctly or incorrectly. The blinking LED lights heighten the atmosphere of the gaming environment, and it enables the event organiser to provide an inclusive setting for the audience watching the event. It can not only engage players, but it can also grab attention from afar. The effect is far better than a simple panel-based display.
Arduino can also take it a step further if you want to add realism to your 3D gaming environment. You can turn on a fan and snow maker when players enter a winter scene in a computer game. Water, foam, light, smell, wind and moving seats are some of the techniques at your disposal to create the 4th dimension within your computer game. The possibilities are endless and all it needs is a bit of imagination from the software developer.
KK Cheng is the Director of software development company, Appbition ([http://www.appbition.sg]). He has over 10 years experience in software project management, specialising in educational games. He is also a US patent holder in document automation.
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