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Searching for Concurrent Design Patterns in Video Games

Micah J. Best, Alexandra Fedorova, Ryan Dickie, Andrea Tagliasacchi, Alex Couture-Beil, Craig Mustard, Shane Mottishaw, Aron Brown, Zhi Feng Huang, Xiaoyuan Xu, Nasser Ghazali, Andrew Brownsword
Simon Fraser University
EURO-PAR 2009 Parallel Processing, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2009, Volume 5704/2009, 912-923

@article{best2009searching,

   title={Searching for concurrent design patterns in video games},

   author={Best, M. and Fedorova, A. and Dickie, R. and Tagliasacchi, A. and Couture-Beil, A. and Mustard, C. and Mottishaw, S. and Brown, A. and Huang, Z. and Xu, X. and others},

   journal={Euro-Par 2009 Parallel Processing},

   pages={912–923},

   year={2009},

   publisher={Springer}

}

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The transition to multicore architectures has dramatically underscored the necessity for parallelism in software. In particular, while new gaming consoles are by and large multicore, most existing video game engines are essentially sequential and thus cannot easily take advantage of this hardware. In this paper we describe techniques derived from our experience parallelizing an open-source video game Cube 2. We analyze the structure and unique requirements of this complex application domain, drawing conclusions about parallelization tools and techniques applicable therein. Our experience and analysis convinced us that while existing tools and techniques can be used to solve parts of this problem, none of them constitutes a comprehensive solution. As a result we were inspired to design a new parallel programming environment (PPE) targeted specifically at video game engines and other complex soft real-time systems. The initial implementation of this PPE, Cascade, and its performance analysis are also presented.
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