FAQ

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PC Gaming Alliance PC Games Development Wiki FAQ

Introduction:

Hi everyone, welcome to the PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA) PC Games Development Wiki! This Wiki is being hosted by the PCGA to provide a one stop shop for PC Games development Best Practices and Best Known Methodologies. The over-arching goal is to create a Wiki that fosters and promotes the sharing of ideas that leads towards a better end user gaming experience. While the focus is largely on the Business to Business (B2B) front; we do anticipate getting participation from the extremely talented PC Gaming enthusiast community itself, along with Academia. This Wiki is for you – the PC Gamers! We humbly ask for your continued support and assistance; and thank you for your contributions!

Quick FAQ & Guidelines

Quick Start Guide

  1. Sign up! Create an account and login by going to the Wiki homepage. Note: PCGA Member-companies automatically get an account and access to post to the Wiki when signed up in our members area.
  2. Several category views are provided to help organize the posts. If you have a post that doesn’t fit any of the currently listed categories please contact us.

What types of posts are we looking for?

  • Due to the broad nature of PC Gaming, quite literally, anything that either directly or indirectly benefits the PC Gaming experience can be fair game. Typical posts for the categories can be: Post-Mortems, Whitepapers, How-To-Guides, Tutorial/Tutorial Videos and recorded Sessions or Webinars, SBPs (Software Best Practices), BKMs (Best Known Methodologies), & actual Development Samples. Other disciplinary type posts: such as Programming/Dev, Marketing, or Test, Design Guides, Test Specs/Plans, & Marketing Requirements docs; are all also highly valued.
  • Again, if it benefits PC Gaming, in any form factor, or any OS, we’d like to hear from you. Quite literally the sky is the limit here. Anything from the WoW Armory App made for Smart/iPhones, to Microsoft’s SmartGlass, to Benchmarks, how to host a Networked LAN gaming party, etc are all things that can help your fellow PC Gamers or Game Developers themselves.
  • Lastly; blogs, resources, research, cross-links can also be provided but likely subject to review by the PCGA.


Questionable or objectionable content, posts, and material will be promptly removed.

Wiki Categories

There are several category views provided to help organize posts into more disciplinary or topical views.

  • The “Production/Discipline View” is provided to organize posts into areas that map more towards specific roles often found inside a Games development or production studio.
  • The “Platform/Hardware View” is provided to organize posts mapped more towards the actual PC devices, peripherals, or hardware commonly associated with PC Gaming. (e.g. OEM PC’s, Peripherals such as: Mice/Keyboards, Gamepads, Joysticks, Headsets, etc; along with other things such as GPU Add-in Boards (Discrete Video Cards), Speakers, Routers, etc. As mentioned below in the ‘definitions’ section; this can range from Windows, to Mac, to Linux/Unix devices etc.
  • The “Valuable Resources” Section is provided to highlight specific blogs or links to other outside of the PCGA resources that are associated with PC Gaming.

Definitions

What constitutes a PC (Personal Computer) or even a PC Game these days?

  • Admittedly the PC, can have a very broad definition. PC Games may not always necessarily mean a Windows Game. Today; the bulk of PC Games are Windows games. However; games playing on PC Devices can also equate to games being developed, or ported to play on other PC Devices such as Apple Mac or even Linux (+Unix flavored) operating systems.
  • Key PC Gaming Activities, Channels, & Types:
    • Digital PC Games. (E.g. Steam, Origin, Impulse, GoG, BattleNet, etc). Digitally distributed games are most often acquired via Digital Store Fronts that have largely replaced the Retail (Brick & Mortar) ‘boxed’ business channel. A key example such as Steam can also provide additional services, termed ‘Games as a Service’ (aka GAS) These digital services can provide a host of conveniences ranging from: Protection, user-generated-content, patches, achievement/points tracking, etc.
      • NOTE: While not often considered, other digitally distributed games, can also occur on the ‘Torrents’ (e.g. BitTorrent) & private networks. While most of this activity is deemed illegal, there are some precedents emerging of Free to Play, and Subscriptions based games being legitimately distributed via these Torrents since Piracy is a near non-issue. Especially in the case of the Free to play games.
    • Retail PC Games: (E.g. Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Gamestop, EB Games, etc) These are the traditional boxed or ‘shrink wrapped’ games most often associated with optical media or discs.
    • Web and Social Networking Services (SNS) Gaming: (e.g. Games via Facebook, Zynga, Kongregate, Club Penguin etc). While not exclusively the domain of PC Devices a very large proportion of time and dollars spent occurs on PCs.
    • Subscriptions: (e.g. MMORPGS, etc) Games in this domain are often acquired either digitally, and or via retail, but then typically require some sort of monthly fee. (Paid via credit card, pre-paid game cards, etc). Popular examples: World of Warcraft,
    • Free To Play/Freemium: (E.g. Any combination of the above) This is more of a business model than either a channel or format. Many Digital, Retail, Web/SNS, or even previously subcriptions based games can, or have been converted to a Free to Play business model. Revenue is most often generated via ‘micro-transactions’ to gain access to some form of digital content that can either be unlocked or downloaded.
    • NOTE: There are other forms of PC Gaming entertainment, activities, channels, & types; and as they become more prevalent will likely be included and covered more in depth at a later date.
  • PC (Personal Computer) devices have, and are likely to continue, to be very dynamic and evolve over time. Historically PC Gaming used to largely equate to games being played on desktop (Tower-like) systems. However; over time, PC’s have now evolved into several other form factors (e.g. Laptops, All-in-Ones, Tablet PCs, etc.) as advancements in technology, and the way end users, like to use their devices has also evolved over time. The PC Gaming Alliance recognizes that ‘PC Gaming’ itself will likely shift and change based off the way end users like to play and interact with their games. PC Gaming even a few years from now could look much different than what we are used to seeing and interacting with today.


So what about the Cloud, or Cloud Gaming? What is that? What is the role of a PC Device and how does PC Gaming fit in to the Cloud?

  • The term ‘Cloud Gaming’ has not currently been standardized across most of the Games Industry. It’s important to point out that this could still take a few more years before an industry wide accepted term finally solidifies. For the purposes of the PCGA, the Cloud Gaming definition is rather diverse and broad to be more encompassing. Currently the “Cloud” plays several roles based on what aspect of gaming is being delivered or served. Servers typically play the following roles in delivering up some form of the game or service experience.
  1. Hosting: Servers hosting Client Games. (Rich Client) Anything from a Multi-Player to an MMO style game (e.g. WoW or Guild Wars). Your Game Toon/Identity can be single-player, or multi-player 'in-the-cloud'.
  2. Hosting - Web: Servers hosting Web Games. (Thin Client?) (e.g. Facebook, Kongregate, Gree, etc). Can span multiple devices/screens; and includes Flash, HTML5 Games, etc . Your Game Toon/Identity is pretty much always 'in-the-cloud'.
  3. Digital Distribution: Servers Delivering & Providing Services & Games. (Rich & or Thin Client) (e.g. Game Downloads, Chats, etc. Players include: Steam, Impulse, GoG, Origin, etc) Your Game Profile, Achievements, (Meta-Data), is stored & accessible, and tracked 'in-the-cloud'.
  4. Streaming: Servers using some 'x' technology to Stream a Game. (Mostly Thin Client) (e.g. OTOY, Gaikai, CiiNow, Agawi, etc). Your Gameplay experience is now more server side than client side. You're 'in-the-cloud'. (Note: Cloud Paging for now will be placed in this bucket).
  5. Ecommerce: Servers handling all the back end transactions, secure payments, etc. (e.g. Digital River, etc). Tied to several of the above scenarios. Your gaming dollars have gone 'into-the-cloud'.


Please note that this is a living document and subject to change.

Please notify us if you have any questions.

Best Regards, Matt Ployhar President – PC Gaming Alliance

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