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CS297 Proposal

XML for Video Games

Ru Chen (

Advisor: Dr. Chris Pollett


When designing a video game, a game designer will think of the main characters and actions of the game. All the details of the game will be listed in a specification file. The specification file describes the look and feel of the game s characters, background, maps of levels and environments, rules of the game, content, behavior, etc. The game developer will then put all these concepts together and implement them into graphics. The main purpose of this project is to define a XML language for video games, which will be helpful for game designers and developers to create and generate video games. This XML language will allow one to define properties and attributes of a game object such as its shape, size, location, color, movement and what kind of physical forces (gravity, spring, friction) apply to it. The XML language will also specify what kind of input devices, what kind of sound card features, and what kind of media play features are needed for the game. I will create a new game engine in Java which can parse my XML language and demonstrate how all of its features work. I will also come up with some simple measurements to show how easy it is to use this XML language to design video games. Tests will be written to show how efficient various simple video games on my engine are compared to Rudy Rucker's game engine.


Week 1 & 2 Aug 24 - Sept 4Read [RR03] and [HM02]
Week 3: Sept 5 - Sept11Read[RR03]
Week 4: Sept 12 - Sept 18Read [MD00]
Week 5: Sept 19 - Sept 25Deliverable(1) due
Week 6: Sept 26 - Oct 2Download a XML parser and learn how to use it. Read [MD00]
Week 7: Oct 3 - Oct 9 Read [MD01]
Week 8: Oct 10 - Oct 16 Deliverable(2) due
Week 9: Oct 17 - Oct 23Write a XML file to represent simple characters in games.
Week 10: Oct 24 - Oct 30 Read [BS04]
Week 11: Oct 31- Nov 6 Deliverable(3) due
Week 12 & 13: Nov 7 - Nov 20Read[JS02] and [PD01]
Week 14: Nov 21 - Nov 27Deliverable(4) due
Week 15 & 16: Work on 297 project


The full project will be done when CS298 is completed. The following will be done by the end of CS297:

1. Get familiar with the game design process. Do HW1 from Dr Pollett's CS134 class in fall semester of 2004.

2. Get familiar with a Java XML parser. Write a program to parse a XML file using the parser.

3. Create an initial version of the XML language to represent characters and actions in games

4. Write a Java program to simulate the movement of the objects in games. The program will be using geometric shapes to represent objects.

5. Write the 297 report of length around 15 pages.


[RR03] Rudy Rucker. Software engineering and computer games / Rudy Rucker. Addison-Wesley, 2003.

[HM02] Harold, R. E., & Means, S.W. . XML in a Nutshell (2nd ed.). O'Reilly. 2002

[MD00] Mark Deloura. Game Programming Gems. Delmar Thomson Learning. 2000

[MD01] Mark Deloura. Game Programming Gems 2. Delmar Thomson Learning. 2001

[BS04] Brian Schwab. AI Game Engine Programming. Delmar Thomson Learning. 2004

[JS02] Jake Simpson. Game Engine Anatomy 101.,1697,594,00.asp. 2002

[PD01] Patrick Dickinson. Building a Game Engine with Reproducible Behavior. 2001