Game Research and Technology

by Craig Reynolds

Links to research on the technology of games, and other forms of interactive virtual worlds.

On this page


This page covers topics from abstract research on games to applied technology for commercial video game production. It aims to appeal to academic researchers and game developers, as well as those who fall somewhere in between.

Video game design and production is a fast paced, hit-driven, technology-based field. Hardware used in game consoles and personal computers continues to improve, getting faster and cheaper at a dizzying pace. Video game developers start each new project with increased computational resources, and a long list of cool features they would like to incorporate. Since they normally work on very tight production schedules, they have little or no time to experiment with untested technology. Results from recent research help to bridge that gap.

Researchers, working largely in academia and occasionally in industry, are motivated by exploring new technology.  To be published, research must be novel: either a completely new idea or a significant improvement on an old idea.  Commercial game development can provide a rich stream of " would be nice if..." ideas which can inspire new research projects.  This focus on novelty in the research world contrasts with the commercial world.  There, while novelty is good, what really matters is an enjoyable, engaging experience.  A sequel can be a hit while a strikingly original game may not.

These two communities have conflicting goals and very different cultures.  Yet a mutually beneficial symbiotic relation can exist between them.  With luck this page may lead to cross-fertilization and perhaps some beneficial collaborations.

Maintenance of this page is generously sponsored by the R&D group of Sony Computer Entertainment America.

What isn't here

Some aspects of game technology research are well covered elsewhere and will not be duplicated here.  For example, all research on computer graphics is ultimately relevant to video games.  Computer graphics is a huge field with its own excellent online resources,  such as SIGGRAPH and its literature.  There are excellent online resources devoted to specific aspects of computer graphics, such as Real Time Rendering and animation.  Game design is covered elsewhere (1, 2, 3) and mentioned here only in terms of technology.  Other than those broad exceptions, almost anything available on the web about research or technology related to video games is fair game.  Feel free to suggest additions or corrections for this page.

General resources for game research and technology

Game AI resources:

Game Physics resources:

Academic resources: game design, production and criticism:

Related topics of interest