I'm currently in a group that researches network optimizations and various distributed applications, I'm much more interested in games but more from a research side.Is there a resource that focuses on research topics specific to game development and what are some common areas of research?

Note:I understand game development is made up of various topics that are thoroughly researched, my question is more geared towards the areas that are exclusive to gaming applications or at least only important for gaming.

One example could be maybe a "genetic algorithm approach to character skill progression". Which would focus on building a skill progression that is most optimal to player returns. Etc etc...Random idea, but you get my point. I also mean the technical side of development too, but I didn't want to limit this.


1 Answer 1


The primary resources (barring conferences) for research around game development that I've found is the Game Programming Gems books, GPU Gems and the AI Game Programming Wisdom books (Both can be found here).

Both series' feature articles from game developers as well as researchers and at the end of each article they offer a comprehensive reference list to further your understanding on the topic.

EDIT: Although the AI series has ended, they do have some great articles in there, well worth a look.

I would say that the main research efforts are focused on either graphics or AI, probably because they're pretty large areas of interest for academia in general.

The GDC Vault (found on the sidebar of this site sometimes) is also very useful as is GDC itself. Conferences are probably the way to go to keep on the cutting edge of research topics as well as networking to find out what some people are working on, etc.

A great conference for graphics is SIGGRAPH.

Good ones for AI: AIIDE and T-CIAIG.

If you don't have access to the conferences, you could always purchase the proceedings that have all presented papers and articles of interest within them.

A fairly old resource for finding game development research topics is Red3D. It's fairly outdated and a lot of links are broken, but with some Googling of the research areas you should be able to find them again pretty quickly.

Although not official (from an academic perspective), GameDev.net has a good few interesting articles on latest advances as does GamaSutra.

Alex J. Champandard runs AIGameDev and they have a lot of guest speakers, research students, articles, papers, etc. It's pretty comprehensive, but to really get the most out of it you need to be a Premium member which can be a bit pricy.

Hope that helps.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The AI Game Programming Wisdom book series came to an end last year =/ no further books will be published in the series sadly. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 25, 2011 at 18:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ No way! I thought they were working on number 5? :( \$\endgroup\$
    – Ray Dey
    Apr 25, 2011 at 18:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ aigamedev.com/open/editorial/2009-retrospective publisher canceled the series unfortunately. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 25, 2011 at 18:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow thanks for the heads up. Such a shame. Had some real gems in there. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ray Dey
    Apr 25, 2011 at 18:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ very good list, I didn't realize GDC covered research and not just software companies and their ventures. I also just realized IGDA has tons of research linked from their site. igda.org/papers-and-reports \$\endgroup\$
    – brandon
    Apr 25, 2011 at 18:57

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