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Question for code monkey's

Hicup

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Folks,

I'm an avid PC gamer, but something has bothered me for years about game design.

Most games are designed around Windows, Mac, notwithstanding consoles, but why aren't games designed to install on baremetal? Why must they be designed to operate in an OS like Windows or Mac?

It seems to me that with a little tinkering games could be designed to install themselves based on hardware, and not the OS?

So, can it be done, and if not, why not, if so, then why hasn't any gaming developer ever thought of it before?


Tim-
 

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To put it simply, an OS is the intermediary between the hardware and the software. The OS kernel acts as the maestro, regulating memory allocation and handling interrupts, segmentation, page faults, etc. I suppose one could compose an immigrant game application by using a versatile platform such as Java (JVM) where the platform language is not specific to any particular operating system.
 

rathi

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One of the actually useful features that windows has in the DirectX API, which is a key component for the multimedia presentation needed for games. Other systems exist, such as OpenGL, but they aren't quite as good and don't have the same profitability without the massive windows install base.
 

Deuce

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Folks,

I'm an avid PC gamer, but something has bothered me for years about game design.

Most games are designed around Windows, Mac, notwithstanding consoles, but why aren't games designed to install on baremetal? Why must they be designed to operate in an OS like Windows or Mac?

It seems to me that with a little tinkering games could be designed to install themselves based on hardware, and not the OS?

So, can it be done, and if not, why not, if so, then why hasn't any gaming developer ever thought of it before?


Tim-

Because to program such a game you'd have to basically write your own operating system to run it. With Windows or MacOS, you have a pre-existing set of tools like "play a sound" or "draw this" or "run this calculation."

But I'm not a programmer so that might just be me wildy speculating on something I know nothing about.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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Because to program such a game you'd have to basically write your own operating system to run it. With Windows or MacOS, you have a pre-existing set of tools like "play a sound" or "draw this" or "run this calculation."

But I'm not a programmer so that might just be me wildy speculating on something I know nothing about.

Actually, that's pretty accuarate from what I know.
 

tacomancer

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Folks,

I'm an avid PC gamer, but something has bothered me for years about game design.

Most games are designed around Windows, Mac, notwithstanding consoles, but why aren't games designed to install on baremetal? Why must they be designed to operate in an OS like Windows or Mac?

It seems to me that with a little tinkering games could be designed to install themselves based on hardware, and not the OS?

So, can it be done, and if not, why not, if so, then why hasn't any gaming developer ever thought of it before?


Tim-

A computer is not like a playstation or nintendo in that the game designers have no way of knowing what hardware the person playing the game is going to have. This presents a few problems

A few examples:

1. Video cards. NVidia and ATI cards speak a different "language". The game would either need a hardware abstraction layer (hal) and its own drivers for the different cards, or it would have to account for the differences in its programming. A HAL is something all modern OSs have.
2. Memory/disk management. Windows handles that for the game, otherwise it would have to write its own kernel for that. And in the days of multicore cpus, this is not as easy as it was in the DOS days. A Kernel is the part of the OS that handles that.
3. It probably wouldn't run any faster. Most of the optimizations a programmer can use will only work on one type of setup and be worse for others. Doing things a certain way for an AMD processor will not always work as well for an intel processor (also, some stuff written for a p4 would suck on a p3), etc. Programmers write to what all hardware can do well and sometimes keep an extra library or two around for specific architectures.
 
Last edited:

reefedjib

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Folks,

I'm an avid PC gamer, but something has bothered me for years about game design.

Most games are designed around Windows, Mac, notwithstanding consoles, but why aren't games designed to install on baremetal? Why must they be designed to operate in an OS like Windows or Mac?

It seems to me that with a little tinkering games could be designed to install themselves based on hardware, and not the OS?

So, can it be done, and if not, why not, if so, then why hasn't any gaming developer ever thought of it before?


Tim-

What problem are you trying to solve?
 
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