Evaluating Lua for Usein Computer Game Event Handling

University essay from KTH/Skolan för datavetenskap och kommunikation (CSC)

Author: Oskar Forsslund; [2013]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: For this thesis I have studied the difference between using parsed scripts and embedded scripts (in this case Lua) in the context of evaluating computer game in-game events. The major focus of this thesis is the difference in performance between the two approaches and a minor focus has been the effect they have on the development process. The context of this thesis has been limited to the computer game Europa Universalis III (EU3) by Paradox Development Studio (Paradox) and the study has been performed by constructing a framework for evaluating in-game events using Lua in said game. Runtimes of the Lua version of events were then compared to runtimes of the original events. Lua is an embedded scripting language that has been used in computer games since the 1990s and is known to have a small memory footprint and to be fast. The original evaluation system in use in EU3 is based on parsed script files that are executed as C++ code. What are the benefits and drawbacks of the different approaches? Using an embedded scripting language like Lua clearly has some advantages compared to the more static method of parsing script files, mainly in the way of flexibility and the simplicity of adding new features. Parsed scripts, on the other hand, has a clear advantage when it comes to performance.

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