Authors: Bram Pellens, Olga De Troyer, Frederic Kleinermann
The development of computer games is both complex and technically challenging, especially when it comes to designing complex behavior for computer games. Current development tools do not provide any high-level design facilities for behavior and require the designer to manually program the behavior. Therefore, the CoDePA approach was introduced to facilitate the authoring of behavior in computer games (and other interactive 3D applications). This approach uses conceptual modeling techniques to elevate the specification of behavior to a higher level. Code generation from the conceptual specifications is supported. Furthermore, Generative Design Patterns are used to allow reusing existing solutions. In this paper, we explain how the approach has been extended with techniques from the domain of Software Variability, i.e. feature models and configuration models, to support the specification and generation of different flavors of a behavior. In this way, we effectively support a common way of working in game development where one often uses similar behavior scripts except for some variations. By providing support for this at a conceptual level, we make this practice explicit and elevate it to a higher level such that it can be better controlled and exploited. The paper also introduces the design tool developed to support the approach.