For this game (or any game in general), how is RAM (Main Memory not Cache Memory) actually called and used during gameplay? For example, when I shoot my gun does that use RAM to create the bullets and visual effects? When I visually see players run across my screen does that utilize memory (especially if the whole team runs across your screen)?
I know it sounds like a silly question, but I am curious because I am studying computer systems and it never has occurred to me how RAM is utilized in gameplay.
RAM is where memory that needs to be accessed is stored. When you write a program, you (essentially) pretend you have access to all the main memory ("virtual memory") and the OS figures out how to handle transferring the data between actual RAM ("physical memory") and external memory (hard disk, etc.) to make sure that whatever program running has access to what it wants.
Ok, I think I got the gist of how RAM is used. Everything on a computer requires memory (e.g. web browsers, iTunes, Photoshop, etc..) and RAM comes into play by expanding the total amount of memory available to the system. As more data is called, more memory is in use by the computer.
However, this leads to another question... what happens when more memory is called than what is available? Does this cause the computer to recycle memory by freeing up part of the memory utilized in one application to be called to another application, then repeat this process continually until the called task is completed? Or does this cause the system to freeze up and crash or something?
what happens when more memory is called than what is available?
That's up to the operating system to handle. In experience, though, the program will be forced to wait until memory is available. So it will freeze/crash. If your system doesn't have enough memory, you'll notice it being sluggish; simple tasks might take quite a while to complete.