I don't know if this will be popular or not, but anyways, here goes.
I'm in school right now for video game programming, right now I'm in Console Development, which focuses mainly on optimizing code to work on the different consoles and such.
Anyways, I was just wondering if anyone has questions on how video games actually 'work', because I would like to see if I could answer them, and if I can't, I know lots of people who could get me the answer, so, if you ever wonder how they did this or that, ask away and we'll see if I've learned anything. :)
January 16th, 2005, 12:42 PM
What programming language is the most popular for games? Is it different for console games than PC?
January 16th, 2005, 06:19 PM
Well, for console games, the C language is probably still the most popular among developers, while C++ is more predominant for PC developers. The C language is slowly on the way out though, and C++ will soon be pretty much the only language in use, especially when the next-gen consoles come out. A large reason C is still around mainly in consoles is because it is considered more efficient, and since many games started their life as C code, and sequels made or any other games made by that developer continued using C code because it wouldn't be cost efficient to convert the code to C++. Many games are hybrids of the two, because basically C++ is C, just bigger and better. Many developers use C as the 'base' code of game, such as in the Madden games, where C is used for the rendering code, memory management, and other such basic code, while C++ is used for the actual game code. And there are various other languages that are used from time to time, such as LUA, which I'm actually learning right now for a research project. LUA has been used in games like Baldur's Gate 2 as the actual game code, while C/C++ was used for more low level things.
January 17th, 2005, 05:56 PM
Interesting, thx. BTW, what school are you going to?
January 17th, 2005, 07:26 PM
Full Sail in Orlando. If you read game magazines you've seen one of their ads.
January 18th, 2005, 01:23 PM
Just out of curiosity, do you have any ideas for games should you become become successful?
Did you ever consider Beta-testing instead? My friend would like to become a Beta-tester but doesn't really know where to start, any hints or tips?
January 18th, 2005, 08:12 PM
I think most everyone that goes into any kind of creative industry like video games or films has an idea that they would like to see produced into a final product, it's just that that is getting harder and harder. Back in the day when video games were first being made, a single person could do the entire thing if they wanted to, but in today's game industry it takes many people, not to mention millions of dollars. So do I have game ideas that I think would be successful? Yes. Do I have high hopes that they will be made into a game? Not really. Who knows though, I may get lucky.
When I start looking for a job, I would hope to be hired as a programmer, but as it stands now I would take any job at all that I could get to start off, beta-testing/quality assurance being a high probability if I can't get an entry-level programming position. As for tips on becoming a beta-tester...well all I can think of at the moment is for that person to be a creative gamer. What I mean by that is that they must be the kind of person who doesn't just do exactly what they think is right all the time in terms of the game, but they have to ask questions like, "I wonder what would happen if I stacked all these boxes in front of the door that the NPC has to walk out of, then throw a grenade through the window...". Beta-testing is all about testing the limits of a program, finding bugs, then telling the programmers so they can fix them, or not even allowing the player to do certain things, i.e. the game crashes when they jump over this ravine, let's just put a bounding box on this side so they can't even move that far. Other than that I can't really say what else would be good to know, other than good writing skills, since beta-testers not only find bugs, they must describe exactly what they were doing and what was happening in the world around them so that the programmers can have more accurate data to track down the problem. Oh, and they have to be a hardcore gamer, willing to sit for hours upon hours playing the same game, and in most cases, the same level or level section over, and over, and over again.
January 19th, 2005, 05:00 AM
There is another emerging route for people wishing to break into "gaming". The rise of "game Mods" has become an important reality of modern day games (exspecialy FPS games). Amateur game developers have increasing gone this route as a free showcase for their skills. This route has given a start to many a career as witnessed by the success of such mods as the "Desert Combat" and "Counter Strike" teams. Now a days it seems the prefered method of "getting name recognition" in the industry. These efforts are more dependent on the skills of models and texture artists than promgrammers.
But good games will always need skilled programers. So I think Dominus has the right idea to enroll in such respected schools such as Full Sail. And I wish him all the success in the world. :)
January 19th, 2005, 03:26 PM
Yes, programmers are definitely a must, I just hope I can become as good a one as is possible for one of my tender years. ;)
January 19th, 2005, 03:59 PM
Thanks for all the info, Dominus, and best of luck with your course ;)