Jump to content

Got Programmers?


Guaigean

Recommended Posts

Wow, 2 people who know forth on the same forum.

 

As for me, Pascal, Delphi, C, C++, Java, Perl, sh, ML (the little I remember from college), HTML/XML/Make if we're counting that.  I feel awfully boring.

 

Any advice on how to get a development job, anyone? I've been stuck in IT for the last year, but I have a CS degree and a math minor.  Need job.  Am willing to work for less than you if you don't live in India or China or Russia or Indonesia.

Hey crakkie,

I'm in the same boat as you. I've been stuck in IT for 8 years and want to get into game development. I started taking 3D animation course at Art Institute but couldn't finish( my employer wouldn't cover all the cost, so I had to bail).

Since I've got two kids I'm willing to work for less but not too low. I just want to get my foot in the door.

 

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's C++ (g++) and Java for me, with basic GNU C understanding (good enough for basic debugging), as well as some scripting languages (BASH, CSH).

I'm mostly into PHP and SQL, but that I do for work.

 

And I also have some _really_ basic knowledge of QT, Nvidia Cg, OpenGL SLang, ErLang, Smalltalk and Python...

 

BTW, I'm getting a little angry here: Plankalk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ive only really used Java & C++ although I guess I learned the rudimentaries of some other languages at uni. I also harbour secret ambitions of breaking into game development industry - although it seems like nearly every non-game programmer has this dream and then its just whoever is talented/determined/lucky enough. The main concern I have is that I hear that the hours for game devs are insane and i've already had/have various overuse injuries.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ya, I've heard the hours are pretty crazy too. Which means I guess to survive sanely you really have to love what you do. Otherwise after months of no sleep, ya just lose it and start programming in player-killer bad guys that are there just to see how many complaints ya get for the game being too hard after release.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hours vary depending upon schedule, management, company, etc. Poorly managed projects tend to be death marches. Some companies hire people with the 'work em til they drop' mentality to maximize their dollars.

 

Every company I've worked for has been milestone oriented--other programmers aren't so lucky. That's not to say I haven't worked a death march. DA2 was 3 months without a day off for me, and 12 hour weekdays. I've heard worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard a report on NPR that stated that the average cost of a game is nearing over 20 dollars. And that it takes at about a million sales for the big budget games to break even. This just looks like a field that is waiting to be exported to a country that does not have human right laws. Especially hearing that they don't really follow human right laws for video game programmers in the states. :blink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Every company I've worked for has been milestone oriented--other programmers aren't so lucky. That's not to say I haven't worked a death march. DA2 was 3 months without a day off for me, and 12 hour weekdays. I've heard worse.

No wonder American productivity sits as the worlds highest. Knowing IPLY, you probably did not get paid a dime over the forty hours you were actually suppose to work. Had you worked as a government contractor, the business could lose their money for doing that sort of crap. I have not bought DA2, but I tend to boycott games where I hear about this outrageous stuff.

 

Honestly, is it that fun making games, because it seems if you don't have to work all those hours you could probably dedicate 30-40 hours a week doing fun stuff?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a programmer as well, although my area of expertise are information systems. And I'm not particularly thrilled about that - IS is something I wanted to avoid like plague when I was at college.

 

As for the programming languages, well, what's the point of listing how many you know? Once you have the hang of the programming logic, learning new syntax is a matter of days.

There are no doors in Jefferson that are "special game locked" doors. There are no characters in that game that you can kill that will result in the game ending prematurely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard a report on NPR that stated that the average cost of a game is nearing over 20 dollars. And that it takes at about a million sales for the big budget games to break even. This just looks like a field that is waiting to be exported to a country that does not have human right laws. Especially hearing that they don't really follow human right laws for video game programmers in the states. ;)

#include "monologue.h"

 

Several publishers are already doing this...at least one major publisher I can think of is doing 95% of it's development in low-overhead countries.

 

The cost of development really can't be narrowed down to 'cost per unit', because the cost per unit is based on overall sales. PC games are also free from the 10 dollar PER UNIT licensing cost of consoles.

 

Some games will break even sooner than others. I won't display all the numbers, but a man-month is recouped in about 1000 units sold. A team of 25 full time developers over 2 years will need to move about 450K-500k units to break even. After that, however, profit accrues VERY RAPIDLY. This is one reason for 'sequel-itis' in that teams using the same engine as a previous title can jam it out in about 12 - 18 months of development time.

 

If you pay the people half as much, you only need to ship about 300k units. While it seems attractive, the management headaches, cultural road-blocks and many other issues eventually begin to erode at your profit potential. The risk versus reward increases with the scope of the overseas project. Making games isn't like making accounting systems, sewing clothes or assembling cars. Companies will experiment with offshoring, but i suspect that while it seems scary, it won't work in the long term. There's a reason Baldur's Gate sold millions in North America and Sacred/Divine Divinity are selling a couple hundred thousand.

 

The Japanese have been developing with much higher budgets than US companies for years and making profits. Cutting costs is noble, but only when you are eliminating waste. There's more to gain from using US/Canadian/British developers when targeting those markets than saving an extra million in development.

 

Then again, I'm just a programmer, wasting too much of his last 10 minutes on this board =)

 

As for IPLY--that's a discussion for a later date. There's plenty of reasons I worked those hours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a programmer as well, although my area of expertise are information systems. And I'm not particularly thrilled about that - IS is something I wanted to avoid like plague when I was at college.

 

As for the programming languages, well, what's the point of listing how many you know? Once you have the hang of the programming logic, learning new syntax is a matter of days.

I think this is true is some respects but may not always be the case. I think there are certain general areas in which programming languages do not change very much, but each category is radically different from each other, and while they may be easier for a programmer to master, sometimes they may not be a walk in the park.

 

Some general categories:

 

X Windows and Xtoolkit intrinsics, a socketless network oriented cross platform window display library. Driven by resources, function calls and environmental variables. Very low level, with a hard core ability to shoot yourself in the foot. Also has a 7 layer hierarchy, which is just not common at all in programming languages.

 

Interperter languages, which I guess is a language you use in a interpreter, such as a bash console, or perl. These are in general radically different then anything in C. Even though you can do interpreter commands with functions like system(). Still everything like Bash, Csh are very different, while others like Perl and Python are a lot more similar to the common programming languages.

 

Database languages, too are very different. I know a little SQL, and while its not very hard, I choose not to know it, and just look crap up when I need to.

 

Assembler, OK this is just about as different as you can get from the common languages. No variables, or libraries to work with. Just registers, addresses, and very basic operations like pushing and moving to do rather trivial stuff.

 

Markup languages. These high level languages IMO are also very different from the core languages. They also represent a fundamentally different aspect of task then what you would use the common languages for. XML for instance, I use for data transperancy and mobility, Not something I would ever use C for, hell I don't even know how I would try too.

 

Stack languages. These languages such as PostScript and Forth use reverse polish.:p

 

And finally the common languages which are pretty much all high level such as C, C++, Java, Fortran, Pascal all pretty much I would agree with you in that if you know one you can potentially know them all.

 

Not to mention that peripheal languages which just basically comprise of using libraries. They may use the same syntax, but just because you know C that does not mean you know OpenGL, or Sockets. OpenGL syntax wise is identical to C, but depending on what you do you have to learn a lot of stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with C. Such as state variables, drawing vertices, creating bitmaps, rendering colors, texture mapping, lighting all stuff which is not that trivial. The same is true for sockets, except you have to learn about networking, IP adress, and unlike OpenGL, sockets is system specific. :angry:

 

It should be noted that I am a physicist and have never taken a CS class in my life. I just did my graduate work on computational problems and consequently got a job where I program for a living and write different algorithms. So I can be missing something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly, is it that fun making games, because it seems if you don't have to work all those hours you could probably dedicate 30-40 hours a week doing fun stuff?

Well, speaking for personal experience, its not always fun, but that's not really what work is all about anyway is it? I'd say it's more that you are making something that many many people will see, and you have not only pride, but a certain love for what you do. If you want to be the best at something, 30-40 hrs a week just doesn't cut it, no matter what field of work you're in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, speaking for personal experience, its not always fun, but that's not really what work is all about anyway is it? I'd say it's more that you are making something that many many people will see, and you have not only pride, but a certain love for what you do. If you want to be the best at something, 30-40 hrs a week just doesn't cut it, no matter what field of work you're in.

I guess the concept of burnout has never entered your mind. I am not a believer in higher productivity equals a better game. Look how many bugs ToEE had, and you had a guy that worked four straight months with no breaks. 40 hours a week is plenty of time, and leads to a healthy lifestyle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 hours a week is plenty of time, and leads to a healthy lifestyle.

:D

 

(Sorry)

 

Nice plans have a habit of falling apart when deadlines approach...

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 hours a week is plenty of time, and leads to a healthy lifestyle.

:D

 

(Sorry)

 

Nice plans have a habit of falling apart when deadlines approach...

We have deadlines here, they are called fire drills. I have a really k3wl supervisor and even though I now work for a company with over 125,000 employees, we still have a small business atmosphere. That is why I said this in another post.

 

I work for a company that contracts with the government. I have thought about private sector work, but I have it pretty sweet right now, and I don't work nearly as many hours as those people in Obsidian.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I havent got any education in programming yet, i'm taking steps to learn C++ on my own before going off to school to study this kinds of things. My dream is to work as a games developer.

 

Just out of curiousity...what kinds of education do you need to work as a games programmer/developer? ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I havent got any education in programming yet, i'm taking steps to learn C++ on my own before going off to school to study this kinds of things. My dream is to work as a games developer.

 

Just out of curiousity...what kinds of education do you need to work as a games programmer/developer?  :unsure:

 

As far as education is concerned, I think learning C/C++ (latter being more in-vogue) is definitely a good start. But I believe learning how to use a language, and programming in general, are just the beginning. They're just tools in the end to allow you to express some other idea (the thing you're really trying to do).

 

So I wouldn't neglect the other subjects like maths, physics, etc... since they are obviously important in games nowadays, and getting more so.

 

IMHO of course! :p

 

McBaine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I havent got any education in programming yet, i'm taking steps to learn C++ on my own before going off to school to study this kinds of things. My dream is to work as a games developer.

 

Just out of curiousity...what kinds of education do you need to work as a games programmer/developer?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In additin to waht McBain said: my experience as programmer shows that the most important is the project management - you should know excactly what you want as functionality and interface, then you should prepare the program structure as objects and methods, and the LAST thing is to write code. The BASIC reason for failures is BAD management. Every programmer is asking about languages, IDEs, APIs, etc etc, but nobody asks about managing the development process.

"Managing senior programmers is like herding cats." - Dave Platt

 

I can testify to the validity of the above statement :)

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Managing senior programmers is like herding cats." - Dave Platt

 

I can testify to the validity of the above statement :p

Unfortuately, so do I. And not only senior, but ALL programers

 

:) :D :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've started out learning VB, HTML, XML, and XHTML for personal use. I'm about to get started on C, C++, and possibly C# in the end depending on how the market is looking for it, and maybe just for fun. Going to be taking lots of Math and Physics <sp> classes. It'd be fun to take a Pyschology course as well to possibly incorporate it into some type of AI in the future. I'd also like to learn Java for fun :)

 

only problem i have with math is i keep forgetting all of theorums and my teachers get angry with me when i do it a different way and still get the right answer :p

 

my eventual goal is to get into game development/design (like 1/3 of the people here) :blink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...