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Thread: how difficult is game development?

  1. #1
    Senior Member segamegax4's Avatar
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    Angry how difficult is game development?

    in the beginning of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U_deCkLt0A an employee from EA says that video game development isnt as hard as he thought it would be but in this article http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...panzer-dragoon and this http://www.1up.com/features/panzer-d...pager.offset=4 yukio futatsugi says that game development was grueling

    which is more accurate? is EA an exeption or is futatsugi being a whiny piss baby?
    how hard EXACTLY is game development?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Fabrizo1's Avatar
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    Game development isn't bad at all if you have an ample budget, realistic deadlines/goals, and highly competent co-workers/management. However this is very VERY rarely the case.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tubsiwub's Avatar
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    As a game developer, it's difficult to learn, but not hard to execute. The difficulty lies in the employer, which I don't have good experience with as of yet.

    It can be massively daunting trying to write a program and getting stuck at every turn trying to figure out how to make X work with Y. Code bugs are unusually annoying in many cases, and being "the" expert, you can't just turn and ask someone else to solve the thing for you. You can only ask for help, which takes lots of time.

    Also, don't call him a "whiny piss baby". There are extremely challenging aspects to every job, even when that job is "making games".

  4. #4
    Senior Member zborgerd's Avatar
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    Depends on whether or not you work for Konami, apparently. http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertco...yee-practices/

    *Da-da-dum*!

  5. #5
    Senior Member PhantomSentry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tubsiwub View Post
    There are extremely challenging aspects to every job, even when that job is "making games".
    If everyone was like me, we wouldn't even have Pong.

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    It should also be noted that older systems can be much more difficult because of their limitations. For example I'm working on two atari 2600 titles at the moment. In one of them the coordinates for the player object need to use 2 bytes each for x and y so that I can use decimals which gives a finer degree of control. Now say that I want to compare one of those values with something else. HAHAHAHA, the compiler throws up an error if you use a decimal in an "if" statement.

    It took me all day to find a workaround for one problem where I needed to divide an x coordinate value (0-160) to make it work with the playfield coordinate value which can only be 0-31. One would think that dividing by a factor of 5 would do it but NO. Turns out that the playfield coordinates start 18 pixels in from the left so "0" really equals "18". So the correct way to do it is pfx = (xcoordinate-18)/5 - 1. Weirdo things like that aren't too common in modern hardware. Why is it that way? Because old hardware has an ambitious hatred for the users.

    I posted this example on my facebook last night. I needed to see a variables' value. In this case the score field is the only field where one can actually display numbers. BUT since the 2600 doesn't like integers over 255 (and can't just display integers anyway) you have to use binary for the score. Here's the code to do it using basic (a super easy programming language) for the atari:

    temp4 = player0x
    sc1 = 0 : sc2 = sc2 & 15
    if temp4 >= 100 then sc1 = sc1 + 16 : temp4 = temp4 - 100
    if temp4 >= 100 then sc1 = sc1 + 16 : temp4 = temp4 - 100
    if temp4 >= 50 then sc1 = sc1 + 5 : temp4 = temp4 - 50
    if temp4 >= 30 then sc1 = sc1 + 3 : temp4 = temp4 - 30
    if temp4 >= 20 then sc1 = sc1 + 2 : temp4 = temp4 - 20
    if temp4 >= 10 then sc1 = sc1 + 1 : temp4 = temp4 - 10
    sc2 = (temp4 * 4 * 4) | sc2

    Now let's do the same thing with a modern language on say a PC.

    score = player0x;

    What this boils down to is that I can totally see why one guy who worked on something old like Panzer Dragoon can have a different opinion from someone who is working on modern things. Some things are easier, some things are harder.

  7. #7
    Administrator vicireland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zborgerd View Post
    Depends on whether or not you work for Konami, apparently. http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertco...yee-practices/

    *Da-da-dum*!
    Konami Japan has a very derogatory code name taken up by employees internally. If I see any of you at E3 or a show, ask me sometime.

  8. #8
    Senior Member xelement5x's Avatar
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    Yeah, old game development was a completely different type of design and implementation than modern hardware. Supposedly one of the things that really helped 3rd parties switch to the PS1 is that the SDK for it was incredibly easy to use compared to the Saturn, and there was a lot of solid documentation from support.

    Another thing that's easy to forget is compile times for older stuff is near instantaneous now, I can imagine in the Atari days it could take much much longer to have a build that you could actually hand to QA to test. I'd think there would be a lot less flying by the seat of your pants, and much more methodical practices like design documents so you weren't wasting time on bugs and rebuilds.
    Quote Originally Posted by MrBonkers View Post
    Actually this makes the localization good, but because it doesn't match the Japanese Script 1:1 people throw a fit. And if that's a problem for you, GTFO, go improve your Japanese and play the Japanese version to be as pure and kawaii as you want.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Tubsiwub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xelement5x View Post
    Another thing that's easy to forget is compile times for older stuff is near instantaneous now, I can imagine in the Atari days it could take much much longer to have a build that you could actually hand to QA to test. I'd think there would be a lot less flying by the seat of your pants, and much more methodical practices like design documents so you weren't wasting time on bugs and rebuilds.
    Oh god, did they even have teams dedicated to Q&A back during the Atari? I don't know when it officially began, but the developers tested the games themselves for the most part during those times.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zborgerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tubsiwub View Post
    Oh god, did they even have teams dedicated to Q&A back during the Atari? I don't know when it officially began, but the developers tested the games themselves for the most part during those times.
    I'd heard once that there was a time when "programmers" didn't even key in their programs. They wrote them down and gave them to a typist who would enter enter it in. I can't even imagine how ineffective that probably was, though I guess that you'd have to be extremely proficient ad knowing a piece of hardware.

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