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Xbox 360, Ps3, Nintendo Revolution Coding


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#41 Sneftel   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 1781

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 07:27 AM

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Of course, gd.NET staff could just look up your IP, and do some "digging" to find out who you are and who you work for. :D

That's true, though finding out identity from IP address is a rather chancy affair. But we don't do that. There are a lot of people here in that situation, actually... it's one of the main reasons the site still has anonymous posting.

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#42 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 07:45 AM

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Original post by Anonymous Poster
AP, I have never ever heard of any studio using 2 or 3 QA on AAA titles...thats lunacy..the smallest QA depts I've worked in, had easily a dozen or more people...theres simply no way you can test a retail project with so few people


It varied depending on what point in the project we were. But there were generally between 3 and 5 testers per project. On one project I worked on, there were no testers at all up to alpha, when we finished a milestone build, the dev team would have to stay late and test it.

Bear in mind though, that we did have the testers at the publisher to fall back on. They did the majority of the testing.

Bear in mind, I'm also not saying that this company was particularly successful. :)

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I just don't understand why you just can't say what Companies you work for? I am only 15 so I may not understand it yet but to me it seems like, if you work for a company and they don't want you to say the comanies name or game's name then that is a little werid if I must say so my self. I mean come one, if you did then that company would get free advertising and the game may get a little more sold! So, that does sound a little weird.


I personally will not say what company I worked for, or use my real user name because firstly I think it would be unprofessional to talk about the internals of a company I worked for on the internet. That said, unlike the other posters, I don't think going into team sizes is something that's particularly confidential.

I would never discuss in detail the technology used by the company I worked for, or go into small details about the inner workings of the company. But something like team size is something that anyone who looks at the credits of the game can see for themselves.

Secondly, I feel that if I revealed the company I worked for, I would have to have a professional attitude to every one of my posts, which would mean steering clear of any arguments, and not posting in the lounge.

That said, I have been tempted to start a new username, and do just that.

Quote:

Of course, gd.NET staff could just look up your IP, and do some "digging" to find out who you are and who you work for. :D


I'm sure they could, but unless I'm say something that would require someone to take legal action, they have very little reason to do so. I really doubt they have the time or the inclination to do that.

#43 HAM   Members   -  Reputation: 176

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 07:57 AM

For XBox check out XNA

#44 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 07:59 AM

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Original post by Alpha_ProgDes
Is it still a "rumor" that Nintendo Revolution will allow homebrew games to be made on it? Or has that been squashed?

So I guess no one knows?


#45 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 09:38 PM

The existence of budget titles disproves the assertion that $10m budgets are needed to go next-gen. That's all I was saying. Value games are a valid though often overlooked portion of the industry. Whether they make as much money as AAA titles is really irrelevant, as the discussion is about what it takes to become a console developer. Of course all the assertions about a 14 year old being completely incapable of legally developing a console title are true... but it's not true to say that you need $10m to start. If that's not what the discussion was about, then I stand corrected in advance.

#46 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 01:41 AM

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Original post by Anonymous Poster
The existence of budget titles disproves the assertion that $10m budgets are needed to go next-gen. That's all I was saying. Value games are a valid though often overlooked portion of the industry. Whether they make as much money as AAA titles is really irrelevant, as the discussion is about what it takes to become a console developer. Of course all the assertions about a 14 year old being completely incapable of legally developing a console title are true... but it's not true to say that you need $10m to start. If that's not what the discussion was about, then I stand corrected in advance.



The OP was asking about Xbox360 PS3 and Revolution...there is no budget market for that, and there won't be for some time. It'll take time for the smaller teams to be able to get hold of kits,dev status etc.

The fact that current gen budget teams can deliver with 20 or more people does not negate the argument that AAA current gen teams need 100 or more (the division of work is actually pretty easy to discover, take a look at the credit list of any AAA title, its vast).
Also these budget teams have built upon a couple of years worth of experience and handmedown code/middleware/tool sets...none of that exists for next gen and will need to be developed, at a cost and a measure of time.

All developers willing to comment are reporting far longer dev times and higher manpower needed to push the proposed limits of these new next gen machines, so $10M, 100ish people, and 2years or more for these machines is a perfectly accurate and probably conservative assesment of the needs of a major dev team to produce AAA work on next gen.

Factual experience tells me that many if not most BIG studios put this amount of effort and money into current gen, no point arguing about it, as I said check the credits.



#47 Sphet   Members   -  Reputation: 631

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 08:04 AM

I'll wade in here because I want to add some additional credit to the anonymous poster. It's a ramble, but that's how my brain works.

I think his tone might be a bit off based, but I think that's a result of being as frustrated, as I have been, over all these posts asking how to get access to next generation development systems without any investigation.

I work at a console development house and I've been in the industry for 6 years now, having been a software engineer for 10 years.

The truth is that development kits are expensive, compilers and debuggers are expensive, 3D modelling tools are expensive, Photoshop is expensive, hiring staff is expensive, creating content is expensive, paying for the office is expensive and negotiating a contract with a publisher a long, frustrating and difficult process. It all adds up.

All that said and done, there are initiatives put forward by some of the hardware manufacturers to aid small groups in developing proof-of-concept technology to secure publishers. Microsoft had this with their incubation program for the original Xbox - and a hefty price tag was still attached.

I believe that for next generation consoles, these programs will not be available until the market has been saturated with quality titles that make each platform attractive to the end user. Until a platform is established, none of the manufacturers are going to risk any investment in small groups who want to develop for the consoles.

Team sizes to vary - I've worked in groups as small as 25 and as large as 70. At a previous company, one of the AAA titles I worked on was at the high 60s, but the other titles I worked on, while having critical and cult acclaim, never reached the sales figures of a AAA title. These sizes were 25 to 40 people.

These days the end user wants more and more content. This ends up being the bottleneck for most developers - the technology takes time to built, but once built can usually be leveraged to create sequels or entirely different games with a lower cost, but the art, sound and design assets always need to be created. Some companies solve this by outsourcing, some by hiring a lot of people internally.

I know from experience that 14 people can get together and create a great game that sells on the consoles. I also know that, without a publisher to back that team, none of the hardware manufacturers would listen. Once a publisher was secured, development started and by the end up our one year cycle we had 25 people on the team, barely enough to finish the title. Our product didn't sell very much but it was well received by reviewers.

Triple AAA titles come from marketing, a strong publisher, polish, depth of experience and apparent value to the end user. It's impossible to achieve this without large teams sizes. You need those programmers whose job is to make sure everything works 'just right', to add the polish to the camera system to make it work perfectly, and artist to work on the same asset for six months to make it the best it can be.

As other people have pointed out, people working as professional developers arn't allowed to discuss specifics of their job site. Non-disclosure agreements are the norm in this industry, and they are there to protect the company, and the employees. If my company got in trouble over something I said, I'd be out of a job, as would everyone else. NDAs provide a framework of understanding between everyone at a company that makes sure that, as far as disclosure is concerned, everyone is on the same page and that we can all count on each other. Some companies to go too far with their NDAs, but I think there is value in what they are intended to do.

If you want to make a console game, start with a plan. Build up a solid design, secure an investor or get a warchest of cash, and build your team. Create a playable demo on the PC, making sure to write your code base such that it doesn't matter what platform you are developing for. Take the demo on the road, or better yet, hire a contract agent - he already has the connections. Go to all the conferences, talk to the publishers whenever you have a chance, and get to know them. Make talks at GDC, write articles for Gamasutra. Hire someone to raise the public profile of your company so publishers hear about your from multiple sources. You could also try getting a job doing a sequel for an existing product - taking someone else's code base and adding to it may be seen as less of a risk to a publisher. Don't be suprised if a publisher doesn't want to make your game, but wants you to make their game. This is really the norm in the industry right now. Bide your time, build up your cash reserves, get credibility in the industry. Make sure you have people on staff that have shipped titles - if you can afford it, hire a rendering programmer who has shipped titles - this will reduce publisher anxiety the most and write documents outlining your technology.

As a side note, there is nothing that you can do on a console that you can't do on a modern day PC. If you are learning to write games, write them on the PC - at least everyone who wants to can download your game and play it. Try your hand at writing a game that runs on Apple computers and Intel processors and you'll learn that the guts of a game don't care about how many textures passes a platform has, or that it supports 4, 6 or 8 controllers. Animation is platform neutral. Resource management is platform neutral, as is AI, gameplay, cameras, high-level rendering, scene management, high-level sound logic, game taks management, high-level gamepad input, front end systems. Console development is ultimately about having a built in distribution channel and not having to chase technology for a five year stretch. It's not about any special technology that you can't get on the PC. Just because the PS3 has multiple cell processors doesn't make their physics any better, it just makes it run faster (and harder to code). High end PCs are just as fast as far as I can tell.

As a final point I also wanted to add that I recently had to write up the contract documents for working with the manufacturers and they ask questions about the history of your team as well as the company's financial plan. This is very important to them as they know there is a larger support burden on new developers then seasoned ones. I wouldn't be suprised if they have some 'quota' on the number of newbies versus seasoned ones that can have in the queue at any one time.

Well, I may have overstepped my NDA, but I wanted to share my experiences with you guys.

Best of luck with your plan. As I said, start small and work towards milestone goals. You might get into the tail end of the next generation of consoles, but as always, there's always another round of consoles in the pipe.

- S

#48 PnP Bios   Banned   -  Reputation: 490

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 08:06 AM

Quote:
Original post by Alpha_ProgDes
Quote:
Original post by Alpha_ProgDes
Is it still a "rumor" that Nintendo Revolution will allow homebrew games to be made on it? Or has that been squashed?

So I guess no one knows?


I certainly hope so, but I think the Nintendo dude was talking out of both sides of his mouth. Hype is free after all.
HxRender | Cornerstone SDL TutorialsCurrently picking on: Hedos, Programmer One

#49 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 01:01 PM

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There is no budget market for that, and there won't be for some time. It'll take time for the smaller teams to be able to get hold of kits,dev status etc.


Let's just say I have very good reasons to strongly disagree with this statement.

#50 kodeninja   Members   -  Reputation: 214

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 01:18 PM

I'm going to focus on the PS3 for a second here.

I've heard from various news sites that some (all?) PS3 will be coming with linux pre-installed on its harddrive or you can buy a hard drive with linux pre-installed for the PS3. Not too clear on how that works...

I was also reading through some cell processor stuff(look specifically at part 3) which states that they have had Linux running on the Cell processor. Further more they are allready expanding GCC so that it incorperates compiling for the cell arch.

Therefore I ask whats to stop someone from simply createing a linux-based PS3 game? They have GCC and an OS to develop on. Perhaps, it won't be native like store bought games, but its definatly giant leap from a 10,000$ dev kit to a 300$ ps3...

Anyone else thought about this?

#51 PnP Bios   Banned   -  Reputation: 490

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 05:15 PM

If that is accurate, then sony is talking out their mouth and their ass at the same time.

How hard would it be for somebody to write a boot loader to circumvent copy protection, and execute code arbitrarily? Answer, about as hard as it would be to buy a blu-ray dvd burner, or write a program to rip content off disks.

Will we see linux for the PS3? Who knows, but if we do, it will be severly limmited.
HxRender | Cornerstone SDL TutorialsCurrently picking on: Hedos, Programmer One

#52 Popkorn62   Banned   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 03:16 PM

Well as far as Xbox goes i know Microsoft is keen to push their XNA archetict to help developers understand the code of the system. But since the next gen systems are going to be very different hardware wise, porting multi-platform games could be a challenge.

#53 Sol462   Members   -  Reputation: 240

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 12:02 PM

Quote:
Original post by kodeninja
I'm going to focus on the PS3 for a second here.

I've heard from various news sites that some (all?) PS3 will be coming with linux pre-installed on its harddrive or you can buy a hard drive with linux pre-installed for the PS3. Not too clear on how that works...

I was also reading through some cell processor stuff(look specifically at part 3) which states that they have had Linux running on the Cell processor. Further more they are allready expanding GCC so that it incorperates compiling for the cell arch.

Therefore I ask whats to stop someone from simply createing a linux-based PS3 game? They have GCC and an OS to develop on. Perhaps, it won't be native like store bought games, but its definatly giant leap from a 10,000$ dev kit to a 300$ ps3...

Anyone else thought about this?

Theoretically, maybe. But Sony has been using the bad-sector method of copy protection, which, correct me if I'm wrong, works pretty well. Plus they would need to be able to compile for the Cell architecture and I doubt that will be available to the common programmer soon.

#54 DrEvil   Members   -  Reputation: 1105

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 12:17 PM

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Original post by kodeninja
Therefore I ask whats to stop someone from simply createing a linux-based PS3 game? They have GCC and an OS to develop on. Perhaps, it won't be native like store bought games, but its definatly giant leap from a 10,000$ dev kit to a 300$ ps3...
Anyone else thought about this?


What's to stop them? The simple little detail of not being allowed to make it in the first place. It's their console and unless you pay the licensing your game will never see any possibility of being sold. If your talking about trying to make some games to run on a modded console or something maybe that will be possible, maybe not, but if it is, it's not something you are going to be able to sell.


#55 samuraicrow   Members   -  Reputation: 325

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 04:33 AM

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Original post by Alpha_ProgDes
Is it still a "rumor" that Nintendo Revolution will allow homebrew games to be made on it? Or has that been squashed?


Here is the article in question.

#56 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 12:44 AM

Im working with / on PS3 dev now, believe me, a teen hobbyist isnt going to cut it.


#57 PnP Bios   Banned   -  Reputation: 490

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 09:02 AM

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Original post by Anonymous Poster
Im working with / on PS3 dev now, believe me, a teen hobbyist isnt going to cut it.


Will your NDA allow you to discuss what development tools you are provided with?
HxRender | Cornerstone SDL TutorialsCurrently picking on: Hedos, Programmer One

#58 S1CA   Members   -  Reputation: 1400

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 12:52 PM

Quote:
Original post by PnP Bios
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Im working with / on PS3 dev now, believe me, a teen hobbyist isnt going to cut it.


Will your NDA allow you to discuss what development tools you are provided with?



Without breaking NDAs, stuff already in the public domain should give you enough of a clue [smile] (NDAs usually prevent discussion of anything that's not already been officially released in the public domain):

1) Sony buying SN Systems (www.snsys.com), makers of Pro-DG (probably the most widely used compiler/debugger for PS2). Press release here: http://www.scei.co.jp/corporate/release/pdf/050721ae.pdf

2) nVidia GPU in the PS3: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=5839 - "Our collaboration includes not only the chip development but also a variety of graphics development tools and middleware, essential for efficient content creation."

3) OpenGL ES available for PS3: http://www.khronos.org/opengles/adopters/adopterslist/ "The Sony Playstation 3 will support OpenGL ES." (BTW: "support" is an interesting word, in a Dreamcast & D3D kinda way...)

#59 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 01:06 PM

Quote:
Original post by samuraicrow
Quote:
Original post by Alpha_ProgDes
Is it still a "rumor" that Nintendo Revolution will allow homebrew games to be made on it? Or has that been squashed?


Here is the article in question.


Quote:
Original Post by Nintendo article
A dynamic development architecture equally accommodates both big-budget, high-profile game “masterpieces” as well as indie games conceived by individual developers equipped with only a big idea.


For all I know, that could mean there's lots of middleware and it's very easy to program for. Well granted I interpreted that after reading it a few times. And yes, I read that when it first came out. I was hoping to hear some updated, official, and explicit news on the indie front. Oh well.




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Posted 24 August 2005 - 04:09 PM

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Original post by kodeninja
Therefore I ask whats to stop someone from simply createing a linux-based PS3 game? They have GCC and an OS to develop on. Perhaps, it won't be native like store bought games, but its definatly giant leap from a 10,000$ dev kit to a 300$ ps3...


Not having GCC for the Cell processor (sure it exists, but can you get it)? Not having any knowledge of the machines architecture (drivers, addresses etc)?




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