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S1CA

Member Since 27 Feb 2001
Offline Last Active Feb 17 2014 06:00 AM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: Is DirectX Supported on other consoles besides Xbox?

13 February 2014 - 07:16 AM

Could you simply develop in OpenGL on Linux and compile for Steam and PS4?

As above, there is no OpenGL implementation for the PS4...
 
Direct3D 9 gets you WinXP+.
Direct3D 11 gets you WinVista+.
Direct3D 11.1 gets you Win8+.
OpenGL 2.x/3.x/4.x gets you Linux/Mac/Windows.
GNM gets you PS4.
GCM and/or PSGL gets you PS3.
GXM gets you PSVita.
DirectX 11.x gets you Xbone.
DirectX 9.x gets you Xbox360.
GLES 1.x/2.x gets you Android/iOS.
WebGL gets you HTML5.
GX gets you Wii.
GX2 gets you WiiU.
 
If you want a cross platform graphics API, you've got to make your own wrapper around most of the above... or you can use an existing game engine that's already done this work happy.png

 
And Mantle gets you AMD.


Yep. On PC.

Similarly (only slightly tongue in cheek) Glide gets you 3Dfx. PVR SGL gets you PowerVR PCX. On PC ;)

In Topic: How to find video games internships within the UK.

10 February 2014 - 08:27 AM

How many games have you made yourself? Do you enter competitions like Ludum Dare? (etc etc) How many mods/levels have you made for existing games? Have you learnt to do any programming and/or art? Have you showcased your games (and other creations) much on forums such as this one? Have you covered a broad range of game genres in the stuff you've made (when it's a real 'job' you have to produce good work even for genres and IPs you hate)?

 
I haven't made any games of my own, but I have been thinking of some ideas.
...
Yeah I guess I need to make more games of my own.


Definitely! smile.png

Most ideas sound good. Most look good on paper too. In reality most have major flaws. Whenever I tell people (outside the industry) that I make games they tell me their 'great' games ideas (that are usually "it's just like XYZ but birds instead of planes") or how the film script they have in their head would make a great game. Sometimes (rarely) people even have ideas about actual gameplay mechanics. Everyone who plays games has some ideas and things they'd do differently.

Talk is cheap, ideas are cheaper - but how do you know an idea is going to work or be fun to play?

Turning those ideas into a reality by actually making something is how you prove your designs work. It's ok if your ideas fail - it's actually good if they fail - that's good experience, and if you get used to failing early it saves you time (and money once it's a job).

An incredibly important skill for a games designer is to work within constraints (time, hardware power, etc). You only fully realise the constraints inherent in your ideas by putting them into practice.

You might do some of that stuff on a degree course, but it's really not enough - your peers are coming in with completed games, mods for existing games and lots of little side prototypes that they've done across multiple genres simply because they love doing it not because they were required to do that as part of a course. This isn't an industry that does apprenticeships - you have to do that part on your own!

BTW to prove things like core gameplay mechanics ideas shouldn't need too much technical or art skill. 2D prototypes or simple boxy 3D are sufficient to prove most. On a related note, when something's actually playable, that itself generates new ideas and improvements.
 
 

Do you work for Ubisoft Reflections in Newcastle? What Universities do you work with? I attended Northumbria University and did BSc Computer Games Design / Production. I had a guy from Ubisoft Reflection, come in and teach some of our module. Teeside University have links to Ubisoft.


Yep, I work at Reflections smile.png The universities we work with change from year to year, and the level of connection varies and involve more than just placements (e.g. guest lectures), so "all of the local ones" is the most accurate answer.

In Topic: How to find video games internships within the UK.

07 February 2014 - 08:12 AM

I agree with what Tom and ambershee said. 

 

At the studio I work at:

  1. We DO take on a very small number of interns each year. NOTE this is for university placement years, not for short term school "work experience".
  2. It's done in partnership with universities close to our office. The best N students are chosen from CS or games courses.
  3. AFAIK we don't take on design interns, only programming and art.
  4. The most successful candidates have a real passion about games and making games; they do a lot of stuff in their own time.

As Tom says, expect to apply to a lot of companies to get an internship (all of them if you have the time!:)). Expect to apply to even more to get a placement as a designer - there is no shortage of good ideas (and more people queuing up with good ideas) in the games industry - what is needed is people who can make those ideas a reality - that's why people who get the pure design jobs tend to have experience. You may find intern roles as a "level builder", but quite often that's considered a branch of environment art so unless you have a qualification in say architecture or town planning, or are good at art, that might be out.

 

The competition for intern and entry level games positions is fierce - think about it, everyone in the world currently doing a games course at university or college wants those positions, so do a large number of the people on this board and similar. So as well as a lot of luck, you need to stand out from the 1000s of people you're in competition with.

 

How many games have you made yourself? Do you enter competitions like Ludum Dare? (etc etc) How many mods/levels have you made for existing games? Have you learnt to do any programming and/or art? Have you showcased your games (and other creations) much on forums such as this one? Have you covered a broad range of game genres in the stuff you've made (when it's a real 'job' you have to produce good work even for genres and IPs you hate)?

 

The people who are getting those intern roles are doing all of those things and more, if you aren't you should be! Those things are also major points in your favour for when you apply for non-intern entry level roles.

 

If you have stuff to show, then include links when you're contacting companies. Local games industry networking events can be a mixed bag - they're a good place to meet student, indie and hobbyist developers who you can collaborate with on more games. They can be a good place to get advice of people in the industry. If you have a good portfolio of games (and related things) you've made, it can be a good place to show people (to get feedback, and to ask if companies have any intern places available).

 

Game development conferences are good for similar reasons if you can afford to go and have a higher proportion of companies and professional developers.

 

As a group, the company I work for now also has a graduate scheme that might be of interest to you: https://www.ubisoftgroup.com/en-us/careers/graduateprogram/


In Topic: Is DirectX Supported on other consoles besides Xbox?

26 January 2014 - 07:24 AM

Dreamcast 'supports' DirectX too :) http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms834190.aspx

 

Thing is, because console hardware is fixed, some of the abstractions in the Direct3D you find on PC are unnecessary, so even on the Xboxen (and Dreamcast) there's D3D and another API that lets you get at some of the lower level aspects of the hardware directly - people tend to use a mixture of both.

 

Regarding PS4, this article: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-how-the-crew-was-ported-to-playstation-4 covers a talk I co-presented at the Develop conference last year and has the few details that Sony allowed us to talk about publicly - as frob says, everything else is still covered by NDAs so isn't open for discussion.


In Topic: How is the Game Development field?

18 January 2014 - 07:09 AM

Regarding the job availability question - most of of the available games jobs are not entry level and require some amount of industry experience in a real production environment (ideally with shipped product).

 

However, there are still some junior positions out there, particularly at indie studios who don't have the budget to pay for senior people. That's one way to get some industry experience (on top of your degree and portfolio of personal projects mentioned above).

 

The other common route into the entry level jobs is internships, usually at the larger companies but sometimes at smaller ones too (budget reasons as above and external funding is sometimes available to studios for taking on interns). The best performing interns are often offered permanent junior jobs. As an extension of the traditional intern intake, the company I work for has also started a graduate programme which may be of interest to you in a few years: https://www.ubisoftgroup.com/en-us/careers/graduateprogram/index.aspx


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