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Is it easy?

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I just want to ask one general question: Comparing with other industries, is Game Programming easy? If it is, why? And if it isn''t, why not? "Pannekoek, Poitjie Kos, ''''n Bier en lekker Braai Vleis!"

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I''d say programming, and game programming especially, is harder than most "industries", because programming includes in itself most "real" industries. In order to be a good programmer, you are required to model pretty much everything in the real world.


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quote:
you are required to model pretty much everything in the real world.
But not alone, and not very accurately either. A single person can do physics, another does 3d engine, one or two is doing AI etc. It''s not so overwhelming as you make it sound.

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I''m sure there are more difficult jobs out there, probably some advanced engineering or whatever, but no - game programming is not easy. After 13 years at it, I no longer find it hard , but it is still a challenge. And there is always more to learn and hardware to keep up with.

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I''m not in the game industry at all, but I would imagine that part of it is not just about programming a game, but being able to program a game that will sell in sufficient quantity so as to be worth programming !

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I''ve done both. I''m more an artist than anything else, but I''ve programmed for both and I''d have to say it''s more a question of what is more "fun". The game I worked on was so fun that the difficulties in programming didn''t seem so bad.

Put like this:

whould you rather figure out how to display the angle of trajectory of a laser blast fired from a randomly moving object, or figure out how to display the end of year fiscal reports for an accounting firm?

___________________________
"It’s been a very long time since I’ve ceased to be preoccupied with reality."

-Alfred Hitchcock

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I''ll get straight to the point....Game programming is hard, matter of fact, It''s very difficult. I''ve been trying to learn game programming for more than a year now, and I still dont know jack. All I know is terminology and what abbreviances of words mean (i.e GUI) (or API). another thing that sucks about game programming is being broke, books cost a lot and in order to be very good at what you do you''ll need 10+ years of experience. It''s a long road but we''re willing to take it

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by stefu
What other programming there exist than Game Programming?


Tons!!!

I work in a company and do Application programming, which means all those neat apps you play with I make. Well not 100% as the company I work for integrates the application along with telephony.

But other then that there is web programming as well that I can think of....personally these are more realistic jobs that most people will get into.

Yes I would love to become a game programmer as well but I have to be honest with myself and say that there are too many negatives that I won''t become one (geographical location being one).

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Life schedule plays a part too, since the general consensus is that close to release time, you practically live at the office to squash out any remaining issues. And a lot of game companies have to keep spitting out work to keep their heads above water. Then there is living under the iron boot of the publisher, and trying to set up agreements so that the publisher is happy and the developers can support themselves, etc.

Applications programming for businesses is somewhat different. Custom business solutions operate on a per contract basis with the client. The one I work for bills on a per hour basis, and the hours are estimated at the beginning as a fixed bid. Since the software isn't sold publicly, there is no need for a publisher.

As for the other kinds of store shelf programming (graphics editors, educational programming, etc.), I cannot comment.

[edited by - Waverider on November 18, 2002 3:38:14 PM]

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maybe its just my overly positive personality speaking, but i dont think its that difficult. sure, its hard, trying to keep up with all the technological advances and trying to make a product that all will want to make money, but, if you believe you can, i believe you can! now, if your looking at it as something hard to do that youll never get the hang of, thats probably true. and i believe its the same vice-versa. just my 2 cents.... ;-)

The Shaz

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I definitely agree. Sure, I pulled my hair out and nearly died of frustration for the first 1-2 years, but if you can push yourself through that period (and there''s no reason it might not be shorter for you) then you''ll find that the difficulty drops off over time. Every now and again you''ll have a big revelation abut something or other that turns something that used to be a tremendous pain in the @ss into a snap.

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I''ve been working in the games industry for two years now after having been in the embedded system industry. I find the programming aspect of game development way easier than embedded system work, but I have to admit that working as part of a team and trying to create a title that has broad appeal is very difficult. I spend all my time pulling my hair out over the feature list and design concepts, but when it comes to actually writing the code it''s pretty straight forward.

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But what makes game programming itself different from other programming. How is the code different? What exactly makes it harder?

"Pannekoek, Poitjie Kos, ''''n Bier en lekker Braai Vleis!"

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Business apps usually push around small pieces of data at a given time. They may deal with a lot of data overall, but usually not all at once. Games manages tons of data and graphics and have other components - physics, AI, multiplayer, input from mouse/keyboard/joystick/whatever; some of which rival the complexity of some business apps.

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Game programming is tough because it has to run in real-time at acceptable framerates. That means it needs to be efficient and at the same time, have certain features and look good. It''s about how to cram a lot of graphics, features onto limited hardware.

Game programming is tough because it changes really quickly. It changes just as fast as other programming fields. But on top of that, new techniques, API''s, algorithms, features are constantly changing as gaming hardware changes. The industry is deeply rooted in constantly pushing the envelope so the programming reflects that.

Game programming is tough because the industry is a bit odd. It''s a glamour industry so lots of people flock to it. It''s hard to stay afloat in the gaming business so schedules tend to be accelerated. It''s a risky industry so job security is very low.

Game programming is tough because games are becoming very complicated and codebases are getting very huge.

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