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SDKs and Console creation.

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This is a total noob question, but I wish for someone to start from the beginning. Please take the time to answer and try to understand that I HAVE tried to make sense of articles I've read. I would rather read this from experienced or at least aspiring game designers, than some people on YiM or the Emu channel. Game design was not something I picked up recently, I've always wanted to do game design, and coding for companies later on in life. Being in high school, and constantly in class, I have little time for research, as most of my spare time goes into building a portfolio. So... What does it take to build a game? And not just for PCs, because I have done a few small projects with a cracked 3D Game Studio (Sorry, I'm poor), and the open-source engine, Reality Factory. I'm talking about for systems, for Playstation and GameCube, or whatever next generation system will be out by the time I finish college. It's come to my understanding that you need a(n) (Name of System) SDK. This would include the CD or Cartridge to load the hardware, and of course, the chip which would have to be saughtered or installed into the system. This could be wrong, as this is only an assumption that I have derived from the web. What programming language(s) can these run? Does the SDK work just like a compiler? And how can one purchase these legally from the company (I'm aware that they cost a lot). Just in general, how does console game creation work? -Thanks for your time, -The noobish Zodiac Draw.

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First off. Being poor is not an excuse for cracking i.e: stealing software, and let's not get philosofical about copies not actually being stolen. Using commercial software = payment to developer. Using cracked software = not paying money owed is stealing. That is the stealing part, not the software itself. Clear enough? ok, now let's move on

SDKs are normally a compilation of tools and APIs to aid development on a platform. They may contain a compiler but that is not required. There are some free and open source sdks for consoles available. Sony playstation 2 have a linux distribution for it and is the only way I know for anyone to code on PS2 without a developers SDK.

Getting a developers SDK for a console is very hard and normally only given to companies with signed with a publisher. Some like Nintendo also approves games and will not let you release games for the console that goes against the company image.

As for what it takes to start from the beginning. Get together with your friends and book a weekend for brainstorming. Just let the mind go and write down any game idea you come up with no matter how silly it is. You can always use that for inspiration later or you might find that the idea wasn't that silly after all. Then spend a few months on getting the game right on paper. Then start coding a demo. Don't worry about how well coded it is and just get it working. You don't need to worry about the quality of anything at this point. Once you get the idea of the code correct and things work somewhat like you indended then get on with the real coding work.

1. Code -> evaluate & change -> repeat until beta
2. beta: fix bugs -> evaluate & change -> repeat until Release candidate
3. RC: fix bugs -> change (only if needed) & evaluate -> repeat until release. & start working on the next game
4. Release: start coding the demo for the next game and repeat from 1.

This is short I know but between every point there is months of development. You need to be willing to work hard. I do mean hard like 24/7 if needed. Getting into the business requires more than just 40hr/week dedication.

There are also gamedevelopment books available at your local bookstore, pick one up (after reading some of it first) don't buy books that says "this is the way to do it" there is no such way, and they are lying to you if they do.

No math skills? This is actually *not* a problem. There are plenty of resources for common solutions, and for the most part you really don't need more than that. For the problems that do require math skills, get hold of one or two that is skilled with math. Most programming work doesn't require as much math as many think.

Look up Dave Perry from Shiny on google and have a look at his website, there is plenty information there.

Good luck.

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I thank you greatly. I won't argue that stealing is wrong, but I DO need the experience, any way I can get it. It's not right, but it's important.
Supposing I have a Linux system (Which I happen to, but haven't used since 2003), could you point me in the right direction to an open source, demo, or free SDK for playstation?
Also, I read an article on using CodeWarrior for the PALM Operation System, which can code games for PS2/ PSP. Would you happen to know anything about this?

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