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TravisL742

Xbox 360, Ps3, Nintendo Revolution Coding

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Which compiler and language is best to be done for these consoles? I plan to make a game for the PC, Xbox 360, and Ps3, and I need to know about the compilers and what programming language to use.
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The short and sad answer is the hobby programmers cannot make games for any of the new consoles coming out. To make a game you need a license deal with sony, nintendo or microsoft and you need dev kits which I assume will run about $10,000 each.

Anyway, prototypes of the dev kits are only available to a small number of the major publishers. Inside those publishers engineers are struggling to figure out how to code for them. Basically it's a paradigm shift into highly threaded application programming for the new games. The PS3, for instance has essentially the ability to execute 9 concurrent threads (one of which is locked for the console native magic).

Basically unless you are a professional developer put away your dreams to code for the new consoles. Sony, nintendo and Miscrosoft are simply making it impossible for non-professionals to write games for their consoles.

If you really want to work on those consoles call up the appropriate Sony or Microsoft departments with your game proposal and team layout, etc and start lobbying for access. Expect to pay an assload of money for that access & don't bother trying unless your team has shipped a bunch of major titles previously.

It kinda sucks but that's the way the industry is going. =/

-me
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I checked the Xbox website so I can find out about the Xbox 360 stuff, and theres nothing for registration yet..

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Original post by TravisL742
I checked the Xbox website so I can find out about the Xbox 360 stuff, and theres nothing for registration yet..


This is not something that you can hope to achieve unless you are a major publisher or affiliated with one. Sorry to say that if you do not already have contacts inside the console manufacturers that you should just give up this idea.

Anyway, this is not something you would find on the website. You will need to look for the phone numbers of the sales teams or PR teams or something like that. You will need to call them and talk to them and see what is involved in becomming a licensed partner. Again don't even attempt this unless you have released at least one AAA title or somewhere around 5 other professionally released games or run a team composed of people for whom that is true.

You might have better luck going to a major publisher like EA or Activision with your game proposal and seeing if they will get you the licence deal. Expect to have a _working_ prototype of your game running on the PC. Again this is something that one accomplishes by calling people on the phone, not by reading the company website for instructions.

It's important to point out that the publishers are expecting that next-gen games will cost upwards of $20 million dollars to develop. As this is the case, the bar to entry is _extremely_ high. $20 million is a lot to risk on anything.

-me
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Yea, but you would have to have good conversation skillz for telephone conversations with those who are listening to your proposal.
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Original post by TravisL742
Yea, but you would have to have good conversation skillz for telephone conversations with those who are listening to your proposal.

No, conversation skills probably would not be nearly as important as millions of dollars and an established development team with several titles under its belt. Really, if you want to program on a next-gen console, you should be looking for a job with a game development studio, not poking around websites.
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Original post by TravisL742
Yea, but you would have to have good conversation skillz for telephone conversations with those who are listening to your proposal.


I take it i have been sucked in and fed a troll? =(

-me
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Original post by Sneftel
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Original post by TravisL742
Yea, but you would have to have good conversation skillz for telephone conversations with those who are listening to your proposal.

No, conversation skills probably would not be nearly as important as millions of dollars and an established development team with several titles under its belt. Really, if you want to program on a next-gen console, you should be looking for a job with a game development studio, not poking around websites.


That ain't happening, since I'm 14, and every job Ive seen that I could do, you have to be over 18 and have a college degree..

I meet almost all of part of them, but with the over 18, and college degree crap, this ain't happening until after the next Microsoft console....

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Original post by TravisL742
That ain't happening, since I'm 14, and every job Ive seen that I could do, you have to be over 18 and have a college degree..

I meet almost all of part of them, but with the over 18, and college degree crap, this ain't happening until after the next Microsoft console....

Right. So for the time being, stick to PC (or a console that's more open to homebrew development, like the dreamcast or PS2).
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Yes, but for those systems (what you listed), don't you have to have the CD code so the Playstation 2 will read it?

I don't own a Sega Dreamcast, so that will not be done.
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Have a look at the Linux for PlayStation 2 website, it seems to have quite a lot of information on the subject - I suggest you read it all [smile]

Although, given your status - you might well be better off sticking to a PC for now. Relatively speaking, you can develop impressive PC stuff without licences, without specialist hardware and without paying a boat-load of cash up-front.

Apart from the aforementioned PS2/Dreamcast, consoles are pretty much a no-go for solo/small-team hobbyist games developers. It's an unfortunate fact that you can't really do anything about.

hth
Jack
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I'll stay with the PC, until we start to make more revenue, enough to pay for partnered publishers and stuff..
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oh god...why do they keep on coming

listen dude, it matters not how good you THINK you are, even very basic PC games need a team of experienced coders, artists, producers, QA people etc, to be able to produce something that is commercially viable.

The best a hobbiest could manage, even a very good hobbiest with a few mates helping out, would be a nice little shareware or budget title (I've got my flame suit on, guys, so no point in getting mad at me you know its true, show me one hobby game in the top 20...go on? Top 40 then?)

Unless your idea is Tetris simple and goign to sell millions becuase it's cute, or unbelievibly easy to code you are talking about months or years of development hell to produce any kind of major title on a par with the retail sector.
And unless you can target the retail sector you cannot get access to console tech from the makers.

It takes teams of 100's now to produce PS2 and Xbox titles of the quality that hits the shelves, and will need more for PS3 and X360, and literally 10's of thousands of man hours to produce these titles. The budgets as has been pointed out start at 10million dollars....the kits themselves cost 20,30,40K+ each.

Do you really think a 14yo with no experience of the systems, no concept of game development procedure, and clearly no idea whatsoever of market realities can bang out a game in his lifetime?

None of the console makers will talk to you unless you have a team big enough to cope, a bank balance big enough to cope, a proof of concept demo that blows them away (which in itself will take a prototyping team 4-8 months to produce) and a proven track record of delivering high quality titles.

You have to prove to the console makers you can produce the game, that means huge marketing presentations, not just a call to the xbox helpline, you have to show them market straegy, quality control, production processs and proven tech...then...maybe if they think the idea will sell minimum 100K units (and that bar is rising) they will let you talk to them about buying dev kits and blowing your money.

please...get real, stick with systems that you can handle, PC is available to all and there's a good market, GBA,PS1, Dreamcast and linux PS2 systesm are available to the hobby market and will allow you to gain experience of console dev.

But till you get that $10-20M int eh bank, forget about current consoles or nect gen systems..They'll become available to the hobby market in time, but you ain't ever going to be able to write a game at home for the PS3 withouth a lot of people backign you up...which then brings up teh managment side of things....

rant over.

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I definitely agree with the guy above. But in the spirit of encouraging new comers and being part of what this forum is about, you can also start with cell phones. It's new and there is not much quality control in this market
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Encouraging people, is also about setting realistic goals. Kids coming in, expecting to get Microsoft to deliver an xbox360 dev kit and a how to write your game manual, so they can have the great game they were talking about with their mates at school on the shelves in a month, is never going to happen, NEVER.

Disappointment at not being able to produce anything close to their expectations, probably puts more people off development than anything I know

Set your sights on what is possible, do it, do it well, then start to tackle the trickier stuff, build on a series of successes, not disappointments. Your ability, confidence and skills will grow much better with this, do your apprenticeship, work at it...console dev is bloody hard work even for seasoned pros, realise this and put in the hours. You'll get there in the end if you keep at it.
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Original post by Anonymous Poster
It takes teams of 100's now to produce PS2 and Xbox titles of the quality that hits the shelves, and will need more for PS3 and X360, and literally 10's of thousands of man hours to produce these titles. The budgets as has been pointed out start at 10million dollars....the kits themselves cost 20,30,40K+ each.


While I agree with the overall point of your post I just wanted to ask that if you're going to throw numbers into the post as backing to your point, at least make sure you have accurate numbers.

It does NOT take teams in the 100s to make commercially viable games, console or not. MMO teams likely are 100+ these days, but a majority of other games are far from it.

Budgets vary all over the place, even well under $10 mill, so that part is completely false too. I'd even go so far as to bet that a majority of overall games are less than half that.

And finally, your dev kit price quotes are nowhere close. The xbox360 dev kit is going to cost $10k according to microsoft at a recent game conference, the xb360 test kits will go for 1000. Older consoles were less than this most likely, though I have no first hand experience to quote exactly what they were.

Even with more accurate numbers, things still remain well out of reach of casual programmers. About the only way someone is going to get to work on a next gen console title is to work hard and get a job at a developer. Then you're working on someone elses console title, which isn't all its cracked up to be. IMO the funnest programming projects I work on are my own.
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I work in a major studio in production producing top 5 titles...My figures are generalised, but for the work we do the teams are around 120-130 people, NOT counting marketing. Our lowest budgets are $10M, most are $25K+...yes a few studios manage prjects under 1 million...most are crap..nearly all current retail projects have $10-20m budgets.

dev kit prices vary, and no fixed price for the new consoles currently exist, the guide prices are probably accurate, but I was also taking into account other factors, software, compilers/art packages, additional addons, PC's assest control software and so.
There are a few instances of big studios getting them free...but thats only for the people planning release titles.
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According to your posting history, in May you were asking what program was good to get started with game development. Game console programming is damned bloody hard, even without the cash-and-reputation requirements.

Good thing you're not going to be 18 for another four years, because that's largely about the amount of time you're going to need to become a competent game programmer on any platform.
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Original post by Anonymous Poster
I work in a major studio in production producing top 5 titles...My figures are generalised, but for the work we do the teams are around 120-130 people, NOT counting marketing. Our lowest budgets are $10M, most are $25K+...yes a few studios manage prjects under 1 million...most are crap..nearly all current retail projects have $10-20m budgets.

dev kit prices vary, and no fixed price for the new consoles currently exist, the guide prices are probably accurate, but I was also taking into account other factors, software, compilers/art packages, additional addons, PC's assest control software and so.
There are a few instances of big studios getting them free...but thats only for the people planning release titles.


That would be much much more easy to accept as true if you had an actual profile on the boards. Posting annonymously gives no accountability to your words, so that when you start spitting out numbers (reasonable or otherwise), most people are going to assume that you're simply blowing smoke up their butts.
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sorry, take it or leave it. Others on here with some know how will back this up. NDA's make it impossible for me to openly discuss anything to do with the development scale, targets, titles budgets and tech details of anything we do.

so its just friendly advice, feel free to ignore if you choose. But its not worht me getting disciplined or worse to make myself known.
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I know studios can have in the hundreds of people, but in most cases that I've seen these studios are working on multiple game titles, which isn't really that many people working on 'a game'. If you have that many people working on a single game title and it's not an MMO, that raises some serious questions IMO about the competence of the management.

You should also know that if you do indeed work at a studio producing top 5 titles, surely you know enough to agree that what your studio does budget and manpower wise is significantly more than most studios. Either way your original figures were way off. Make 2 stacks of all the console games there are. In one stack put all the AAA releases, and everything else in the other stack. AAA games are the minority in the overall scope of game development console and PC alike. Game industry studies have known this as well.

I don't mean any of this to be personal, or to discredit your experiences but the actions of the huge studios don't mean the rest of the game dev world works the same.

For anyone interested, watch the Tim Sweeny video here http://www.pqhp.com/cmp/gdctv/

In it, Tim mentions several times about how big developers like EA think the solution to increasingly complex games is throwing more people at it, yet Epic works with a team of (think it was around 60), working on 2 titles at once, and they are cream of the crop in terms of pushing technology for next gen. I think they have proven for a while now that excellent tools are what makes a developer most productive.

Sorry for getting off topic, I just felt it necessary to bring the numbers back towards reality.
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I'm treading on thin ice if I give too much detal here, but in our studio, and my last one..both very large, both doing AAA titles, focusing on 1 "franchise" at a time, ie 3 skus, add on's and sequals in pre-production. 100+ man teams are the norm. That breaks down to 60 or so dev, a couple senior execs, 10+ production/pm, 5-8 design, testing, concept planning, and so on..They of course are not all actively involved at the exact same time on each componant part, but during crunch and other maximum effort periods we often find ourselves undermanned. They all play apart at some point and they all cost...the figures I gave, are not at all uncommon in my end of the market and there are more in that sector than you think.

It is indeed very common, for big studios to throw manpower at a project to get it out...sometimes it works..sometimes not..thats a different thread, and its not something I agree with because it is essenually bad management in the long term..but I have little influence over the money men willing to make these decisions at that cost.
Most of the big studios operate these team sizes because of tight deadline needs.

Epic, Id and a few others are not quite so bound by these constraints and can operate with smaller teams over longer timeframes, but their budgets overall are probably the same.

again if I get into specifics, its going to become apparent who I work for and I don't need the exposure...the original point of the post was to put things in perspective, I hope I've done that.
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That's fine to represent the high end developers, but for every one of those there are handfulls of smaller devs, so it isn't accurate in the context of this thread to say games 'start' at $10mill, and it takes man power in the 100s for a shelf worthy title.

Ignoring the impossibility of finding this kind of investor, For <$5mill, a team of 20 experienced programmers could license the Unreal engine for $350k and pay themselves high end salaries for 2 years to produce a title that would easily be shelf worthy. This is a pretty accurate time frame to get game titles out these days. The future is licensing technology. Most companies can't afford the time or investment in build their own technology.

Of course this doesn't help the original poster any, as it still takes a highly experienced team to pull it off, and an even bigger miracle to convince an investor unless your team has some pull.


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oh god...why do they keep on coming

listen dude, it matters not how good you THINK you are, even very basic PC games need a team of experienced coders, artists, producers, QA people etc, to be able to produce something that is commercially viable.

The best a hobbiest could manage, even a very good hobbiest with a few mates helping out, would be a nice little shareware or budget title (I've got my flame suit on, guys, so no point in getting mad at me you know its true, show me one hobby game in the top 20...go on? Top 40 then?)

Unless your idea is Tetris simple and goign to sell millions becuase it's cute, or unbelievibly easy to code you are talking about months or years of development hell to produce any kind of major title on a par with the retail sector.
And unless you can target the retail sector you cannot get access to console tech from the makers.

It takes teams of 100's now to produce PS2 and Xbox titles of the quality that hits the shelves, and will need more for PS3 and X360, and literally 10's of thousands of man hours to produce these titles. The budgets as has been pointed out start at 10million dollars....the kits themselves cost 20,30,40K+ each.

Do you really think a 14yo with no experience of the systems, no concept of game development procedure, and clearly no idea whatsoever of market realities can bang out a game in his lifetime?

None of the console makers will talk to you unless you have a team big enough to cope, a bank balance big enough to cope, a proof of concept demo that blows them away (which in itself will take a prototyping team 4-8 months to produce) and a proven track record of delivering high quality titles.

You have to prove to the console makers you can produce the game, that means huge marketing presentations, not just a call to the xbox helpline, you have to show them market straegy, quality control, production processs and proven tech...then...maybe if they think the idea will sell minimum 100K units (and that bar is rising) they will let you talk to them about buying dev kits and blowing your money.

please...get real, stick with systems that you can handle, PC is available to all and there's a good market, GBA,PS1, Dreamcast and linux PS2 systesm are available to the hobby market and will allow you to gain experience of console dev.

But till you get that $10-20M int eh bank, forget about current consoles or nect gen systems..They'll become available to the hobby market in time, but you ain't ever going to be able to write a game at home for the PS3 withouth a lot of people backign you up...which then brings up teh managment side of things....

rant over.
While what you are saying is very true, I don't like your attitude.
Quote:
Which compiler and language is best to be done for these consoles?

I plan to make a game for the PC, Xbox 360, and Ps3, and I need to know about the compilers and what programming language to use.

C++ except probably the Revolution. Nintendo seems to like using C more than C++. No idea about compiler but I don't see why VC++ wouldn't work.
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