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Julio Bortolon

Necessity of having an excellent C++ (aka, from web/mobile to consoles)

6 posts in this topic

Hello to everyone,


I'm a game developer primaly focused on web and mobile development, using technologies like flex (as3), libgdx (java), unity3d and html canvas.
But, what I really want is to work on the console games industry, do you guys think that this companies would hire a game developer like me, I mean, I know some C++ from school and a research internship, but I don't have experience in console game development at all.

How can I start this shift to the AAA industry?
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A lot of gameplay programming is done with languages other than C++, like UnrealScript (Java-like), Lua or Python. So for one of those jobs, not being a C++ expert isn't as big of a deal as it otherwise would be. If you want to be a low-level game engine programmer, then you'll definitely have to master C/C++ though.
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Good point, but in your opinion, what would be better com a Resume for the console industry, a strong demo using unity or an average demo done almostly from scratch using C++?

I mean, I like C, but it's so dangerous (harder than the other languages, error prone) to use that I almost never choose it to code a project.

I'm been repetitive because I almost only see job postings requiring C++ in gamasutra. Edited by Julio Rodrigues
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As you said about C being dangerous -- if you've got proof that you're competent in C, then that information carries a lot more weight than someone who is only competent in Lua.
i.e. if someone can successfully navigate ([i]and have an intelligent interview conversation about[/i]) those dangers, then that shows that they're probably a fairly experienced and well-grounded programmer, who could easily pick up other languages with little effort, due to their strong foundations.
On the other hand, if someone can only demonstrate that they know a single language, then they probably don't have the same solid software engineering foundations, and will require more mentoring from senior staff.

So yes, even for jobs where C++ isn't used often ([i]e.g. for a Lua game programmer's position[/i]), the job application will still usually list C/C++, because they're a good way to test for candidates with a broad base of skills. This is the same as jobs asking for a University degree, just to weed out "less likely" candidates and make the hiring process easier.

So, if you want a long term career as a programmer in the games industry, then yes learning C & C++ to at least a level where you're aware of all the dangerous things that badly written code can do, then it will make you a much more desirable candidate for hiring.

I'm not sure about the demo -- it probably depends on the job. A fully polished and complete Unity game would be a great portfolio piece for a gameplay programmer, but an unpolished, boring ([i]but well crafted[/i]) implementation of some algorithm in C++ would be a good piece for a systems programmer.
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[quote name='Julio Rodrigues' timestamp='1342971532' post='4961940']
I'm a game developer primaly focused on web and mobile development, using technologies like flex (as3), libgdx (java), unity3d and html canvas.
[/quote]
[quote name='Julio Rodrigues' timestamp='1343001358' post='4962081']
Good point, but in your opinion, what would be better com a Resume for the console industry, a strong demo using unity or an average demo done almostly from scratch using C++?
I'm been repetitive because I almost only see job postings requiring C++ in gamasutra.
[/quote]
You already have the best thing for your resume: Game credits.

You should generally avoid a generic "skills" resume section that lists if you know (or omits if you don't know) a certain tool or technology. You say you have had some C++ in school but haven't used it recently; that is fine. Instead of pointing out the things you lack, focus on what you have done and the tools you have used it with.

The employer can look over what you have done, look at what they hope to transfer to the new job, and decide if they want you. If strong C++ skills are more important than experience, then they will either not call you back (which will happen even with a good resume) or they will talk about it during the interview process.

Ultimately you should just apply to the jobs if you are unsure. Let them decide if they want to interview you, and take it up from there.
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Thank you guys for your excellent answers.

I will do a side project using C++ (some low level coding can be fun sometimes) with an artist friend of my, and keep doing my job using this new technologies.

EDIT: Actually, I won't do that, I'll do this side project on Java, I still can't get a decent IDE support for C++ for free. Edited by Julio Rodrigues
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[quote name='Julio Rodrigues' timestamp='1343059580' post='4962277']
I still can't get a decent IDE support for C++ for free
[/quote]The standard choice (on Windows) is MSVC Express, which is free ([url="http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/products/2008-editions/express"]2008[/url], [url="http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/products/2008-editions/express"]2010[/url], [url="http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/11/en-us/products/express"]2012[/url])
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