• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
polarboy

Unity
[Future-Proof]Should we try to follow the new technologies? Or going back to the basics?

6 posts in this topic

Hi, VERY occasional poster here smile.png

Thanks to the articles and advices from Gamedev, I spent quite a number of summers practicing C++ concepts learned from school and applying to the game engine experiment I had. And now I have a job smile.png

 

Other than expressing my gratitude towards the community and share my joy of being able to create a rudimentary engine, I'd like to bring this topic to discussion.

 

Is it better to try to follow the new technology? Or is it better to sit back and wait and prepare for the future by strenghthening the basics?

 

Why I prefer the basics

 

Now there are new concepts, new technologies everywhere and every day, new phones, new frameworks, new IDEs almost every month. (okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but you get the idea). I'm finding it hard to follow. And in reality, I'm a little resistant to these changes because deep down, I think they'll be obsolete by the time I'll need them anyway.

 

Although I know that the (not even general concensus, more of an accepted fact) is that we need to stay current to new technologies. I prefer to stick with the basics.

 

As an example, I didn't even know what design patterns were when I started applying for the jobs, so I just brushed it up before the interviews and forgot all about it when I started working. I didn't even know what the Interfaces were at the time.

 

But once I learned what the interfaces are, it was very easy for me to implement these patterns although I didn't even know I was implementing one. I mean, it simply made sense because I started writing my engine in spagetti code, it became a nightmare to debug, so I naturally started using inheritence (although I still didn't know interface) and proper namespace to organize my project.

It just seemed natural to me, sometimes I even think learning design patterns might limit the possibilities of these uses. Again, as an example of my engine, shortly after my work started, I learned my engine, albeit it used Lua to act as commands (so it was kinda cheating), it was almost an implementation MVVM/MVC pattern (sorry, i still can't quite grasp the difference)

 

Then I learned WCF, which I thought was a pretty awesome technology, but the configurations is a giant pain in the ass. We work with another company and our services would talk through WCF, sometimes it took almost a week just to identify a typo in the interfaces and then there's all these other settings like KnownTypes, Messages, sessions etc...

 

What triggered the discussion was today, I found the book i always wanted to read: MUD Game programming by Ron Penton and started reading it finally. I really enjoy it. But then again, this is OLD OLD technology. On the other hand, new technologies are all relying on these basics, they will change/evolve, but the basics won't.

 

Then I looked at my bookshelf: "Assembly Language for Intel-based computers", "Understanding Telephone Electronics", a book on how to fix cell phones using OLD OLD GSM chips, these are the books I've gotten a long time ago, but were still on my to-read list. I felt like I'm killing my career,lol

 

Now my beef with the new technologies

There are just too many abstractions~~ There are soo many things that are hidden from us it feels more like using an application (like MS Word) rather than writing code.  I love the libraries Microcontroller developers make, they provide the bare minimum to do simple things, so we don't have to go too deep down on protocol level, but we have enough control to know exactly what's going on.

 

But the new frameworks? I've worked with Android for a bit, and thought that was the most annoying framework ever. So often I had to fight just to make it compile because of these rules imposed. I probably didn't learn how to use the UI Thread properly, ended up having to create another Thread inside the UI thread to show a simple text change.....

 

Sure, I could've spent more time on reading how to update the UI properly, but that's exactly the beef I have with these type of new technologies. Too many abstractions.

 

Yet, according to what some manufacturers are saying, programmers WANTED them to ditch WM and move to android, it wasn't the users, it was the Devs who wanted the change.

 

I suspect the real reason why, though, is something like this (using the graphics guy at work's quote):"I hate working with Magentas, why can't them use Alpha channels like a 21st century technology"

 

So, what do you guys think? Is it worth spending the time to try to follow as many new technologies as possible? Or is it better to occasionally taking peeks at some of them but really focusing on the basics?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Technologies and languages come and go, it is only algorithms and data structures that you can rely on.

When it comes to languages, it doesn't matter if you are programming in C, C++, Java, Perl, Python, Ruby, Eiffel, Erlang, shell script, or something else entirely. They come and go. Use whatever gets the job done.

The same with technologies. If you can get an app written in MFC, or WPF, or Mono, or Qt, or something else, then use whatever gets the job done at present.

Let's imagine it in other disciplines:

There will be better musical instruments than mine, so I'm not going to play.
There will be better paints, brushes, and canvases than mine, so I'm not going to paint.
There will be better hammers, nails, and building materials than mine, so I'm not going to build.
There will be better landscaping materials than mine, so I'm not going to landscape.


You say you have the basics down. That is enough. Go from there. If you find a tool or technology is useful then employ it, but otherwise just keep going and do your best with what you have got.

If you spend your days just trying to"sit back and wait for the future", you will find the present will have passed you by while you were playing. You may suddenly discover you are left with nothing but "could have" and "should have" to keep you company.
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Technologies and languages come and go, it is only algorithms and data structures that you can rely on.

When it comes to languages, it doesn't matter if you are programming in C, C++, Java, Perl, Python, Ruby, Eiffel, Erlang, shell script, or something else entirely. They come and go. Use whatever gets the job done.

The same with technologies. If you can get an app written in MFC, or WPF, or Mono, or Qt, or something else, then use whatever gets the job done at present.

Let's imagine it in other disciplines:

There will be better musical instruments than mine, so I'm not going to play.
There will be better paints, brushes, and canvases than mine, so I'm not going to paint.
There will be better hammers, nails, and building materials than mine, so I'm not going to build.
There will be better landscaping materials than mine, so I'm not going to landscape.


You say you have the basics down. That is enough. Go from there. If you find a tool or technology is useful then employ it, but otherwise just keep going and do your best with what you have got.

If you spend your days just trying to"sit back and wait for the future", you will find the present will have passed you by while you were playing. You may suddenly discover you are left with nothing but "could have" and "should have" to keep you company.

I'm a little confused by your points though. Because on one hand, use whatever gets the job done seems to drift towards the strengthening the basics part.

I expect everybody agrees in theory about using whatever technology that gets things done. But when it comes to employment, it simply doesn't seem to be the case

 

Note I didn't say just sit back and do nothing. I'm saying sit back and let it unfold while strenghthening the basics and occasionally peek into technologies that sound interesting.

 

Also, I don't agree with the other disciplines analogy, as far as I know, there is very few disciplines that change as fast as the electronics industry.

And people don't judge you/hire/endorse you because of the instruments you use as long as you can get the job done. If you are a painter, they just care if you know how to paint, if you are a musician, people just want you to create great music,  tools are irrelevant.

 

But from what I've been reading about the IT industry, that simply does not look like the case. Interviewers will ask you about design patterns, they'll expect you to be an expert in the latest and coolest technology even though by the time they decide to upgrade, another cooler and better technology might totally makes it obsolete.

 

One example is NHibernate, we use NHibernate in the product at work, and I figured it was probably important to learn since it's gained a lot of popularity. But then we had a meeting where basically everybody said NHibernate is not very good for large scale enterprise solutions, many DBAs hate it, and we decided to use code generation instead.

 

So what's the point to try to learn these technologies when you probably are not going to need it? By the time you become the expert at it, you'll probably needing to learn something completely new again. In that regard, isn't it more important to get the foundations? Because it'll help understand the new technology and makes the learning curve much more acceptable when the time comes.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally agree.

 

I learned assembly, totally useless now.

I learned Delphi, it got replaced with c#.

I learned c/c++, 0x is the new thing now.

I learned win32, it probably will be replaced soon.

... Directx 9 -> useless now because of dx 11

same for opengl 2.0

 

It's getting anoying... By the time you master something, that you are really good at it,

it become useless/depreciated/fallen deep into the abyss of another dimention..........

Edited by Vortez
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Learning languages and technology just for learning languages and technology could be fun, but it doesn't get you anywhere... Learning the concepts and patterns used in different languages and learning how to apply them in other languages is what makes you a better developer. Both OO languages and functional/procedural languages are around since a long time. Most of the new languages I see still use the same concepts that where available in the first languages. So when you really learn to understand and use OO, you can apply it in all the languages that support it. You only need to learn the syntax.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Learning languages and technology just for learning languages and technology could be fun, but it doesn't get you anywhere... Learning the concepts and patterns used in different languages and learning how to apply them in other languages is what makes you a better developer. Both OO languages and functional/procedural languages are around since a long time. Most of the new languages I see still use the same concepts that where available in the first languages. So when you really learn to understand and use OO, you can apply it in all the languages that support it. You only need to learn the syntax.

 

Pretty much this. Adaptation to a new technology is easy (unless it's a revolutionary breakthrough, which doesn't happen often) and is not the issue. The real problem is parting from the previous technology, which quite often has become so entrenched in an individual's or a company's workflow that it is difficult to upgrade without severely disrupting activities. That is the real trap, in my opinion.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By NajeNDa
      Hi there,
      I am a game programmer (C#/C++) who is looking for a project to join. I am computer science engineer plus Master Degree in Game Development, currently working in one the most renown mobile games company (2 years academic experience, 1 year working experience).
      I have developed several prototypes or even games almost ready to release, but I always lack of artists, so I am looking for a project already set up or few artist to begin working in something.
      My preferences are:
      Unity or Unreal Engine 4 based project (UE4 prefered) PC/Console game prefered but mobile is acceptable Not interested in VR Serious team with almost all the roles filled or pretending to be filled 3D project prefered over Sprites Guaranteed 7 work hours per week, Crunch 20 work hours per week  European team (if timezone is not a problem for you, so it is not for me) I am not looking for any kind of money income from games neither the team, I want to do this as a hobby and a way to improve my skills.
      Cheers
    • By OPNeonGames
      SumiKen : Ink Blade Samurai is released! Download and leave a review to help support the game!
      Download here for free : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.OPNeon.SumiKen&hl=en

      ★★★★★ - "Just get it it's the best runner!" - Icatsasha
      ★★★★★ - "Great game, wonderful art! Super addictive!" - EZk1ll 
      A casual samurai runner game with seven samurai and beautiful mountain paintings. Join Sumi and his samurai companions on this epic path to slash & dash through endless hordes of enemy lines. Beware of the enemy blades as a single blow from the sword blade will end it all. Will you be turned into faded ink? Or will you train and become a samurai legend?
       
    • By OPNeonGames
      Hey guys, posting my work in progress for Macho Cat here. 

      A very early prototype for Macho Cat. Everything is just placeholder for now
      What is Macho Cat?
      A silly little game where you scrub the macho cat with random objects found in trash and junkyard to please him
      Gameplay feature?
      -Cat scrubbin, lots of scrubbin
      -Unlock moar objects in junkyard 
      -Funny, silly and easy
      When will the game release?
      December 2017 (estimate)
      Interested to Beta test?
      opneongame@gmail.com
    • By MCKillerZ1
      UNITY ENGINE
      IN SEARCH FOR MEMBERS
       
      Hey there. I am currently looking for at least 4 members ( for now ) to join me in making games together.
      Sure, I'm still a student ( 17 years old ) but this is what I wish to achieve in the future.
       
      My goal is simple:
      :- Create my own game development team consisting of 5 members total.
      :- Work together as a team, and also learn game related things together.
      :- Successfully finish a simple game, and upload it to any source ( Google Play, Steam, Origin, etc... )
      :- Gain popularity as a team over the time.
       
      My role in the team is the producer or manager, or maybe the leader.
      I do have talent regarding to creating games. My main ability is creating 3D Models via SketchUp, and I've had experience doing it for about 2-3 years.
      I did learn a bit of programming, but I only understand the basics of it. I can't really make a functioning program.
      Currently, I'm learning the basics of making music using FL Studio 12, and I will learn basic animation, level design and character modelling in the future.
       
      Requirements To Join:
      1. Good English communicating skills.
      2. Always online whenever needed.
      3. Good internet connection/speed.
      4. Have a decent computer/laptop.
      5. At least knows the basics of game development related topics.
      6. Have a good camera and a set of headphones with mic, or just regular mic ( needed in the future ).
       
      Roles Available:
      1. Programmer - Main language is C#, but can also use Java ( I recommend C# ).
      2. Music Producer - Can create music according to the game's settings, and also create sounds.
      3. Animator - Can do decent animation of characters, vehicles and more.
      4. Graphics Designer - Able to do colour schemes, 2D sprites and more.
       
      Send me a message if interested.
       
       
    • By OPNeonGames
      Hey guys, posting my work in progress for Macho Cat here. 

      A very early prototype for Macho Cat. Everything is just placeholder for now
      What is Macho Cat?
      A silly little game where you scrub the macho cat with random objects found in trash and junkyard to please him
      Gameplay feature?
      -Cat scrubbin, lots of scrubbin
      -Unlock moar objects in junkyard 
      -Funny, silly and easy
      When will the game release?
      December 2017 (estimate)
      Interested to Beta test?
      opneongame@gmail.com
  • Popular Now