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after info from EMPLOYED game dev's

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howdy masses of gamedev.net I''m after some info from game developers (more specifically programmers) that are actually employed by game companies (to program, not test) games. How much do you need to know (more specifically DEMONSTRATE that you know it, in a demo most probably) say out of the following and anything else I''ve missed Great programming knowledge (degree qualified) Graphics fundamentals 3D Graphics maths - matrices, quaternions transforms 3D Graphics Concepts - the stuff you find in books like Real Time Rendering by Moller and Haines - lighting, lightmaps, environment mapping etc.etc. (this next bit will obviously be game style specific but anyway) BSP-Portal PVS for frustum culling of large static worlds Animation (up to and including skinning) any employed game developers comments would be very appreciated. Cheers, Toby Gobsmacked - by Toby Murray

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It really does depend at what level you''re going in at (junior or experienced) and which area you want to specialise in. A general knowlege of all programming disciplines from AI to networking is good to have, but as teams get larger and games more complex to make, people tend to specialise in an area such as "3D programmer/engine programmer", "AI/gameplay programmer", "network programmer" - and even on some projects, sub-specialisations are emerging such as "effects programmer".

The skills required have changed, but out of that list, for most areas, the 3D maths is probably the top thing - vectors, matrices, trig etc affect every programmer on the team these days - the AI guy needs it for path finding etc, the sound guy needs it for listener positions, occlusion data etc.

Following maths, good programming knowledge/experience - degree AND personal is extremely desirable - particularly *good* knowledge of the classic algorithms and data structures and the trade offs between each and how to decide which to use.

Knowledge of graphics fundamentals can be useful to non-graphics programmers, but mainly in terms of knowing what other team members are up to.

The other things you list are only really essential if you''re going for 3D/graphics/engine programming jobs. For the lower level engine work on consoles I''d add optimisation and assembly language to the list.

As for what to show in a demo - it really does depend on the job you''re going for. I''d say go for a few exceptionally polished small bitesized demos. Even small developers such as the one I work for recieve an average of a demo+CV per week (and we don''t have any vacancies, those are just on spec!) - someone probably isn''t going to spend an hour playing through a massive game you''ve sent.

Quick demos which show a few select skills and show them well are better than a bigger one where the good bits are thinly spread.

As for exactly what to show - I''d go for a 60/40 split - 60% showing skills in the specialisation required by the job you''re applying for and 40% showing knowledge of other areas which you know about but don''t necessarily specialise in.

Simon O''Connor
Creative Asylum Ltd

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