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Encyclopedia > Game programmer

A game programmer is a software engineer who primarily develops computer or video games or related software (such as game development tools). Game programming has many specialized disciplines; practitioners of any may regard themselves as "game programmers". A game programmer should not be confused with a game designer; many designers are also programmers, but not all are, and it is rare for one person to serve both roles in modern professional games. A programmer or software developer is someone who programs computers, that is, one who writes computer software. ... A computer game is a game composed of a computer-controlled virtual universe that players interact with in order to achieve a defined goal or set of goals. ... Namcos Pac-Man was a hit, and became a cultural phenomenon. ... Computer software (or simply software) refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of a computer for some purpose. ... UnrealEd is an example of a level editor, one type of a game development tool. ... Game programming, a subset of game development, is the programming of computer, console or arcade games. ... A game designer is a person who designs games. ...

Contents

History

The Apple II series was a popular game platform during the home computer era. Despite being outperformed by later systems, it remained popular until the early 1990s.
The Apple II series was a popular game platform during the home computer era. Despite being outperformed by later systems, it remained popular until the early 1990s.

In the early days of video games (from the early 1970s to mid-1980s), a game programmer also took on the job of a designer and artist. This was generally because the abilities of early computers were so limited that having specialized personnel for each function was unnecessary. Game concepts were generally light and games were only meant to be played for a few minutes at a time, but more importantly, art content and variations in gameplay were constrained by computers' limited power. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (600x800, 101 KB) Apple IIe setup. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (600x800, 101 KB) Apple IIe setup. ... The 1977 Apple II, complete with integrated keyboard, color graphics, sound, a plastic case and eight expansion slots. ... A computer game is a game composed of a computer-controlled virtual universe that players interact with in order to achieve a defined goal or set of goals. ... Children playing on a Amstrad CPC 464 in the 1980s. ... The 1990s decade refers to the years from the start of 1990 to the end of 1999. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... The 1980s refers to the years of and between 1980 and 1989. ... A video game artist is a person whose job it is to create visual art for computer and video games. ... A BlueGene supercomputer cabinet. ...


Later, as specialized arcade hardware and home systems became more powerful, game developers could develop deeper storylines and could include such features as high-resolution and full color graphics, physics, advanced artificial intelligence and digital sound. Technology has advanced to such a great degree that contemporary games usually boast 3D graphics and full motion video using assets developed by professional graphic artists. Centipede by Atari is a typical example of a 1980s era arcade game. ... Hardware is the general term that is used to describe physical artifacts of a technology. ... Children playing on a Amstrad CPC 464 in the 1980s. ... Physics (Greek: (phúsis), nature and (phusiké), knowledge of nature) is the science concerned with the fundamental laws of the universe. ... Hondas humanoid robot AI redirects here. ... An analog sound is traditionally any sound that is represented continuously. ... 3D computer graphics are different from 2D computer graphics in that a three-dimensional representation of geometric data is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images. ... Screenshot of an FMV from Final Fantasy VIII using Bink Video. ... Graphic design is the applied art of arranging image and text to communicate a message. ...


The desire for adding more depth and assets to games necessitated a division of labor. Initially, art production was relegated to fulltime artists. Next game programming became a separate discipline from game design. Now, only some games, such as the puzzle game Bejeweled, are simple enough to require just one fulltime programmer. Despite this division, however, most game developers (artists, programmers and even producers) have some say in the final design of contemporary games. Division of labour is the breakdown of labour into specific, circumscribed tasks for maximum efficiency of output in the context of manufacturing. ... A game artist is responsible for all of the aspects of game development that calls for visual art. ... Game programming, a subset of game development, is the programming of computer, console or arcade games. ... Game design is the process of designing the content and rules of a game. ... A puzzle is a problem or enigma presented as entertainment; that is written down, acted out, etc. ... Bejeweled (or Diamond Mine) is a popular puzzle game first developed as a browser game by PopCap Games in 2001. ... A game producer is the person in charge of overseeing development of a video or computer game. ...


Disciplines

A contemporary computer game may include advanced physics, artificial intelligence, 3D graphics, digitized sound, an original musical score, complex strategy and may use several input devices (such as mice, keyboards, gamepads and joysticks) and may be playable against other people via the Internet or over a LAN. Each aspect of the game can consume all of one programmer's time and, in many cases, several programmers. Some programmers may specialize in one area of game programming, but many are familiar with several aspects. The number of programmers needed for each feature depends somewhat on programmers' skills, but mostly are dictated by the type of game being developed. Operating a mechanical 1: Pulling the mouse turns the ball. ... A computer keyboard is a peripheral partially modeled after the typewriter keyboard. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Joystick elements: 1. ... Lan can stand for several things: A local area network Lan (airline) formerly LanChile Lan Peru Län, a kind of administrative division used in Sweden Lan Mandragoran, a fictional character in the Wheel of Time fantasy series by Robert Jordan. ... Game programming, a subset of game development, is the programming of computer, console or arcade games. ...


Game physics programmer

A game's physics programmer is dedicated to developing the physics a game will employ. Typically, a game will only simulate a few aspects of real-world physics. For example, a space game may need simulated gravity, but would not have any need for simulating water viscosity. Gravity is a force of attraction that acts between bodies that have mass. ... The related Category:Units of viscosity has been nominated for deletion, merging, or renaming. ...


Since processing cycles are always at a premium, physics programmers may employ "shortcuts" that are computationally inexpensive, but look and act "good enough" for the game in question. Sometimes, a specific subset of situations is specified and the physical outcome of such situations are stored in a record of some sort and are never computed at runtime at all.


Some physics programmers may even delve into the difficult tasks of inverse kinematics and other motions attributed to game characters, but increasingly these motions are assigned via motion capture libraries so as not to overload the CPU with complex calculations. Inverse kinematics is the process of determining the movement of interconnected segments of a body or model. ... Motion capture, or mocap, is a technique of digitally recording the movements of real things — usually humans — it originally developed as an analysis tool in biomechanics research, but has grown increasingly important as a source of motion data for computer animation. ... Die of an Intel 80486DX2 microprocessor (actual size: 12×6. ...


For a role-playing game such as Might and Magic, only one physics programmer may be needed. For a complex combat game such as Battlefield 1942 or The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, teams of several physics programmers may be required. A role-playing game (RPG, often roleplaying game) is a type of game in which the participants assume the roles of fictional characters and collaboratively create or follow stories. ... Might and Magic (MM) is a series of computer role-playing games from New World Computing, a subsidiary of The 3DO Company. ... Battlefield 1942 is an expansive first-person shooter (FPS), set in World War II, developed by Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows (2002) and Apple Macintosh (2004). ... The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was a video game released in 1998, and the first Zelda game for the Nintendo 64. ...


See also: dynamical simulation Dynamical simulation, in computational physics, is the simulation of systems of objects that are free to move, usually in three dimensions according to Newtons laws of dynamics, or approximations thereto. ...


Artificial intelligence programmer

Advanced artificial intelligence (AI) such as that found in Civilization III takes significant programming staff to develop.
Advanced artificial intelligence (AI) such as that found in Civilization III takes significant programming staff to develop.

An AI programmer develops the logic the game uses to carry out a large number of actions. It has recently evolved into a specialized discipline, as these tasks used to be implemented by programmers who specialized in other areas. An AI programmer may program pathfinding, strategy and enemy tactic systems. This is one of the most challenging aspects of game programming and its sophistication is developing rapidly. According to Game Developer Magazine, many contemporary games dedicate sixty percent of their programming staff to AI. Civilization 3 screenshot. ... Civilization 3 screenshot. ... Hondas humanoid robot AI redirects here. ... Sid Meiers Civilization III is a turn-based strategy computer game by Firaxis Games, the sequel to Sid Meiers Civilization II. It was followed by Civilization IV. Also called Civ 3 or Civ III for short, the game is the third generation of the original Civilization. ... This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. ... Game Developer magazine is a monthly periodical for the video game industry. ...


Game AI programming should not be confused with academic AI programming and research: game programming has little use for developments in this area of study. Although both areas do borrow from each other from time to time, they are usually considered distinct disciplines. Game AI refers to techniques used in computer and video games to produce the illusion of intelligence in the behavior of non-player characters (NPCs). ... Hondas humanoid robot AI redirects here. ...


Some games, such as strategy games like Civilization III or role-playing games such as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, use AI heavily, while others, such as puzzle games, use it sparingly or not at all. Many game developers have created entire languages that can be used to program their own AI for games via scripts. These languages are typically less technical than the language used to implement the game, and will often be used by the game or level designers to implement the world of the game. Many studios also make their games' scripting available to players, and it is often used extensively by third party mod developers. Chess, one of the most well-known and played strategy games ever. ... Sid Meiers Civilization III is a turn-based strategy computer game by Firaxis Games, the sequel to Sid Meiers Civilization II. It was followed by Civilization IV. Also called Civ 3 or Civ III for short, the game is the third generation of the original Civilization. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Role-playing game (video games). ... The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is a game currently under development by Bethesda Softworks for the PC, Xbox 2, and Playstation 3. ... A puzzle is a problem or enigma presented as entertainment; that is written down, acted out, etc. ... Scripting programming languages (commonly called scripting languages or script languages) are computer programming languages designed for scripting the operation of a computer. ... Mod or modification is a term generally applied to computer games, especially first-person shooters and real-time strategy games. ...


Graphics programmer

Historically, this title usually belonged to a programmer who developed specialized blitter algorithms and clever optimizations for 2D graphics. Today, however, it is almost exclusively applied to programmers who specialize in developing and modifying complex 3D graphic renderers. Some 2D graphics skills have just recently become useful again, though, for developing games for the new generation of cell phones and PDAs. Bit blit (bitblt, blitting etc. ... 2D computer graphics is the computer-based generation of digital images—mostly from two-dimensional models (such as 2D geometric models, text, and digital images) and by techniques specific to them. ... Motorola T2288 mobile phone A mobile phone is a portable electronic device which behaves as a normal telephone whilst being able to move over a wide area (compare cordless phone which acts as a telephone only within a limited range). ... Personal digital assistants (PDAs) are handheld computers that were originally designed as personal organizers, but became much more versatile over the years. ...


A 3D graphics programmer must have a firm grasp on advanced mathematical concepts such as vector and matrix math, quaternions and linear algebra. In physics and in vector calculus, a spatial vector, or simply vector, is a concept characterized by a magnitude and a direction. ... For the square matrix section, see square matrix. ... In mathematics, the quaternions are a non-commutative extension of the complex numbers. ... Linear algebra is the branch of mathematics concerned with the study of vectors, vector spaces (also called linear spaces), linear maps (also called linear transformations), and systems of linear equations. ...


Programmers specializing in this area of game development can demand high wages and are usually a scarce commodity. Their skills can be used for computer games as well as games for game consoles such as the PlayStation 3, Wii and the Xbox 360. Game development is the process by which a game is produced. ... Four different video game consoles from different generations. ... PlayStation 3 , trademarked PLAYSTATION®3,[7] commonly abbreviated PS3) is Sony Computer Entertainments third video game console. ... The Wii (pronounced as the pronoun we, IPA: ) is the fifth home video game console released by Nintendo. ... The Xbox 360 is the successor to Microsofts Xbox video game console, developed in cooperation with IBM, ATI, Samsung and SiS. Information on the console first came through viral marketing campaigns and it was officially unveiled on MTV on May 12, 2005, with detailed launch and game information divulged...


A 3D graphics programmer may also specialize in a subset of 3D graphics programming, such as pixel shaders or vertex shaders. Vertex and pixel (or fragment) shaders are computer programs that run on a graphics card, executed once for every vertex or pixel in a specified 3D mesh. ... Vertex and pixel (or fragment) shaders are shaders that run on a graphics card, executed once for every vertex or pixel in a specified 3D mesh. ...


Sound programmer

Not always a separate discipline, sound programming has been a mainstay of game programming since the days of Pong. Most games make use of audio, and many have a full musical score. Computer audio games eschew graphics altogether and use sound as their primary feedback mechanism. PONG helped bring computerized video games into everyday life “Pong” redirects here. ... An audio game is a game played on an electronic device. ...


Many games use advanced techniques such as 3D positional sound, making audio programming a non-trivial matter. With these games, one or two programmers may dedicate all their time to building and refining the game's sound engine, and sound programmers may be trained or have a formal background in digital signal processing. Surround sound is the name for a variety of techniques for expanding and enriching the sound of audio playback by recording additional sound channels that can be reproduced on additional speakers. ... Digital signal processing (DSP) is the study of signals in a digital representation and the processing methods of these signals. ...


Scripting tools are often created and/or maintained by sound programmers for use by sound designers. These tools allow designers to associate sounds with characters, actions, objects and events while also assigning music or atmospheric sounds for game environments (levels or areas) and setting environmental variables such as reverberation. This is an article about the film crew member known as a sound designer. ...


Gameplay programmer

Though all programmers add to the content and experience that a game provides, a gameplay programmer focuses more on a game's strategy and the "feel" of a game. This is usually not a separate discipline, as what this programmer does usually differs from game to game, and they will inevitably be involved with more specialized areas of the game's development such as graphics or sound.


This programmer may implement strategy tables, tweak input code, or adjust other factors that alter the game. Many of these aspects may be altered by programmers who specialize in these areas, however (for example, strategy tables may be implemented by AI programmers).


Scripter

In early computer games, gameplay programmers would write code to create all the content in the game — if the player was supposed to shoot a particular monster, and a red key was supposed to appear along with some text on the screen, then this functionality was all written in C or assembly language by a gameplay programmer. C is a general-purpose, procedural, imperative computer programming language developed in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie at the Bell Telephone Laboratories for use with the Unix operating system. ... An assembly language is a low-level language used in the writing of computer programs. ...


These days, large game projects have a team of scripters to implement this sort of game content. Scripters usually are also game designers, and it is easier to find and employ a qualified game designer who can be taught a script language, as opposed to the difficulty of finding a qualified game designer who has mastered C++ on the target platform. Scripting programming languages (commonly called scripting languages or script languages) are computer programming languages designed for scripting the operation of a computer. ... C++ (pronounced see plus plus, IPA: ) is a general-purpose, high-level programming language with low-level facilities. ...


UI programmer

This programmer specializes in programming user interfaces (UIs) for games. Though some games have custom user interfaces, this programmer is more likely to develop a library that can be used across multiple projects. Most UIs look 2D, though contemporary UIs usually use the same 3D technology as the rest of the game so some knowledge of 3D math and systems is helpful for this role. Advanced UI systems may allow scripting and special effects, such as transparency, animation or particle effects for the controls. The user interface is the part of a system exposed to users. ... In computer science, a library is a collection of subprograms used to develop software. ...


Input programmer

The joystick was the primary input device for 1980s era games. Now game programmers must account for a wide range of input devices, but the joystick today is supported in relatively few games, though still dominant for flight simulators.
The joystick was the primary input device for 1980s era games. Now game programmers must account for a wide range of input devices, but the joystick today is supported in relatively few games, though still dominant for flight simulators.

Input programming, while usually not a job title, or even a full-time position on a particular game project, is still an important task. This programmer writes the code specifying how input devices such as a keyboard, mouse or joystick affect the game. These routines are typically developed early in production and are continually tweaked during development. Normally, one programmer does not need to dedicate his entire time to developing these systems. A first person shooter such as Quake may need a very complex and low latency input system, while the needs of a turn-based strategy game such as Heroes of Might and Magic are much lower. A 1980s one-button Atari-compatible joystick, The Pointmaster. ... A 1980s one-button Atari-compatible joystick, The Pointmaster. ... Joystick elements: 1. ... The 1980s refers to the years of and between 1980 and 1989. ... Interior cockpit of a modern flight simulator A flight simulator is a system that tries to replicate, or simulate, the experience of flying an aircraft as closely and realistically as possible. ... A computer keyboard is a peripheral partially modeled after the typewriter keyboard. ... A first-person shooter (FPS) is a computer or video game where the players on-screen view of the game world simulates that of the character, and there is some element of shooting involved. ... Zombies attacking the player. ... Heroes of Might and Magic II Heroes of Might and Magic (sometimes called simply Heroes or HoMM) is a series of turn-based computer games developed by New World Computing, a division of The 3DO Company. ...


Network programmer

This programmer writes code that allows players to compete against each other (or play together) connected via a LAN or the Internet (or in rarer cases, directly connected via modem). Programmers implementing this feature of a game can spend all their time on this one task. Network programming is one of the most challenging game programming roles. These programmers have to deal with network latency, packet compression, and dropped or interrupted connections. Though this type of programming can consume the entire development process, network programming is, unfortunately, often put off until the last few months of development, adding additional difficulties to this role. Lan can stand for several things: A local area network Lan (airline) formerly LanChile Lan Peru Län, a kind of administrative division used in Sweden Lan Mandragoran, a fictional character in the Wheel of Time fantasy series by Robert Jordan. ... A modem (from modulate and demodulate) is a device that modulates an analogue carrier signal to encode digital information, and also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted information. ... Lag is a common term used to describe a symptom often encountered in computing and especially networked systems, where results of actions appear much later than expected. ...


Game tools programmer

One of the less recognized members of the development team, the tools programmer can make game development heaven or unbearably difficult. Tools are used on almost every game for tasks such as scripting, importing or converting art, modifying behaviors or building levels. Some tools, such as an IDE, 3D graphics modeling software and Photoshop are COTS products, but many tools are specific to the game and are custom programmed. UnrealEd is an example of a level editor, one type of a game development tool. ... It has been suggested that IDE-style interface be merged into this article or section. ... Adobe Photoshop is a bitmap graphics editor (with some text and vector graphics capabilities) published by Adobe Systems. ... Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) is a term for software or hardware products that are ready-made and available for sale to the general public. ...


It is the tools programmer's job to write the tools that handle these game-specific tasks. Some tools will be included with the game, but most will not. Most tools evolve with the game and can easily consume all of several programmers' time. Well written and fairly bug-free tools make everyone's development tasks easier. Poorly written or poorly documented ones can seriously hamper development and jeopardize the project. Due to time constraints, however, most tools are not carefully implemented.


Porting programmer

Porting a game from one platform to another has always been an important activity for game developers. Some programmers specialize in this activity, converting code from one operating system to work on another. Sometimes, the programmer is responsible for making the application work not for just one operating system, but on a variety of devices, such as mobile phones. Often, however, "porting" can involve re-writing the entire game from scratch as proprietary languages, tools or hardware make converting source code a fruitless endeavor. In computer science, porting is the process of adapting software so that an executable program can be created for a computing environment that is different from the one for which it was originally designed (e. ... An operating system (OS) is a set of computer programs that manage the hardware and software resources of a computer. ... Source code (commonly just source or code) is any series of statements written in some human-readable computer programming language. ...


This programmer must be familiar with both the original and target operating systems and languages (for example, converting a game originally written in C++ to Java), convert assets, such as artwork and sounds or rewrite code for low memory phones. This programmer may also have to side-step buggy language implementations, some with little documentation, refactor code, oversee multiple branches of code, rewrite code to scale for wide variety of screen sizes and implement special operator guidelines. They may also have to fix bugs that were not discovered in the original release of a game. C++ (pronounced see plus plus, IPA: ) is a general-purpose, high-level programming language with low-level facilities. ... Java is an object-oriented applications programming language developed by Sun Microsystems in the early 1990s. ... Refactoring is the process of rewriting a computer program or other material to improve its structure or readability, while explicitly keeping its meaning or behavior. ...


Lead game programmer

The lead programmer is ultimately in charge of all programming for the game. It is their job to make sure the various submodules of the game are being implemented properly and to keep track of development from a programming standpoint. A person in this role usually transitions from other aspects of game programming to this role after several years of experience. Despite the title, this person usually has less time for writing code than other programmers on the project as they are required to attend meetings and interface with the client or other leads on the game. However, the lead programmer is still expected to program at least some of the time and is also expected to be knowledgeable in most technical areas of the game. There is often considerable common ground in the role of technical director and lead programmer, such that the jobs are often covered by one person.


Platforms

The PlayStation 3 is one of the platforms for which a game programmer may specialize. It is rare to "specialize" in more than one platform, but programmers who specialize in portable disciplines such as AI may find their experience is transferrable to several platforms.
The PlayStation 3 is one of the platforms for which a game programmer may specialize. It is rare to "specialize" in more than one platform, but programmers who specialize in portable disciplines such as AI may find their experience is transferrable to several platforms.

Most game programmers specialize on one platform or another. For example, a programmer can specialize on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Apple Mac OS X Leopard, or Microsoft Windows Vista. So, in addition to specializing in one game programming discipline, a programmer may also specialize in development on a certain platform. Therefore, one game programmer's title might be "PlayStation 3 3D Graphics Programmer." Some disciplines, such as AI, are transferable to various platforms and needn't be tailored to one system or another. Also, general game development principles such as 3D graphics programming concepts, sound engineering and user interface design are naturally transferable between platforms. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... PlayStation 3 , trademarked PLAYSTATION®3,[7] commonly abbreviated PS3) is Sony Computer Entertainments third video game console. ... The Xbox 360 is the successor to Microsofts Xbox video game console, developed in cooperation with IBM, ATI, Samsung and SiS. Information on the console first came through viral marketing campaigns and it was officially unveiled on MTV on May 12, 2005, with detailed launch and game information divulged... PlayStation 3 , trademarked PLAYSTATION®3,[7] commonly abbreviated PS3) is Sony Computer Entertainments third video game console. ... The Wii (pronounced as the pronoun we, IPA: ) is the fifth home video game console released by Nintendo. ... Mac OS X (official IPA pronunciation: ) is a line of proprietary, graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. ... Windows Vista is the scheduled next version of Microsoft Windows operating system, superseding Windows XP. It was previously known by its codename Longhorn, after the Longhorn Saloon, a popular bar (pub) in Whistler, British Columbia. ...


Experience needed

Notably, there are many game programmers with no formal education in the subject, having started out as hobbyists and doing a great deal of programming on their own, for fun, and eventually succeeding because of their aptitude and homegrown experience. However, most job solicitations for game programmers specify a bachelors degree (in mathematics, physics, computer science "or equivalent experience").


Increasingly, universities, such as NJIT and DeVry, are starting to offer courses and degrees in game programming. Any such degrees should offer a well-rounded education that includes all the fundamentals of software engineering. Representation of a university class, 1350s. ... New Jersey Institute of Technology (previously named the Newark College of Engineering) is a public research university in Newark, New Jersey. ... DeVry University is a system of career colleges in the United States and Canada. ... Software engineering is the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software. ...


Compensation

Salaries for game programmers vary from company to company and country to country. In general, however, pay for game programming is generally about the same for comparable jobs in the business sector. This is despite the fact that game programming is some of the most difficult of any type and usually requires longer hours than mainstream programming. However, most game programmers feel it is worth the sacrifice for the fun and casual working environments.


Generally, lead programmers are the most well compensated, though some 3D graphics programmers may challenge or surpass their salaries.


A controversial subject in the game industry recently has been the issue of unpaid overtime, particularly as highlighted by an anonymous blog entry by ea_spouse[1], who described some of the darker aspects of working in the industry: at some companies, "crunch time" (a period where programmers will often work around the clock to finish a project) has become the expected norm through the whole development cycle. This is not true of all companies however, and many game studios provide excellent working environments and conditions.


Job security

Though sales of video games rival other forms of entertainment such as movies, the video game industry is extremely volatile. Game programmers are not insulated from this instability as their employers experience financial difficulty. Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. ... The computer and video game industry is the economic sector involved with the development, marketing and sale of video and computer games. ...


Third-party developers, the most common type of video game developers, depend upon a steady influx of funds from the video game publisher. If a milestone or deadline is not met (or for a host of other reasons, like the game is cancelled), funds may become short and the developer may be forced to retrench employees or declare bankruptcy and go out of business. Game programmers who work for large publishers are somewhat insulated from these circumstances, but even the large game publishers can go out of business (as when Hasbro Interactive was sold to Infogrames and several projects were cancelled; or when The 3DO Company went bankrupt in 2003 and ceased all operations). Some game programmers' resumes consist of short stints lasting no more than a year as they're forced to leap from one doomed studio to another. This is why some prefer to consult and are therefore somewhat shielded from the effects of the fates of individual studios. A video game developer is a software developer (a business or an individual) that creates video games. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Notice of closure stuck on the door of a computer store the day after its parent company, Granville Technology Group Ltd, declared bankruptcy (strictly, put into administration - see text) in the UK. Bankruptcy is a legally declared inability or impairment of ability of a individuals or organizations to pay their... Hasbro Interactive was a video game production and publishing subsidiary of Hasbro, the game and toy giant. ... Infogrames Entertainment SA (IESA) is an international holding company headquartered in Lyon, France. ... The 3DO Company (formerly THDO on the NASDAQ stock exchange), also known as 3DO, was founded in 1991 under the name SMSG, Inc. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Languages and tools

Microsoft Visual Studio is one of the tools (an IDE) that game programmers may use to build games for Windows or the Xbox.
Microsoft Visual Studio is one of the tools (an IDE) that game programmers may use to build games for Windows or the Xbox.

Most commercial computer and video games are written primarily in C++, C, and some assembly language. Many games, especially those with complex interactive gameplay mechanics, tax hardware to its limit. As such, highly optimized code is required for these games to run at an acceptable frame rate. Because of this, compiled code is typically used for performance-critical components, such as visual rendering and physics calculations. Almost all PC games also use either the DirectX or OpenGL APIs (or SDL) to interface with hardware devices. Xbox games use an API similar to DirectX. Download high resolution version (1024x768, 46 KB)Screenshot of Quake II source code in Microsoft Visual C++. The source code shown in the screenshot has been released to the public under the GNU GPL. Icon designs etc shown in the picture are copyright Microsoft. ... Download high resolution version (1024x768, 46 KB)Screenshot of Quake II source code in Microsoft Visual C++. The source code shown in the screenshot has been released to the public under the GNU GPL. Icon designs etc shown in the picture are copyright Microsoft. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Microsoft Visual Studio is a series of IDEs by Microsoft. ... It has been suggested that IDE-style interface be merged into this article or section. ... Microsoft Windows is the name of several families of proprietary software operating systems by Microsoft. ... The Xbox is a sixth generation era video game console produced by Microsoft Corporation. ... C++ (pronounced see plus plus, IPA: ) is a general-purpose, high-level programming language with low-level facilities. ... C is a general-purpose, procedural, imperative computer programming language developed in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie at the Bell Telephone Laboratories for use with the Unix operating system. ... An assembly language is a low-level language used in the writing of computer programs. ... This article is about the computing term. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Microsoft DirectX is a collection of APIs for handling tasks related to multimedia, especially game programming, on Microsoft platforms. ... OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is a standard specification defining a cross-language cross-platform API for writing applications that produce 3D computer graphics (and 2D computer graphics as well). ... API may refer to: In computing, application programming interface In petroleum industry, American Petroleum Institute In education, Academic Performance Index This page concerning a three-letter acronym or abbreviation is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL) is a cross-platform multimedia free software library written in C that creates an abstraction over various platforms graphics, sound, and input APIs, allowing a developer to write a computer game or other multimedia application once and run it on many operating systems including GNU/Linux... The Xbox is a sixth generation era video game console produced by Microsoft Corporation. ... Microsoft DirectX is a collection of APIs for handling tasks related to multimedia, especially game programming, on Microsoft platforms. ...


Various script languages are also used for the generation of content such as artwork and especially AI. Scripts are generally parsed at load time (when the game or level is loaded into main memory) and then executed at runtime (via logic branches or other such mechanisms). They are generally not executed by an interpreter, which would result in much slower execution. Scripts tend to be used selectively, often for content design and high-level game logic. Some games are designed with high depedency on scripts and some scripts are compiled to binary format before game execution. In the optimization phase of development, some script functions will often be rewritten in a compiled language. Scripting programming languages (commonly called scripting languages or script languages) are computer programming languages designed for scripting the operation of a computer. ... It has been suggested that Syntax analysis be merged into this article or section. ... An interpreter is a computer program that executes other programs. ...


Java is used for many web browser based games because it is cross-platform, does not usually require installation by the user, and does not pose security risks, as may a downloaded executable program. Java is also the dominant language for mobile phone based games. Adobe Flash is also a popular development tool for browser-based games using the ActionScript language (there is some debate as to whether Flash actually constitutes a "language," but it is a popular web-based game development medium). Java is an object-oriented applications programming language developed by Sun Microsystems in the early 1990s. ... An example of a web browser (Internet Explorer), displaying the English Wikipedia main page. ... A cross-platform (or platform independent) programming language, software application or hardware device works on more than one system platform (e. ... Computer security is the effort to create a secure computing platform, designed so that agents (users or programs) cannot perform actions that they are not allowed to perform, but can perform the actions that they are allowed to. ... It has been suggested that FutureSplash Animator be merged into this article or section. ...


As games have grown in size and complexity, middleware is becoming increasingly popular with the industry. Middleware provides greater and higher level functionality and larger feature sets than the standard lower level APIs such as DirectX and OpenGL, such as skeletal animation. In addition to providing more complex technologies, some middleware also makes reasonable attempts to be platform independent, making common conversions from, for example, PC to PS2 much easier. Essentially, middleware is aimed at cutting out as much of the redundancy in the development cycle as possible (for example, writing new animation systems for each game a studio produces), allowing programmers to focus on new content. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... API may refer to: In computing, application programming interface In petroleum industry, American Petroleum Institute In education, Academic Performance Index This page concerning a three-letter acronym or abbreviation is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Microsoft DirectX is a collection of APIs for handling tasks related to multimedia, especially game programming, on Microsoft platforms. ... OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is a standard specification defining a cross-language cross-platform API for writing applications that produce 3D computer graphics (and 2D computer graphics as well). ... A technique in computer animation, particularly the animation of vertebrates, where a character is represented in two parts: a surface representation used to draw the character (called the skin) and a hierarchical set of bones used for animation only (called the skeleton). ... A cross-platform (or platform independent) programming language, software application or hardware device works on more than one system platform (e. ... The PlayStation 2 , abbreviated PS2) is Sonys second video game console, the successor to the PlayStation and the predecessor to the PlayStation 3. ...


Other tools are also essential to game developers: 2D and 3D packages (for example Photoshop, Maya and 3D Studio Max) enable artists to produce cutting edge art and animations; source control systems keep precious code safe, secure and optimise merging; and IDEs with debuggers (such as Visual Studio or CodeWarrior) make writing code and tracking down bugs a less painful experience. Adobe Photoshop is a bitmap graphics editor (with some text and vector graphics capabilities) published by Adobe Systems. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... 3D Studio Max (name changed to 3DS Max, also sometimes called 3dsm, or just Max) is a 3D modeler developed by Autodesk Media & Entertainment (formerly known as Discreet and Kinetix). ... Revision control (also known as version control, source control or (source) code management (SCM)) is the management of multiple revisions of the same unit of information. ... It has been suggested that IDE-style interface be merged into this article or section. ... Debug redirects here. ... Microsoft Visual Studio is a series of IDEs by Microsoft. ... CodeWarrior is an integrated development environment for the Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, Linux, and embedded systems. ...


See also: Game development tool and Tools from game programming UnrealEd is an example of a level editor, one type of a game development tool. ... Game programming, a subset of game development, is the programming of computer, console or arcade games. ... Game programming, a subset of game development, is the programming of computer, console or arcade games. ...


Notable game programmers

A few game programmers have garnered renown among game developers and game players alike.

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  Results from FactBites:
 
Getting Started - GameCareerGuide.com (1067 words)
Game industry artist Samuel Crowe addresses what to entry level artists should be aware of once they get a job, such as learning practices and preparing for unexpected changes.
Game artist Samuel Crowe gives thorough advice on issues to assess when applying for your first game industry job with insight from industry professionals with a combined thirty years of experience.
Game recruitment veteran Marc Mencher points out: "These days, to get a new job in the game industry, you must have a demo no matter which career track you choose as a focus," and lays out key tips for designer, programmer and artist portfolios.
game programmer: Information from Answers.com (3331 words)
A game programmer should not be confused with a game designer; many designers are also programmers, but not all are, and it is rare for one person to serve both roles in modern professional games.
With these games, one or two programmers may dedicate all their time to building and refining the game's sound engine, and sound programmers may be trained or have a formal background in digital signal processing.
Game programmers who work for large publishers are somewhat insulated from these circumstances, but even the large game publishers can go out of business (as when Hasbro Interactive was sold to Infogrames and several projects were cancelled; or when The 3DO Company went bankrupt in 2003 and ceased all operations).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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