Getting A Job As A Video Game Programmer A Video

1162 words - 5 pages

GETTING A JOB AS A VIDEO GAME PROGRAMMER A video game programmer is the engineer for a game project. He/She designs and construct the software framework that allows a game to exist, including, the internal "systems" that bring life to all the game's artwork, characters, levels, and design ideas. Programmers also develop the tools that the rest of the team use to create content specific to the game, such as, level editors, plug-ins for commercial 3D graphics packages, or scripting engines (Wake).Programming is the task of preparing a detailed set of instructions that a computer processor will follow, explaining how, when, and where to use the data in its memory (Fox 10). Usually, g ...view middle of the document...

Many are happy to let someone else come up with the game's conceptual design, and to stay focused on the technical challenges. Since nothing gets into a game without someone coding it, programmers do exert a certain influence over the grand design (Getsi).Up until 1995 or so, a college degree was irrelevant in the game industry. Coding games was a very specialized craft that relied on the programmer's intimate knowledge of the hardware and repertoire of clever coding tricks (Getsi). The problem was not so much of designing elaborate software, but of beating the limitations imposed by the system. The necessary skills were learned through practice, not taught in any classroom. Programmers tended to work alone, writing all their code from scratch, and had little need for standards, formal process, or a common language (Beck).Video games are an entirely different beast now. In their size and complexity, they have a lot in common with any large software application, and involve many of the Evans-3 same design problems. Hardware and operating systems are vastly more powerful than they used to be, which takes the focus off squeezing every ounce of performance out of the hardware, and puts the focus on writing software that can support an elaborate game design without collapsing. Programming teams now typically consist of several members, which requires them to share a common language, write modular code, and stick to standards in order to collaborate effectively. The fact that games have much higher budgets and longer development times than they once did also means that the programmers have to be good at writing code that is flexible and reusable (Koretz 14).The reason to get a computer science degree is that game programming now involves many of the problems that computer scientists have studied for years. The discipline, problem-solving abilities, and broad view of computer technology the classroom and labs bring are invaluable for the game code guru (Zimmerman 18). In the four years of school that it takes to get a degree, the opportunity to work on some games and game related projects. Graduate school is an option for those who wish to focus on a specific area in the application of video games. This indus...


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