What do game programmers program?

This is a discussion on What do game programmers program? within the Game Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question, but I have to get this cleared up. What do video game ...

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    What do game programmers program?

    Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question, but I have to get this cleared up.

    What do video game programmers program? I'm just starting to learn to C/C++ in hopes to become a game programmer in the future, but what is it that programmers program in a game? I always thought they made the game engine and all of that, but I see some people and books talking about programming 3D graphics etc. What does a programmer do? Do they make all of the 3D objects? I always thought they had other people to do that.

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    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    simply put: everything


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    Originally posted by jverkoey
    simply put: everything

    All right, that's where you lost me. What exactly do they program? Do most game companies have separate programmers to work on different things or do they only have a couple programmers to work on everything? How would programmers be able to handle programming all of that stuff? Do they have to render 3D objects?

    I need you to explain a little more, I'm lost!.

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    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    ok, well, i meant everything as most programmers can program anything they want....within the limit of their knowledge and the speed of the puter.

    but mostly, programmers each have their own area of expertise, like engine design, graphix engines, AI (artificial intelligence), GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces), User friendliness , etc....

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    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    and about the objects and things, if you mean models, USUALLY other people do that, because most programmers (not all) aren't exactly referred to as the "best" artists in the world hehe, that's why we have artists....

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    "programmers each have their own area of expertise"

    By this, do you mean each programmer has an expertise in one certain area and not others? This probably sounds dumb, but I don't understand this exactly.

    "like engine design, graphix engines, AI (artificial intelligence), GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces), User friendliness , etc...."

    About these two:

    1) What do they do to make the graphics engine? If they don't make any models or objects (or do they make the 3D objects?), what can they make?

    2) GUI: does this have something to do with actually making the 3D graphics?


    "and about the objects and things, if you mean models, USUALLY other people do that, because most programmers (not all) aren't exactly referred to as the "best" artists in the world hehe, that's why we have artists...."

    Yeah, that's what I meant. I could've sworn game companies had other people do the models and all that.

    I'm really new to programming, so I don't understand a lot yet.

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    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    well, usually the gfx engine just involves making the code to actually draw the stuff, like DirectX and OpenGL were made by programmers, and both of them allow artists and pretty much everyone else to make graphix with them.

    and guis are not really that hard to do, all you need are some pictures, and then the programmer has to be able to put it all together to make it look nice. Artists may be able to come up with the ideas, but they *usually* can't do anything with it without the aid of a programmer

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    Do you know anywhere that I can learn more about that? I don't fully understand what the programmer does in those areas.

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    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    gamedev.nethas some nice articles on gamedev stuff

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    Thanks, I just have one more little question. Do I have to be a good artist or a really good programmer to do all of this, or is it kind of what most programmers do?

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    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    well, that depends, which do you do better? unless you are going independant (developing your own games) I'd try to choose either one or the other, and then find someone else who can do the other parts, that's what teams were invented for

    -good luck!

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    I'm a bad artist. I would definitely like to have someone else program all that stuff, but I would also like to be a good programmer and learning how to do that would probably be good for me. I'm planning on programming for a game company to get the hang of it, then start my own game company. If I wanted to do that, would I require experience in programming all of the 3D landscapes and models etc.?

    I thought by programming I'd be able to avoid that stuff

  13. #13
    Registered User zdude's Avatar
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    Game programmers usually have artists do 3D Modeling and etc, however programmers usually make temporary models to fill in the game to allow furthur programming, while the artist models the real graphics.

  14. #14
    Pursuing knowledge confuted's Avatar
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    Game programmers program the controls, and the AI, and how everything is displayed on the screen, and things like that.

    Artists draw the pictures that the programmer's program displays on the screen.
    Away.

  15. #15
    Grammar Police HybridM's Avatar
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    Programmers, and specifically game programmers, don't get nearly the amount of respect and credit they deserve for their work, carmack being the exception to the rule....that guy has a ferrari! (i think).
    Thor's self help tip:
    Maybe a neighbor is tossing leaf clippings on your lawn, looking at your woman, or harboring desires regarding your longboat. You enslave his children, set his house on fire. He shall not bother you again.

    OS: Windows XP
    Compiler: MSVC

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