Game programming

Coding Games

(Interview). Interview with Dean Takahashi.VentureBeat

Corlan, Alexandru-Dan (2003).Programming language benchmarks

This article is about the programming aspect of video game development. For a broader overview, seeVideo game development.

No Bugs Hare.Chapter V(b) from Development&Deployment of MMOG

Forpersonal computers, the language selected may be little more than a matter of nguage bindingsfor popular libraries such asSDLandAllegroare widespread,[1][2]and the performance gap between idiomatic code written in moderncompiledlanguages is negligible.[3][4]The most popular languages are usuallyproceduralobject-orientedand implemented viacompilers; for example,C,[5]C++,[5][6]andJava.[7]However, developers may take into account domain-specific features, such as interfacing with the operating system, and resilience toreverse engineeringfor online video games.[8]Many games are not written in one language exclusively, and may combine two or more languages; For example,Unity, a popular game engine, has different pieces written in C, C++, andC.

DirectX is a collection of game APIs.Direct3Dis DirectXs 3D API. Direct3D is freely available fromMicrosoft, as are the rest of the DirectX APIs. Microsoft developed DirectX for game programmers and continues to add features to the API. The DirectX specification is not controlled by an open arbitration committee and Microsoft is free to add, remove or change features. Direct3D is not portable; it is designed specifically for Microsoft Windows and no other platform (though a form of Direct3D is used on MicrosoftsXbox, Windows Phone 7.5 smartphones and mobile devices which run thePocket PCoperating system).

Games, on the other hand, must continue to operateregardlessof a users input. The game loop allows this. A highly simplified game loop, inpseudocode, might look something like this:

MoltenVK – Run Vulkan on iOS and OS X.

Khronos Places OpenGL and OpenGL ES Conformance Tests into Open Source. Khronos Group Press Release. Archived fromthe originalon 2008-05-03.

Helgason, David (November 2, 2012).Game developers, start your Unity 3D engines.

The loop may be refined and modified as game development progresses, but most games are based on this basic idea.[16]

Most modern games take from one to three years to complete. The length of development depends on a number of factors, but programming is required throughout all phases of development except the very early stages of game design.

OpenGL is a portable API specification. Code written with OpenGL is easily ported between platforms with a compatible implementation. For example,Quake II, which uses OpenGL, was ported from Windows to Linux by a fan of the game. OpenGL is a standard maintained by the OpenGL Architecture Review Board (ARB). The ARB meets periodically to update the standard by adding emerging support for features of the latest 3D hardware. Since it is standards based and has been around the longest, OpenGL is used by and taught incollegesanduniversitiesaround the world.[citation needed]In addition, the development tools provided by the manufacturers of some video game consoles (such as the Nintendo GameCube, the Nintendo DS, and the PSP) use graphic APIs that resemble OpenGL. OpenGL often lags behind on feature updates due to the lack of a permanent development team and the requirement that implementations begin development after the standard has been published. Programmers who choose to use it can access some hardwares latest 3D features, but only through non-standardized extensions. The situation may change in the future as the OpenGL architecture review board (ARB) has passed control of the specification to theKhronos Groupin an attempt to counter the problem.[15]

A well establishedpersonal computerplatform is Microsoft Windows. Since it came pre-installed on almost ninety percent ofPCssold, it now has the largest user base.[citation needed]The two most popular 3D graphics APIs for Microsoft Windows areDirect3DandOpenGL. The benefits and weaknesses of each API are hotly debated among Windowsgame programmers.

When the game is deemed complete, it is said to havegone goldand is shipped off to the publisher. Depending on circumstances, the publisher may then subject it to its own quality assurance or may begin pressing the game from thegold master.

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With todays visually rich content, the programmer must often interact with theart staff. This very much depends on the programmers role, of course. For example, a3D graphics programmermay need to work side by side with the games 3D modelers discussing strategies and design considerations, while anAI programmermay need to interact very little, if at all, with the art staff. To help artists and level designers with their tasks, programmers may volunteer or be called upon to developtools and utilities. Many of these may be for a specific purpose and can bebuggydue to time constraints (time for development of such tools is often not included in a games schedule) as well as because they are only for in-house use anyway. Many game tools are developed inRADlanguages for quicker development and may be discarded after the completion of the game.

A key decision in game programming is which, if any,APIsandlibrariesto use. Today, there are numerous libraries available which take care of key tasks of game programming. Some libraries can handle sound processing, input, and graphics rendering. Some can even handle someAItasks such aspathfinding. There are even entiregame enginesthat handle most of the tasks of game programming and only require codinggame logic.

Corlan, Alexandru-Dan (2011-06-11).Programming Languages Benchmarks

Familiar syntax, easily embedded in the above languages, often used forscripting

Programmers are often required to produceprototypesof gameplay ideas and features. A great deal of prototyping may take place during pre-production, before the design document is complete, and may help determine what features the design specifies.

In addition to IDEs, many game development companies createcustom toolsdeveloped to be used in-house. Some of these include prototypes and asset conversion tools (programs that change artwork, for example, into the games custom format). Some custom tools may even be delivered with the game, such as alevel editor.

Articles with unsourced statements from April 2007

Somesoftware engineeringstudents program games as exercises for learning aprogramming languageoroperating system.

Widely known, widely portable, numerous APIs, compiles tomachine code

During production, programmers may create a great deal ofsource codeto create the game described in the games design document. Along the way, the design document is modified to meet limitations or expanded to exploit new features. The design document is very much a living document, much of whose life is dictated by programmers schedules, talent and resourcefulness.

Game Development for Software Engineers, a short 5 day short course offered by MIT with guidance from the mentors of the award-winning MIT Game Lab.

Forconsoles, the support of the target platform is usually the most considered factor. In the past, video games for consoles were written almost exclusively inassemblydue to limited resources in terms of both storage and processing speed.[9]However, as technology has advanced, so have the options for game development on consoles.Nintendo,[10]Microsoft, andSony[11]all have differingSDKsfor theirWii UNintendo SwitchXbox One, andPlayStation 4consoles, respectively.

Corlan, Alexandru-Dan (2011).Game Programming in C and C++

This page was last edited on 8 May 2018, at 13:21.

Once the games initial design has been agreed upon, the development language must be decided upon. The choice depends upon many factors, such as language familiarity of the programming staff, target platforms, the execution speed requirements and the language of anygame enginesAPIsorlibrariesbeing used.

The central component of any game, from a programming standpoint, is thegame loop. The game loop allows the game to run smoothly regardless of a users input or lack thereof.

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Corlan, Alexandru-Dan.LWJGL – Projects. Archived fromthe originalon 2015-11-10

For console programming, theconsole manufacturersprovide facilities for rendering graphics and the other tasks of game development. The console manufacturers also provide complete development systems, without which one cannot legally market nor develop games for their system. Third-party developers also sell toolkits or libraries that ease the development on one or more of these tasks or provide special benefits, such as cross-platform development capabilities.

Object-oriented, garbage-collected, interfaces withMicrosoftproducts

Professional game development usually begins with agame design, which itself has several possible origins. Occasionally the game development process starts with no clear design in mind, but as a series of experiments. For example,began development ofThe Simsby getting programmers to experiment with several ideas.

Corlan, Alexandru-Dan (2015-03-24).Lua: Uses

Most traditional software programs respond to user input and do nothing without it. For example, aword processorformats words and text as a user types. If the user doesnt type anything, the word processor does nothing. Some functions may take a long time to complete, but all are initiated by a user telling the program to do something.

Object-oriented,garbage-collected, widely portable (via avirtual machine)

The only platforms widely available for hobbyists to program are consumeroperating systems, such as Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, etc. This is because development on game consoles requires special development systems that cost thousands of dollars. Often these must be obtained from the console manufacturer and are only sold or leased to professional game development studios. However, Microsoft used to distribute a game development framework,XNA, which runs on both Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360. XNA was discontinued, but other projects likeMonoGameandSharpDXare trying to allow the same access for game coding. Lately, Android is the most popular hobbyist platform of choice.[17]Some hobbyists also develophomebrew games, especially for handheld systems ormoddedconsoles.

are increasingly being used as embedded extensions to the underlying game written in a compiled programming language, for the convenience of both the original developer and anyone who would wish tomodthe game.Luais a very popular choice, as its API is written inANSI Cand the language is designed to be embedded into other applications.[6][12]Many developers have created custom languages altogether for their games, such asid SoftwareQuakeCand.

DevMaster.net, another popular game development site

[Phoronix] Why Sony Is Using LLVM/Clang On The PlayStation 4. Phoronix.com

Game development companies are often very willing to spend thousands of dollars to make sure their programmers are well equipped with the besttools. A well outfitted programmer may have two to three development systems and multiple monitors dominating their office or cubicle.

Final tasks include polishing the game, such as programmers fixing occasional bugsfrom minor to catastrophicthat may arise during the last phases oftesting.

Game developers may have abeta testingperiod, but the definition of such varies from developer to developer. Often a beta contains all of the games features, but may have a few bugs or incomplete content. Few games are given a public beta period, for example, to measure stress tolerance for gameservers.

Prototypes are developed quickly with very little time for up-front design and mostly act as a proof of concept or to test ideas. They are not expected to work flawlessly, but are developed to try out new, sometimes exotic, ideas.

For development on Microsoft Windows, the various APIs of DirectX may be used for input,sound effects, music,networkingand the playback of videos. Many commercial libraries are available to accomplish these tasks, but since DirectX is available for free, it is the most widely used.

Report: 79% Of Mobile Developers Prefer To Build For Android. 29 August 2016.

Some hobbyists may use software packages that help with game development, such asAdobe FlashUnityAndroid StudiopygameAdventure Game StudioGameMaker: StudioGodotUnreal Engine, orConstruct.

Game loops differ depending on the platform they are developed for. For example, games written forDOSand many consoles can dominate and exploit available processing resources without restraint. However, games for a modern PC operating system such as Microsoft Windows must operate within the constraints of the process scheduler. Some modern games run multiplethreadsso that, for example, the computation of character AI can bedecoupledfrom the generation of smooth motion within the game. This has the disadvantage of (slightly) increased overhead, but the game may run more smoothly and efficiently onhyper-threadingormulticoreprocessors and on multiprocessor platforms. With the computer industrys focus onCPUswith more cores that can execute more threads, this is becoming increasingly important. Consoles like theXbox 360andPlayStation 3already have more than one core per processor, and execute more than one thread per core.

DeLoura, Mark (2009-03-05).The Engine Survey: General results

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Why Are Most Indie Games 2D Instead of 3D?. Rampant Games. 2013-05-16

Once a game ships, the maintenance phase for the video game begins. Programmers wait for a period to get as many bug reports as possible. Once the developer thinks theyve obtained enough feedback, the programmers start working on apatch. The patch may take weeks or months to develop, but its intended to fix most bugs and problems with the game. Occasionally a patch may include extra features or content or may even alter gameplay.

Today, graphics are a key defining feature of most games. While2D graphicsused to be the norm for games released through the mid-1990s, mostAAA gamesnow boast full3D graphics, even for games which are largely 2D in nature, such asCivilization III. However, purely 2D graphics have experienced a Renaissance withindie games.[14]

Game programming, a subset ofgame development, is thesoftware developmentofvideo games. Game programming requires substantial skill insoftware engineeringas well as specialization in one or more of the following areas, which overlap heavily to create a game:simulationcomputer graphicsartificial intelligencephysicsaudio programming, andinput. For massively multiplayer online games, additional areas, such asnetwork programminganddatabase programmingare often included. Though often engaged in by professionalgame programmers, many novices may program games as ahobby.

Programmers often closely follow thegame design document. As the game development progresses, the design document changes as programming limitations and new capabilities are discovered and exploited.

The formalquality assurancetesting process, performed by professionalgame testers, begins well into game development. High-budget titles may begin testing with the first playablealpha, while low-budget and casual games might not enter testing until arelease candidateis ready. The programmers task is to fix errors and bugs as such are discovered by the QA teams.

GameDev.net, a leading resource for game development

Like other software, game development programs are generated fromsource codeto the actual program (called theexecutable) by acompiler. Source code can be developed with almost anytext editor, but many professional game programmers use a fullintegrated development environment. Once again, which IDE one uses depends on the target platform.

Fringe game languages, although bindings to popular libraries are common

Articles with unsourced statements from May 2015

.ISBN1-886411-48-4. Archived fromthe original

Though the programmers main job is not to develop the game design, the programmers often contribute to the design, as dogame artists. The game designer will solicit input from both theproducerand the art andprogramming leadfor ideas and strategies for the game design. Often individuals in non-lead positions also contribute, such ascopywritersand other programmers and artists.

International Game Developers Association (IGDA)

Object-oriented, interfaces withAppleproducts

While many programmers have some say in a games content, mostgame producerssolicit input from thelead programmeras to the status of a game programming development. The lead is responsible for knowing the status of all facets of the games programming and for pointing out limitations. The lead programmer may also pass on suggestions from the programmers as to possible features theyd like to implement.

Object-oriented, widely known, numerous APIs, compiles to machine code

Game industry veteran Tom Slopers advice on game programming

Which APIs and libraries one chooses depends largely on the target platform. For example, libraries forPlayStation 2development may not be available forMicrosoft Windowsand vice versa. However, there are game frameworks available that allow or ease cross-platform development, so programmers can program a game in a single language and have the game run on several platforms, such as theWii, PlayStation 3,Xbox 360PSPand Microsoft Windows.

Currently, the most popularComputing platformis Google Android. Since it comes pre-installed on almost eighty percent ofSmartphonessold, Android has the second largest user base, and increasing. Android usesOpenGL ESVulkan (API).

One ex-game programmers experience in the game development industry

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