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Part 3 || Anatomy of Game - Khel Khel Mein

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Part 3: Khel Khel Mein : Anatomy of a Game


AoA Guys, its cold here - Snow, actually I would call it frost, is freezing my fingers. Also the train was 2 mins late.
I hate RB25 trainline. Koi is driver ko is thaand mein bahir khara karke do chittar lagaye.

So this post is going to be a little more about practical advice and a little offtopic, as that might be exactly what some of you want.
We will get back to exploring the depth of design from BLOG POST 5 of this series. This post is about the steps to take to enter
game industry and in next one( BLOG POST 4) I will give the comprehensive list of softwares and resources (mostly free) that you
will need and talk about why you might need them..

As far as I am aware, there are no proper game related degree in Pakistan as of yet, which is a shame but understandable.
We have a large pool of potential but currently we are short of talent and resources in this field. Also it takes a handsome
amount of money to market and develop a game so thatís another factor. While we have a decent number of programmers
Ė we still lack game designers and artists of caliber.

So before we truly being, understand that there is a difference between being a gamer and being a game developer.
Most of the work game developers are doing involve not having time to actually play the game, thatís the job of
Quality Assurance, especially in a big studio. It is hard, hard, hard work with one of the worst working conditions.
Remember how EA was voted the worst company for a few years running. Development cycles means that people
are laid off every rotation so job insecurity is immensely high, as there are 100s of recently graduated glossy-eyed,
pimple faced teenagers begging to work for chump change for long hours (basically me :P) just so that they can say
they worked on xyz game and see their name flash pass for 0.01 sec in credits (sometimes even that doesnít happen).

Also make sure you understand that crunch time is real and crunch time IS most of the time. You are making a world,
a physical interactable new world. The only difference between you and earlier man is that they did it with sand and stone,
you do it with digital tools. Oh, and also earlier man didnít need to think about generating physics or assets or artwork, you do.
Ever wonder why it takes a team of more than 1000 developers to make GTA. In most games, every little detail you see and
every NPC you run over has been placed there by hand and a particular job has been assigned to him. You can procedurally
generate these things, but those tools also need to be developed somehow and by highly trained programmers.
I would highly suggest reading read this article: http://www.gamespot.com/articles/why.../1100-6384982/

I donít want to burst your bubble or anything, but I do want to show you the bad side of things aswell.
Yes, there are many studios where you may not face some of these challenges, but working for most AAA studios is a tough job.
You have to be highly passionate and driven to succeed.

So, if I havenít already turned you off from working in this field: P lets begin to tell you what steps you might take.
IMHO, for a Pakistani teenager/young adult, generally speaking (since every situation is slightly different and depends on individualís interest)
these are 3 most common ways to enter game industry. I will mention them and talk about some of the pitfalls as well, also even if you fall
under one category, I would highly suggest you to read them as you will find useful information under all 3 and these are not hard fixed rules:
1) Best way to go is if you have a bachelors in Computer Science or computer related field, move abroad to get a masters in CS,
Software Programming, etc (you canít really go wrong here). Make C++, C# and Javascript you main languages. Unity 3D uses c#/Javascript,
Unreal Engine uses C++ and most AAA inhouse engines use mostly C++ or C#. You can also look into getting masters in Game/ Digital media
from America/Australia/ Germany/UK/Japan/other EU country. It depends on your interest, how much money you have, how willing are you to
learn a new language, and other personal factors. America and Japan are more suited for AAA studios, UK and EU countries do have AAA,
but they are too few and far in-between. UK and EU have a lot more browser, mobile, AA and indie studios (but these often guarantee slightly
more job security).

2) If you have a bachelors in a fields other than programming based field, then look for a masters in digital media research, media management
or look for a masters which merges your current masters with technology. i.e if you are interested in music studios look for audio engineers, if artwork
is your passion than look more into digital illustration degrees. If you are an accountant, you are f***d. j/k . Accountants, finance, management guys,
all are needed. It doesnít have to be about just being a programmer or artist. Also keep a lookout for graduate programs, assistance-ships, internships
or seminars, big companies offer these.

3) If you donít have a bachelors yet, I would suggest getting a bachelors in Computer Science or Digital Art (we have a decent institutes for both).
These two fields are most needed at even small studios. Also start learning specialized programs (I talk more on this below this list).

Now for most important part, and this is for all the groups, the 3 included above and beyond that :

o Start working on your own game or collaborate with someone online. There are multiple resource websites, where you can meet other programmers,
artist, designers, musicians, writers, etc and collaborate on a project. You bring your own specialty and usually a finished game is greater than the sum
of its parts. This will also give you that all important experience. Majority of game industry, even to this day, hire people based on projects and experience
rather than name of their degrees.
Places where you can find others : Many many facebook groups // http://www.indiedb.com/ // http://www.teamups.net/find-team /
/ http://www.gamedev.net/index // https://forums.tigsource.com/ // https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/

o Start small, your first couple of games are going to suck, but you will love them.
Also make your first game in something like Twine, Stencyl or Gamemaker, I will list a more comprehensive list of easy out-of-the-box game engines in
next post (Post 5). Be ready to fail and iterative and improve and then rinse and repeat the process. Game development is an iterative process, where
you will make multiple things, but decide to choose only a fraction of those elements. Also look into how board games work, all the basic knowledge of
video games comes from board or physical games.

o Plan ahead by thinking from a companyís prospective. Also take a look at their job listings and see what you already have and what you need to
improve upon. Go to companyís website and search job listings which match your specific want. Look for key words and highlight them, you want to
develop those particular skills. i.e for project management if a company states experience in JIRA or Agile, then watch tutorials on Agile softwares,
learn Scrum and use JIRA in a project. If they say experience in unreal engine, then show them unreal and C++ experience, gamemaker experience
wont help you there. So look ahead of time and be conscious about this.

o Find your specialty. There are 100s of ďIdea and ConceptĒ guys in every studio (in Karachi we call them khalifas :P) Everyone wants to make a game,
so everyone, even non-gamers have ideas on games. Itís all about the execution. Find your passion in the mess on game industry. If you like artwork,
learn and be the best artist that you can be. If you want to program game mechanics then learn exactly how you can manipulate the code, be the master of it.
Execution of ideas is EVERYTHING. And you donít want your product to be mediocre, you want your product to shine. You canít be jack of all trades
when starting out. It will take YEARS for you to get there, so start now.
I tried to give you concise and useful information. Next post is going to be about exactly what software you should learn, how you can learn them and how
they will help you. I remember that there was no one who mentioned these softwares when I was a teen and had to I had to learn about most of them on
my own, so hopefully I can provide at least some sort of path to follow.

Till then GG WP.
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Updated 04-03-16 at 08:05 PM by NaNoW

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  1. NaNoW's Avatar
    Ofcourse comments, suggestions, your take on topic, etc is very encouraged.
    So if you think you have learned anything or find it interesting or know someone who might find it interesting.

    I would highly appreciate you linking other people on pakgamers, twitter or FB..or even share with on your timelines with others!



    @
    Chukandar, @V3N0M, @Eternal Blizzard @Gizmo @CerebralTiger @OldMan @DarkLordMalik @Ottoman @abobobilly @TrueCoolGuy @Arkonov @Fir3d3mon @Cerberus @murtaza12 @GloriousChicken@DarkSith @nafu @Pleasant @opethian @staticPointer @Necrokiller @mac007 @Solid Link @Yasir Nadeem @Spatan 117 @OldMan @Yasir Nadeem
    0 Likes, 0 Thanks
  2. EternalBlizzard's Avatar
    That was a good read. Most of the people including me need guidelines like this to start getting into game development. nice job once again. I have 2 questions for you.

    1) Firstly i have a habit of getting hyped up for something.. i start learning it, i get the basics and some intermediate stuff and then i leave it. I just get tired of it. Then i'll look to learn something else ( by something else i mean in the area of game programming not switching domains like modelling/animation etc). What would you recommend to a guy like me? Focus one thing and master it or is it OK to try out everything and have a hand in everything :s

    2) What are your thoughts on low level game programming vs using already built game engines like Unity/RPG Maker/CryEngine. While the latter are easy to use, save time.. they hide the technical side of things unlike graphics libraries like SDL, SFML, OpenGL. Most purists will think if you don't know how the thing actually works you are shit, you are just using a handy tool to do your work for you ( even i feel like that ). Is it really necessary to learn the technical side or a person can survive by just learning how to use Game Engines.

    Personally i've used both Unity and OpenGL and i can see the difference. While OpenGL is obviously much much more difficult it has helped me to understand how the game actually works. The core parts (game loop, update, render). It'd be great if you cover this aspect in the next blog where you'll discuss about which softwares to start with
    0 Likes, 0 Thanks
    Updated 04-03-16 at 05:04 PM by EternalBlizzard
  3. mac007's Avatar
    its getting more interesting every next part
    0 Likes, 0 Thanks
  4. mac007's Avatar
    how can we become a Quality Assurance guy??who play games all day
    1 Likes, 0 Thanks
    Likes Solid Link liked this post
  5. Solid Link's Avatar
    Awesome stuff really.....its a shame pak doesnt have game strong game dev studios
    btw @NaNoW ....would you prefer working with libraries like SDL SFML etc or going for a particular game engine at our current stage.? (currently doing bachelors in CS 3rd sem ) I think working with libraries to create your own world/physics and environment to make a game is much better since it kinda gives u an insight about how actual game engine works (correct me if iam wrong plz )
    0 Likes, 0 Thanks
    Updated 05-03-16 at 03:54 PM by Solid Link
  6. NaNoW's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eternal Blizzard
    That was a good read. Most of the people including me need guidelines like this to start getting into game development. nice job once again. I have 2 questions for you.

    1) Firstly i have a habit of getting hyped up for something.. i start learning it, i get the basics and some intermediate stuff and then i leave it. I just get tired of it. Then i'll look to learn something else ( by something else i mean in the area of game programming not switching domains like modelling/animation etc). What would you recommend to a guy like me? Focus one thing and master it or is it OK to try out everything and have a hand in everything :s

    2) What are your thoughts on low level game programming vs using already built game engines like Unity/RPG Maker/CryEngine. While the latter are easy to use, save time.. they hide the technical side of things unlike graphics libraries like SDL, SFML, OpenGL. Most purists will think if you don't know how the thing actually works you are shit, you are just using a handy tool to do your work for you ( even i feel like that ). Is it really necessary to learn the technical side or a person can survive by just learning how to use Game Engines.

    thanks for liking it..and suggestion, I will keep it in mind..Also please share this with other pg'ers

    Personally i've used both Unity and OpenGL and i can see the difference. While OpenGL is obviously much much more difficult it has helped me to understand how the game actually works. The core parts (game loop, update, render). It'd be great if you cover this aspect in the next blog where you'll discuss about which softwares to start with
    1) keeping the motivation going is obviously an issue with almost everyone. So the first thing is understand that learning something new is always most exciting in the beginning, casue things are generally easier and "fresh" and there's just soo many things you can overcome, but getting down to the gritty part is often a bit harder. But every moment of that energy you spend in trying to learn something to the depth will repay itself once you start developing something substantial. Also be aware that everyone goes through this learning curve in everything. Once the novelty factor of a thing is gone, then you truly understand the pitfalls and advantages of things. You have to stick with something and find your absolute passion

    2) If game development was all about programming then only CS grads and CS PhDs would be the only developers and making good games. Its so obviously not. Human development is a collaborative effort, we build things on top of what has already been done; that sets us upart from animals. If some tools are making your life easier why the hell wont you use them. Its nice to know exactly how something is working, but that doesnt mean you cant make a great game without them. Ori and the Blind forest and Firewatch both are made in unity. Having Unity gave them a really good platform to start optimizing it for their own product. Then they could focus on story, environment, artwork, progression, etc more.
    0 Likes, 0 Thanks
  7. NaNoW's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Solid Link
    Awesome stuff really.....its a shame pak doesnt have game strong game dev studios
    btw @NaNoW ....would you prefer working with libraries like SDL SFML etc or going for a particular game engine at our current stage.? (currently doing bachelors in CS 3rd sem ) I think working with libraries to create your own world/physics and environment to make a game is much better since it kinda gives u an insight about how actual game engine works (correct me if iam wrong plz )
    Use Unreal Engine..it has premade libraries ( which is visual scripting..similar to a flowchart ) called blueprints and gives you an ability to make your own in C++.
    Or use Unity, where you can download 10000s of premade libraries or make your own in C# or JaveScript.
    You can learn everything you need to learn using these two engines...for gods sake even Square Enix is building Final Fantasy 7 Remake in unreal engine...So be realistic, I think if unreal is good enough for FF7 for mechanics and visuals and if unity is good enough for Ori and the Blind forest then I am pretty sure, you will be covered.

    in my opinion, unless you are building a AAA title and you are going to do something which hasn't been done before or cant match the performance of engines already out there, then go ahead and make an optimized engine ( Hint: Its is even harder to make a game engine as it is to make a game)
    1 Likes, 0 Thanks
    Likes Solid Link liked this post
    Updated 05-03-16 at 04:40 PM by NaNoW
  8. NaNoW's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mac007
    how can we become a Quality Assurance guy??who play games all day
    Most people start in gaming industry from QA. The job sounds like fun, but it is the most tiresome job. ( I know its a part of my current job to manage that aswell)

    Nearly all small to large studios have openings for QA quite regularly. But first get into a country where there are studios.
    0 Likes, 0 Thanks
  9. EternalBlizzard's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by NaNoW
    2) If game development was all about programming then only CS grads and CS PhDs would be the only developers and making good games. Its so obviously not. Human development is a collaborative effort, we build things on top of what has already been done; that sets us upart from animals. If some tools are making your life easier why the hell wont you use them. Its nice to know exactly how something is working, but that doesnt mean you cant make a great game without them. Ori and the Blind forest and Firewatch both are made in unity. Having Unity gave them a really good platform to start optimizing it for their own product. Then they could focus on story, environment, artwork, progression, etc more.
    I know that i was asking for those who are going into game development as a game programmer. What do they do? just sit all day and do scripting in already built in game engines or create game engines for the industry.
    Basically to put it simple. How many industries build their own game engine instead of using unity/cry etc
    0 Likes, 0 Thanks
  10. NaNoW's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eternal Blizzard
    I know that i was asking for those who are going into game development as a game programmer. What do they do? just sit all day and do scripting in already built in game engines or create game engines for the industry.
    Basically to put it simple. How many industries build their own game engine instead of using unity/cry etc
    80% AAA studios ( EA, Ubisoft, Naught Dog, Capcom, Konami, a handful of others ) have their own inhouse engines

    80 % all other studios use publicly available engines.
    0 Likes, 0 Thanks
  11. Spartan 117's Avatar
    Another great read, yet again.

    Love the concise look in about the gaming industry and how to get into it. I myself don't really have interest in making games, but I do like learning about some basic aspects that go into game development etc. I'm sure many people would find this really helpful.

    Looking forward to the 5th part.
    0 Likes, 0 Thanks
  12. CerebralTiger's Avatar
    Really inspiring stuff, @NaNoW
    0 Likes, 0 Thanks
  13. NaNoW's Avatar
    @Spartan 117 @CerebralTiger @Solid Link @mac007 > Please share on fb guys...it will literally take 2 secs
    0 Likes, 0 Thanks
  14. mac007's Avatar
    @NaNoW I m not active on fb....have shared it on Twitter though
    1 Likes, 0 Thanks
    Likes NaNoW liked this post
  15. Spartan 117's Avatar
    Already did, when it came out.
    0 Likes, 0 Thanks
  16. Solid Link's Avatar
    Shared it a week ago mate.. :P
    0 Likes, 0 Thanks
  17. MZM HACKERS's Avatar
    This is embarrassing but can anyone tell me how to write a post ? I am new here ! PLZ tnx
    0 Likes, 0 Thanks
  18. Uzair akber's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Solid Link
    Awesome stuff really.....its a shame pak doesnt have game strong game dev studios
    btw @NaNoW ....would you prefer working with libraries like SDL SFML etc or going for a particular game engine at our current stage.? (currently doing bachelors in CS 3rd sem ) I think working with libraries to create your own world/physics and environment to make a game is much better since it kinda gives u an insight about how actual game engine works (correct me if iam wrong plz )
    0 Likes, 0 Thanks
  19. NaNoW's Avatar
    Cant really see your reply mate @Uzair akber
    0 Likes, 0 Thanks
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