Discussion in 'Beginners Zone' started by TomRL, Aug 8, 2014.
So how do you lot know the things you do? I can't imagine everyone here has been a developer. Books?
Not a bad question, but I'm not sure if everyone is totally open to answering it.
I'm a programmer by trade, I work in web.
I grew up playing games since I was 6, I'm 32 now.
For a couple months in-between jobs I joined up with a small indie here and programmed a game for him that was commissioned by Sony while he was working on another title.
It's on PSN@Home, though my name is no where on the credits, but are found in another game as a special thanks.
I also did some porting work for another one of his titles, and did some Steam integration.
Through him I met quite a few other developers who worked at EA and at Ubisoft, and other popular indie developers; I am good friends with two popular Sony indies here in Toronto as we grew up together in high school. They were making games back in Gr.11 I was just playing them, I tried my first mod of Serious Sam in Gr.12.
I didn't start to get into understanding 3D engines until I came to this forum; since reading some of the posts of the senior members I decided it was fine time to pickup a DX11 book and get cracking. Pretty inspirational some of these guys, sebbbi, mjp, graham, grall, brit, shifty, taisui, etc. reading their posts makes me want to learn.
I wish I had more time, though, with a wife and daughter, a house, games, stuff, and work it's hard to get around to everything.
I went with Xbox One for the option of being able to SDK off it, and that I was playing with Unity prior to going back into web development.
Having said that, I've got another game idea that I definitely want to make now, but I'm not sure if i want to attempt my own engine or go with Unity. Likely if I ever want to finish, I'll go with Unity. But for educational purposes, I would like to try my own engine.
Found out interest on graphics and technical side and joined demoscene at age of ~16.
Did some drawing and always read books about graphics techniques when could find them. (mostly browsed them fast trough at book stores, didn't really have money.)
With friends researched stuff for our demos. (software rendering.)
Had fun making my first true 3D objects with a pen and paper. (create wireframe on paper and write every vertex locations, then facelist..)
After early demoscene Internet really came the place to find information about everything and it's really been about finding right places to find information. (Siggraph papers, Beyond3d etc.)
You can learn a lot from books, but be careful, not all books are worth reading ^^
You also learn by reading tech articles in here (or elsewhere), posts from devs, white papers, public CPU/GPU documentation, public API documenation...
Nothing beats writing software and using the hardware though
Some of us are simple lurkers and only know the stuff they present in consumer-friendly articles.
Not everyone knows the stuff.
But yes, writing software is the unbeatable way of assimilating this kind of knowledge.
Books, papers/publications, hands-on experience. Not necessarily in that order. When it comes to programming, some things are easier to grasp if you've done something related to a given task from the non-programmer POV. So for example doing music aids in programming music. Experience with 3D packages helps in programming 3D graphics. And so on.
 Whatever this means. If you've got strong theoretical background - great. Practitioner? Awesome. Used trackers on Amiga? Cool. Everything and anything helps.
You do things, you struggle, you research, you read, you post, you figure stuff out.
Basically whatever you can get your eyes/ears/hands on.
Let me also offer another alternative. Developers in general seem to find Twitter a rather good platform to post their work(links to papers or blog posts), also to discuss with other devs on various matters. When I say developers, I mean of any kind. You can find someone working on Vulkan , or someone working at Ubisoft or someone working at a third party tool , whatever. Even if you don't want to join in their conversations, it's a good place to find blogs and papers and read conversations between people who know stuff.