Flexibility, training, communication skills and passion for video games
Ismael Raya, also known as Phornee, is head of programming at Pyro Studios and professor of the Master of Programming of video Games U-tad. After graduating with a degree in Computer science from the University of San Sebastián, he began to work in the world of the demoscene, but 13 years ago he signed for the video game industry, where he has developed five AAA games, in addition to several to social networks. In this interview he speaks of the qualities that you must have a programmer of video games and what the work is:
Schedule for a video game, what is very different from the work of another developer?
If we compare it for example with a developer of management applications, has very little to do. It’s like comparing a doctor with endocrine surgeon, cardio. Both are doctors, but the work is very different.
The flexibility is a quality that is outstanding to program video games
Is it necessary to have any specific quality to be a game programmer? Why do you need to receive additional training?
you have to be very flexible. Within the programming of video games there are many sub-areas, and it is more than likely that every programmer has to rotate around several. It is also important to know how to work in a team, as these areas tend to be interrelated. In addition, it is necessary to be prepared to train constantly, because the video game is a world in constant evolution.
What inducement has the development of video games over other job scheduler?
you Work on something that you really like. I don’t want to say that a programmer of a bank hates their job, but without doubt the end result of a game programmer is much more colorful, the tasks that you’re going to have to tackle are more varied, more interesting… you have constant challenges. And seeing as then the people enjoy with your work, is priceless.
it Is important to communicate with the design teams and art
Does a game programmer you should also be aware of level design or art in order to develop their job well?
it is Not essential, but a game programmer has to know a bit of everything. Must be able to communicate effectively with the design team, and art, to understand their motivations and needs, and even help performing tools of production of assets. The empathy with them is almost a necessity to be able to perform your job well, and with this comes the need to know what they do, although obviously not be able to do as well as them.
what it Is advisable to focus on a game engine that is marketed, or to learn how to develop a game engine?
Depends on the time you have and your expectations. This question has no single answer… it Is possible that the first approach that you make to the programming of a video game is using an engine already existing: learning what and how do people with lots of experience is invaluable. If you are a small developer, indie, it is more than possible that this is all that interests you. If you aspire to be a graphics programmer, possibly you want to go beyond and make your own render engine to learn. If you are just working in a big company, it is very possible that you are developing your own game engine along to your teammates.
do you Have more future to specialize in a particular aspect of the programming of video games or be off-road?
There is room for all. So valuable may be a graphics programmer highly qualified, as an expert in IA, as a programmer generalist versatile that it is capable to get the chestnuts out of the fire at any time, in function of the needs of the project.
Any training is valid, whether formal or self-taught
What advice would you give to anyone who is weighing up whether to focus on the development of video games and not have it decided yet?
Programming video games is very exciting… it may be that I may not be impartial, but in my opinion there is another area of programming in the world more interesting… or more complicated.
there Will be times that you will be looking forward to the end of the weekend to go back to work, and there will be others overwhelmed by the deliveries of objectives. But probably if these weighing dedicate yourself to it, it is because you are passionate about, so go for it. Learning… no need to wait to do a master’s degree… long before you can investigate at home. I know self-taught, make your own video games, even if they are little ones. And if you want to complete your preparation, there are university master’s degrees that can help launch you into this world and to develop a large project with which to round off your portfolio.
what is the best thing and the worst thing to dedicate yourself to the development of video games as a programmer?
The worst… let’s not kid ourselves, this is a hard work. People tend to think for example that working in an amusement park has to be super fun…. but it is not always so. Programming video games is hard, it is difficult, and at times requires sacrifice of your personal life.
The best thing, that every day is a challenge… there is rarely tasks that are repeated from one day to the next. And the result of your work will be part of your life forever. Will pass years you’ll look at the box of your game and say proudly: “This is what I did.”
June 23, 2017
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