Game programming can be a very fun and interesting career choice. Understanding the components behind how a console, computer, or arcade game is developed can be learned through several different means. Some people engage in game programming as a hobby, and college students may program a game as a means to learning an operating system or programming language. Video Game Development requires several steps, which may begin with simple experimentation. When a game is being developed there will be a team of people who will have to work together in order to create all of the components involved.
Designing a Game
Game Programming is not the only component of someone who is a programmer. In addition to the programming aspect of the game, a programmer will be expected to help contribute to the design of the game. A quality programmer will closely follow the blueprint of the game design. Following the document of the progress of the game allows the programmer to be on top of any game programming issues that might occur. During the production of the game a programmer will need to come up with a source code for the game.
Game Programming Teams
During the development of a game there is a team of individuals at work. One programmer could not possibly take care of all of the technicalities involved in creating a video game. However, there will be one individual who will be named the lead programmer. This individual will be in charge of working with individuals from the game development team as well as the art team. In addition, the lead programmer will normally be the person who is consulted by the game developers about the status of the game.
Testing the Game
Developing a video game does not happen over night; in fact some games take two to three years to develop. In order to be ready for release a game will undergo testing. Video Game Testing is done by a group of individuals who are familiar with the way video games work and understand the art of a good video game. During the testing phase the programmers will be expected to work out any bugs the game may have. Some of these bugs are simply minor fixes, while others may be considerably more difficult to fix.
Depending on the company that is producing the game, there may be a “beta phase” of testing where the game is released to be used by a certain number of public users. During this phase the game will have most of the game’s features, but may not be complete. After this phase is completed, the game is shipped out and sold. The programmer’s job at this point enters the maintenance phase. During this time the programmers will deal with any bugs that are reported, this may require a patch being developed which can take a few weeks or even months for development.