I've often said that game development is the most difficult kind of software development. It tends to be very low level coding, on unusual hardware platforms, and you have to constantly optimize for performance and "fun" -- whatever that may be. Consider the complexity of one small facet of game development, the AI: how do you simulate human opponents effectively? In comparison, my little business apps are a walk in the park.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2004/11/so-you-want-to-be-a-game-developer.html
The game industry is like the smut industry; there are long lines of people wanting to get in, no matter the toll. As soon as you miss a step, you’re on the outside looking in trying forever to recapture that moment. If you express the slightest hesitation, you’re past-tense.
It’s been almost ten years since I was in the game biz, but it’s obvious that things haven’t changed a bit.
Perhaps my current job on developing sad business solutions isnt that bad… (But I still have to take a shower for 2 hours to wash of the filth)
Boy, that will help disillusion you, won’t it?
I got into programming because of video games. I love everything about a good video game.
I used to think I’d be happy working that many hours a week, if I was doing what I loved for a living. I suppose that could still stand, but I think I prefer where I’m at for now, working 45~ hours a week and having plenty of time to recuperate.
Thanks for the post…even years after you released it
I recently visited a Greek island where I met someone who grew up in the same place I did (Yorkshire, England).
He also was previously a developer, and had himself worked in the games industry. His current job was driving a boat full of tourists, back and fourth, between several beautiful islands.
He told me he made less than a fifth of what he could back in England, but he was previously working 70+ hour weeks. Somehow I think he was happy about his career choice