What do Neverwinter Nights, Splinter Cell, and Prince of Persia have in common? They were all developed in Canada. The latter two right in Montréal. Some of the giants of the game industry either originate, or have large studios in Canada as well: Ubi Soft, Electronic Arts, Microïds, Softimage, and ATI among others. People might not realize it, but our friendly cousins in the North are quite influential in the games industry.
The days immediately following GDC are always decidedly hectic. Not only do you need to play catch up with the life you left behind for a week, but you also try to get back all the hours of lost sleep between parties and red-eye flights, email all the people that you met (or missed seeing) at the conference, prepare roundtable summaries or put up session slides, and deal with all the emergencies that happened at the office while you were gone. With all that now safely behind me, it’s time to look back on this year’s GDC. What was hot and what was not? What were the underlying themes and trends of the conference?
It is true that no tools are necessary to apply good software engineering techniques, but they can often be a big help. The third and last session of “By the Books: Software Engineering in the Games Industry” concentrated exclusively on languages and tools, and participants shared their favorite tools and warned others about potential duds.
The second session of the GDC 2004 roundtable “By The Books: Software Engineering in the Games Industry” concentrated on processes and methodologies. In particular, we had a good look at agile development and how it can be applied to game development.
This is the summary of the first session of my GDC 2004 roundtable: By the Books: Software Engineering in the Games Industry. Unlike other years, each session focused on different topics. This one starts with a general discussion of what we need software engineering for in the games industry and then looks into specific techniques that teams can adopt as part of their development process right away.